What is Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is an Internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit and add information.
Wikipedia claims its articles are based on a “neutral point of view” but as it is human beings writing the articles, of course the contents quickly have been mixed up with politics. For instance organization like the CIA have tried to affect the entries (see BBC:s “Wikipedia ‘shows CIA page edits’ “), and big companies try to control the information on themselves. And Israel and its army of “cyber-soldier” Jews from all over the world are now doing the same…
The Wikipedia project has ended into control of student research on the Internet.
The situation is now that the majority of subjects Googled will show Wikipedia as the top – or one of the first top results – and thus Wikipedia will get the majority of the hits.
And as shown in our section on Google, this Internet search-engine is well in the hands of Zionist Jews and also cooperates openly with Zionist organizations such as ADL and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to control the searches and censoring information and certain sites.
This means that apart from Wikipedia other sites may be censored when Googling any given subject.
Wikipedia´s Jewish founders – Wales and Sanger
From all the available information it appears Wikipedia was started by two Jews, one a programmer, and the other an ‘Adult Site’ operator.
The origins are in a project called Nupedia launched in March 2000 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.
The Jew Jimmy Wales (actually James Wales, or also known as “Jimbo”), with riches from his time as an options trader, became an Internet entrepreneur and decided to create a free, online encyclopedia. He recruited the Jew Larry Sanger, who was finishing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the Ohio State University – whom Wales knew from their joint participation in online mailing lists and Usenet discussion groups – to become the paid editor in chief. Wales’s company Bomis, an Internet search portal and a vendor of online “erotic images” (featuring the Bomis Babe Report), picked up the tab initially.
The Jewish computer programmer Ben Kovitz is the one who suggested to Larry Sanger, Nupedia’s editor-in-chief, to transfer the online encyclopedia to a wiki support. Larry and Jimmy Wales accepted and from that time, Wikipedia took over Nupedia and became a huge success.
Larry Sanger, one of the two recognized cofounders, is openly Jewish. In their rabblings of what different famous Jews are doing The Jewish Chronicle mentions Sanger in an article “Larry Sanger… creates a new Wikipedia”, The Jewish Chronicle, 26 October 2006, p. 10.
Jimmy Wales History
Jimmy Wales is the de facto leader of Wikipedia and as thus wields a lot of influence. Time Magazine named him in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.
Short history: Wales who was born in Huntsville, Alabama, went to the exclusive Randolph prep school, and onto the University of Alabama. Wales graduated and became a Futures Trader in Chicago. Next he opened Bomis, an ‘Adult Content’ website, which was followed by Nupedia, which morphed into Wikipedia.
Wales is the darling of the Jewish crowd at Harvard, being a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at the Harvard Law School.
What is Bomis.Com?
Basically ‘Bomis’ is an adult site, started by Wales.
The website featured user-generated webrings and that, according to The Atlantic Monthly (September 2006), “found itself positioned as the Playboy of the Internet”. For a time the company sold erotic photographs, and Wales described the site as a “guy-oriented search engine”.
Names like Jeremy Rosenfeld (a Bomis employee), Benjamin Kovitz, Seth Cohen, dot the landscape of technical staff.
Wales´ editing interventions
It should here be noted that although Wikipedia states that it professes a “neutral point of view” the on-line dictionary has even seen direct interventions from its owner Jimmy Wales over its contents. The Herald Sun reports June 30, 2009, in the article “Wikipedia edits helped free David Rohde”:
THE New York Times worked with Wikipedia to keep news of the kidnapping of one of its reporters in Afghanistan off the online user-edited encyclopedia.
New York Times reporter David Rohde, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in November, escaped from his captors along with his translator this month.
A number of news organisations, including Agence France-Presse, at the request of the New York Times, agreed not to report the kidnapping out of concerns for their safety.
Keeping the news off Wikipedia was another matter, the Times said.
It said that on at least a dozen occasions, user-editors posted news of the abduction on a Wikipedia page about Mr Rohde, only to have it erased.
Several times the page was frozen, preventing further editing, it said.
“The sanitising was a team effort, led by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, along with Wikipedia administrators and people at the Times,” the newspaper said.
“We were really helped by the fact that it hadn’t appeared in a place we would regard as a reliable source,” Mr Wales told the Times.
“I would have had a really hard time with it if it had.”
The Times said that two days after the November 10 kidnapping, Michael Moss, an investigative reporter at the Times and friend of Mr Rohde, altered Mr Rohde’s Wikipedia entry to emphasise that his work could be seen as sympathetic to Muslims, like his reporting on Guantanamo and his coverage of the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims.
It said that the next day, an unidentified user, citing an Afghan news agency report, edited the entry on Mr Rohde and mentioned the kidnapping.
Mr Moss deleted the mention, and the user promptly restored it, adding a note protesting the removal, the Times said.
It said the Times eventually reached out to Wales and Wikipedia put an indefinite block and then a temporary freeze on changes to the page.
“We had no idea who it was,” Mr Wales said of the unidentified user making the edits.
He said there was no indication the user had ill-intent.
The Times said Mr Wales himself unfroze the page after the June 19 escape by Mr Rohde and his interpreter, Tahir Ludin.
Interesting here is to see that people should be kept in the dark of the “security deterioration” and the realites of what is happening in occupied Afghanistan. Instead Wikipedia will help in sanitising the image.
Wikipedia chief Gardner goes to Israel – gets advice
Israeli paper Ha´aretz reports 04/05/2009 on how Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia, has participated at a meeting in Israel – a Wikipedia Academy 2009 Conference – organized by Wikimedia´s Israeli supporters and Tel Aviv University’s Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. Ha´aretz writes:
Wikipedia editors: Coverage of Israel ‘problematic’
By Cnaan Liphshiz
Wikipedia’s coverage of Israel-related issues is “problematic,” leading Israeli internet researchers claimed Sunday at the Wikipedia Academy 2009 Conference dealing with the world’s largest encyclopedia. The conference was organized by Wikimedia’s volunteer-based Israel chapter and Tel Aviv University’s Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. However, the Web site’s leading manager said it merely reflected public discourse.
In demonstrating what he defined as problems, Eli Hacohen, the Institute’s director, showed how Hamas is not defined as a terrorist organization in the first paragraph describing the organization on the English site of the reader-edited online encyclopedia, which is the world’s fourth most popular Web site.
Hacohen also documented his attempts to define Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a Holocaust-denier. Each time he included his remarks on Wikipedia, users and editors removed the reference – despite Ahmadinejad’s frequent and public Holocaust denials.
On a related entry, Hacohen also noted that Wikipedia defines David Irving – a known Holocaust denier – as a historian, although his credentials are recognized by no one but himself. Furthermore, the Wikipedia entry on January’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza describes it as an “intense bombardment” by Israel on a civilian population.
Dror Kamir, a leading Israeli Wikipedia promoter, showed how Lod is not listed as a city in Israel in Wikipedia’s Arabic-language version.
Also attending the conference, which discussed Wikipedia’s role in academia, was Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia. Gardner told Haaretz that she is “quite comfortable” with the mistakes on the Web site. “I know that more or less the same mistakes can be found in the New York Times,” she explained.
Before her address at the conference, she defined Wikipedia as a “just another mainstream news medium.” Wikipedia, Gardner said, “will never say anything as Wikipedia. It will only quote relatively well-respected sources, including other media. So it’s natural for Wikipedia to reflect public discourse as it fluctuates, and news is the first draft of history.”
On her first visit to Israel, Gardner explained that her attitude stemmed from her framework of reference as a journalist in her native Canada, including a stint as director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Web site.
The boss of Wikipedia thus travels down to the land of the chosen people to be lectured on how Wikipedia can be improved when it divulges information concerning Israel/Jews.
For a collection of images from this event beteween Wikipedia and Israel, see this link:
Wikipedia leading editor also goes to Israel
David Shankbone, leading editor at Wikipedia, has been invited by the Israeli Government´s Foreign Ministry to help polish Israel´s image:
Photo Editing Israel’s Online Image
By Sharon Udasin, Staff Writer
The Jewish Week, 03/04/2009
But David Saranga, the media consul for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, plans to fight back. After launching a pro-Israel campaign through Twitter.com during the Gaza war and by bringing Maxim magazine into Israel last year, he says he is recruiting the best in the business to revamp Israel’s online image.
In just a few weeks, he will bring six American new media experts to photograph Israel, with funds from the Consulate and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, Saranga says the initiative will, hopefully, knock the pictures of destruction much further down the lists, behind photos of ordinary Israeli daily life. And because he has enlisted Internet authorities like pen-named Wikipedia senior editor David Shankbone, Saranga thinks that there is a good chance they’ll stay that way.
Shankbone — whose real name is David Miller — first visited Israel in December 2007, when Saranga led a group of journalists on a tour of the country’s high-tech and environmental developments. All in all Shankbone estimates that he illustrates over 4,000 Wikipedia articles with his photography.
“The idea is to create a body of work that not only Wikipedia can use but that the general public can use,” he said.
Shankbone is not Jewish, but he said he learned extensively about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in school. While he considers himself a supporter of Israel, Shankbone doesn’t intend to make Wikipedia a Zionist Web site, and he looks at the Gaza war as a black-and-white situation — Israel had a right to respond, but its mode of attack was not without fault.
Yet for Shankbone, the purpose of his photo expedition is not to document the aftermath of the war.
“People want to talk to you about other things than just missiles,” he said.
Ideally, Shankbone said he’d like to end up at solar power plants in the Negev Desert or in a southern city like Eilat, because he spent most of his time up north during the previous trip.
“I particularly like small towns, because my feeling is that anyone can come to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” Shankbone said.
While on open-source sites, users can add and remove other people’s contributions as they see fit, only an administrator can permanently delete the posts from the storage database, Wikimedia Commons. In his three years working as a Wikipedia editor, however, Shankbone said that he has been careful to avoid inserting his own political positions, and readers have rarely altered his content. His collection remains the largest Creative Commons — a Web-based data-sharing platform — photograph community generated by one person, he said.
Critic Oboler, however, questions whether “bringing out people like Shankbone will help directly with the grass-roots, anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic activity that occurs online.”
“What it will do is help in the fight for hearts and minds online,” he said. “This proactive engagement is also important.”
“It certainly isn’t going to be the silver bullet,” Shankbone agreed. “It does give Wikipedia the opportunity or responsibility to present accuracy.”
And while Saranga hopes to change the world’s perception of Israel in the long term with the support of every American Israel consulate, he recognizes that, realistically, results will not be immediate.
“At the end of the day, a single activity won’t change perceptions; a single activity won’t change the criticism generated by the Gaza war,” he said. “But what is important is to create a critical mass of positive activities that will improve Israel’s image.”
The Jerusalem Post writes on the same story:
Leading Wikipedia editor to visit Israel
By Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post, Dec 8, 2007
In an acknowledgement of the importance that the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia has in shaping opinion, the Foreign Ministry is bringing one of its leading editors, David Shankbone, to Israel next week.
World According to a communiqué put out by the ministry, Shankbone has carried out dozens of interviews of US personalities for Wikipedia, including presidential candidates, religious leaders, rock stars and journalists. Shankbone will be visiting within the framework of a delegation of technology writers being brought to Israel by the Foreign Ministry and the America-Israel Friendship League.
Explaining the rationale for bringing Shankbone to Israel, David Saranga, the spokesman at the consulate in New York, said: “More than once we have faced editors connected to Israel that appear on Wikipedia in English that do not represent the reality in Israel. We decided to initiate a visit by Shankbone to describe Israeli reality as it is.”
Wikipedia, according to the Foreign Ministry, is the eighth largest web site in the world, with some 60 million visitors a day, or some 14,000 hits a second.
David Shankbone – whose real name is David Miller – has himself written on his trip in his private user page in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:David_Shankbone/Israel):
I went to Israel to expand Wikipedia’s quality photographic representation and coverage of Israeli-related articles. My trip was reported on in their press:
* Jerusalem Post
* The official blog of Israel
I also wrote a series of articles about the trip for Wikinews. I interviewed their President, Shimon Peres, had lunch with the President of the Technion and discussed the philosophy of Wikipedia over dinner with Yossi Vardi. Here is the first one.
And if you have a chance—check out Solar power in Israel, which I recently wrote.
Below is a gallery of images I took on the trip.
And here is a nice picture of Shankbone-Miller with Shimon Peres:
Wikipedia´s David Shankbone (Miller) with Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres – the man behind the
Qana massacre of over 100 Lebanese civilians in 1996
Shankbone´s interview with Peres appeared in the Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth (here part of the article, reproduced from the Israeli government site http://www.isrealli.org/ – isRealli – The New Blog of the State of Israel):
By Itamar Eichner
Yedioth Aharonoth, 24 December 2007, p.12
A President with Value: Peres is the First Leader to Be Interviewed for Wikipedia’s News Site
The nation’s president proved again yesterday that despite his advanced age he has no need to be embarrassed facing politicians much younger than he. Shimon Peres is the first world leader to grant an interview to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
The interview with Peres will be published on the Wikipedia news site, Wikinews and his statements will be integrated into various articles throughout the encyclopedia.
For over an hour, Peres sat with one of the Wikipedia senior editors, David Shankbone. Shankbone, who came to Israel with a delegation of journalists, turned to the Israeli Consul for Media and Public Affairs in New York, David Saranga, and asked to schedule an interview with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Peres. To Shankbone’s surprise, it was Peres who decided to take up the gauntlet and grant an interview to the popular encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the eighth most-popular website in the world in terms of daily traffic.
At the outset of the interview, Shankbone told Peres, “We checked among Internet surfers under age 30 and we found that you are the most popular and most recognizable leader in the world.”
Peres used the interview for a bitter attack on Iran. “The Iranian economy cannot support the atomic program,” he said, “and the world must decide if it is ready for nuclear weapons to fall into terrorists’ hands.”
Peres was asked his opinion of the younger generation of Israelis. “The 14- 15- and 16-year-olds need to participate in determining the world’s future,” the President explained. “If it were up to adults, they would want kids to keep dancing the hora or singing Slavic songs, but youngsters don’t listen and should not have to. Young women today also wear more risqué clothing than they did in the past and there is no problem with that since they look nicer.” Consul Saranga said last night “It was important for the Foreign Ministry that part of the interview was dedicated to subjects other than the conflict [with the Palestinians].”
The interview has since appeared in Wikinews – “the free news source” – as it was destined to be, and can be read at: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Shimon_Peres_discusses_the_future_of_Israel
Shankbone-Miller to return to Israel
In his own blog 2008/07/31 Shankbone-Miller writes that he will return to Israel (http://blog.shankbone.org/2008/07/31/david-shankbone-to-go-back-to-israel-for-wikimedia/):
David Shankbone to go back to Israel for Wikimedia
By David Shankbone
Last December I traveled to Israel where I had lunch with Yitzhak Apeloig, the president of their premiere university, the Technion, and interviewed their President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres (photo, right).
In the next few months I will be returning to the Holy Land for a week-long photography expedition. From the students of Haifa to the dolphins of Eilat; from the vineyards of the Galillee to the Bedouins of The Negev; I will engage in a photographic documentary of the people and landscape of Israel. The goal is to create a comprehensive body of images of the country that are licensed as free content, meaning my work will be available to everyone via Wikimedia for both commercial and non-commercial uses.
Watch this blog for updates.
In his own blog 2009/03/04 Shankbone writes more on his new Israel trip, where he will be joined by “baroness of social media, Tamar Weinberg, and her photographer husband”. “Consul David Saranga in the Israeli Foreign Ministry […] was instrumental in putting the trip together” (http://blog.shankbone.org/2009/03/04/my-israel-trip-covered-in-jewish-week/):
My Israel trip covered in Jewish Week
By David Shankbone
Sharon Udasin recently wrote in Jewish Week about my upcoming photography expedition of Israel for the creative commons. Also on the plane will be the baroness of social media, Tamar Weinberg, and her photographer husband. The itinerary is not set, but I have requested an interview for Wikinews. Because the focus is on photography, most of my writing will take place on this blog where I hope to document the experience. Consul David Saranga in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who has spear-headed his country’s foray into social media, was instrumental in putting the trip together.
My goal here will be to document not just the monuments and public structures that every tourist documents, but also common, every-day features of life and landscape. Cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are not crying out for free media (although they can always use more professional-quality shots). Instead, places like the Arava Valley, the kiryats and the kibbutzes need coverage.
I want to capture life outside the scope of a rifle. That not every Israeli is armed, living in rubble or dodging missiles is lost in a media narrative that filters everything through conflict. The hope is to obtain shots of the country not typically obtained by tourists and photojournalists. Small town and rural Israel holds all the appeal for me.
More tricks to control information in Wikipedia
But corrupting the very top names of Wikipedia for Israel´s cause is not enough. Jewish students, paid by Hasbara fellowships from the Israeli government, are mobilized to edit Wikipedia in a pro-Israel manner.
The images and text below are from a Hasbara newsletter dated May 2007.
Hasbara is an Israeli institution that gives fellowships to Jewish students around the world and also aids them in organizing “Israel Advocacy”, i.e. Israel-propaganda.