The Cult Of Wikipedia

From the internet debut of the anti-Scientology group “Anonymous”, Wikipedia became one of several “cyber battlegrounds”, and perhaps the most significant. With the unprecedented announcement by Wikipedia that IP addresses used by The Church of Scientology would be banned, “Anonymous” has found itself virtually uncontested in it’s campaign of internet vandalism. It wasted little time in filling all Scientology-related articles with the same handful of spurious claims, in many cases not even bothering to falsify citations as usual.

Wikipedia is perhaps one of the most insidious creations to come about online, due to the perception among many of it’s users that it is a legitimate encyclopedic source, and relies on “user submitted content”. The reality is, as any college or university student can attest to, Wikipedia is not recognized as a valid information source academically. Unfortunately, those that most rely upon Wikipedia for “facts”, have little experience with formal education, and subsequently do not seem to be aware of this.

Wikipedia is not run on user submitted content. It’s a closed and controlled forum, where information is designed to have an appearance of openness, solely for the purpose of creating the illusion that it is not micro-managed by administrators. Wikipedia itself has shed any last vestige of impartiality or neutrality, with it’s ban on Scientology staff members. There is little doubt that Wikipedia does on a larger scale, what private micro-managed web forums due on a smaller scale, it manipulates public opinion by creating an appearance of a consensus. To that end, users and information that clash with the agendas of it’s controllers, are eliminated.

Though there are numerous examples of Wikipedia’s clear bias and lack of credibility, the Scientology issue has brought greater attention and scrutiny to the shell game that is being played. Just a cursory overview of Scientology articles, demonstrates a clear and malicious intent on Wikipedia to allow libelous false claims to receive publicity and protection.¬† Though Wikipedia seems to believe third party content protections may void it from responsibility for the fabrications it hosts, it’s ban of the Church of Scientology may complicate that defense, should legal action eventually be taken.

That Wikipedia itself fits many of the “warning signs” of a cult listed by Anti-Scientologist and convicted felon Rick Ross, whose personal web site appears regularly as a valid source in Wikipedia entries, is perhaps ironic. Upon reading the article by Paulo Correa, M.Sc., Ph.D., et al, titled Wikipedia: A Techno-Cult of Ignorance, I’m wondering if “fitting” is a better term.

If you’d like to see just one example of Wikipedia’s hatchet job on Scientology, and decide for yourself if it lives up to Wikipedia’s supposed standards, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology:_A_History_of_Man. You’ll quickly find yourself wondering what sort of entry supposedly focused on the book it is named after, managed to not cite that book once the entire way through. If that wasn’t enough, the speculation on supposed aliens and uncited (fake) quotations, as well as external links pointing to anti-Scientology websites and books, completely unrelated to “A History of Man”, show what type of content Wikipedia wants to “protect” from Scientologist editors.

No matter your opinion on The Church of Scientology, Wikipedia’s “arbitration committee” working hand in hand with those with a clear anti-Scientology bias to ensure that users of it’s site receive distorted, inaccurate, and patently false data about Scientology, sends a message. That message is certainly not characterized by any notion of “preserving integrity”. While some who, lacking even a basic education, have simply accepted and regurgitated the ridiculous claims made against Scientologists by “Anonymous”, Wikipedia has now handed them a platform to spread their venom uncontested under the pretense of encyclopedic knowledge.

This is just the latest reason that Wikipedia deserves the scorn it receives from the real academic community, whom it plays at being an extension of, or complimentary to. And this is a scorn that is only building with time, as even media has been caught up in Wikipedia’s circus of lies. Several lazy¬† journalists, relying on Wikipedia to provide content for the articles they were paid to write, ended up in the crossfire, when that information proved false. Even Wikipedia itself has been forced to address the mounting criticisms against it, in what is a surprisingly thorough impeachment of itself.

Also see Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

And while we’re on the subject of “digital maoism”, how could I resist posting this (not exactly related) video from YouTube?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “On the Occasion of the First Annivers…“, posted with vodpod
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Cult Of Wikipedia

  1. Wikipedia banned Scientology users from editing the articles due to the fact that they’ve been twisting the neutrality of the articles.

  2. Bob, that’s certainly one opinion. I think the state the article is in now speaks to different motivations.

    That those Church of Scientology IP addresses are banned from editing any articles rather than simply Scientology related articles does not exactly support that contention, either.

    In the end, Wikipedia will only discredit itself further by forcing out those who have any actual expertise on the subject and allowing the articles to become so obviously skewed by bigotry and ignorance. There have always been “conflict of interest” rules. Please keep in mind that Scientology staff members are now unable to point out inaccuracies in the discussion section, for others to consider, without circumventing the ban.

    If neutrality was the motivating factor, I think we’d find some neutrality there. Sadly, there is not any. The articles are filled with lies, distortions, a barrage of uncited claims and fake or inappropriate sources. Even simple definitions are wrong. Things that could easily be verified and corrected. I think that condition is deliberate not accidental. In fact, a majority of the sources that are used for citations do not even exist. It’s not that this is slipping through the cracks. There’s a deliberate agenda behind it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s