THE MARGINALIZATION OF AFRICAN CONTENT BY WIKIPEDIA
(we are waiting formal permission to republish this work).
My journey with wikipedia
I grew up with wikipedia. I was 13 years old when the site was first created. Wikipedia initially served as a source of entertainment. I would go there to look up episodes of a TV series, background information on a film maker, or the filmography of an actor. Over time I started to use wikipedia for more serious knowledge: I would look up scientific facts, and then after a few years it became my news source because detailed pages would be created the as soon as I heard of a breaking news event. Finally, it became the source I looked to for facts on politicians, political ideologies, and information on political movements. It had become an all-encompassing, ultimate source of knowledge where my search for truth would both begin and end.
I didn’t use wikipedia because I liked it. I used it because 1) it had a page on almost every single subject I was curious about, and 2) It was the first search result for almost every single search I did. Today, every search engine shows wikipedia either as the first search result or as the first, second, third, and fourth search result. If you want to learn about the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Patrice Lumumba, the only state that exists presently due to a slave revolt, or Assata Shakur then the first results in your search are going to be wikipedia. When I do a search for Assata Shakur, it shows her wikipedia entry as #1 and her own website (AssataShakur.org) as #2.
It’s not an accident that wikipedia pages are the first search results. The Wikimedia foundation and the white editors want to be #1 on the search results. The white editors intentionally adopt unethical tactics to get wikipedia in the top place of search results, like putting many links into everywikipedia article to get the site moved up in search results. Another tactic is getting google and other internet search companies to place wikipedia results in an instant answer box at the top right of the search page; this suggests to people that wikipedia is a trust worthy place to get information
Wikipedia is malicious
In a time when people have rightly lost their faith in mass media as a source of factual information, we are turning to decentralized and local sources for knowledge on the internet, and we are especially showing up to wikipedia to find what so many have been fooled to think is the whole truth. When we use wikipedia, we go there with the assumption that wikipedia is a source we can trust because it is created by average people(like me and you) with good intentions and right actions; or as my father said to me when I asked him what he thought about wikipedia:
“If something is wrong or information is missing from wikipedia then anyone can fix it. It is uncensored… Right?”
Today, wikipedia has lots of power over a large segment of the population and this power is being used to advance white supremacy. The site is trying to pass itself off as a trusted source of information with no bias — but in reality it is extremely biased. The 1000 active users — which are responsible for around 70% to 80% of all content — are all biased. People go to wikipedia with the thought in their mind that wikipedia can be altered by the average person when in reality it is only those “who understand the norms, socializes him or herself, dodges the impersonal wall of semiautomated rejection and still wants to voluntarily contribute his or her time and energy can edit.”
The “you can trust wikipedia” message is a lie that the Wikimedia foundation and its editors intentionally spread to attract a bigger audience to their dysfunctional, racist, and sexist site. People think wikipedia is good, right, just, fair. It is not. It is the corporate media’s henchman, and it has a thousand white men pushing the messages of white supremacy onto the world.
Wikipedia is sexist. It is sexist for many reasons which I won’t get into in detail because a search for “Wikipedia Sexist” will show (including wikipedia’s own article on the sexism on their site, which is called “Gender Bias on Wikipedia” to avoid calling itself sexist) studies and articles — including some articles that are on wikipedia itself — discussing the rampant sexism on wikipedia.
The sexism is a hostile environment that drives women away, a relaxed attitude towards sexism, gaslighting as a regular interaction, passive aggressively shutting down important contributions by women or about women, and an administration that bans anyone who resists the white male user base in spreading a patriarchal narrative.
Even a former Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director has an article on her page called “nine reasons why women don’t edit wikipedia in their own words”, and it has some interesting details:
“I’ve heard more stories than I can count of women who gave up contributing because their material was edited out, almost always because it was deemed insufficiently significant. It’s hard to imagine a more insulting rejection, considering the massive amounts of detail provided on gaming, television shows, and arcane bits of military history.”
I don’t know why this former Executive Director doesn’t mention the huge number of extremely detailed wikipedia Pornography articles. Porn is one of the few areas wikipedia is constantly making new content about women .
The creator of the site, Jim Wales (a white male), claimed in August 2014 that Wikimedia “is doubling down on its effort” after “completely failing” to address the problem of having white males make up 90% of wikipedia’s editors (he thinks women don’t edit because it’s too hard for them to code; he thinks women are too stupid to contribute; rather than what women have explicitly said, they are being harassed and bullied and abused).
A white woman, carolmooredc, who was part of a task force called the Gender Gap Project (they wanted to fix wikipedia so that it would stop driving women away, Wales claimed to support it) was being harassed by white male wikipedia editors. Carolmooredc showed up on Wales’ page (November 2014) — five months after he said that wikipedia “is doubling down its efforts” to get women onto wikipedia — and she let him know that she was being harassed and needed help, and this was his response:
-Jimmy Wales, Creator of wikipedia to a woman editor that was being harassed
He could have taken a few moments to know enough about the specific details to make a meaningful comment, and then he could have taken meaningful action. But Jimmy Wales is a misogynist. His reply is a political response which translates to, “men run this site, quit whining.”
The white woman being attacked was banned a few days after her post on his page since the creator of wikipedia sent a clear message to the wikipedia administrators that this is exactly how he wants the site to be run; that this is how things should continue to be. Absolutely nothing happened to the white male editors that were harassing her, and they successfully shut down efforts to address the male domination on the site. She was eventually let back into the site, but she hasn’t contributed since. This is an example of a women that does know how to code, but is literally chased out of the site by harassment, bullying, and abuse.
The administrators of wikipedia have been very hands off with online attacks and hostility against women, even though wikipedia’s issues with sexism have been discussed in mainstream media sources. The Ada Initiative started a once a year voluntary teach-in for administrators on how to treat women; it was started 4 years before the above mentioned woman was banned, and it ended a year after she was banned. Did they notice that things were not changing, and so they gave up?
The wikipedia editors and administrators who have enough power to fix the problem will either claim the problem is not important, non-existent, unfixable, not in need of being fixed, or in the process of being fixed. If they cared about the sexism problem on wikipedia then they would recruit:
“feminists — those who have thought about the problems of sexism, have strategies to deal with them, and are willing to engage in such battles, that are willing to challenge the patriarchal structures of knowledge on Wikipedia.”
Any feminist that is vocal enough will eventually be sent to the noticeboards (the judicial branch of wikipedia) and ganged up on by a mob of fragile white male egos who will look at themselves as angels, martyrs, and saints while portraying the feminist enemy as a demon, evil doer, and a terrorist. Feminists are intentionally kept out of the site; unless by feminist we’re talking about one of those white men “that took a 30 minute anti-oppression workshop once upon a time, so they are convinced that they couldn’t possibly oppress anyone” type of feminists which only call themselves feminists when it’s convenient, but don’t want anything to actually change.
The racism is in every corner of the site:
- Banning editors of color that try to add information about genocide
- Giving undue attention to racist works
Virtually every active editor pushes white supremacist and patriarchal narratives, or knows their place is to submit to those narratives. Information that is supportive of the White Supremacist Patriarchy will have an easier time getting into and staying in wikipedia articles. When racist, sexist narratives are challenged then the challengers are met with fierce resistance and harassment. People resisting racism and sexism are subject to treatment that violates every single rule of the site, and at the end the only ones punished will be the resistors, not the racists.
Wikipedia has its own little government. The wikipedia government is run by administrators (the judges and presidents of wikipedia) which are permanently elected to enforce the policies of the site. The policies are like the code of laws for the United States. Like the code of laws, these rules are written by an elite that don’t behave like, think like, or look like the average person that has to submit to and live by these rules. Another similarity to the American code of laws: These rules are almost completely ignored by the elites who wrote them, and who have enough power and connections.
To draw an analogy with something we might be more familiar with, the constitution might say “Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, but Congress passes codes that can be used to “abridge the right of the people peaceably to assemble” and in reality the checks and balances system of government upholds these violations because being fair doesn’t serve the interests of those with power.
The “Reliable” Sources Policy
Sometimes on wikipedia, people challenge information they don’t like. They want information removed, or added, and editors get into a fight. Wikipedia has a solution called the “Reliable” Sources policy. It says they should just find a reliable source for the information you want to add to the article and that will mean it should be added. There are two major problems with this policy.
- Few editors agree on what is considered a reliable source
- Most editors, and therefore wikipedia as a whole, consider the western mass media (BBC,CBC,NBC,PBS) to be the most reliable sources
The term “Reliable Source” is used as a double speak term — it sounds like a good thing, but in reality it is a very bad thing. At first you might think it is a source that is good in quality and able to be trusted, but different editors consider different sources reliable. The “Reliable” Sources policy has little to do with reliability, and it has absolutely nothing to do with an honorable quest to accurately describe reality. It is a way to censor information that the white male editor base doesn’t like.
The “Reliable” Sources policy is used to maintain racist, misogynist, and other violent narratives by keeping out information that runs counter to the narratives and stories the white male editor base believes in.
So if I add information from the personal site of a professor of a university that speaks about the Genocide carried out against Native Americans by the Europeans, then some white male editor will say that it is not reliably sourced since it comes from the professor’s own website.
If I find the same information in a well-respected journal, the white male editor will claim that the professor is biased and unreliable while ignoring me if I point out that the journal is peer reviewed. What you should take away from this is that these editors use the rule book to harass their enemies, the rules are not there to be followed but to be abused so that the “encyclopedia” comes out a certain way: supporting white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism.
Wikipedia considers the western mass media to be the best reliable source
Most of us have had an experience that helped us realize that the western mass media serves as the propaganda sector of the western governments. Every single western news organization (CNN, BBC, PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, France12, Reuters, AlArabiya) compulsively lies and distorts the truth to trick people in favor of white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism. Despite the fact that all of these mainstream western propaganda companies are liars, wikipedia considers every single one of them to be reliable; even the climate change denying Fox news is considered a reliable source by wikipedia as shown in:
- In May 2017 after a week of posts collecting evidence on fox’s propagandist behavior, a racist and extremely active administrator that is often found harassing the people of color, women, and the left closed the question asking if fox was a reliable source saying it is impossible to answer if fox is a reliable source and that this is a case by case question.
- In February 2018 a white editor got mad that a black editor said fox news is not reliable, which ended with a white administrator asking for a Request for Comment
- In August 2018 the above Request for Comment was closed by an administrator claiming, “This has a snowball’s chance in hell of being adopted, and the proposer’s IP has just come off a long block for long-term trolling which this appears to be more of.”
“Among their other functions, the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them. The representatives of these interests have important agendas and principles that they want to advance, and they are well positioned to shape and constrain media policy.”
-Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky and Herman
Wikipedia is sanitizing the western mass media’s terrible image while feeding us its propaganda more effectively than ever before
Wikipedia is taking the western mass media’s message, washing away the fact that they are untrustworthy, and then marketing the message as Neutral and Reliable. Wikipedia is doing the mass media’s propagandizing job and it is doing a better job of propagandizing people than the media ever has because so many of us have been fooled to believe wikipedia is written by good trust-worthy average people like me and you. Essentially people believe that they could edit wikipedia to fix whatever is wrong, but they never test this theory and so they never realize that the whole “wikipedia is made by people like you” thing is an intentional lie.
Very few people know that wikipedia is taking almost all of its information directly from the mass media and sanitizing the information by hiding its sources in the little end notes which none of us look at. Most people even think that someone who sees the events with their own eyes is allowed to write about it on wikipedia. No. The site explicitly forbids this. Let me be clear, wikipedia considers a fox news reporter working in an office in new york to be more reliable than an eye witness at the scene.
While wikipedia repeats propaganda from CNN, BBC, PBS, etc. people are showing up to these articles thinking, “This is the best source for information because if it was wrong then anyone can come and edit the page to fix it; there is no censorship on wikipedia”. Wrong. The same interest groups that run the mass media are shaping your thinking by their use of this site, and they are putting in no extra effort to do so since unpaid volunteers are building this site from the ground up with the added message that wikipedia can be trusted (although large organizations have been caught editing wikipedia in the past, such as violent israeli groups   , climate change deniers , politicians    , corporations    , etc).
Wikipedia uses its Neutral Point of View Policy to deny white supremacist crimes
If the white editors of wikipedia can find newspaper sources and minor quotations then they can make a page like the “Black Genocide Conspiracy Theory” article which presents in the first sentence that:
“Black genocide is a conspiracy which holds that African Americans are the victims of genocide instituted by white Americans.”
-Wikipedia article “Black Genocide Conspiracy Theory”
Instead of simply stating facts, evidence is twisted and presented from a racist viewpoint to attack people of color (in this case, black people). This article, which claims genocide against black people in the Congo is a conspiracy, is complete with sources that discuss actual facts such as black people being force sterilized, lynched, and jammed into prisons — all of these things actually happened, continue to happen, and are actually genocide — but the page concludes that all of this proves that there is no ongoing genocide, there never has been a genocide against Black people in the Americas, and it is a conspiracy. To be clear, they list — one by one — the crimes of genocide, and then in the end explicitly state that it is not genocide.
Later I checked all of the citations of the article, and almost all of them say that there is genocide on the Black race in America, and that it is being carried out by the white race, but the article is stating the exact opposite of what the sources say. If you are wondering how this happens then I will restate my premise:
The white editors which make up more than 90% of the wikipedia community are creating white supremacist content. Anyone that challenges the white (90% male) editors are quickly banned from editing (yes they have their ways of keeping you from editing despite the anonymity of the internet). All of this is happening while wikipedia is rapidly gaining popularity and trust in the general population. People are reading white supremacist propaganda presented in the most believable format ever created and no one is talking about it.
We need to quickly turn this into common knowledge in our own communities: Wikipedia is bad, hateful, white supremacist, misogynist, and biased towards the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.
The Neutral Point of View Policy
There is a rule on wikipedia called the Neutral Point of View Policy (NPOV). It demands that articles should be written without bias. But just like the “Reliable” Sources Policy, it’s difficult to get people to agree what a neutral point of view is and what a biased point of view is; so instead of saying “don’t be biased,” actually they do say exactly that on the Neutral Point Of View policy page but they don’t really mean it (this is called doublethink), they tell editors to represent points of view in terms of their proportionality to reliable sources.
This means that if there are 100 “reliable” sources saying that there is no racism in america, and there are 100 “reliable” sources saying that there is racism in america, then all articles which discuss racism in america should have 50% of its space dedicated to discussing how america is not racist, and the other 50% dedicated to discussing how america is racist.
But that is not what happens. Instead what will happen is that a gang of white editors will be watching the page, and if there is an edit by someone like me or you to add the neutral point of view using a reliable source, we will be harassed, threatened with discipline, repeatedly told to back down, and then if we don’t back down we will eventually be taken to the Arbitration Comittee where we will be lectured on our bad behavior, then one of two things can happen depending on your behavior:
- You don’t fight back, you submit to them, they tell you to apologize to everyone involved for wasting their time, they will either let you off with a warning or a topic ban, or
- You do fight back, try to convince white supremacists that there is a difference between the reality that we are living in and the made up dream world (where racism is over and everyone is judged by the content of their character) that they are asleep in, they will block your IP address from the site. This means you won’t be able to edit anymore. Let’s say you make a new account, it will detect your ip and instantly block you. You could also try with a different ip address if you know how, but they will eventually figure out who you are (I don’t know how), block your new account, and link it to your old account with the phrase “This is a sock puppet account of Old User Name”.
Wikipedia on white supremacist crimes against People of Color
I decided to look up information on the Holocaust carried out in Congo by Europeans with Belgium leading the genocide around the turn of the last century (1900s). There are plenty of sources (including sources from peer reviewed journals, for example this one from the Journal of Genocide Research) saying “there was a holocaust in the Congo carried out by Europeans with Belgium at its forefront.” There are very few saying, “there was no holocaust carried out in the Congo by Europeans with Belgium at its forefront” and there does not exist even a single article in any peer reveiwed journal denying genocide carried out by Europeans in the Congo.
When I do a search for “Congo Holocaust” in wikipedia, I get a few results. The first one is “History of the Jews in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” but nothing that discusses the Holocaust carried out by whites on the African Continent against Black people. Maybe wikipedia doesn’t like to use the term holocaust when referring to this particular genocide. OK, so I do a search for “Congo Genocide” then my first result is “Rwanda Genocide”, but I’m looking for a genocide carried out by Europeans against Black people in Congo. Farther down the list on the same search I find an article titled “History of Belgium”. I look through the article and find out that it only showed up in my search because there are a few citations on the “History of Belgium” page discussing the Rwandan Genocide.
At the bottom of the list, number 18, of the same search “Congo Genocide”, we get to the “Congo Free State” article where the word Genocide is found in a subsection of the article called “The Genocide Question” that contains two paragraphs with 246 words where I find the following in the first sentence:
-Wikipedia article on the history of the “Congo Free State”
There is no discussion of the genocide, but there is the denial of some genocide which the wikipedia community wants to make sure we know never happened. This is not an exceptional case. It is not rare to find this sort of over white supremacist lie on wikipedia. On wikipedia, this sort of racism (and absurdity) is the rule. The lying and the white supremacy is everywhere.
The editors of the article “Atrocities in the Congo Free State”
After spending days searching through wikipedia I finally found a page called “Atrocities in the Congo Free State” with a 600 word article on the genocide. People tried to delete the article in the past, but instead it was renamed from “Congolese Genocide” to its current name “Atrocities in the Congo Free State”.
The original creator of the article is permanently banned, and the official reason is that he was carrying out “long term abuse”. The creator’s name is CrazyAces489. Eventually, after being stalked and harassed by racist white — some white was watching every single edit CrazyAces was making, and then deleting his edits and fighting with him at every opportunity — he tried to make a new account to get away from the harassment. The new account was called NegroeLeagueHistorian, this one was also permanently banned after someone figured out that he was CrazyAces489 — take a moment and think how creepy that is that on the whole wide internet they some how figured out (without having access to IP and location information) that he made a new account.
If you look through the interactions with CrazyAces489 then you will find that he was harassed by others first, he eventually got mad when nobody did anything to stop the harassment and stalking he was facing by white supremacists, and after he got mad a lynch mob of whites lectured him on how he needs to be civil, that his overall behavior is harmful to the encyclopedia and the community that builds it, and finally the message they want him to leave with is that he needs to change himself to be more submissive to the white group in control of the site.
There is another editor, white, male, and belgian: BrigadePiron. A typical white supremacist. He nominated the article for deletion claiming that the genocide carried out by europeans in the Congo is a fringe theory, I kid you not.
NegroLeagueHistorian/CrazyAces489, the black male that was banned and the editor that initially created the article has edited the page 14 times in total (8% of all edits) and he has added 9,500 characters (12% of the total).
BriagePiron, the white supremacist that believes there was no genocide and that it is a fringe theory has made 33 edits, that’s 20% of all edits, and he has added 27,000 characters to the page (35% of total). BrigadePiron continues to edit the page today.
As a side note: BrigadePiron even has a page on wikipedia about his grandfather. There are 5.5 million articles on wikipedia. BrigadePiron’s family article is considered to be in the top 35,000 articles of those 5.5 million because it has received from wikipedia a “Good Article” certification. The “Good Article” certification means wikipedia considers the article to be reliably sourced, neutral, and notable.
A detailed Example: “Atrocities in the Congo Free State”
On the page “Atrocities in the Congo Free State” is a section titled “Historiography and the Term Genocide” that contains the following quote,
“Indeed, some of the violence of the period can be attributed to African groups using colonial support to settle scores or white administrators acting without state approval.”
-Wikipedia article “Atrocities in the Congo Free State”
And then farther down it says:
“The Free State even made some efforts to attempt to tackle the spread of infectious diseases in the Congo by seeking the support of foreign medical institutes”
-Wikipedia article “Atrocities in the Congo Free State”
So wikipedia is telling us the following about the genocide carried out by Europeans in Congo:
- Black people were the ones carrying out violence against Black people
- There was no genocide
- Virtually none of the European colonizers were violent
- Europeans actually saved the lives of Black people by stopping the genocide carried out by black people against black people
Wikipedia does not have a Neutral Point Of View
They are excluding and white-washing important information, and it is not in just one or two articles. This is systemic and it is going on in every single article and talk page of the entire site.
This racist behavior serves white supremacy because it helps to perpetuate the ignorance that creates violence against the rest of us. This is how wikipedia contributes to the average white person incorrectly thinking slavery is the only bad thing they’ve ever done; it isn’t.
They might incorrectly think that colonization was positive because it was carried out FOR people of color instead of what it actually is and continues to be: One of the most violent and traumatic events carried out in all of human history against people of color to the exclusive benefit of whites, it continues at this very moment on a planetary scale, and soon it will cause planet wide catstrophic climate conditions which will cause even more trauma to people of color while whites will be left mostly unscathed.
If the only time people hear about the Congo holocaust is in a short book written by a racist colonizer (a popular book called the Heart of Darkness) who doesn’t even consider it to be a holocaust, then wikipedia is responsible for violence perpetuated by that ignorance which they intentionally and knowingly maintain, regardless of any excuses and appeals to reason, bureaucracy, policies, or whatever else the wikipedia community comes up with.
Wikipedia on the European Genocide against Jews
On wikipedia, I searched “holocaust” using the search bar. It automatically took me to a 38,000 word article (more than 25% of books ever written have fewer words than this article) on the genocide carried out by Europeans against Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, and the article tries to lay the blame of this genocide on organizations like the National Socialist Party of Germany while completely forgetting that violent antisemitism was rampant throughout the entire continent among tens of millions of individual Europeans, it had been rampant for millenia throughout the entire continent, and the violent antisemitism continues to exist to this day; there is no mention of this, but there is the incessant pointing to the nazi part in some vain attempt to alter history.
It is because of this behavior like this that the average westerner thinks that if Jews experience another genocide it will be at the hands of Iran or Muslims. That is because they don’t know that Iran has never carried out a genocide against Jews. They have no idea that violence against Jews (actually, against everyone, not just Jews) is an incredibly long running and very deeply ingrained trend in their own society. And wikipedia shares in the blame for this.
No Censorship Policy
Wikipedia is not censored. This is an actual policy. On the right side of the page saying wikipedia is not censored is a quote from a president of the University of California Clark Kerr (a white male and an economist) saying:
“The University is not engaged in making ideas safe for students. It is engaged in making students safe for ideas. Thus it permits the freest expression of views before students, trusting to their good sense in passing judgment on these views.”
-Clark Kerr President of the University of California
That quote is wikipedia’s way of telling us that if we disagree with what they are doing (they claim what they’re doing is science) then there is something wrong with us. This is the white male way of saying that they are wise and knowing, and that if we disagree with them we are foolish and ignorant. In actuality, in reality, in the physical world, and objectively the white male editors of wikipedia have control of a large website, but their knowledge of the world we are stuck sharing with them is so skewed that they pose a threat to all of us.
On wikipedia is an article titled “Gay Nigger Association of America”. The article was created on 5 May, 2004. This article exists because a group of white supremacist white-male right-wingers wanted to offend people, especially people of color.
This article has been nominated to be deleted 22 times. Every single nomination has failed to lead to deletion with one of the most common excuses being, “wikipedia does not censor.” It was nominated for deletion a 22nd time because, “the group was founded specifically to troll Wikipedia and other prominent websites”. The group of racists who created this racist webpage (which is all it GNAA is) only did it so that wikipedia would create an article called “Gay Nigger Association of America”.
Above was an example of how wikipedia does not censor racist hate speech against people of color. Now let’s find the information that wikipedia does censor because plenty of information is censored on wikipedia, and it happens every moment of every day.
Just recently an editor was banned after adding well cited information onto the Koch Industries article. The information the editor added included sources from scientific journals which painted the Koch Industries corporation in a bad light, including some information on a few notable crimes that they had committed. He was threatened with a ban because an administrator claimed his username was against policy, so all of his edits were deleted. He changed his username and then added the deleted information again. After he reposted the deleted information the wikipedia community put up a vote to ban him. There was consensus to ban him by the wikipedia community, so he was banned because the editors claimed he was an “obvious agenda account”. The sources of the information that this person added came from scientific journals, and what could be more reliable than a scientific journal? But that information was censored, and the editor banned because the wikipedia community didn’t like that he came to add information that spoke badly about the Koch Industries. So wikipedia does censor some things, just not the GNAA.
Interestingly enough, there are 1,000s of male wikipedia editors whose sole contribution on wikipedia is adding information about whicher pornography actress that they happened to be obsessed with at the moment. These people are also agenda accounts. But the actions of that porn obsessed male is supportive of the patriarchy, and what supports the patriarchy supports the white supremacy, so the white male editors of wikipedia give that sort of editor rewards to encourage him in his efforts. When someone tries to make wikipedia more welcoming to women (an effort which subverts the patriarchy) they are met with hostility, threats, stalking, harassment, etc. as we saw with the woman who tried to reach out the sexist and racist wikipedia founder.
To summarize, the wikipedia community agrees that information supportive of the white supremacy and patriarchy should be not be censored on wikipedia, but anybody that attacks racism or sexism or posts information that tells the truth about the Koch Industries will be censored. What the community of white editors of wikipedia mean by no censorship is that wikipedia is supposed to be a safe space for fragile white males.
Wikipedia is a bureaucracy. This bureaucracy is strangling editors that try to join the project to help, and wikipedia is doing almost nothing to retain new editors even though it knows about this. The majority of their bureaucracy doesn’t take place in their boardroom (yes they have one). Their bureaucracy takes place in noticeboards and the endless pages of Policies and Guidelines. The noticeboards are where you get banned, lectured, yelled at, told to read rules, etc. Most users try to stay far away from those places, unless they are friends with the people who rule them: The administrators. The white males who have administrator friends lurk on the noticeboards for hours every day.
In the words of someone that carried out a study on wikipedia:
“Wikipedia has changed from the encyclopedia that anyone can edit to the encyclopedia that anyone who understands the norms, socializes himself or herself, dodges the impersonal wall of semi-automated rejection, and still wants to voluntarily contribute his or her time and energy can edit.”
Wikipedia is actively losing users every day, even though every day there are more people using the internet than the day before. A user, unsatisfied with wikipedia, wrote an essay on how she thought wikipedia was decaying as a positive model. In it she says:
“If I could just summarize it in one section: Editing this encyclopedia is not worth the effort at all because it is, among other reasons, controlled by a small group of people who have been editing for many, many years. Despite what Wikipedia’s policy may or may not say, this group of editors are the ones who make pretty much every major decision on the site.”
Wikipedia’s Ideal Editor: The White Man
The user Floydian, a white male, made a comment on the wikipedia news page calling Muhammad Ali by his birth name, Cassius Clay. A user, probably a woman judging by the name, went to the Administrative Noticeboard Incidents to politely ask someone to talk to Floydian about this. The administrators politely educated Floydian about why he should use Muhammad Ali’s real name, Floydian didn’t apologize, and the administrators didn’t even threaten him with any disciplinary action if he didn’t stop calling him Cassius Clay.
Had the user who posted in the Incidents noticeboard said she would like a ban or some real action to discipline the racist then the admins would have attacked her for bothering them about something they consider so useless. But since she was not a white male, she probably knew to some level that you don’t challenge the main demographic (white males) and their behaviors. Editors that have challenged the main group in control of wikipedia are weeded out (through bans) in a similar way that white supremacist capitalist patriarchy has this tendency to weed out people who are not obedient to it.
TonyTheTiger, a black male, directly challenged the white males that run the encyclopedia. He was given a ban because he made “unfounded racism accusations”. He was banned until he typed up the most ridiculous apology I’ve ever seen. His apology is followed by,
-TonyTheTiger, a Black male, to white wikipedia
How do you prove racism?
Let’s say you decide to go on the site right now (I would suggest you don’t do this because of the harassment you will be subjected to) and you challenge their white supremacist misogynist narrative,. Then you will almost immediately be challenged by a lynch mob of white male editors who will proceed to lecture you on your inexperience, your incivility, they will question whether you are here to build an encyclopedia or just cause vandalism, they will claim your edits were made in bad faith, demand you assume everything they are doing is in good faith and that their only intention is to keep the encyclopedia a bastion of objectivity, and then if you don’t “just drop it” (you will hear this a lot) then you will be banned.
If you call out their racism (like TonyTheTiger) then the lynch mob of white males will get offended, show up wherever your last post was and on your personal talk page, post a list of all the atrocities they can think up at the moment, demand you apologize to them for being racist against whites, demand you show them proof that you know they are all white ( assuming they hadn’t immediately banned you for being “uncivil” for calling them racist, and you don’t even need to actually use the word racist, even a hint that you think they are doing this to you because of race), and they will immediately pull you into the noticeboards to be lectured by multiple white males on how your behavior is bad. Basically a gang of racists will dominate you until you submit to them and accept their twisted view of the world. If you do not submit then they will block you permanently.
Here is one of wikipedia’s ideal editors, a white male, saying “Arabs are animals”, to which he gets a response telling him that he will need more experience on wikipedia before making edits to controversial topics, and even ending in a thank you. The thank you is not a passive aggressive thanks; it is a genuine thanks.
You might think that this is an attempt to shine light on wikipedia’s racism so people or wikipedia will fix it. It is not. I’m not trying to get you or anyone to fix it. Wikipedia cannot fix itself and it cannot be fixed by others because the core group of editors with power on wikipedia (which are virtually all white, male, English speaking British, Australian, American, and Canadian) will not alter their racist and sexist behaviors. There is only one reasonable conclusion that can be reached from this evidence: Block wikipedia from your life (I use this extension to keep it out of my search results). Don’t use it for knowledge. Don’t use it for history. Don’t use it for politics. When you do a search, skip wikipedia results. Taking information from wikipedia as intellectual nourishment is like drinking pepsi or coke for physical nourishment; it will make you sick. Stay away from it like you stay away from Fox News (hopefully you stay away from Fox News).
It can’t be fixed. We can’t organize to help it. It is hostile to people of color and women, it was built from the ground up to be hostile to us, both in the content the editors choose to publish and its editing environment.
We can organize to make it widespread knowledge that wikipedia is white supremacist and misogynist to move our people away from using this agent of white supremacist patriarchy. We can destroy their reputation among the international community to keep it from growing a more powerful hold on the minds of our own peoples. With a very small effort we can accomplish this goal by word of mouth:
Casually let your friends and your family know that wikipedia is bad and that it is censored by a powerful group of editors who have lots of time on their hands to control the site. That there are power plays, politics, and all sorts of paid editing happening behind the scenes.
Soon people will know that the reputation of wikipedia is on par with the mass media.
I will share with you what happened after I learned wikipedia is a bad place. I stopped using it. Instead of clicking on the first or second link after doing a search (which is always wikipedia), I began to go farther down the searches. For example I searched “Black Power”. I found that wikipedia, the first search result, had a bland page about the history of Black Power: Where the term comes from, who used it first, and some results of the Black Power movement. I used my search engine (Duckduckgo.com which doesn’t track me at all, unlike google) to search “Black Power” and I had to scroll down two pages but I finally got to a title that grabbed my attention, it was called “Voices of Democracy Stokely Carmichael, “Black Power,” Speech”, here is a short paragraph of what I read:
The only time I hear people talk about nonviolence is when black people move to defend themselves against white people. Black people cut themselves every night in the ghetto–don’t anybody talk about nonviolence. Lyndon Baines Johnson is busy bombing the hell of out Vietnam–don’t nobody talk about nonviolence. (applause) White people beat up black people every day–don’t nobody talk about nonviolence. But as soon as black people start to move, the double standard comes into being.
I feel more enlightened after reading that one paragraph than spending days of browsing on useless wikipedia pages. Those wikipedia pages will never instill a sense of Justice in me or anyone else. That is because the oppressor, as Stokely would call them, will never admit they are oppressors. According to him, in that same essay, they could not admit they commit crimes because then they would have to commit suicide.