How Wikipedia’s Far Left Operatives Use Fraud and “Citogenesis” to Smear Trusted Conservative Websites like The Gateway Pundit
Wikipedia is a far left platform that regularly alters its entries in a partisan attempt to shape popular opinion.
Several conservative leaders and conservative publications are littered with garbage, liberal opinion and complete lies in the left’s attempt to control the masses.
The founder of Wikipedia even referred to all Trump supporters — all 63 million conservative and centrist Americans who voted for Trump — as “cultists.”
The Gateway Pundit is one of the leading conservative publishers in America and the world. Our website last month averaged nearly a million readers a day. The left hates TGP because we break stories, shape narrative and are more trustworthy than any of the major liberal outlets.
Guest contributor T. Adler explains how Wikipedia works using “citogenesis” or “circular reporting” to smear and damage conservative outlets like The Gateway Pundit.
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Editors on Wikipedia altered the page on Gateway Pundit to declare it a “fake news website” after a scandal involving a former writer. This also meant the “fake news” label appeared when someone performed a Google search for the site. Initially uncited in the article, the claim was subsequently sourced to Newsweek, which appears to have got the label from Wikipedia.
The incident is only the latest case of the outlet being the subject of smears in press outlets that are apparently copying their information off the online encyclopedia.
Following the controversy over Gateway Pundit reporter Jacob Wohl claiming to have uncovered sexual misconduct allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which were claimed to have been fabricated by people paid by Wohl and led to his suspension by Gateway Pundit, editors on Wikipedia began adding the “fake news” label to the first line of the article on the outlet without a supporting citation. It was first added by editor Volunteer Marek, who has frequently been involved in advancing a left-wing agenda on the online encyclopedia.
After another editor removed the label, it was restored by Snooganssnoogans, who was responsible for previous smears against Gateway Pundit. Once the label was removed and restored again, it managed to stick for over a day. During the time the “fake news” label was on Gateway Pundit’s Wikipedia page, an article by Shane Croucher appeared in Newsweek using the “fake news” label. It also applied the “far right” label to Gateway Pundit, another label used on Wikipedia in the first line of its Gateway Pundit article. Croucher did not respond to a request for comment.
Now with a source appearing to back the label, an editor cited the Newsweek article as a source for the claim, even though The Gateway Pundit had suspended Wohl at this point. This did not prevent further edit-warring over the label as a series of users began removing the claim with editors restoring it by claiming there was a “consensus” in favor of keeping the label. When one editor suggested going to the discussion page to get consensus, one of those supporting the label cited a series of additional sources. None of the sources labeled Gateway Pundit a “fake news” site.
Two weeks of discussion and edit-warring over the phrase resulted in the label being attributed as a “description” without noting it was from just a single source. Others still argued it should not be included in the introduction to the article, but were overruled. In the course of the dispute over the “fake news” label, another Newsweek story by Maria Vultaggio appeared using the same labels as on Wikipedia at the time. Law and Crime, a legal news site, also used similar labeling of Gateway Pundit in one of its stories. Neither reporter responded to requests for comment.
While the description was removed earlier this year, the “fake news” smear has persisted as the page had also been included in the “fake news” category. It was also added to a “list of fake news websites” around the time the label was being added to the Gateway Pundit page, though the cited articles did not describe it as such. When an editor sought to remove the listing of Gateway Pundit, noting the sources did not support the label, one editor added Croucher’s Newsweek article as a source.
Evidence of a double standard exists as Buzzfeed, which has repeatedly been caught publishing false information, was added to the same list of “fake news websites” after its reporting alleged Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Mueller that Trump directed him to lie to Congress about negotiations for a Trump building in Russia. The report was subsequently refuted by Mueller himself in an unprecedented response, but BuzzFeed refused to retract its claims even after the release of the Mueller report further refuted their reporting. Wikipedia editors insisted getting stories wrong occasionally did not mean the outlet belonged on the list, even when the outlet stood by a prominently debunked falsehood.
Previous reporting by Newsweek has appeared to use Wikipedia as a basis for its description of Gateway Pundit. In late 2017, a report in Newsweek contained several paragraphs of material about Gateway Pundit and then-correspondent Lucian Wintrich closely mirroring that of Wikipedia’s own articles, which had smeared Gateway Pundit as “far-right” and describing it as being “known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.” Newsweek was just one of several sources that appeared to have based portions of their information about the outlet off Wikipedia, which included The Washington Post who may have based it off a Berkman Klein report directly quoting Wikipedia yet falsely attributing the quote to Politico.
Both incidents involved subsequent news reporting apparently based off Wikipedia being used to provide supporting citations for claims that were previously not directly backed by reliable sources. On Wikipedia, this process is known as “citogenesis” and has frequently led to the spread of misinformation and defamation. Although a known issue with the online encyclopedia, this has not kept Big Tech companies such as YouTube and Facebook from using Wikipedia to combat “fake news” on the Internet.
Due to Google’s reliance on Wikipedia, the “fake news” label for Gateway Pundit also appeared in the infobox in the sidebar of searches on the outlet. Similar issues with Google’s reliance on Wikipedia have come up in the past, such as an instance where vandalism led to “Nazism” being identified as one of the ideologies of the California Republican Party. While the latter was the result of vandalism, the Gateway Pundit’s difficulties arise from widespread political bias in Wikipedia’s editing community. So long as major tech companies and news outlets treat Wikipedia as a reliable source of information, problems with inflammatory bias and misinformation will continue to plague their services.
(Disclosure: The author has previously been involved in disputes on Wikipedia with several of the parties mentioned in the article)
T. D. Adler edited Wikipedia as The Devil’s Advocate. He was banned after privately reporting conflict of interest editing by one of the site’s administrators. Due to previous witch-hunts led by mainstream Wikipedians against their critics, Adler writes under an alias.