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Full Measure covers The Dark Side of Wikipedia

By William Burns

Yesterday on Sharyl Attkisson’s show Full Measure, Wikipediocracy’s own Greg Kohs explained how editors with an agenda warp and distort what readers see on the world’s most popular online encyclopedia.

Click for show

Sharyl Atkisson’s Full Measure

April 17, 2016 — Right now, this very second, people are busily editing away on the website Wikipedia, at a rate of more than ten edits per second. There are over five million articles written in English on Wikipedia, with a thousand being added every day.

But there’s a dark side to Wikipedia you probably don’t know about. The promise of accurate, neutral articles and privacy for contributors is often just a mirage, according to two insiders. They say they’ve been left battle-scarred after troubling personal encounters with the world’s most popular encyclopedia.

–Quote from the Full Measure show, The Dark Side of Wikipedia

Another Wikipediocracy member, Mike Wood, explains how he was fired from his job for editing Wikipedia. “Do not step in front of the train, because they will run you over.”

This report is a short, but powerful and fascinating look at the not-so-public face of Wikipedia. It’s well worth watching.

8 comments to Full Measure covers The Dark Side of Wikipedia

  • The Wikipedians are reacting already, like ants whose dirt mound has been disrupted with a stick. Completely unimpressed that Attkisson has won four Emmy awards for investigative journalism in her career, one prominent Wikipedian boils her down to: “a sloppy-thinking anti-vaccination hack and not worth an iota of anyone’s time”.

    • Rob Hoffmann

      The problem is that Sharyl Attkisson is, at best, incredibly self-impressed. At worst, she’s unmoored from reality. She’s exactly the wrong person to tell this story, as she is so easily debunked as a biased and irresponsible journalist. She’s a Trump fan, an anti-vaxxer, a Benghazi “truther”, a rabid Obama-basher, and yet she pretends to be an unbiased reporter.

      You needed a better platform, Greg. This wasn’t it.

      • I’m sorry you feel this way, Rob. Going into this interview, I did understand that Attkisson may hold some beliefs that are not in accord with my own, but I trusted that a four-time Emmy Award winner for journalism would not be “unmoored from reality”. She certainly has a slant regarding Trump, the potential unintentional side-effects of vaccines, what happened at Benghazi, and about Obama, but to use words like “fan” and “rabid” to describe her degree of slant is completely unfair in my personal estimation. At no point during our preliminary discussion, the three hours of taping, or subsequent follow-up communications did I feel like I was cooperating with a rapid or unhinged person. Far from it. When it came to Wikipedia, she shared my opinion that the earlier feature piece about it on ’60 Minutes’ was a puffy PR fable that didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the problems that underlie the Wikipedia project. So, she wanted to tell that contrasting story (since nobody else in the TV media is doing it), and I commend her for being brave enough to construct the story in what turned out to be a fair approach (for a 10-minute segment), despite the fact that nobody from the Wikimedia Foundation would speak with her, even to set her straight on any misinterpretations that she might have.

        I’m sure there are better platforms, especially ones that carry into all TV markets, not just those with Sinclair stations present. But, I hardly expect we’d be able to find a television investigative reporter who would have the same interest and resolve to produce a story that uncloaks what happens behind the scenes at Wikipedia. Can you name one candidate?

        • steven smith

          You need to at least get into small markets with such people as Lee Camp with Redacted Tonight, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, The Young Turks and from there maybe get a shot at a Trevor Noah interview. I don’t think PBS News Hour will ever criticize Wikipedia but if the evidence is sound, Frontline may do an investigative report.
          Wikipedia is a critical information source on a global scale with first links to any Google search for businesses or living persons and as such Frontline may eventually want to take an in depth look.

  • Joe

    Like a fool, I’ve sent donations to Wikipedia. I won’t be doing that again until they professionally answer and address the concerns raised in the Full Measure report.

  • Wiki-Whac-A-Mole

    “Some of Attkisson’s most controversial reporting hasn’t been about politics at all. She has been widely criticized within medical-research circles for a series starting in 2002 about research linking childhood vaccinations to the rise in autism.” (The Washington Post, 5/7/13) https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/sharyl-attkisson-of-cbs-news-a-persistent-voice-of-media-skepticism-on-benghazi/2013/05/07/a6006118-b749-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html

    “There’s a new anti-vaccine reporter in town, and she’s pushing some pseudoscience. Unfortunately, at CBS News, there now appears to be a woman who was willing to take over the role of mainstream media propagandist for the anti-vaccine movement. Her name is Sharyl Attkisson, and, oops, she did it again just this Thursday with an article entitled Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review, in which she pimps a truly horrible “review” of the evidence base regarding whether vaccines cause or predispose to autism.” — https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/anti-vaccine-propaganda-from-sharyl-attkisson-of-cbs-news-2/

    “A sloppy-thinking anti-vaccination hack and not worth an iota of anyone’s time” is an accurate description. And I don’t give a rat’s ass about the fact that she did some good, Emmy-award-winning work before going batshit insane and becoming an antivaxer. The key point here is that ANTIVAXXERS HATE WIKIPEDIA.

    There are plenty of legitimate critics of Wikipedia with real issues that need exposing. We don’t need to resort to giving child-killers a forum. — http://www.antivaccinebodycount.com/

  • Johnthedinosaur

    Wikipedia hates antivaxxers and has a very broad definition of antivaxxers. Even a person who is in favour of vaccination in general, but has concerns about the MMR vaccine, is labelled an antivaxxer by Wikipedia. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaxxed