Op-Ed: The Bias of Wikipedia
Ari LiebermanThe writer is an attorney and former prosecutor who writes on Israel military...
There is a place where the State of Israel is incessantly vilified, its leaders maligned, and its policies continuously
There is not one article involving Arab-Israeli issues that hasn’t been tainted and monopolized by Islamists.
criticized by Arabs and their third world and Western cohorts. Any attempt to defend Israel is immediately quashed by hordes of Jihadists and like-minded anti-Semites. Israel’s defenders are subjected to censorship while its most virulent detractors are afforded the podium to blather about this or that “atrocity” committed by Israel in defense of its citizenry. It’s a place where truth gives way to vitriolic, blood curdling Israel bashing
If you think I’m talking about the United Nations Human Rights Counsel or the General Assembly, you’re wrong. If you think I’m talking about Human Rights Watch or any one of the hundreds of anti-Israel NGOs, wrong again. If you think I’m talking about the back office editorial rooms of the New York Times, CNN or Al Jazeera, try again. The place I’m talking about is Wikipedia, an online, supposedly impartial encyclopedia open to editing from anyone who bothers.
Wikipedia describes itself as a “multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based mostly on anonymous contributions.” It is “written collaboratively by an international (and mostly anonymous) group of volunteers.” Anyone with internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia claims 65,000,000 monthly visitors as of 2010 and is rapidly gaining acceptance by university students and media alike.
On its homepage, Wikipedia adds the following: “Anyone is welcome to add information, cross-references, or citations, as long as they do so within Wikipedia’s editing policies and to an appropriate standard. Substandard or disputed information is subject to removal. Users need not worry about accidentally damaging Wikipedia when adding or improving information, as other editors are always around to advise or correct obvious errors, and Wikipedia’s software is carefully designed to allow easy reversal of editorial mistakes.”
This description seemed harmless enough. After all, editing is open to everybody and anybody. If you see something that’s wrong or untrue, make an edit and fix it. If you see something that’s taken out of context, add the necessary content to place it into proper context. So, I taught myself the Wikipedia basics and gave it a go. Thus began my adventure into Wikipedia and I soon became well acquainted with its Islamofascist dark side.
My edits were tepid at first and naturally centered on Israeli-Arab issues. Nonetheless, they were immediately reverted without explanation. Being new to Wikipedia, I thought I had made a mistake in the uploading process and uploaded the edits once more. Again, the edits were reverted but this time, accompanied by an almost comical explanation – the edits sounded, “too much like an IDF press release.”
Anti-Israel bias permeates Wikipedia. There is not one article involving Arab-Israeli issues that hasn’t been tainted and monopolized by Islamists. This is amply demonstrated by the Wikipedia article on Richard Goldstone, the mercenary apostate who authored the notorious Goldstone Report.
Attempts by various editors to introduce his dark past and close links to the racist apartheid regime in South Africa proved to be an exercise in futility. According to Israel’s largest daily, Yediot Achronot, while serving as an apartheid judge, Goldstone sentenced 28 blacks to death and four more to lashings. He upheld the detention of a 13-year old school boy accused of nothing more than engaging in non-violent dissent and acquitted four white police officers of burglarizing a white women’s home on suspicion that she was having relations with a non-white. At first, the Islamists attacked the source, calling it “unreliable,” but when the story was picked up by other publications, including Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, the Atlantic, and the Huffington Post, among others, they blocked the edit on some other bogus grounds.
The Battle of Deir Yassin is another good example of the Islamofacist influence on Wikipedia. By all accounts, the Battle of Deir Yassin was a hard-fought, grueling battle that pitted ill armed Jewish paramilitaries against entrenched, well armed Arab villagers, reinforced by Arab irregulars, and according to some, Iraqi military forces. During the course of combat operations, Jewish troops advanced under withering fire, and succeeded in taking the strategic village. Some Arab civilians (including women) were killed. However, according to several historians and researchers, this was due in part to the fact that Arab combatants disguised themselves as women (a common Islamist tactic). No credible historian disputes this narrative and it is a documented fact that is noted by a multiplicity of sources. However, the jihadists wouldn’t hear of it and precluded any mention of it in the body text.
They also prevented changing the article’s title from “Deir Yassin Massacre” to the “Battle of Deir Yassin.” Some editors who advocated the insertion of neutral or balanced edits were actually blocked indefinitely or “topic banned.” In its current form, the Battle of Deir Yassin reads like a propaganda piece conjured up by Herr Gobbles himself.
Throughout Wikipedia, the Islamists and their Western enablers are winning by concealing Israeli perspectives while highlighting negative coverage. They are able to do so largely because they have the numbers (and patience) to drown out, shoot down, and quash all dissenting opinions, no matter how well-sourced. It is therefore incumbent on us to counter the Islamofacist influence on Wikipedia by opening up accounts and begin a campaign of productive editing. By doing so, we will contribute immeasurably to the Hasbara effort and counter the negative anti-Western influence that currently infects Wikipedia.