Paul Lee, known currently as “Valjean” on Wikipedia, went further in arguing against the material by claiming the
Post story was “likely Russian disinformation.” Lee is heavily involved in articles regarding debunked claims Trump colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 election. Most notably, Lee is the primary author of the Steele dossier’s article where Lee has filled the page with commentary defending the discredited dossier’s veracity. He also actively pushes extreme Russia collusion conspiracy theories on Twitter and has drafted articles pushing Russia-related anti-Trump smears. More egregiously, Lee’s personal editing space includes an essay suggesting Trump had the Saudis kill Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi for criticizing him and might have other journalists killed if re-elected.
The “conspiracy theories” article where material on the
Post story was added was created last year by Guy Chapman during the controversial impeachment of President Trump over allegations that he pressured Ukraine into investigating the Burisma controversy and Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. It is the only page significantly devoted to the scandal as no “Biden-Burisma controversy” Wikipedia article exists, despite numerous establishment outlets and non-partisan government officials raising concerns about the relationship between the then-Vice President’s son and the Ukrainian energy firm. Chapman, an administrator with special privileges on the site, has been involved in numerous smear campaigns against Trump as well as agenda-pushing efforts favoring Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
On the article for Hunter Biden, there has been no attempt to add the
Post‘s revelations. At the discussion page for the article, various left-wing editors have identified the Post being “unreliable” as the reason. Chapman there baselessly accused Trump’s attorney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani of fabricating the origins of the e-mails and claimed it was “more likely that Rudy Giuliani, whose associates include known Russian intelligence agents, has been given data stolen by the GRU” and suggested any possible mention of the story should “point out that the source of the purported (and unverified) emails is very likely the Kremlin.”
Favoritism towards the Bidens on the Burisma controversy became pronounced during Trump’s impeachment as many editors then included the Burisma allegations in a “Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory”
section on the “conspiracy theories” article. Recently, editor Soibangla has added content to the article seeking to portray the Burisma allegations as “disinformation” propagated by Russia against former Vice President Biden. On the page for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, whose committee recently issued a report regarding the Burisma controversy, editor “Snooganssnoogans” added similar smears to tie him to “Russian disinformation campaigns.” Snooganssnoogans has been involved in numerous smear campaigns against conservative figures, including spreading a hoax claim about Breitbart News.
Censorship of the
New York Post‘s Burisma e-mail story is not the only time Wikipedia’s editors have worked in tandem with social media censorship campaigns as they previously took part in censoring the alleged name of the whistleblower who sparked off the impeachment. Due to most conservative media discussing the name being deemed “unreliable” on Wikipedia, editors argued mentioning the name violated policies on claims about living people and went a step further than removing mentions by deleting revisions including the name and adding a filter to block edits containing the name. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, all engaged in varying levels of censorship on the matter.
Wikipedia editors suppressing the Post’s story about the Biden-Burisma e-mails is another indicator of the significant political bias on the site, which has been
criticized by the site’s co-founder. The banning and downgrading of conservative media in conjunction with the site’s heavy reliance on left-wing media sources generally and for articles on politicians specifically further aggravates this slant. Big Tech sites have meanwhile utilized Wikipedia as part of their efforts against “fake news” online.
(Disclosure: The author has previously been involved in disputes on Wikipedia with some parties referenced in this article)
T. D. Adler edited Wikipedia as The Devil’s Advocate. He was banned after privately reporting conflict of interest editing by one of the site’s administrators. Due to previous witch-hunts led by mainstream Wikipedians against their critics, Adler writes under an alias.