Wikipedia Founder Larry Sanger to Glenn Greenwald: “CIA and FBI Use Wikipedia for Information Warfare”

Wikipedia founder Larry Sanger told Independent Journalist Glenn Greenwald that the CIA and FBI used Wikipedia for “information warfare” on Greenwald’s show System Update on Monday.

Greenwald ripped Wikipedia for its entry “Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory,” saying “there is a mountain of evidence showing that Hunter Biden was paid $80,000 a month by Burisma executives.”

Burisma executives were “getting a lot in value in the way of access to Joe Biden, the most important US official on Ukraine. And yet, according to the Wikipedia article, this evidence doesn’t exist, it’s just a complete conspiracy theory.”

“Remember, this is supposed to be an ideology-free, neutral encyclopedia”, Greenwald scoffed.

“The very first sentence reads ‘The Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory is a series of false allegations that Joe Biden, while he was Vice President of the United States, engaged in corrupt activities relating to his son, Hunter Biden, who was on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma,” Greenwald lambasted.

“As part of efforts by Donald Trump and his campaign in the Trump–Ukraine scandal, which led to Trump’s first impeachment, these falsehoods were spread in an attempt to damage Joe Biden’s reputation and chances during the 2020 presidential campaign”, the Wikipedia entry still reads.

“So notice: The Biden-Ukraine scandal is – according to Wikipedia – the ‘Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory’ but the Trump controversy involving Ukraine is ‘the Trump–Ukraine scandal’. Everything is written to comport with the liberal world view and the Democratic Party talking points”, Greenwald scoffed.

“If you gave the keys to Wikipedia to the DNC, this is exactly how they would write it”, Greenwald observed. The Wikipedia entry then goes on to blame the Ukraine allegations against Joe Biden on “proxies of Russian intelligence … including some close to former President Trump and his administration.”

“Can it be more blatant than that?” Greenwald skewers. “This is the site that is being heavily promoted by Google as the authoritative source of what is true and not about the world, and it reads like a monologue from the Rachel Maddow Show.”

Greenwald also blasted the Wikipedia article on The COVID-19 lab leak theory, which asserts that “The theory is highly controversial; most scientists believe the virus spilled into human populations… There is no evidence SARS-CoV-2 existed in any laboratory prior to the pandemic. … The idea that the virus was released from a laboratory … gained popularity in the United States through promotion by conservative personalities in early 2020, fomenting tensions between the U.S. and China. Scientists and media outlets widely dismissed it as a conspiracy theory.”

“Let me tell you a fact,” Greenwald harangued. “The view of the leading scientists in the US Department of Energy as well as the FBI is that the most likely explanation for how the Covid pandemic emerged is through the research that was being funded by the United States and conducted in the Wuhan lab. You would have no idea that was true – on one of the most important questions of the last decade: Where the Covid pandemic came from.”

“Every word (on Wikipedia) is designed to suggest that only right-wing conspiracy theorists would invest any plausibility in the theory that the virus came from a (lab) leak and not from a naturally occurring event, even though the top virologists in the world wrote to Dr. Fauci at the start of the pandemic and were adamant that the evidence was consistent with manipulation in a lab.”

“If you asked Joy Reid to comment on the Covid pandemic, that’s exactly what she would tell you. And that’s true of almost every entry. It shocked me when I started looking at (Wikipedia) over the last six months, how blatant it has become.”

Speaking to Greenwald, Wikipedia founder Larry Sanger said that Wikipedia “used to be kind of anti-establishment” but “between 2005 and 2012 or so, there was this very definite shift to Wikipedia becoming an establishment mouthpiece. It was amazing. I never would’ve guessed that in 2001,” when he first founded the site, Sanger said.

“By the time Trump became President it was almost as bad as it is now”, Sanger said. “No encyclopedia to my knowledge has been as biased as Wikipedia is now. It’s over the top.” The “rank and file Wikipedians” take their cues from CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times, and had declared “80% of the major news sources on the right to be unreliable. Officially It’s in the policy. A lot of people don’t realize that, but it’s true,” Sanger remarked.

“The left very deliberately seeks control”, Sanger said. “And it’s not just the Left. We’re learning that now. It’s the Establishment, and they have their own agenda.”

Sanger noted that Wikipedia had become an instrument of “control” for the CIA, FBI, and other US intel agencies. “We do have evidence that, as early as 2008, that CIA and FBI computers were used to edit Wikipedia,” Sanger said. “Do you think that they stopped doing that back then?”

A programming student named Virgil Griffith first revealed  the activity of the CIA and FBI on Wikipedia in 2007, Sanger said.

“We know that a “A great part of intelligence and information warfare is conducted online on websites like Wikipedia,” Sanger said.

The intel agencies “pay off the most influential people to push their agendas, which they’re already mostly in line with, or they just develop their own talent within the (intel) community, learn the Wikipedia game, and then push what they want to say with their own people,” Sanger told Greenwald.

A good, “explicitly neutral” political encyclopedia is “Balletopedia” and, on the right “Conservopedia”, Sanger said. “Or go to encyclosearch.org or encycloreader.org.”

“We’re trying to strike a blow against censorship and control of information by making it easier to find all the other encyclopedias that are out there” with a universal netowrk of encyclopedias called Encyclosphere, Sanger said.

 

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