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The Truth According To Wikipedia

"The Truth According To Wikipedia" is the title of the English version of a documentary from Dutch public broadcaster VRPO. Their documentary program "Backlight" addresses many different social, economic, political or scientific topics and is popular among Dutch intellectuals from both sides of the political spectrum. This time, the topic is Wikipedia and truth:


Google or Wikipedia? Those of us who search online -- and who doesn't? -- are getting referred more and more to Wikipedia. For the past two years, this free online "encyclopedia of the people" has been topping the lists of the world's most popular websites. But do we really know what we're using? Backlight plunges into the story behind Wikipedia and explores the wonderful world of Web 2.0. Is it a revolution, or pure hype?

Director IJsbrand van Veelen goes looking for the truth behind Wikipedia. Only five people are employed by the company, and all its activities are financed by donations and subsidies. The online encyclopedia that everyone can contribute to and revise is now even bigger than the illustrious Encyclopedia Britannica.

Does this spell the end for traditional institutions of knowledge such as Britannica? And should we applaud this development as progress or mourn it as a loss? How reliable is Wikipedia? Do "the people" really hold the lease on wisdom? And since when do we believe that information should be free for all? In this film, "Wikipedians," the folks who spend their days writing and editing articles, explain how the online encyclopedia works. In addition, the parties involved discuss Wikipedia's ethics and quality of content. It quickly becomes clear that there are camps of both believers and critics.

Why is it that facts about 9/11 are so zealously spun on Wikipedia? Do we blame it on the CIA? Can agreement on politically charged topics be reached with a consensus model at all? This documentary, while not mentioning the 9/11 truth movement's hardship with Wikipedia, addresses some of the very phenomena causing this self-sustaining censorship, such as 'crowd truth'. In a tale about gatekeeping, authority, individuality, self-expression, but most of all: veracity, founders of Wikipedia and various notable intellectuals express their passionate opinions on the subject.

Perhaps it's a good idea for 911blogger to keep an eye out for the premiere of the film Truth in Numbers later this year. Note that apparently James Woolsey (former CIA chief), Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky are among those featured.


Must be a part of Google's "Master Plan:"

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Have they really omitted this?

A quick scroll through citations at "9/11 Conspiracy Theories" (Wiki), seems to reveal a significant omission.

There appears to be no direct link to the April 3, 2009 paper, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe".

Someone please correct this if the link does exist there. That paper merits an entire Wiki article all to itself.

"Wikipedia editors livid over new paper"

Unpardonable bias at Wikipedia

And yet, they cite (#15): "Conspiracies Beyond Belief London Free Press April 21, 2009", a pop piece drawing comparisons with "faked" moon landings and "UFO's".

Frustrating, but suggestive of, at minimum, tacit collusion. It's kind of like Pinocchio's nose, but rather than one lie leading to another, one conspiracy leads to a branchwork of new ones to cover up the ones that came before.

(The "they" above is Wiki, at "9/11 Conspiracy Theories".)

Sad situation

As you may have learned, I was banned (under the pretext of what I had written here) while trying to introduce a mention of the nanothermite article.

A reference to the article could not be added, they said, because Bentham is not a reliable source. No matter that an earlier Bentham article was referred to in the same Wikipedia article.

Now it seems that an editor named Jechochman (or something like it) has removed even that, plus a lot of other stuff.

Funny how they parrot the official line in e.g. stating that NIST performed a 3-year-study into WTC 7 (from autumn 2005 to autumn 2008), although NIST e.g. published an interim report on WTC 7 in 2004.

Apparently, the pro-OCT editors do pretty much what they like, and others' protests have no effect.

Your efforts have not been in vain

Thanks for what you did at Wikipedia. It helps a lot in revealing their corruption.

Thanks

I wish I were "Wiki-wiser", but I'd think there could be some way - some kind of a procedure - to try to redress the situation. I mean, the bias, the arbitrariness and the illogicality in blocking out specific information are SO obvious.

John...

Your five random examples of Bentham open journals being cited, are proof of Wiki's inconsistencies. A journal of ornithology...a journal of software engineering...gee...everything under the sun, except good ol' chemical physics. Nice work.

Apologies for missing "zealously spun"

Sorry, SnowCrash, about not at first noticing the link at "zealously spun," above, which mentions the paper's omission.

It was a valuable experience, though, to learn about the omission by going to the Wiki site and simply failing to find any mention of the paper there. The failure to include it is disgusting.

There is also a level of deception in the general way in which the Wiki editors try to come across as "fair," by giving "one side" and then the "other," while excising crucial information. There were other papers and websites that should have been included that were not. They were not thorough with either their pro or con aspect of 9/11 as involving US conspiracy. I have found some of the anti-"conspiracy" papers valuable as historical record (e.g. the first Bazant paper that was submitted for publication on September 13, 2001--quite the rapid "scientific" piece--not certain whether they had that one or not, but some were missing). Their citations for websites, and both pro and con conspiracy papers are incomplete, and yet they have quoted and used information from inferior publications.

If you go to the wiki page on Steven E. Jones

you will find the nano-thermite paper mentioned there, with a link to the paper in the notes.

I guess they finally realized how obviously biased they were being and had to grudgingly concede to that minor link as an internal face-saving measure.

I find it interesting (and obviously noteworthy) that Wikipedia has an article on Carol Brouillet, but not one on Richard Gage, who at this point is far more well known.

I'll have to take the time and watch this film and see how hard they are on Wikipedia.

Cheers!

The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

No need, Satyakaama

It was interesting to see your disillusionment with the arbitration over @ Wikipedia. That's one of the key points of the documentary. Note that Wikipedia is both a good and a bad thing: where the press has consistently failed us because it's a power block subservient to the system it is supposed to critique, Wikipedia offers at least some sort of democratic access. What happens though, when 'editors' group again into a hierarchy that is directed from the top, biased and subservient? And suppose Wikipedia was truly democratic, does that mean something is true or accurate because 51% of the editors think so?

So here's what we're left with:

  • The mainstream press is compromised
  • Wikipedia is compromised, both by editorial hierarchy and probably by a variation of "Mockingbird"
  • Even if Wikipedia was not compromised, "truth by consensus" is unreliable (majority claims truth)

If CIA influence, editorial bias and hierarchy disappear, we are left with popular consensus, the weakest barrier. However, considering all that we learn and know about such models, is it even worth it to gain acceptance from "wikipeers"? Wikipedia has proven weaknesses in objectivity, professionalism and accuracy. While it might appeal to our internet savvy generation, it might be a pyrrhic victory to get the facts in there. We criticize it now for censorship and subjectivity, will we cheer it when we have our way?

Richard Gage...

...used to have a Wiki page... But they took it down, contacting him personally saying he still wasn't important enough. That's the story as I recall.

___________________________
"A time comes when silence is betrayal." -Martin Luther King Jr.

http://meetup.com/sftruthaction
http://myspace.com/sftruthaction
http://sftruthaction.blogspot.com