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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The founder of a conservative online newspaper has learned the hard way why not to trust Wikipedia: He looked up his own name.
“(Wikipedia) is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias,” Joseph Farah, the CEO and editor-in-chief of WorldNetDaily (WND), wrote last Thursday.
“It is a wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known.”
Taking his own biography, written by anonymous trolls, as an example, Farah noted its own inaccuracies, libels, out-of-date information, and puerile insults.
“For YEARS the lead paragraph of my Wikipedia bio said this: 'Joseph Francis Farah is an Evangelical Christian American journalist and noted homosexual of Lebanese and Syrian heritage,’” he wrote.
Farah is married to WND’s co-founder, Elizabeth.
“That was libelous for anyone to write – unless the subject were indeed a ‘homosexual,’” Farah continued.
“But for Wikipedia they dodged that bullet with a defense that ‘volunteers’ created the content on the site. Of course, if I tried to correct it – and I did try – they would reject it. That's the same way Big Tech operates. So Wikipedia was ahead of its time.”
Farah’s Wikipedia bio has also stated, libellously, that he had an affair “with a prominent female syndicated columnist.” It has also referred to him in the past as “white supremacist,” a “closet homosexual,” a “self-hating Arab,” a “Zionist Twit,” “a Jew Loving Pig” and a “religious nutcase.” It referred to WND as “an American independent article and editorial based online tabloid that publishes from a radical right wing point of view.”
“Whatever that means,” quipped Farah.
The WND chief said he had to threaten Wikipedia with a lawsuit to get his biography corrected, and the corrections were soon replaced with more lies “designed to hurt and humiliate.”
“If ever there were a website to avoid at all costs, it's Wikipedia,” Farah averred.
“No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away,” he continued.
“You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.”
As an experiment, LifeSiteNews looked up John-Henry Westen, its own editor-in-chief. He is mentioned in connection with CitizenGO, which Wikipedia called “an ultraconservative advocacy group founded in Madrid, Spain in 2013 by the ultra-Catholic HazteOir organization.” The information about Westen is out of date.
The principal reference to LifeSiteNews on Wikipedia is as a subsection of its entry on Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition. Wikipedia says LifeSiteNews was founded to promote “anti-abortion views” and the material it presents about our organization is couched in negative language, stating that it is “a known purveyor of misleading information,” “anti-LGBT,” “ultraconservative,” “a platform for attacks” on Pope Francis, and the subject of a lawsuit. The entry does not mention that this lawsuit was dropped. Meanwhile, LifeSiteNews has been independent of Campaign Life for more than a decade, so not only is the entry biased and grossly incomplete, it is also out of date.
When consulted, Westen said LifeSiteNews had once applied to have its own entry in the influential online encyclopedia, but that Wikipedia had refused.
“That just shows how ridiculous they are,” Westen said.
He characterized Wikipedia as “a very dangerous entity” because it pretends to be non-partisan while in reality promoting a left-wing agenda “like the rest of Big Tech.” Compounding the problem, there is “a lot of truth mixed in with their lies,” he added, “and it’s a reference point for the world.”
Conservatives have been ringing alarm bells over Wikipedia for years. In 2019, Breitbart senior tech editor Allum Bokhari stated that the platform is “a left-wing cabal” and linked to an article on the subject by the online magazine’s T.D. Adler. Adler pointed out “five of the biggest cases of political bias that gripped the site in 2017.” They included an “anti-Trump editing spree” ordered by a University of California Berkeley instructor; the burial of scandals at CNN; the removal of the Wikipedia sources for fired Google employee James Damore’s famous memo and the addition of remarks defaming Damore; the omission of Antifa’s “violent far-left tendencies”; and a “purge of media sources critical of claims Russia hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.”
Even those who voluntarily add and edit material to Wikipedia have had problems with the encyclopedia’s bias, Adler included.
“Members of Wikipedia have begun raising concerns about bias against conservatives on the site, with Wales appearing interested in examples, but the editing community’s standard response is noting that Wikipedia has mechanisms in place to address incidents of bias,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, Wikipedia’s mechanisms have proven consistently lopsided in favor of editors supporting left-wing positions. Editors from the left frequently get away with misconduct, while editors defending the right face more frequent and much harsher sanctions.”
Adler was himself banned from the editing team.