Some of Wikipedia's standards discourage the documentation of information related to 9/11 and al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. In other cases, politically biased moderators delete information to ensure that no other point of view is heard.
Wikipedia rules Edit
WP:Primary forbids the citation of primary sources, which are often the only reliable sources on the subject.
Hypothetical example Edit
If an audio recording of a politician's speech is on Youtube and a clearly mistaken transcription is run in the Associated Press, Wikipedia editors must hold the incorrect AP transcription to be authoritative.
Ban on court rulings Edit
Court rulings are strictly forbidden under WP:Primary despite being considered in American tradition as among the most reliable authorities on information due to the hearing and consideration of opposing arguments.
Ban on research papers Edit
Research papers may be forbidden under WP:Primary until a secondary source writes about the paper.
Wikipedia forbids articles which are the biography of a living person known for a single event. (BLP1E) Because most terrorists fit this description, Wikipedia does not allow their lives to be documented until after their deaths.
WP:RS requires that sources of information can be relied upon to be telling the truth. This is an good idea in theory. However, different editors have different standards of what sources are reliable or not.
Unreliable "reliable" sources Edit
Sources known to regularly print falsehoods about the Middle East, such as the Guardian, the New York Times, and Reuters, are considered reliable sources for the subject area by most Wikipedia editors.
"Reliable" sources citing unreliable sources Edit
A reliable source will sometimes report on an allegation made by a third party. Wikipedia editors can cite this report to justify saying that the allegation is true or worth considering, regardless the reliability of the third party. Wikipedia editors may not consider the reliability of the original source in criticizing the secondary source because that is original research breaking WP:NOR.
Reliable "unreliable" sources Edit
Sources that have rarely or never published incorrect material in many years of operation, such as the Middle East Media Research Insitute (MEMRI) and the Investigative Project on Terrorism, are considered unreliable sources by enough Wikipedia editors to matter.
Professional news reporters may leave their corporate structure and work freelance where, lacking any "meaningful editorial oversight", they are considered unreliable sources under Wikipedia policy. Examples include Robert Parry, Daniel Hopsicker, Jayna Davis, Sharyl Attkisson, and Seymour Hersh.
Reliable subsources of unreliable sources Edit
Reliable news reporters and departmental editors may be attached to a news organization that has a reputation for poor reliability in its political reporting, such as the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, or the Washington Times. Identifying the reliable sources within these organizations is original research breaking WP:NOR.
Unreliable sources in general Edit
Sometimes the only source of information is an unreliable source. The most biased researchers may be the the only ones with the motivation to research a subject, and whistleblowers will often go to a politically motivated news source whose slant matches their bias. A good example of both is the book The Muslim Mafia which is published by World Net Daily and based on leaked documents that were seized by the FBI before they could be published and reviewed by a more reliable source. Another example is the John Birch Society being among the only critical investigators of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
When there is insufficient information to judge the reliability of the original source -- which in any case is forbidden by WP:NOR -- an allegation may still be worth recording in a public place as an allegation for consideration by future researchers who may be in a better position to judge its truthfulness. Wikipedia, which requires a reliable source, is not that place.
Wikipedia's policy of seeking "consensus" results in tendency toward falsification when an organized group of political activists outnumbers a relatively small number of subject matter experts. These conflicts sometimes result in the subject matter experts being banned from Wikipedia or losing enough respect for the site to stop using it.
Notable Incidents Edit
- The page on Muslim Brotherhood influence operations was deleted without R4D and replaced with the far less informative Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theories
- Dozens of articles written by Geo Swan about Guantanamo Bay detainees were deleted due to WP:BLP1E.
- Historical examples of Jihad were removed from the Wikipedia article on Jihad.
- Wikipedia has a noted tendency to ban Jewish editors and once banned several pro-Israel activists on the advice of an anti-Israel activist before any of them had made any controversial edits.
All items (4)