Wikipedia used by government to smear and defame alternative media personalities

Monday, September 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: J. D. Heyes
Monday, September 29, 2014

One of the primary reasons why academic institutions prohibit the use of Wikipedia as a legitimate source for research is because the open-ended site is rife with abuse. In fact, governments around the world use it to spread false information and propaganda, as evidenced both by newly leaked documents and by careful examination and documentation by those whose profiles have been tampered with.

Indeed, many whose profiles are being altered are thorns in the sides of those who are in power. Two such people — radio host Alex Jones and alternative media journalist Abby Martin — are “media personalities” who are being portrayed as “Kremlin propagandists” by someone linked to an IP address associated with the U.S. House of Representatives, “prompting suggestions that the U.S. government is involved in an online smear campaign,” InfoWars is reporting.

Recently, a Wikipedia user “attempted to edit radio host Alex Jones’ profile to add the sentence, ‘Following his appearances on Russia Today, there were allegations that he was a disinformation agent with ties to the Kremlin,” the site reported.

U.S. not the only government involved

A trace of the IP address that posted the entry revealed that the computer involved “is registered to Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives.” Another, separate edit described RT host Martin as a “Russian propagandist,” despite the fact that Martin made headlines back in March for criticizing, on air, Russia’s involvement in Crimea during her program. The IP address used to make these allegations lead back to the same computer.

InfoWars reported that, though the Jones entry initially remained pending, the entry regarding Martin as a “Russian propagandist” was posted live to Wikipedia before eventually being amended moments later.

The idea that governments seek to manipulate news, spread disinformation and sow discontent among populations is as old as mankind. In the earliest years of our republic, Gen. George Washington operated his own spy and intelligence networks to help the colonial army win victories. According to the CIA’s website:

George Washington was a skilled military intelligence manager. He recruited and debriefed Tory and Patriot sources, developed espionage networks, interrogated prisoners and travelers, cleverly used deception and propaganda, and practiced sound tradecraft. He recognized the need for multiple sources so reports could be crosschecked, and so the compromise of one asset would not cut off intelligence from an important area.

Throughout history, governments have also used technology to spread propaganda; in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was by word of mouth and the printing press, while in the 20th and 21st centuries, agents provocateur use the Internet and, in particular, social media sites.

Manipulation, slander, denial of service

The Rest…HERE

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