Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia founded by entrepreneur and atheist Jimmy Wales and philosophy professor Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001. Despite its official "neutrality policy", Wikipedia has a strong liberal bias. In his article entitled Wikipedia lies, slander continue journalist Joseph Farah stated Wikipedia "is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known." Mr. Farah has repeatedly been the victim of defamation at the Wikipedia website. Wikipedia has millions of entries on topics ranging from an explanation for "duh" to singles by obscure rock bands to arcane British nobility. There are editions of Wikipedia in 250 languages, although only 130 have more than 1000 articles. After about four years Wikipedia had about 450,000 entries, and after six years it had about 1.7 million entries.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Economics
- 3 Quality
- 4 Liberal bias
- 5 Scandals and decline
- 6 False claim about Brent Bozell
- 7 Rewriting its own history
- 8 Seigenthaler scandal
- 9 Brandt / Berlet feud
- 9.1 Impugning critics
- 9.2 What is a reputable source?
- 9.3 Jimbo Wales chooses sides in the dispute
- 9.4 First casualty: a Congressional correspondent gets canned
- 9.5 Second casualty: Wikipedia "experts" called into question, the Essjay Scandal
- 9.6 What did Jimbo know and when did he know it?
- 9.7 Cracks in the dam
- 10 Michael Moore
- 11 Sinbad hoax
- 12 Rutgers-Ivy League hoax
- 13 Barbara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation
- 14 GFDL License Issue
- 15 See also
- 16 Further reading
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Initially, Wikipedia was hosted on servers operated by Bomis, Inc., a company that also sold pornographic pictures. In 2003, Jimbo Wales founded the Wikimedia Foundation to oversee the day-to-day operations of Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides support for Wikipedia and other similar projects, and also the free MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia and Conservapedia.
Though Wikipedia is non-profit, the Wikia project of its co-founder is very much for-profit and has raised millions of dollars in investments. Already Wikipedia has been criticized for favoring Wikia. When Wikipedia community voted 61-39% percent to treat all links to other sites equally by removing nofollow (Google-ignored) tags for all of them, the Wikipedia co-founder overruled this decision and Wikipedia now favors Wikia in its treatment of nofollow tags.
The Register said:
- Wikipedia has tried to balance the Utopian goal of "an encyclopedia anyone can edit" with the more utilitarian goal of "a website anyone would want to read". With over a million articles, and a rulebook almost as dense, Wikipedia has demonstrated an insatiable desire to participate, create lists and generate procedures. The result is a huge silo of recorded trivia, and perhaps the world's largest, most distributed bureaucracy - mostly manned by a casual staff of teenagers and the unemployed.
Wikipedia, which is written by anyone, still struggles to solve the need for traditional quality controls characteristic of conventional encyclopedias. The self-policing practices has produced results and accuracy far better than originally expected. But still the lack of consistency and uniform supervision leaves an ever present shadow over any given piece of information. It has come to receive high grades for accuracy, but still many in the academy insist that it is unreliable source for research and an unacceptable reference in many classrooms. Perhaps these reactions are inevitable. Nevertheless, Wikipedia steers people to original source material, and with the use of hyperlinks and search engines, it has become the most widely used intermediary reference tool on the Internet.
Wikipedia shows a systematic bias in that tiny proportion of articles which treat controversial issues. It ignores its own NPOV policy when it allows contributors to "delete well-referenced information" merely because it comes from a scientist who holds a minority view. It would only be a violation, if the article used the information to give a false impression of the proportion of scientists adhering to that view, but liberals use "undue weight" like a sledge hammer. They are either unaware or unconcerned about their bias.
This is not surprising, given this Zogby poll:
While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a conservative bias. Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right – and 17% said the bias favored the left.
Scandals and decline
Even after the hoax was revealed of high level intimates promoted by the Wikimedia Foundation as experts in fields that they were not, to persuade college professors to allow students to cite Wikipedia as a reliable source, and entrusted with the ability to invade users privacy which could affect, in their words, "life and death," Wikipedia still appealed to students with a Jim and Tammy Faye Baker-style fundraising slogan across one million project space pages that read, "OMG! Wikipedia is gone! I’ll flunk my exams!" 
False claim about Brent Bozell
In March 2007, Brent Bozell described this falsehood in Wikipedia:
- The other day, Bernie Goldberg emailed me, upset. He pointed me to his Wikipedia entry. To read what was written was to conclude that apparently I must hate his guts. But we are friends. He is a man for whom I have profound respect, professional and personal. He knew there was foul play.
- Right there on the screen, under the heading "Criticism," it stated that I had attacked him, "claiming that Goldberg merely lifted material he had been producing for years, and only published the book because he had an ax to grind with his former employers and was attempting to make a 'quick buck,' noting that Goldberg never mentioned the alleged liberal bias of the media until it was 'convenient' and 'profitable' for him to do so." ...
- In fact, those words have never been uttered by me. The accusation would be false. Back in 1996, Goldberg used the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal publicly to castigate his own network for its one-sided oafish bashing of Steve Forbes. It was anything but "convenient" or "profitable" for him. It ruined his friendship with Dan Rather and put him on a path to the outer fringes of CBS "News. Ultimately, it ruined his newscaster career.
- My attorney contacted Wikipedia by email demanding the removal of this false entry. No response. So we edited out the offensive material ourselves, after which in writing counsel alerted Wikipedia to the legal action that might befall them should this be repeated. Here's full disclosure, Wikipedia-style: You can see how each article is altered, sometimes hour by hour, in its "History" section. But there is no mention of the attorney's complaints. In the Goldberg article's history, an editor simply now scolds: "Bozell's article is a mock-jealous swipe at Goldberg's opportunism. PLEASE REREAD IT." (Capitals theirs.)
- Goldberg and I are not alone. The website Conservapedia.com has a long list of 41 allegations of bias and factual errors at Wikipedia. You can add to that the problem with the credentials of its staff. One of its editors, named only "Essjay" online and described on his user profile "as a tenured professor of religion at a private university with expertise in canon law," was recently exposed as a 24-year-old college kid in Kentucky. He resigned in disgrace — even though Wikipedia tried to retain him, claiming he'd edited thousands of articles with flair.
Instead of apologizing to Brent Bozell, Wikipedia instead says "Bozell points to Conservapedia as a resource that documents Wikipedia's faults in this regard, presumably holding it as a more authoritative reference less vulnerable to vandalism."
Rewriting its own history
- "When you write this up please do not uncritically repeat Sanger's absurd claim to be the co-founder of Wikipedia."
- "I know of no one who was there at the company at the beginning who would think it anything other than laughable," he added. This is an interesting comment, considering that Larry Sanger takes credit for coining the name, "Wikipedia."
- "I am not bent out of shape about it," he wrote. "The facts are on my side, which is why I bother so little about it."
According to the Associated Press, Jimmy Wales "has repeatedly tried to address this - even going so far as editing his own Wikipedia biography to tone down credit for Sanger. Such autobiographical contributions are frowned upon in Wikipedia's community, and Wales apologized after his changes were noticed and publicized by blogger Rogers Cadenhead in 2005."
Jimmy Wales has admitted that certain administrators, contrary to their own rules, have at times completely removed editing evidence.
In early October 2005 a prominent and respected journalist John Seigenthaler Sr., contacted Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales about false and libelous content in his biographical entry. Essjay, a 24 year old Wikipedia Administrator who was advancing rapidly in the organization, was dispatched to handle the situation. An anonymous contributor added to Seigenthaler's biography the previous May,
- "John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s. For a short time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven," and "John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1971, and returned to the United States in 1984. He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter."
Wales told Seignethaler that Wikipedia is "accountable" and corrects mistakes immediately, but that the internet service provider of the anonymous user probably would not be helpful in identifying who placed the content. Accountability activist Daniel Brandt, a victim of a spurious biographical entry by Wikipedia Administrators, identified the place of employment of the anonymous user, and from there the person accountable was identified.
Seigenthaler returned to the editorial pages of USA Today from which he retired as its first editorial manager to write an Op-Ed piece critical of Wikipedia and the threat it poses to free speech due of its overt provocation of government regulation, its irresponsible self regulation and lack of accountability.
|“||PHILLIPS:...I ran my name. I was shocked to see what was under my name. ...I'm telling you right now, Jimmy, that's not how I want people to see me and understand me. And what I'm about and what I write about in my interviews, et cetera. So, you know, it's not just individuals like John, but me and many other people, that just have concerns that this is creating gossip that can be very harmful. And people go to these sites thinking that this is the truth.||”|
|“||WALES: Well, I mean, I think the real key is that the site matures over time, the -- all of the articles are edited over and over and over, and improved. Anyone's free to contribute. You're free to go and contribute.||”|
This in fact is not the case. Phillips was not free to remove objectionable content within her biographical entry, as Daniel Brandt at that exact moment was discovering. Not four days prior, Wales told Editor & Publisher magazine regarding Brandt's objections to a false Wikipedia biography created by Wikipedia Administrators about him, "I find it hard to take him very seriously at all," and libelous slanders remained in Brandt's biography for a year and half. Wales told CNN, "we are very, very responsive to complaints and concerns."
Seigenthaler told the audience "with accountability comes credibility" and expressed fear that, "I'm afraid we're going to get regulated media as a result."
On December 9, Seigenthaler appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal with Brian Lamb and articulated his concern that members of Congress or other powerful figures in government may likewise be targeted. On November 2, 2006, days before the mid-term Congressional elections, an anonymous IP address traced to the New York Times changed U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay's Wikipedia biographical entry from "a prominent member of the Republican Party" to "Grand Dragon of the Republican Party."
Seigenthaler wrote a more expansive column in the The Tennessean after the November 30 USA Today piece appeared,
|“||a sudden stream of invective — homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist — spilled, as if from a sewer, onto the Wikipedia page under my name. ..It identified me as ...a "Nazi," "fascist-oriented" ....murderer ...there also was the profile picture of Adolf Hitler over the caption, "Press photo of Seigenthaler." The accompanying line: "He is secretly responsible for killing all the Jews."||”|
Accountability and Section 230
Upon his retirement from USA Today, Seigenthaler founded of the First Amendment Center, an organization dedicated to a national dialogue about First Amendment rights and values. Seigenthaler criticized passage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Section 230 states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker." Unlike print and broadcast companies, internet service providers (ISP's) cannot be sued for disseminating defamatory attacks on citizens posted by others. Seigenthaler noted Jimbo Wales told Brian Lamb in a C-Span interview that Wikipedia is accountable and that mistakes are corrected within minutes, but the false information remained in Seigenthaler's biography for five months. Seigenthaler concluded,
|“||And so we live in a universe of new media with phenomenal opportunities for worldwide communications and research — but populated by volunteer vandals with poison-pen intellects.||”|
In the case of Zeran v. AOL, Zeran sued AOL for refusing to screen and remove defamatory messages, even after Zeran notified the ISP of their existence. The lower court ruled for the service provider and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the decision, noting that the intent of Section 230 was to (1) remove incentives on service providers to restrict speech on the Internet and (2) encourage self regulation by service providers.
An American citizen who posts material on the Internet that is illegal in a foreign country could be prosecuted if he subjected himself to the jurisdiction of that country. Internet users who export material that is illegal, that is to say, post material that is accessible and illegal in some foreign countries may be subject to prosecution in that country. However, under American law, the United States will not extradite a person for engaging in a constitutionally protected activity even if that activity violates a criminal law elsewhere.
Essjay given oversight
Essjay wrote a professor to persuade her to allow her students to use Wikipedia as a viable source of information and posted a verbatim copy of the email for others to use. Essjay stated, "I was the administrator who deleted the inappropriate revisions when Mr. Seigenthaler contacted our founder, Jimmy Wales; it is quite unfortunate that a relatively minor issue on a relatively minor figure has provided so much negative publicity. Seigenthaler noted in his Op-Ed piece, "The motive for the salacious stuff directed at me is reasonably obvious," and quoted some comments, "We all at Wikipedia think he (Seigenthaler) is a horrible, stupid p...k for complaining about small inaccuracies in his biography."
Others said, "Mr. Seigenthaler's attitude and actions are reprehensible and ill-formed," and “if there is an error whether large or small, he can correct it.” This again, was not true. Even prior to the Wikipedia policy, Biographies of Living Persons, conflict of interest restrictions existed on the subject of an article editing their own entry. Another wrote: "Rather than fixing the article himself, he made a legal threat."
Despite the damage to an innocent person and divulgence of Wikipedia's precarious claim as a viable source, the Seigenthaler scandal was viewed as a triumph and considered "the best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia," catapulting it into a top ten most visited website as curiosity seekers responded to the negative publicity.
The scandal was originally billed as a "hoax", then "controversy," then downgraded to "incident," and now re-upgraded to "controversy," evidently in response to criticism. The Wikipedia entry on "Seigenthaler controversy" contains disinformation, making the claim, "After the incident, Wikipedia took steps to prevent a recurrence, including barring unregistered users from creating new pages." No actions were ever taken to require disclosure of the real life identities of contributors. Barring unregistered users from creating new pages had nothing to do with the Seigenthaler scandal--the page already existed when an anonymous IP added the false information. Registration of accounts requires no accountability of the real life identity of the contributor. Indeed many experienced Wikipedia editors and Administrators have dozens of registered accounts, called "sockpuppet accounts." Protecting the identities of anonymous high-level Administrators has always been more of a priority to the WikiMedia Foundation than the propagation of false information about real life persons whose identities are known. Wales was asked by BusinessWeek magazine, “Why do you feel it is important to allow contributors and site administrators to remain anonymous?” Wales responded, “there are definitely people working in Wikipedia who may have privacy reasons for not wanting their name on the site….there are lots of reasons for privacy online that aren’t nefarious.” In the Seigenthaler case, it was the odd circumstance that a victim of false information had a large enough platform to respond, coupled with the welcome fact that the victim fundamentally opposes government regulation of internet speech.
Wikipedia's "Seigenthaler controversy" also states, "The Foundation added a new level of "oversight" features to the MediaWiki software, accessible as of 2006 to around 20 experienced editors nominated by Wales," one of whom was Essjay.
This ban on anonymous page creation “reform” was abandoned less than two years later as Wikipedia's usage and ratings slumped in the wake of yet more scandals and questions about Wikipedia's culture, core content policies, and endemic lack of accountability.
Brandt / Berlet feud
An ugly far-left sectarian dispute reared its head in 2005 with disastrous consequences for the site's credibility, and continues to plague the project. The feud had been dormant for many years until the need to elevate a “controversial and notable expert” above the level of “partisan and extreme” defined by its own policies became apparent which would have precluded the so-called “expert” as "a source for anything other than himself,” as Wikipedia's ever fluid policies dictate.
Chip Berlet built a career writing in various far-left revolutionary publications, including Guardian of New York, founded by KGB agent Cedric Belfrage, whose writers at times included KGB operatives Anna Louise Strong, Agnes Smedley and Wilfred Burchett. Burchett was a long time personal friend of Ho Chi Minh, assisted in extracting confessions from American POWs in the Korean War and spread disinformation about American use of germ warfare which Soviet Archives now conclusively have shown was a lie manufactured in the Kremlin.
Berlet and Daniel Brandt wrote for the Covert Action Information Bulletin in the 1970s, and Brandt wrote for CounterSpy magazine, edited by Philip Agee and Timothy Butz. Butz was also on the editorial staff of The Public Eye with Berlet as managing editor and which Berlet describes as a "spawn of the first Counterspy." CounterSpy magazine outed the names of several CIA agents, including CIA Athens Station Chief Richard S. Welch who was murdered by the terrorist Revolutionary Organization 17 November in 1975 and gave the impetus for passage of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Berlet was also a member of Brandt’s Public Information Research board of advisers, but Berlet's extreme leftism demands ideological purity from its followers. Berlet made an ultimatum to remove another Board member.
Daniel Brandt, founder of Namebase, Google Watch, and Wikipedia Watch, removed Berlet from his Board of Advisors in 1991 when Berlet refused to sit on the same Board which included, in Berlet's words, "LaRouche-defender Fletcher Prouty." Prouty, a retired Air Force colonel, was allegorically portrayed as the mysterious “Man X” by Donald Southerland in Oliver Stone's film, JFK. Berlet considered Prouty a fascist. Brandt retorted, "When it came to making a choice between Prouty and Berlet, it was a rather easy decision for me to make." Berlet further sought to undermine Brandt by convincing three others to quit, adding "He (Brandt) was mad" but admitting "On the other hand, Brandt is highly critical of the LaRouchians."
Neutral Point of View (NPOV) requires,
|“||without bias all significant views (that have been published by reliable sources). This is non-negotiable and expected on all articles.||”|
Berlet complained about criticism in his Wikipedia biographical entry, and the organization he is associated with, Political Research Associates. One critic was blasted in the article mainspace with an unsourced, unspecified rebuttal by Berlet as "unethical;" when an editor asked if the charge by Berlet could be substantiated the editor was rebuked and accused of "harassing a controversial expert." Another reliable source in the article read,
|“||one leftist writer mentions Berlet’s 'crusade' against Progressives who stray from Berlet's ideological fever swamps by working with non-leftist groups. In a fascinating conclusion, the leftist commentator warns that Berlet 'may try to undermine your work and isolate you.' ||”|
Berlet stated, "This complaint was written by Daniel Brandt," and a Daniel Brandt entry on Wikipedia soon was created. Brandt describes himself as an "accountability activist" and claims he originally began working with Wikipedia editors in good faith during October 2005 but any biographical information he revealed was spun against him to depict him in a negative light. Brandt states,
|“||I soon realized that it was also about Berlet, who was still bent on undermining me. Berlet was using Wikipedia as part of his political agenda, and he was successful in this.||”|
Berlet's biography underwent an extensive revision with most of the substantive NPOV criticism cut out. The revising editor commented, "I kept Daniel Brandt, not because I feel he's a credible source, but because there's so little published criticism of Berlet, that I felt I had to retain something." This is an extraordinary statement and raises the question why the same high-level Administrator and author of several of Wikipedia's core content and citation policies, including Wikipedia:Reliable Sources and Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Persons (BLP), would use a source she did not consider credible. Brandt observed, "I soon discovered that she had slimed me in defense of Chip Berlet several months earlier."
Wikipedia:Reliable Sources/Self-published sources states,
|“||Self-published sources should never be used as sources for controversial, derogatory, or otherwise unverifiable statements about living persons other than their author;||”|
Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Reliable sources states,
|“||Without reliable third-party sources, it will violate the No original research and Verifiability policies, and could lead to libel claims....Material about living persons available solely in questionable sources or sources of dubious value should be handled with caution, and, if derogatory, should not be used at all in biographies of living people, either as sources or via external links...Self-published books, zines, websites, and blogs should never be used as a source for material about a living person that is controversial, or derogatory...||”|
Brandt is also a registered user at Wikipedia, hence No Personal Attacks and Civility clauses apply, in addition to What Wikipedia is Not, a vehicle for propaganda, advertising or self-promotion, and Wikipedia is not a battleground.
Wikipedia:No Original Research, which has undergone several revisions, at the time stated, "This policy prohibits expert editors from drawing on their personal and direct knowledge...If an expert editor has published the results of his or her research elsewhere...the editor can cite that source while writing in the third person...They must cite reliable, third-party publications... bearing in mind that specialists do not occupy a privileged position within Wikipedia." Wikipedia:Ownership of articles prohibits asserting ownership over articles, particularly where a conflict of interest may arise. Chip Berlet has been cautioned by the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee on several occasions about over involvement in his Wikipedia biography. When Berlet was unable to have criticism sourced to Brandt removed from his entry, Berlet dredged up a 16 year old highly inflammatory and vicious guilt by association smear against Brandt to elevate Berlet's own personal credibility and further undermine Brandt as a reputable critic of Chip Berlet. Berlet himself placed the slanders in Wikipedia entries about Brandt, citing himself, and using his own in-house self publishing source. Despite rigorous protestations and appeals to the WikiMedia Foundation Board of Trustees and the ultimate arbitrator Jimbo Wales himself, the slanders remained in for a year and half.
What is a reputable source?
Several official Wikipedia policies were rewrittenand modified at various times to exempt Chip Berlet from provisions and applications. Enforcement of basic civility clauses and no personal attacks regarding Berlet's conduct are routinely ignored. Berlet considers himself an expert on the subject of anti-Semitism, but was unanimously rejected by several key and influential Wikipedia Administrators as a reputable source for the Wikipedia mainspace article, "Roots of Anti-Semitism" in 2005. As of October 2007, Wikipedia's Reliable sources/Extremist sources policy stated,
|“||Organizations and individuals that are widely acknowledged as extremist, whether of a political, religious or anti-religious, racist, or other nature, should be used only as sources about themselves and their activities in articles about themselves, and even then with caution.||”|
High level Wikipedia Administrator SlimVirgin, in a remarkably transparent action removed herself as a defendant from Wikipedia's internal policy making and self-regulatory process governing user conduct known as Arbitration. The Arbitration Committee voted to accept a complaint filed against her to review her conduct. SlimVirgin made the Complaining party the defendant, removed herself, and placed a third party, User:Katefan0 in her place. SlimVirgin then presented evidence in the same case which stated,
|“||'An extreme political website should never be used as a source for Wikipedia except in articles discussing the opinions of that organization or the opinions of a larger like-minded group,' a passage I (SlimVirgin) was the author of back in March.  What I meant by "extreme" was political groups like Stormfront, Hamas, or the Socialist Workers Party"||”|
The Complaining party stated,
|“||the section you cite giving the Socialist Worker's Party as an example of an extreme source actually seems to solidify my case against Mr. Berlet, as his biography openly boasts that he has done work with that group! If the Socialist Workers Party is not a reputable source as the section you quote states, would not the same be true of political activists who openly and proudly align with the Socialist Workers Party and dozens of other equally extremist organizations?||”|
Nonetheless, reprisal actions were taken against the Complaining party who exposed the duplicity of Wikipedia internal regulatory processes and favoritism granted to an extreme leftist writer.
Jimbo Wales chooses sides in the dispute
The negative publicity engendered by the Seigenthaler and Brandt cases put Wikipedia into crisis management mode. Contrary to popular belief, Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Persons did not come into being because of the Seigenthaler scandal, but rather over the Brandt controversy, as the originating editor noted in an edit summary. Brandt requested Wikipedia delete his biographical entry, and ceased working with editors he suspected of working to further the propagation of false information about him.
Editor & Publisher magazine bills itself as the nation’s oldest trade journal serving the newspaper industry with roots dating back to 1884. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales responded to questions from Editor & Publisher in a prepared statement on December 1, 2005 about Daniel Brandt saying,
|“||I don't regard him as a valid source about anything at all, based on my interactions with him. I tried very hard to help him, and he misrepresented nearly everything about our conversation in his very strange rant. He considers the very existence of a Wikipedia article about him to be a privacy violation, despite being a public person. I find it hard to take him very seriously at all. He misrepresents everything about our procedures, claiming that we have a 'secret police' and so on.||”|
Wales comments had an immediate threefold effect: 1) this was exactly what Berlet wanted, an official statement declaring Brandt was not a reliable source of criticism on Chip Berlet; 2) it fueled the already existent anti-Brandt sentiment within the Wikipedia Admin community; and 3) Wales comments added undue weight (WP:UNDUE) to criticism of Brandt when placed within his biographical entry, yet another systemic violation of Wikipedia's own written policies. All hope for a civil and equitable resolution to the impasse was lost, and many unwitting dupes in the Wikipedia Admin community picked up the anti-Brandt torch to retain Brandt's biography simply because Brandt wanted it deleted. As in the Seigenthaler controversy, Brandt once again demanded accountability, this time from the army of unnamed, unidentified Wikipedia Administrators furthering Berlet's agenda to destroy Brandt's credibility, and elevate Berlet's own as a Wikipedia "expert," while concealing the extremist roots of Berlet's own background which would deny him inclusion as a source on anything other than himself.
Brandt is now known as the scourge of the Wikipedia Admin community. WikiTruth says in its Brandt the Boogeyman entry,
|“|| he dates back to a time when people would look up facts in books and would verify information without just doing a copy and paste from an AP news article and thinking they were done. He compares writing styles, he calls government agencies, and he writes letters. And when he's done, he tends to know. Or at least, he knows where he stands in terms of information. He's rather tenacious about getting stuff right.
Wikipedia, of course, doesn't do this much at all: depending on the day, they'll laud a link to a website as being absolutely useless (it's on the WEB, of course) and then the next minute link to a different website to back a "fact" up. Citing books and printed materials is often a no-go, because nobody can read the original citation, so it gets swept away as well. Really, you have no idea what's good and what's bad, and it's all one big happy soup-hug.
Therefore, guys like Daniel Brandt are horrible for Wikipedia: he researches. He finds laws that pertain to situations. He asks the tough questions that could upset the whole Wiki-cart.
First casualty: a Congressional correspondent gets canned
The first casualty in the war between Brandt and the Wikipedia Admin community was a reporter for Congressional Quarterly and accredited to the U.S. Senate Press Gallery. User:Katefan0 was a member of the Association of Immoral Wikimedians founded by Jimbo Wales. Brandt stated,
|“|| One thing that a professional journalist must always do is properly and completely identify themselves to those they interview, before the interview starts. I think it is safe to assume that her employer does not know that she became an anonymous administrator on Wikipedia last September. It's also safe to assume that she did not inform the standing committee that her gallery press pass application needed to be modified when she became active on Wikipedia.
On Wikipedia, she was making edits on articles about Congresspeople, and about Congressional politics and political issues. Wikipedia is arguably much more influential than the Congressional Quarterly, even though CQ has a good reputation. Anonymous administrators at Wikipedia have tremendous power to shape the content of articles.
It is clear to me that she should have identified herself as an administrator at Wikipedia to everyone in Washington DC that she came in contact with professionally. Her position at Wikipedia was an obvious conflict of interest to the extent that it was not disclosed.
Katefan outed herself but Brandt conceded the circumstances surrounding her exit from Wikipedia damaged his reputation. Meantime the issue of accountability at the forefront of the Seigenthaler scandal was all but forgotten as privacy concerns of anonymous Administrators surmounted defamations of innocent real life people whose identity was known.
Katefan initiated Wikipedia:Dispute resolution with a knowledgeable conservative editor over various controversies on the Houston Chronicle article, including references to the Chronicle's coverage of Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay. Katefan had in fact worked for the Houston Chronicle during many of these controversies, was using Original Research and admitted to being friends with editors and reporters on the Chronicle staff. Katefan removed properly sourced examples of the Chronicle's Editorial Board and her former co-workers hate speech, which included references to prominent Republicans as a subhuman species. Katefan's conflict of interest was made known to the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee. For her assistance in silencing, and ultimately harassing a knowledgeable conservative editor out of the project with an Arbitration ruling of "tendentious editing," Katefan was promoted to Admin.
Not long after, another professional journalist politely protested Wikipedia's exceedingly biased entries about Paul Weyrich. Patently false information about Weyrich was cited to none other than Chip Berlet, with the customary alleged "links and ties" to "fascist" Dominionism, Berlet's latest ideological crusade. The user admitted to being a member of the same Melkite Catholic parish as Mr. Weyrich, and offered to volunteer his professional expertise to improve Wikipedia's Dominionism series and bring neutral balance. The editor was instructed point blank by high level Wikipedia Administrators, "people with a vested interest in the content of an article should not edit it," and of course, profiled as a conservative, was banned for "tendentious editing."
By March 2007 Katefan's name was no longer on the Senate Press Gallery list.
Second casualty: Wikipedia "experts" called into question, the Essjay Scandal
|“||Nobody at the national level is tracking these Christer censorship and pressure campaigns in a systematic way, to quantify them or assess their impact, so that strategies to defeat them can be developed. 'People for the American Way used to track this stuff, but they stopped doing so systematically in 1996. We at Political Research Associates would love to do it,' says Berlet, 'but we don’t have the resources. Groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute or Americans United for Separation of Church and State could easily do this sort of work. But none of us has the money to do it ....' ||”|
Wikipedia had the resources, Political Research Associates began tracking them, and the “strategies to defeat them” were carried into the battleground of Wikipedia. Berlet's massive, “Dominionism” series, a compendium of anti-Christian screeds best characterized by Stanley Kurtz of the National Review, who also reported on the conference, claims the "real agenda" of the Religious Right is to,
|“||suppress other religions ...reestablish slavery. ...reduce women to near-slavery by making them property. ...execute anyone found guilty of pre-marital, extramarital, or homosexual sex and ...to bring back the death penalty for witchcraft. ||”|
I am a tenured professor of theology at a private university in the eastern United States; I teach both undergraduate and graduate theology.
My Academic Degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (B.A.)
- Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.)
- Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology (Ph.D.)
- Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD)
Essjay was nominated for Admin on July 13, 2005 and in accepting he wrote, "Most of my edits have been to theology related articles; I am a theology scholar after all. I’ve added a good bit of material to articles, particularly material related to Roman Catholicism." An anonymous IP commented, "I have read several of Essjay's articles on Catholicism and I am very impressed with how thorough and clear they are. Many scholars try to be "thick" in their language, but not Dr. Essjay." His Adminship was completed one week later with near unanimous support.
After serving in the leadership of various Wikipedian associations such as Administrator General of Esperanza and official contact for Wikimedia with Freenode, the IRC network that hosts most of Wikimedia's IRC channels, Essjay was elected a Bureaucrat on March 31, 2006.
Hoaxes perpetrated against academics and mainstream media
On April 7, 2006 one week after moving into his new role as a Bureaucrat Essjay sent an email to a professor in response to her comments on using Wikipedia as an academic source. The professor had told her students, "PLEASE NOTE THAT WIKIPEDIA is not to be considered a reliable source." The email is not of a personal nature and Essjay clearly represents himself as speaking for Wikipedia and posted a verbatim copy for others to use. The letter stated:
|“|| I am an administrator of the online encyclopedia project Wikipedia. I am also a tenured professor of theology... I find it very disturbing that you included the statement "it is my understanding that anyone can put anything there, and it is not vetted for accuracy." ... Well credentialed individuals (myself included) participate in the project in the hopes that our involvement will help to make Wikipedia a better source, and dispel the misconceptions held by the public. ...
Wikipedia has recently experienced some bad publicity over the John Seigenthaler Sr. affair (I know the issue extensively; I was the administrator who deleted the inappropriate revisions when Mr. Seigenthaler contacted our founder, Jimmy Wales); it is quite unfortunate that a relatively minor issue on a relatively minor figure has provided so much negative publicity. ...It is never the case that known incorrect information is allowed to remain in Wikipedia; we strive to provide a resource that is both accurate and expansive. As we approach one million articles (far more than any other encyclopedia could ever hope to attain) on the English Wikipedia alone (there are hundreds of thousands of articles in the projects that make up the Wikimedia Foundation in dozens of different languages), we prove ourselves as a resource like none ever known before. (bolden added) 
Of the two hundred thousand registered users, and the nearly one thousand administrators with powers to block others from editing, Essjay was one of only 14 with Checkuser rights, a responsibility which has always been the cause of grave privacy concerns and only given to those who have earned the trust of the WikiMedia Foundation. Essjay was recommended to Pulitzer Prize winning author Stacy Schiff of The New Yorker by a member of Wikipedia’s management team and would not identify himself other than confirming the biographical details that appeared on his user page. In a piece entitled, Know it all: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?, Schiff wrote,
|“|| One regular on the site is a user known as Essjay, who holds a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law and has written or contributed to sixteen thousand entries. A tenured professor of religion at a private university...
Wales also appointed an arbitration committee to rule on disputes. Before a case reaches the arbitration committee, it often passes through a mediation committee. Essjay is serving a second term as chair of the mediation committee. He is also an admin, a bureaucrat, and a checkuser, which means that he is one of fourteen Wikipedians authorized to trace I.P. addresses in cases of suspected abuse. He often takes his laptop to class, so that he can be available to Wikipedians while giving a quiz, and he keeps an eye on twenty I.R.C. chat channels, where users often trade gossip about abuses they have witnessed...
Wales recently established an “oversight” function, by which some admins (Essjay among them) can purge text from the system, so that even the history page bears no record of its ever having been there.
The New Yorker unwittingly published the deceptive information on Essjay's credentials in its July 31, 2006 issue. The same month Brandt pointed out at Wikipedia Review, a forum frequented by prominent Wikipedians, including many who have been blocked from editing Wikipedia, "something... doesn't add up" regarding Essjay's claim of being a college professor despite editing Wikipedia as much as 16 hours per day.
In August 2006, a professional journalist who attended the same Catholic parish as Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation protested the patently false information about Weyrich. Weyrich was politically profiled as a right-wing "theocratic dominionist." Wikipedia's Dominionism entry, authored by Berlet, stated in its opening sentence, "Dominionism is a trend in Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism." There was one big problem, Weyrich is Catholic.  By now Essjay was becoming established as Wikipedia's leading scholar on Catholicism.
The Wikipedia Review forum
On January 7, 2007, Essjay outed his own true life identity on his user page at Wikia. A site administrator at Wikipedia Review posted on January 11 the Essjay user page at Wikia had been changed to include the "Staff" reference, normally given only to paid Wikia employees and noted there was no explanation given for why Essjay would leave a tenured faculty position to work as a Community Manager for Wikia. The same administrator posted further details  of discrepancies between Essjay's Wikia user page and his Wikipedia user page on January 19, after Essjay added still more personal-background information to his Wikia user page that bore little similarity to the credentials he had claimed on Wikipedia since April of 2005.
Essjay claimed on February 2 he provided all his real life information to Jimbo Wales and Angela Beasley, and then the same information to Brad Patrick, Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel before he accepted the position. It was apparent Essjay had lied. Brandt sought to contact Stacy Schiff with the information, and expressed disillusionment over the next several weeks at not receiving a response.
Brandt sent several letters regarding his own biography to the Foundation Legal Department and never received a response. On February 3 Florence Devouard, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation announced Brad Patrick would be resuming his role as General Counsel exclusively after serving as Interim Executive Director and to now "focus on developing the role of General Counsel, and addressing a backlog of complex legal questions the Foundation faces moving forward."
Ken Myers, a recent graduate of Harvard Law School and author of Wikimmunity: Fitting the Communications Decency Act to Wikipedia presented at the August 2006 Wikimania conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts is known in the community as Ksm10. Myers registered an account at Wikipedia Review on February 21, 2007 and spent several hours which included a discussion with Brandt on Section 230 issues. Brandt had been arguing for months that Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act does not provide immunity to the WikiMedia Foundation, due to the fact that the Foundation's entire structure is designed to moderate the content on Wikipedia and that the Foundation functions as a publisher rather than a service provider. Only internet service providers are immune from liability for libelous content under Section 230. Brandt's efforts to get Wikipedia to remove the libelous information about him attracted a lot of attention, and was even being studied in a Cyberlaw class at Harvard.
Two days later one of the lesser known occurrences in the explosive maze of events of February 23 happened when Wikipedia Administrator Yanksox registered an account at Wikipedia Review. Curiously enough, Yanksox spent several hours perusing the site where the background material on Berlet and SlimVirgin's efforts to discredit Brandt is laid out but never posted anything in Wikipedia Review for still another two months. In a bizarre turn of events and without discussing with anyone, Yanksox suddenly executed what Brandt had been asking for 15 months: invoking Ignore All Rules (IAR) policy, Yanksox deleted the Brandt biographical entry. The page had been nominated for deletion numerous times, but always failed to win the necessary support in Wikipedia's mind-numbing bureaucratic processes. Yanksox stated his reasons as "privacy concerns, more trouble than it is actually worth. Are you people even human?", then performed a "kamikaze dive" by deleting his own user page.
It was now common knowledge among critics at the Wikipedia Review forum and many of Wikipedia's so-called "inner cabal" that gross distortions and lies had been used to advance Essjay within the organization and perpetrated against a mainstream news source with a good reputation for fact checking. Many of the more mature Wiki Admins now saw the wisdom of ending the dispute with Brandt which was claiming more and more dupes with no understanding of the root of the dispute. In the midst of the firestorm over Yanksox out of process deletion that same day, Jimbo Wales announced Essjay's appointment to the Arbitration Committee.
Three days later, on February 26, Brandt received and posted a response from the Deputy Editor of The New Yorker stating a retraction would be published in the March 5 issue including the comment, "which comes out today." Wikia’s public relations firm made Essjay’s response to The New Yorker.
The scandal breaks
When the scandal broke it was international in scope with ABC News, Associated Press, BBC, USA Today, London Daily Telegraph, London Guardian, Le Monde, The Register, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, CNSNews, Boston Globe and Sydney Morning Herald all reporting on it. The reaction within the Wikipedia Community was largely a feeling of shock, anger, and betrayal. Many bona fide experts and academics quit in disgust.
Jimbo Wales' handpicked Arbitrator of civility began name-calling and attacked "Brandt and his Wikipedia Review cronies;" however this excuse rings hollow since Essjay posted the bogus credentials long before the Katefan controversy, and shortly after the campaign against Brandt's credibility began months before Brandt was ever involved, or even aware of it. Essjay also blamed The New Yorker :
|“||I’m also sorry the New Yorker chose to print what they did…no respectable publication would print it.”||”|
|“||Look, either you hired him thinking he was a tenured professor, or you hired him knowing he was a fraud. There wasn't a third option. ||”|
|“||he is right about there being a cadre of people who tend to get their way on editorial matters. Perhaps that's part of the social engineering experiment that is part of Wikipedia. But when a member of that cadre has clearly abused his position based in part on lies he told to get that position, and the cadre circles wagons ...?||”|
The Chronicle of Higher Education noted,
|“||Like most of the controversies that swirl around Wikipedia, the incident has wider ramifications than a simple personal dispute....the incident is clearly damaging to Wikipedia's credibility -- especially with professors who will now note that one of the site's most visible academics has turned out to be a fraud.||”|
Six weeks after Foundation Chair Florence Devouard announced Brad Patrick resuming his role as General Counsel to focus on addressing "a backlog of complex legal questions the Foundation faces," Patrick resigned.
What did Jimbo know and when did he know it?
|“||We have users from all over the world. Not all of them live in countries where their safety is guaranteed; there are, most assuredly, editors from regimes where if their personal information was discovered, they could be imprisoned and perhaps even killed. That terrifies me, because I don't want anybody dying over Wikipedia, nor do I want them to end up in prison. If checkuser falls into the wrong hands (I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I don't think it's too hard to imagine foreign governments wanting to hunt down our contributors; after all, at least two have blocked us flat out already), the result could literally be a matter of life and death. Life and death.||”|
An editor asked, "I am really curious as to the reasons why Essjay and [another Admin] are any better candidates for checkuser status on en.wikibooks than the current two candidates on the request for checkuser status, and all I can say is that they enjoy somewhat better relationships with the Foundation board." The other Checkuser Admin responded,
|“||the fact that Essjay and I are well known to the Foundation makes us more appealing to the Foundation, not specifically because we have done most of our work on Wikipedia (although this is true for me and to a lesser extent for Essjay, who has more meta experience than I do) but because we have become known to the Foundation as reliable, trustworthy individuals.||”|
Cracks in the dam
Wikipedia reached a milestone in its history on October 12, 2007, when Wikipedia "controversial and knowledgeable expert" Chip Berlet received his first block for incivility. Berlet, who had written for extremist publications throughout his career, had achieved a special "controversial expert" exemption from virtually all Wikipedia's written policies. This exemption from policy extended to citing self, no original research, no self promotion, incivility and personal attacks, and other policies.
In the wake of the Essjay scandal, and questions surrounding Berlet's conduct toward non-LaRouche editors, Wikipedia appears to be moving away from the "expert" designation, and now uses the term "knowledgeable editor."
The website MichaelMoore.com, dissatisfied with a Wikipedia editor's edits to Sicko, published an image of a Wikipedia user on its main page. This was combined with links to edit both Sicko and the editor's user page. Several Wikipedia editors and Administrators regarded this action on the part of Michael Moore's official website as an egregious violation of a well publicized ruling to protect Wikipedia editors from outside harassment.  The consensus, per Wikipedia's policy was to remove links from Wikipedia to Michael Moore's attack site which was urging vengeance and reprisals against an editor who posted criticism of Moore's film.
In Arbitration, Wikipedia's internal policy making and dispute resolution arm, the Arbitration chairman publicly admitted,
|“||No question it contained an attack, including a link to edit our user's page. The problem is that many of us like Michael Moore very much and don't care much for the viewpoint of the user involved. Applying our policy in a rote manner (Without consideration of the unwritten rule that we support prominent subjects that we like) yields removal of the link (At least while it contained the personal attack).||”|
Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View (NPOV), laid down by founder Jimbo Wales allegedly is "absolute and non-negotiable." The ArbCom chairman further stated, "Obviously we need to make an exception for prominent people whose viewpoint we support."  When asked, "How, then, is this remotely compatible with NPOV?", the ArbCom chairman responded, "Not at all."  The editor whom Michaelmoore.com was urging its viewers to attack and harass is described as "a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank."
On March 16, Wikipedia entry on the 50-year old entertainer Sinbad, born David Adkins, states: "He succumbed to a fatal heart attack on the morning of March, 14, 2007." This hoax was widely reported in the media.
Rutgers-Ivy League hoax
A Wikipedia entry falsely stated that Rutgers was once invited to join the Ivy League. Although that false statement was eventually removed from Wikipedia, it was not removed before the Daily News relied on it in this story:
- You don't have to define your college with your football team, but Rutgers long ago decided to give it a try. Back in 1954, when it was considered a 'public Ivy,' Rutgers might have joined the fledgling Ivy League and altered its destiny. But the school declined the offer - arguably the dumbest mistake in its history. Ever since then, Rutgers has scrambled to prove itself worthy of playing football with the big boys."
Barbara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation is one of 17 defendants in a lawsuit suit filed in New Jersey, by Barbara Bauer and her literary agency. Her Wikipedia article was deleted on March 25, 2007 by Wikipedia administrator Doc Glasgow as a "bloody disgrace".
GFDL License Issue
Wikipedia's practice of complete deletion of articles without reference to the original article, the author(s)/publisher(s) of the article, and the history and title(s) of the article, including modification history, description and appropriate dates, is a direct violation of at least GFDL version 1.2. Not only that, but the GFDL License states that if the article/document contains Copyright notices, that said notices must be preserved at all times. If those notices are removed, then they are in violation of Copyright Law, as well as the terms of the GFDL license. Furthermore, the question of them removing anything outright at all comes into quite a grey area. If one reads the GFDL License literally, then it implies that once the article document is posted, it is in distribution, and technical measures are not allowed to be taken to prevent the use of the document in question, and that no other conditions whatsoever can be added by you to those of the GFDL license.
- Examples of Bias in Wikipedia
- Articles about Wikipedia from previous "Breaking News"
- Essay:The Protocols of Ritual Defamation
- SHEFFIELD: Conservatives miss Wikipedia's threat by Washington Times, August 21, 2008
- Wikipedia black helicopters circle Utah's Traverse Mountain, By Cade Metz, The Register, 6th December 2007.
- Avoid Wikipedia, warns Wikipedia chief - It can seriously damage your grades by Andrew Orlowski, The Register, June 15, 2006
- Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems by Andrew Orlowski, The Register, October 18, 2005
- Who Writes Wikipedia? by Aaron Swartz, 2006
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duh (only after Conservapedia criticized the entry on the English word "duh" did Wikipedia eventually remove it)
- such as Honk If You Love Fred Durst (accessed April 1, 2007)
- Part of the article about Henry Liddell, a 19th-century Vice-chancellor of Oxford University and author, includes that his grandfather was the youngest son of the 8th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and that his daughter was the child Alice in Wonderland was written for. (accessed April 1, 2007)
- List of Wikipedias - Wikimedia, accessed April 1, 2007.
- Aaron Weiss, The Unassociated Press, N.Y. Times, Feb. 10, 2005, at G5.
- English Wikipedia statistics accessed April 1, 2007
- Martin Hickman and Genevieve Roberts, "WIKIPEDIA," The Independent (London) p. 12 (Feb 13, 2006)
- Wikimedia Foundation accessed April 7, 2007
- MediaWiki home accessed April 7, 2007
- Wikipedia scandals. Retrieved from centiare.com October 10, 2007.
- Statistical Decline of the English Wikipedia, Dragons flight/Log analysis, October 9, 2007.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Bozell accessed April 1, 2007
- User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 20, Larry Sanger 03:26, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
- User:Essjay/Letter. Retrieved from WikiTruth, November 3, 2007.
- Seigenthaler's Op-Eds, October 1, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org November 12, 2007.
- A false Wikipedia 'biography', By John Seigenthaler, USA Today, 11/29/2005.
- Wikipedia/Tom DeLay, Revision as of 20:19, 2 November 2006, IP 126.96.36.199
- A false Wikipedia 'biography', By John Seigenthaler, USA Today, 11/29/2005.
- User:Essjay/Letter. Retrieved from WikiTruth, November 3, 2007.
- Seigenthaler's Op-Eds, October 1, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org November 12, 2007.
- Talk:John Seigenthaler Sr.#The best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia, retrieved 23 March 2007.
- Wikipedia: A Nightmare Of Libel and Slander, Joel Leyden, Israel News Agency, 8 May 2006.
- Seigenthaler controversy#Wikimedia Foundation reaction.
- Laird Wilcox, The Watchdogs: A Close Look at Anti-Racist "Watchdog" Groups, Second Edition, Part 2, Editorial Research Service, 1999, p. 21. ISBN 0-993592-96-5.
- Right Woos Left: Populist Party, LaRouchian, and Other Neo-fascist Overtures To Progressives, And Why They Must Be Rejected, Chip Berlet, Preface & Acknowledgements. Berlet writes, "John Stockwell gave an interview even though he felt my "Guardian" article on Craig Hulet implied Stockwell was an ally of "Bo" Gritz. That was not my intent, and I regret any misunderstanding and appreciate Mr. Stockwell's patience. Dan Brandt, whose Namebase research database software remains very useful, originally attempted to keep my criticisms of his defense of Fletcher Prouty in perspective." The Guardian article is cited at PublicEye.org, "Right-wing Conspiracists Make Inroads into Left," The Guardian (NY), September 11, 1991, p. 3. 
- Losing it in Nam, The Australian, October 20, 2007.
- A Rebel Reporter, Book Review by Bertil Lintner, Asia Pacific Media Services, August 2006.
- Bruce B. Auster, Unmasking An Old Lie: A Korean War Charge Is Exposed As a Hoax, U. S. News & World Report (16 November 1998), p. 52.
- "Public Eye Staff," The Public Eye (Vol II, Issues 1 & 2, 1979), 3.
- The Public Eye, Volume III, Issues 1 and 2 (1981).
- Chip Berlet and Linda Lotz, Reading List on Intelligence Agencies and Political Repression, (NY:National Lawyers Guild Civil Liberties Committee, Rev. 1/14/91).
- Dirty Work, Time magazine, Monday, Oct. 02, 1978.
- Washington Post, Obituary: Richard S. Welch, 29 December 1975, A16. ISBN 01908286
- For The Record, Washington Post, 27 July 1980. 
- Leroy Fletcher Prouty, Jr., Colonel, United States Air Force, Arlington National Cemetery Website, Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Right Woos Left: Populist Party, LaRouchian, and Other Neo-fascist Overtures To Progressives, And Why They Must Be Rejected, Chip Berlet, Part 033 The JFK Conspiracy - November 22, 1993. Retrieved from the Nizkor Project, October 29, 2007.
- Brandt notes, "Berlet, from Political Research Associates, is always denouncing folks as right-wing, fascist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, sexist, cultic, or conspiracist." 
- Chip Berlet: Leftist Lie Factory, By Chris Arabia, FrontPageMagazine.com October 16, 2003.
- Believers, Negativists Debate Wikipedia’s Trustworthiness, by Mark Glaser, 20 April 2006. Retrieved from pbs.org October 29, 2007.
- Wikiquote/Daniel Brandt#Sourced
- Chip Berlet/Talk, SlimVirgin 00:19, 7 January 2005.
- SlimVirgin stated on stated 21:57, Dec 28, 2004, "Daniel Brandt is not a reputable source." Talk:Chip Berlet/Archive 1, and at 23:47, Jan 4, 2005 (UTC) "I removed Daniel Brandt. He's not a credible source"
- Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Willmcw and SlimVirgin/Workshop/Request of finding for ex post facto policy changes.
- Wikipedia:No original research, Revision as of 00:21, 17 December 2005; SlimVirgin removes the language, "Wikipedia welcomes experts and academics. However, such experts do not occupy a privileged position within Wikipedia."
- "I, Jayjg, hereby award you this Barnstar for your scrupulous adherence to Wikipedia policy and standards, most recently in your brilliant use of reliable sources at Holocaust Denial. 03:34, 26 February 2006 (UTC)" , retrieved from WP/User:Goodoldpolonius2, October 14, 2007.
- Talk:Roots of anti-Semitism, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Revision as of 00:01, 8 August 2005. 
- Talk:Roots of anti-Semitism/What counts as reputable?
- Talk:Roots of anti-Semitism/Deep problems with the article, Revision as of 07:17, 5 August 2005, Goodoldpolonius2; "the whole article is essentially original research. The only source cited (besides Chip Berlet's chart, which, whatever its merits, has remarkably little to do with the roots of racial anti-Semitism in the 19th century)....The racial anti-Semitism section is not factually correct."
- Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Extreme sources, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
- Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Willmcw and SlimVirgin, SlimVirgin (→Rangerdude - moved Katefan's); SlimVirgin made involved third party: Katefan0 a full party to take her place in the case after ArbCom voted to Accept. Katefan0 it was discovered later was Kathryn Wolfe of Congressional Quarterly  accredited to the U.S. Senate Press Gallery. Wolfe lost her Senate press credentials when an undisclosed conflict of interest came to light regarding her activities as an anonymous Wikipedia Administrator. Wolfe was promoted to a Wikipedia Administrator after her role in the frame up of the complaining party. Wolfe initiated Wikipedia Dispute Resolution Procedures over an article about a former employer, the Houston Chronicle. The facts were made known to ArbCom. At the time, WP:Assume Good Faith was a policy, and not a guideline. Several parties were known to enter Wikipedia Dispute Resolution Procedures, signing an agreement to participate in Good Faith, only to be viciously defamed in a public forum accessible to Google search engines, without recourse, and both the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee and WikiMedia Foundation turned a blind eye to the situation.
- Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Willmcw and SlimVirgin, Revision as of 15:45, 13 October 2005, Mindspillage (→Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (3/0/0/0) - accept);Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Rangerdude, Revision as of 15:46, 13 October 2005, Mindspillage (→Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (3/0/0/0) - accept and merge)".
- Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Willmcw and SlimVirgin/Evidence/Response to suggestion that I violated NPOV and AGF, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 22:24, 14 November 2005 (UTC).
- Talk:Roots of anti-Semitism/What counts as reputable?, Revision as of 21:49, 4 August 2005, Rangerdude.
- Wikipedia Founder, Readers Respond to Seigenthaler Article, Jay DeFoore, Editor & Publisher, December 01, 2005.
- Talk:Paul Weyrich#Well referenced but biased sources
- User talk:Pravknight#Paul Weyrich
- http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/htdig/wikien-l/2007-January/060162.html ; Berlet circumvented official WP:Dispute Resolution by posting "I freely confess I have a vested interest in this..." at Wikien-1 and asked someone else to nominate Category:Soviet spies for deletion while the issue was being Mediated. At the time, WP:Assume Good Faith was policy and participants signed a Mediation pledge to participate in Good Faith . Berlet's conflict of interest can be seen in (1) personal association with Guardian of New York, (2) personal association with Harry Magdoff, (3) personal connection with CounterSpy magazine. CounterSpy magazine outed the true identities of living CIA officials, and lead to creation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Berlet it appears never had a problem with exposing the real life identities of living CIA agents but has fought strenuously to keep deceased identities of KGB agents out of Wikipedia. Two years after Berlet circumvented policy, Category:Soviet spies has not been deleted.
- Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Pravknight#Question: Why is Leftism NPOV? The editor stated, "why is it that only Left-wing POVs are permitted on Wikipedia? Why is it that I constantly get harassed, picked on and intimidated for trying to bring things back to the center by excising the hate-filled, bigoted rhetoric that populates the articles about Christians in politics? This is extremely personal and hate-filled, and I'm sick of this harassment."
- Public university sponsorship of conference on "Examining the Real Agenda of the Christian Right"
- Religious Right Watch July 10, 2005.
- The New Blacklist: Corporate America Caves In to the Christers, Doug Ireland, June 09, 2005.
- Dominionist Domination, The Left runs with a wild theory. Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online, May 02, 2005.
- User:Essjay/Letter. Retrieved from WikiTruth, November 3, 2007.
- Know It All, Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?, by Stacy Schiff The New Yorker, July 31, 2006; Editor's Note appended.
- Talk:Paul Weyrich#Inaccurate information
- User:Essjay/RFC/Outside finding of fact by Doug Bell, 2 March 2007.
- Essjay (Talk) 06:07, 2 February 2007 (UTC), User:Essjay/Archives/52
- "his_positions_of_trust"_over_nonexistent_degrees&oldid=382962 Jimmy Wales asks Wikipedian to resign "his positions of trust" over nonexistent degrees, Wikinews.
- [Foundation-l] [Announcement] Executive director, Florence Devouard, Feb 3 21:47:48 UTC 2007.
- Wikimmunity: Fitting the Communications Decency Act to Wikipedia
- Cyberlaw: Internet Points of Control, Day 3. A Potential Solution: Intermediary Liability 2007 Winter Term.
- ABC News broadcast on Essjay. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
- Bergstein, Brian. "Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia", ABC News, Associated Press, March 25, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-26.
- "Fake professor in Wikipedia storm", BBC News, March 6, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-16.
- Bergstein, Brian. "Citizendium aims to be better Wikipedia", USA Today, March 25, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-25.
- Jardine, Cassandra. "Fount of all wisdom – and foolery", The Daily Telegraph, March 8, 2007, p. 21. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- Finkelstein, Seth. "Read me first", The London Guardian, March 8, 2007.
- Wikipédia, à visage découvert, Olivier Dumons, LE MONDE.FR 08 Mars 2007.
- Orlowski, Andrew (March 6, 2007). Farewell, Wikipedia?. Music and Media. The Register. Retrieved on 2007-03-18.
- Levy, Steven. "Invasion of the web amateurs", Newsweek, March 26, 2007, p. 16.
- B.L.Ochman (2007-03-22). Wikipedia's Not the Net Police. BusinessWeek. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- Bozell III, L. Brent. "Not Your Father's Encyclopedia", CNSNews.com, March 21, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- Beam, Alex. "Tricky truths behind Wikipedia", Boston Globe, March 12, 2007, p. E5. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- "More than just a war of words", The Sydney Morning Herald, April 21, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-23.
- Sand Castles of Knowledge, Kyle Gann, May 5, 2007.
- User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 20, March 2 - 5, 2007.
- Read, Brock. "Essjay, the Ersatz Academic", The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2 2007.
- [Foundation-l] [Announcement] Brad Patrick Resigns as General Counsel, Brad Patrick, Mar 22 19:01:14 UTC 2007
- [Foundation-l Stewards are ignoring requests for CheckUser information?], Essjay Mon Apr 17 06:14:53 UTC 2006.
- Foundation-l new checkuser policy Essjay, Fri Apr 21 19:22:21 UTC 2006
- "experts":+leftist+media+organs+selectively+use...-a097822451 Expertly using "experts": leftist media organs selectively use so-called experts to propagandize the masses on behalf of a statist agenda. (Expert Opinion).
- John George and Laird Wilcox, Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, New York, 1992, (ISBN 0-87975-680-2), pgs. 125-131.
- Wikien-1 Harassment sites, Fred Bauder, Sun Oct 14 19:03:28 UTC 2007.
- Bondy, Filip. "They Can Finally Say They Belong Here", New York Daily News, 2006-11-10, p. 92. Retrieved on 2006-12-13.