Why I Don’t Trust Wikipedia

By TOM UTLEY

How would you feel if you came across a biography of yourself in Wikipedia and found the article was not only full of inaccuracies but also full of malicious lies?  

lPictured: Tom Utley, distinguished Daily Mail columnist

One of my sons, Wikipedia informed me — and I leave the language and spelling exactly as it appeared: ‘is a proper belta at smokin tac.’ Another son was ‘currently havin an affair with Myleene “sideboob” funbags Klass…’ (pictured here

Anyone reading my Wikipedia entry a few months after I joined this newspaper would have learned some interesting things about me—or, rather, about my offspring.

‘Tom Utley,’ it said, ‘is a British journalist who currently writes a witty weekly column for the Daily Mail.’ (I confess I liked the adjective ‘witty’, though I realise readers may question its truth in this context). It went on: ‘He is the son of the distinguished journalist T. E. Utley.’

So far, so good.

But then it became more controversial. ‘He is the proud father of four sons,’ it said — and I wondered about that word ‘proud’. Yes, my wife and I love our four sons dearly and I’ve often been proud of them. But like many fathers, I suspect, I’ve also experienced moments when my progeny have made me feel less so.

Such a moment came as I read on. One of my boys, Wikipedia informed me — and I leave the language and spelling as it appeared: ‘is a proper belta at smokin tac.’

Another was ‘currently havin an affair with Myleene “sideboob” funbags Klass.’ A third was described as ‘MDMAzin’. As for the fourth: ‘There are rumours he was caught fornicating with a dead brown bear that was actually black. Funny that.’

Call me a po-faced curmudgeon, but I didn’t find it funny at all — especially when I looked up the word ‘tac’ and found it was North-East slang for cannabis resin, while MDMA is the active ingredient in ecstasy.

Now, I was as sure as it’s possible to be that our sons didn’t take illegal drugs, while I knew for a fact that none had met Myleene Klass—let alone had an affair with her.

As I hope should go without saying, I also knew that our youngest, then aged 14, had not the slightest romantic interest in dead bears, whatever their colour.

No, this was what would nowadays be called ‘fake news’—one of those silly teenage pranks with which Wikipedia was riddled, then as now—and I had a shrewd idea that its author was very close to home.

I cross-examined the four boys. Sure enough, one confessed his guilt and then deleted the offending material. In the event, as Wikipedia devotees were quick to point out when I mentioned this incident many years ago, the lad’s puerile nonsense survived only 12 days.

But God knows how long it would have remained on my page if I hadn’t stumbled across it while Googling myself (a dreadful habit, I know).

Anyway, I thought no more about it until a month ago when I read to my astonishment that this massive depository of fabrication has banned The Daily Mail as a source of information for its compilers.

I read to my astonishment that this massive depository of fabrication has banned the Daily Mail as a source of information for its compilers. But there it was, in black and white in the Guardian, on whose board happens to sit Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, whose wife was Tony Blair’s diary secretary.

True, the ban had been approved by only five ‘administrators’ and 53 of the site’s 30 million ‘editors’ — or only 0.00018 per cent of them.

But here was the allegedly politically neutral Wikipedia, which publishes any old rubbish with impunity, impugning a highly popular mainstream newspaper—a paper fully answerable to the courts and the toughest Press regulatory regime in the free world, for every word and fact it prints.

Was there ever a more blatant example of hurling stones from a glass house? The sheer cheek of it knocked me sideways.

Yet unbelievably (in every sense), Wikipedia has become the first and often the only port of call for billions of people looking for facts, with 269 million visits every day.

Could Sir Tim Berners-Lee ever have imagined, I wondered, that one of the effects of his invention of the internet would be that such a purveyor of dodgy assertions and outright falsehoods would become the world’s number one source of information?

Indeed, the question has set me thinking about some of the other, perhaps unforeseen consequences of the marvels of the electronic age.

I’m not such a fool that I can’t see the plus side of online shopping, sat nav, email, Skype, Kindle, mobile phones, translation apps and the rest. But as the years go by, we learn more and more of the downsides, and the profound effects of such wonders on human conduct for better or worse.

True, the ban had been approved by only five Wikipedia ‘administrators’ and 53 of the site’s 30 million ‘editors’ — or only 0.00018 per cent of them

Take the sharp decline in teenage pregnancies, which has been attributed at least in part to the young’s preference for virtual sex over the real thing.

They’re forever sexting each other, exchanging photos of their private parts. But apparently it’s increasingly rare for them to get close enough to make a baby.

More predictable, I suppose, has been the pressure on my own industry from unregulated websites, which not only spread vile pornography, terrorist training videos and fake news, but draw advertising away from the Press.

First to suffer, of course, have been financially insecure local newspapers — too many of which have been driven to the wall.

Did Sir Tim foresee that his invention would mean local court cases and council decisions going increasingly unreported?

And who could have predicted the rise of the cyberbully and the internet troll, who compete behind the shield of anonymity to post the nastiest remarks they can imagine—causing an epidemic of depression, particularly among young girls and, even more annoying, thick-skinned, old hacks like me? It’s been a shock to realise human nature can be so twisted.

Indeed, as I wade through the vitriol often directed at my columns, I almost welcome my old friend ‘Phil of Maidstone’, who likes to post the one-word critique: ‘Yawn’. I imagine him as a 15- year-old, so exhausted by self-abuse that he can just about manage to read the headline before leaving his magisterial four-letter comment and falling back into a comatose slumber.

Meanwhile, easily available, dehumanising internet porn has put temptation in the way of many who would never pluck up the courage to walk into a newsagent and ask for a dirty mag. No wonder we’ve seen a boom in sex crime — particularly since networks such as Facebook, as the BBC revealed this week, refuse to delete pages explicitly aimed at paedophiles.

As for other phenomena, attributable in whole or part to the electronic age, well, here are just a few: the Arab Spring and similar bloody uprisings, co-ordinated through social media; the slow death of the High Street, killed off by online retailers; the threat to the traditional cab trade from app-oriented firms such as Uber.

Also, the wildfire spread of cyberfraud; the loss of skills such as spelling and map-reading, rendered redundant by auto-correct and sat nav; the mobile’s role in facilitating adultery — and the electronic trail that makes sinners easier to detect; the rise of the Twitterstorm, giving spurious weight to phoney grievances; the fragmentation of society, as people retreat into separate filter bubbles, where their prejudices are never challenged … And so it goes on.

I happen to be reading the brilliant Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by the Hebrew University lecturer Yuval Noah Harari. In it, he argues that the rot set in for the human race about 10,000 years ago, when our hunter-gatherer ancestors turned to farming.

This meant a longer and more arduous working day, a less varied and, therefore, less healthy diet—and more disease and violence, as settlements became larger and for the first time had permanent territories to attack and defend.

I’m not enough of an expert to judge if he’s right—and I won’t be checking on Wikipedia. But if his point is that scientific progress isn’t necessarily for the better, I’m with him every inch of the way.

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Wikipedia

What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an Internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit and add information.

Wikipedia claims its articles are based on a “neutral point of view” but as it is human beings writing the articles, of course the contents quickly have been mixed up with politics. For instance organization like CIA have tried to affect the entries (see BBC:s “Wikipedia ‘shows CIA page edits’ “), and big companies try to control the information on themselves. And Israel and its army of “cyber-soldier” Jews from all over the world are now doing the same…

 

The Wikipedia project has ended into control of student research on the Internet.

The situation is now that the majority of subjects Googled will show Wikipedia as the top – or one of the firts top results – and thus Wikipedia will get the majority of the hits.

And as shown in our section on Google this Internet search-engine is well in the hands of Zionist Jews and also cooperates openly with Zionist organizations such as ADL and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to control the searches and censoring information and certain sites.

This means that apart from Wikipedia other sites may be censored when Googling any given subject.


Larry Sanger

Wikipedia´s Jewish founders – Wales and Sanger

From all the available information it appears Wikipedia was started by two Jews, one a programmer, and the other an ‘Adult Site’ operator.

 

The origins are in a project called Nupedia launched in March 2000 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.

The Jew Jimmy Wales (actually James Wales, or also known as “Jimbo”), with riches from his time as an options trader, became an Internet entrepreneur and decided to create a free, online encyclopedia. He recruited the Jew Larry Sanger, who was finishing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the Ohio State University – whom Wales knew from their joint participation in online mailing lists and Usenet discussion groups – to become the paid editor in chief. Wales’s company Bomis, an Internet search portal and a vendor of online “erotic images” (featuring the Bomis Babe Report), picked up the tab initially.

The Jewish computer programmer Ben Kovitz is the one who suggested to Larry Sanger, Nupedia’s editor-in-chief, to transfer the online encyclopedia to a wiki support. Larry and Jimmy Wales accepted and from that time, Wikipedia took over Nupedia and became a huge success.

Larry Sanger, one of the two recognized cofounders, is openly Jewish. In their rabblings of what different famous Jews are doing The Jewish Chronicle mentions Sanger in an article “Larry Sanger… creates a new Wikipedia”, The Jewish Chronicle, 26 October 2006, p. 10.

Wales is presently in charge. Sanger left in 2002, and is a professor/lecturer at Ohio State.

 


Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales History

Jimmy Wales is the de facto leader of Wikipedia and as thus wields a lot of influence. Time Magazine named him in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.

Short history: Wales who was born in Huntsville, Alabama, went to the exclusive Randolph prep school, and onto the University of Alabama. Wales graduated and became a Futures Trader in Chicago. Next he opened Bomis, an ‘Adult Content’ website, which was followed by Nupedia, which morphed into Wikipedia.

Wales is the darling of the Jewish crowd at Harvard, being a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at the Harvard Law School.

 

What is Bomis.Com?

Basically ‘Bomis’ is an adult site, started by Wales.

The website featured user-generated webrings and that, according to The Atlantic Monthly (September 2006), “found itself positioned as the Playboy of the Internet”. For a time the company sold erotic photographs, and Wales described the site as a “guy-oriented search engine”.


Jimmy Wales with Bomis babes

a Bomis babe – financing Wikipedia

Jewish employees

Names like Jeremy Rosenfeld (a Bomis employee), Benjamin Kovitz, Seth Cohen, dot the landscape of technical staff.

Wales´ editing interventions

It should here be noted that although Wikipedia states that it professes a “neutral point of view” the on-line dictionary has even seen direct interventions from its owner Jimmy Wales over its contents. The Herald Sun reports June 30, 2009, in the article Wikipedia edits helped free David Rohde:

THE New York Times worked with Wikipedia to keep news of the kidnapping of one of its reporters in Afghanistan off the online user-edited encyclopedia.New York Times reporter David Rohde, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in November, escaped from his captors along with his translator this month.

A number of news organisations, including Agence France-Presse, at the request of the New York Times, agreed not to report the kidnapping out of concerns for their safety.

Keeping the news off Wikipedia was another matter, the Times said.

It said that on at least a dozen occasions, user-editors posted news of the abduction on a Wikipedia page about Mr Rohde, only to have it erased.

Several times the page was frozen, preventing further editing, it said.

“The sanitising was a team effort, led by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, along with Wikipedia administrators and people at the Times,” the newspaper said.

“We were really helped by the fact that it hadn’t appeared in a place we would regard as a reliable source,” Mr Wales told the Times.

“I would have had a really hard time with it if it had.”

The Times said that two days after the November 10 kidnapping, Michael Moss, an investigative reporter at the Times and friend of Mr Rohde, altered Mr Rohde’s Wikipedia entry to emphasise that his work could be seen as sympathetic to Muslims, like his reporting on Guantanamo and his coverage of the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims.

It said that the next day, an unidentified user, citing an Afghan news agency report, edited the entry on Mr Rohde and mentioned the kidnapping.

Mr Moss deleted the mention, and the user promptly restored it, adding a note protesting the removal, the Times said.

It said the Times eventually reached out to Wales and Wikipedia put an indefinite block and then a temporary freeze on changes to the page.

“We had no idea who it was,” Mr Wales said of the unidentified user making the edits.

He said there was no indication the user had ill-intent.

The Times said Mr Wales himself unfroze the page after the June 19 escape by Mr Rohde and his interpreter, Tahir Ludin.

 

Interesting here is to see that people should be kept in the dark of the “security deterioration” and the realites of what is happening in occupied Afghanistan. Instead Wikipedia will help in sanitising the image.


Wales´ Israel connections

Wikipedia´s Jimmy Wales at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on Oct. 22, 2009.
Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales at the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on Oct. 22, 2009
together with the Jewish war criminal Shimon Peres.
Note writing in Hebrew behind Wales.

The same was repeated in 2011, with Wales again going to Israel for the Israeli Presidential Conference. Read for instance the article from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency dated June 22, 2011.

Wikipedias' Jimmy Wales in Israel
Above – Jimmy Wales on the stage – Israeli Presidential Conference 2011.

Wales has also run the annual 3-day Wikipedia meeting, the so-called Wikimania event, in Haifa in Israel. Please read for instance The Jewish Chronicle article dated August 5, 2011: Wikimania hits Israel as conference opens

Read also the article from the Wikimedia blog dated August 3, 2011: Shalom from Wikimania 2011!

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and Shimon Peres in Israel
Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and Israeli war criminal and President Shimon Peres
together with Israeli-Jewish bloggers in Israel, 2011.


Wikimedia Director Sue Gardner in Israel 2009

Wikipedia chief Gardner goes to Israel – gets advice

Israeli paper Ha´aretz reports 04/05/2009 on how Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia, has participated at a meeting in Israel – aWikipedia Academy 2009 Conference organized by Wikimedia´s Israeli supporters and Tel Aviv University’s Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. Ha´aretz writes:

Wikipedia editors: Coverage of Israel ‘problematic’By Cnaan Liphshiz

Wikipedia’s coverage of Israel-related issues is “problematic,” leading Israeli internet researchers claimed Sunday at the Wikipedia Academy 2009 Conference dealing with the world’s largest encyclopedia. The conference was organized by Wikimedia’s volunteer-based Israel chapter and Tel Aviv University’s Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. However, the Web site’s leading manager said it merely reflected public discourse.

In demonstrating what he defined as problems, Eli Hacohen, the Institute’s director, showed how Hamas is not defined as a terrorist organization in the first paragraph describing the organization on the English site of the reader-edited online encyclopedia, which is the world’s fourth most popular Web site.

Hacohen also documented his attempts to define Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a Holocaust-denier. Each time he included his remarks on Wikipedia, users and editors removed the reference – despite Ahmadinejad’s frequent and public Holocaust denials.

On a related entry, Hacohen also noted that Wikipedia defines David Irving – a known Holocaust denier – as a historian, although his credentials are recognized by no one but himself. Furthermore, the Wikipedia entry on January’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza describes it as an “intense bombardment” by Israel on a civilian population.

Dror Kamir, a leading Israeli Wikipedia promoter, showed how Lod is not listed as a city in Israel in Wikipedia’s Arabic-language version.

Also attending the conference, which discussed Wikipedia’s role in academia, was Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia. Gardner told Haaretz that she is “quite comfortable” with the mistakes on the Web site. “I know that more or less the same mistakes can be found in the New York Times,” she explained.

Before her address at the conference, she defined Wikipedia as a “just another mainstream news medium.” Wikipedia, Gardner said, “will never say anything as Wikipedia. It will only quote relatively well-respected sources, including other media. So it’s natural for Wikipedia to reflect public discourse as it fluctuates, and news is the first draft of history.”

On her first visit to Israel, Gardner explained that her attitude stemmed from her framework of reference as a journalist in her native Canada, including a stint as director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Web site.

 

The boss of Wikipedia thus travels down to the land of the chosen people to be lectured on how Wikipedia can be improved when it divulges information concerning Israel/Jews.

For a collection of images from this event beteween Wikipedia and Israel, see this link:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_Academy_Israel_2009


Sue Gardner in Israel 2009, Eli Hacohen to the right

Wikipedia leading editor also goes to Israel

David Shankbone, leading editor at Wikipedia, has been invited by the Israeli Government´s Foreign Ministry to help polish Israel´s image:

Photo Editing Israel’s Online Image
By Sharon Udasin, Staff Writer
The Jewish Week, 03/04/2009[…]
But David Saranga, the media consul for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, plans to fight back. After launching a pro-Israel campaign through Twitter.com during the Gaza war and by bringing Maxim magazine into Israel last year, he says he is recruiting the best in the business to revamp Israel’s online image.

In just a few weeks, he will bring six American new media experts to photograph Israel, with funds from the Consulate and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
[…]
However, Saranga says the initiative will, hopefully, knock the pictures of destruction much further down the lists, behind photos of ordinary Israeli daily life. And because he has enlisted Internet authorities like pen-named Wikipedia senior editor David Shankbone, Saranga thinks that there is a good chance they’ll stay that way.

Shankbone — whose real name is David Miller — first visited Israel in December 2007, when Saranga led a group of journalists on a tour of the country’s high-tech and environmental developments. All in all Shankbone estimates that he illustrates over 4,000 Wikipedia articles with his photography.

“The idea is to create a body of work that not only Wikipedia can use but that the general public can use,” he said.

Shankbone is not Jewish, but he said he learned extensively about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in school. While he considers himself a supporter of Israel, Shankbone doesn’t intend to make Wikipedia a Zionist Web site, and he looks at the Gaza war as a black-and-white situation — Israel had a right to respond, but its mode of attack was not without fault.

Yet for Shankbone, the purpose of his photo expedition is not to document the aftermath of the war.

“People want to talk to you about other things than just missiles,” he said.

Ideally, Shankbone said he’d like to end up at solar power plants in the Negev Desert or in a southern city like Eilat, because he spent most of his time up north during the previous trip.

“I particularly like small towns, because my feeling is that anyone can come to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” Shankbone said.

While on open-source sites, users can add and remove other people’s contributions as they see fit, only an administrator can permanently delete the posts from the storage database, Wikimedia Commons. In his three years working as a Wikipedia editor, however, Shankbone said that he has been careful to avoid inserting his own political positions, and readers have rarely altered his content. His collection remains the largest Creative Commons — a Web-based data-sharing platform — photograph community generated by one person, he said.
[…]
Critic Oboler, however, questions whether “bringing out people like Shankbone will help directly with the grass-roots, anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic activity that occurs online.”

“What it will do is help in the fight for hearts and minds online,” he said. “This proactive engagement is also important.”

“It certainly isn’t going to be the silver bullet,” Shankbone agreed. “It does give Wikipedia the opportunity or responsibility to present accuracy.”

And while Saranga hopes to change the world’s perception of Israel in the long term with the support of every American Israel consulate, he recognizes that, realistically, results will not be immediate.

“At the end of the day, a single activity won’t change perceptions; a single activity won’t change the criticism generated by the Gaza war,” he said. “But what is important is to create a critical mass of positive activities that will improve Israel’s image.”

 

The Jerusalem Post writes on the same story:

Leading Wikipedia editor to visit IsraelBy Herb Keinon

The Jerusalem Post, Dec 8, 2007

In an acknowledgement of the importance that the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia has in shaping opinion, the Foreign Ministry is bringing one of its leading editors, David Shankbone, to Israel next week.

World According to a communiqué put out by the ministry, Shankbone has carried out dozens of interviews of US personalities for Wikipedia, including presidential candidates, religious leaders, rock stars and journalists. Shankbone will be visiting within the framework of a delegation of technology writers being brought to Israel by the Foreign Ministry and the America-Israel Friendship League.

Explaining the rationale for bringing Shankbone to Israel, David Saranga, the spokesman at the consulate in New York, said: “More than once we have faced editors connected to Israel that appear on Wikipedia in English that do not represent the reality in Israel. We decided to initiate a visit by Shankbone to describe Israeli reality as it is.”

Wikipedia, according to the Foreign Ministry, is the eighth largest web site in the world, with some 60 million visitors a day, or some 14,000 hits a second.

 

David Shankbone – whose real name is David Miller – has himself written on his trip in his private user page in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:David_Shankbone/Israel):

IsraelI went to Israel to expand Wikipedia’s quality photographic representation and coverage of Israeli-related articles. My trip was reported on in their press:

  • Jerusalem Post
  • The official blog of Israel
  • Haaretz

I also wrote a series of articles about the trip for Wikinews. I interviewed their President, Shimon Peres, had lunch with the President of the Technion and discussed the philosophy of Wikipedia over dinner with Yossi Vardi. Here is the first one.

And if you have a chance—check out Solar power in Israel, which I recently wrote.

Below is a gallery of images I took on the trip.

 

And here is a nice picture of Shankbone-Miller with Shimon Peres:

 
Wikipedia´s David Shankbone (Miller) with Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres – the man behind the
Qana massacre of over 100 Lebanese civilians in 1996

Shankbone´s interview with Peres appeared in the Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth (here part of the article, reproduced from the Israeli government site http://www.isrealli.org/ – isRealli – The New Blog of the State of Israel):

WikiPeresBy Itamar Eichner

Yedioth Aharonoth, 24 December 2007, p.12

A President with Value: Peres is the First Leader to Be Interviewed for Wikipedia’s News Site

The nation’s president proved again yesterday that despite his advanced age he has no need to be embarrassed facing politicians much younger than he. Shimon Peres is the first world leader to grant an interview to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The interview with Peres will be published on the Wikipedia news site, Wikinews and his statements will be integrated into various articles throughout the encyclopedia.

For over an hour, Peres sat with one of the Wikipedia senior editors, David Shankbone. Shankbone, who came to Israel with a delegation of journalists, turned to the Israeli Consul for Media and Public Affairs in New York, David Saranga, and asked to schedule an interview with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Peres. To Shankbone’s surprise, it was Peres who decided to take up the gauntlet and grant an interview to the popular encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the eighth most-popular website in the world in terms of daily traffic.

At the outset of the interview, Shankbone told Peres, “We checked among Internet surfers under age 30 and we found that you are the most popular and most recognizable leader in the world.”

Peres used the interview for a bitter attack on Iran. “The Iranian economy cannot support the atomic program,” he said, “and the world must decide if it is ready for nuclear weapons to fall into terrorists’ hands.”

Peres was asked his opinion of the younger generation of Israelis. “The 14- 15- and 16-year-olds need to participate in determining the world’s future,” the President explained. “If it were up to adults, they would want kids to keep dancing the hora or singing Slavic songs, but youngsters don’t listen and should not have to. Young women today also wear more risqué clothing than they did in the past and there is no problem with that since they look nicer.” Consul Saranga said last night “It was important for the Foreign Ministry that part of the interview was dedicated to subjects other than the conflict [with the Palestinians].”

 

The interview has since appeared in Wikinews – “the free news source” – as it was destined to be, and can be read at: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Shimon_Peres_discusses_the_future_of_Israel

 

Shankbone-Miller to return to Israel

In his own blog 2008/07/31 Shankbone-Miller writes that he will return to Israel (http://blog.shankbone.org/2008/07/31/david-shankbone-to-go-back-to-israel-for-wikimedia/):

David Shankbone to go back to Israel for WikimediaBy David Shankbone

Last December I traveled to Israel where I had lunch with Yitzhak Apeloig, the president of their premiere university, the Technion, and interviewed their President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres (photo, right).

In the next few months I will be returning to the Holy Land for a week-long photography expedition. From the students of Haifa to the dolphins of Eilat; from the vineyards of the Galillee to the Bedouins of The Negev; I will engage in a photographic documentary of the people and landscape of Israel. The goal is to create a comprehensive body of images of the country that are licensed as free content, meaning my work will be available to everyone via Wikimedia for both commercial and non-commercial uses.

Watch this blog for updates.

 

In his own blog 2009/03/04 Shankbone writes more on his new Israel trip, where he will be joined by “baroness of social media, Tamar Weinberg, and her photographer husband”. “Consul David Saranga in the Israeli Foreign Ministry […] was instrumental in putting the trip together” (http://blog.shankbone.org/2009/03/04/my-israel-trip-covered-in-jewish-week/):


Sayanim at work. Copy of a page from http://www.israpundit.com, freely available on Internet, in the public domain.

I’m sure they won’t mind my copy here; they claim to have come under Internet attack and to have been almost destroyed by hackers, so here’s a copy, I hope secure, of just one page. It is unaltered, apart from removing pleas for money, advertisements, simple pictures, and other junk. Dated 2013; gives a fascinating, but depressing, picture of how Jewish liars view themselves and view the goyim. Study the mutually-interlinked systems of lies, fake history, fake emotions, and simple deception systems.

I’ve left original links to the site unchanged; they may or may work: they may be removed, edited, or completely changed. Please bear in mind that vast atrocities, wars, cruelties, frauds and deception have been carried out by these simple-minded group-obsessed psychopaths and their ancestors.

Hasbara (I’m told) means something like ‘explanation’: imagine an entry in an Israeli encyclopedia, for example, or in Jewish media. Hasbarat seems to be the plural.
Sayanim (I’m told) means something like ‘helpers’ and is a collective noun for the people engaged in putting out their hasbarat lies.


Sceptics/ skeptics who find this hard to believe might like this View inside Jewish Wikipedia on English-language Metapedia, which has detailed accounts of Wikipedia’s funding origin (by porn), methods of editing, ‘rouge [rogue] admins’, and resulting quality of content.

–Rerevisionist.         [ big-lies.org ]


IDC comment war room (Photo: Oren Kochavi)
IDC comment war room (Photo: Oren Kochavi)


BUT before all that, here’s an overview of how a few thousand jews can ruin a country.
From Goran Lind, in facebook:
What Is A Sayanim ?
The Sayanim is any Jewish person, that can be called on to assist another Jew in any cause. Since birth, the Jewish people have been taught of their superiority… and need for cohesion. The Sephardic Jews are the upper level of the race, and the Ashkenazim, which constitute 95% of all Jews, are the worker parasites of the race. Since the Sephardics first converted the AshkeNAZI, they brainwashed them into the idea that the world is their enemy and their fellow Jew is a “Quiet Guardian”.Who Is A Sayanim?
Every Jewish person is expected to be a potential agent (spy/sayanim), in varying degrees.

What Will They Do?
If the Jewish people sense a potential threat, the Jewish Sayanim is authorized to commit anything from simple harassment to business ruin, and even multiple murders. The Columbine Massacre was a perfect example. The police knew there were seven people involved, but five students, two sets of parents, one employer and psychiatrists, provided alibis and corrupted evidence.

Examples:
Your Jewish accountant will relay any private bookkeeping info to a Jewish competitor, your friendly Jewish pharmacist will assist your Jewish doctor to poison you, a clerk at VISA will supply your private credit information to anyone, the list is endless.

Sayanim Indoctrination Starts At Childhood:
Family Life:
Jewish children rarely are allowed to play with the gentiles. Around the house the child is constantly bombarded with the word Goy.

Goy
(goyim means cattle/animals), relates to menial occupations. The family maid, nannies, gardener, plumber, etc are referred to as “The Goy or goyim”.

Grammar School:
A public Jewish school will receive grants, and the best teachers are put in the district. 6th graders at these “Magnet schools” are the equivalent of an 8th grader at a normal school. Jewish kid’s will always be eligible for the “Gifted Programs”. Exceptional Jewish children are turned over to the Rabbi for future guidance.

High School:
In heavily Jewish communities the public schools will always have a “Gifted program”. For those with the resources, they will attend exclusive schools.

Colleges & Universities:
Here is the big payoff. Entrance into the finest schools is assured. All the larger Universities have Sayanims placed in key locations from the Dean to the Admission Officers, to the loans, and the scholarship personnel. Societies, such as Hillel, will shepherd a young Jew throughout his college career.

Jewish professors will always favor the Jewish student. Jewish students make up 30% of the Ivy League, which they credit to their extraordinary IQ’s, which is a myth. Law schools, such as Yale, can have an enrollment of 60% +.

Business World:
In any Jewish controlled company, a Jew is given first preference in job interviews. If a Jew is a businessman, he gets preferential treatment on contracts where another Jewish person is involved. Getting a bank loan is a cinch if he is a Jew.

Government:
Jews have lined all government’s offices around the planet with their people. (parasitic infestations) ! Student loans get erased if they are a Jew or Jewess. A non-Jew business competitor can have a regulatory agency put on him by these parasites. The Judicial is 40% Jewish and another 35% are minorities they control.

So What Is Expected Of A Sayanim?
The standard Sayanim routine is basically favoring other Jews in ordinary transactions, but the sayanim can be called on to protect any criminal enterprise. From the traffic court Judge to an Appellate Judge – fellow sayanims receive special treatment. The special Sayanim (200,000 of them worldwide but there are probably a lot more now) will be expected to cooperate in any Israeli Mossad (Israel’s Secret Service) enterprise including murder, sabotage and any form of Fifth Column activity (does 9/11 ring a bell?). A division of the Mossad ( Katsas) keeps records, and stays in active contact with this group, the Mossad.

The Sayanim (sleeping cells who spy/act for Mossad in the host nation they live in, sometimes pretending to be Christians, Moslems, Israelites, etc.)

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists”. J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Director 1924-1972, quoted in The Elks Magazine (August 1956).

“All Jews are provocateurs in Peacetime, saboteurs in Wartime, and subversives all the time.” 24 December at 04:05

September 19, 2013
Online battle for Israel’s hasbara
Comment posted, damage done
By Eyal Lehmann, YNET

Internet pages are fighting ring where Israel supporters try to ward off millions of pro-Palestinian posters. In hectic, viral world of talkbacks, every photo is replied, every reply is commented on, every comment has minute-long shelf life before it is challenged by rivals

On July 11, the Middle East made headlines in Italy again. Not one missile fell in Israeli territory, nor was a terrorist killed in Gaza. Still, for 24 hours, one feature did not escape the headlines on the La Repubblica website, one of the two most popular news sources in the country: “Israeli soldiers,” the website reported with a video, “arrested a five-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank for throwing rocks.” The IDF maintained that the boy was merely detained and then released back to his parents, but many Italian surfers saw enough to unholster.

“They should be annihilated,” surfer Fabrizio posted on the La Repubblica Facebook page, which attracts over 1.2 million readers. “Hitler should come back and destroy you, dirty fascists,” surfer Salvino added. Surfer Fabio posted “Israelis are doing to the Palestinians what the Germans did to them,” while surfer Terry posted a response reading “these are the Nazis of the third millennium, but because they have money and American friends, the Palestinians are the ones seen as terrorists.” A particularly active poster named Viviana wrote: “Israel is a murderous country! It’s committing an unprecedented ethnic cleansing! Poor Palestinians.”

Some 600 comments pile on the website; bold, poisonous, at times succinct and often not. Suddenly, someone raises a challenge. “What are you talking about?” Ehud wards off Viviana in fluent Italian. “Ethnic cleansing? Daily injury of women and children? Do you have proof or are you just firing slander? Remember reality is not black and white, and that one must always study things before taking such a stark stand.” A Palestinian named Mussa replies: “Ehud, why doesn’t Israel restore the ’67 lines instead of building in settlements, considering Palestinians have acknowledged its existence? Under what right did Israel take away my country?”

“Mussa,” Ehud replies politely, “before we can talk about borders, one real development must occur—the realization of both nations that the country will have to be shared. I’m afraid that realization has not yet taken place. Hamas crying out against Israel’s existence and Israel building new settlements both testify to that.”

Ehud Assoulin is a 26-year-old from Ramat Hasharon who has been living and studying in Rome for the past four years. “I started posting comments in Italian for Israel during Operation Cast Lead,” he said, “when Italian media was turbulent, and I saw an array of media distortions and prejudice about Israel. It made me angry on the simplest and most moral level and I felt that I couldn’t stay indifferent.”

Since then, unusual news regarding Israel set him at the computer screen: “My goal is to make Italians think and go past the ordinary and simplistic patters they are mostly captive in, to make them realize that in reality things are much more complex.”

Assoulin is one of many Israelis, Jews and Zionists abroad who take part in the most informal and quiet hasbara war in recent years: The war of comment posters.

Dubbed “Talkbacks” in Hebrew, comments first appeared in the bottom of news websites, where they were carefully screened for swear words and racism, but recently they’ve wandered to the news Facbook pages, which attracts hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers. There, under a full name and without masks, anything goes.

Now, in the Israeli-Palestinian battle for world opinion, comments are an unusual battlefield: They are the only arena in virtual space that creates a direct, real-time and active conflict between Israel’s supporters and its opponents. Here, cleaver illustrations of missiles or a screen caption of a mother shielding her children from missiles will not do; in the neurotic world of talkbacks, every photo has a reply, every reply has a comment, and every comment has a minute-long shelf life before it too is debunked by rivals. Which truth will eventually win – the Israeli one or the Palestinian one? Much of it depends on comment posters’ perseverance and their devotion to the battle of the minds.

4% write, 30% read

Dr. Tzvi Reich from the Department of Communication in Ben-Gurion University took part in a thorough international study where Internet surfing and comment posting habits were studied on 24 leading news websites in the world, from the US to France, from Germany to Estonia. He said the comment posters’ ability to control discourse compared to their size in the population is simply enormous. Studies in the world and in Israel, he said, show that only 4%-7% of news website surfers post comments, and a much larger percent reads them: 30%-40% of surfers.

“A small group of comment posters who are skilled and devoted can monopolize an article, such as a political item in Israel, and appear as a majority, or at least larger than it is,” he said. It is clear to him that comments posted on news websites have psychological effects as well: “A surfer can read a comment on an article and understand they’re in the minority and feel bad about it, like they’re on the wrong side.”

That is the exact reason why some try to show surfers “the right side”. Avishai Bitton, a 24-year-old student from Rishon Lezion, is another Israeli web warrior. As a child, he came to Israel from New York, where he lived right across from the UN Headquarters. During his military service, a while after the operation in Gaza in 2009, he went to visit family in the US and passed by a pro-Palestinian rally in the Big Apple. The chasm between the signs reading “Israel is a murderer” and his experiences as a soldier in the most moral army in the world, as he continuously calls it, jolted him. Since then, he has been there: Morning, noon, night, whenever is needed. Coffee on the table, laptop in his hands, looking for virtual battles around the world.

“There isn’t a day when I don’t visit an international news website,” he says. “Some days the world is merciful and focuses on Syria and I can sleep. But you find yourself awake at night, and it’s not just due to empathizing with the State, it’s because of wanting justice. You write ten lines in a comment just so you can go to bed at night and say, ‘I did what I could, I showed the other side of the story as much as possible.’ There were days when I spent 12-14 hours in front of news site. I got up in the morning, I sat at the computer; and only went to sleep when I could no longer write.”

Comment posters, he knows well, are cruel. Next to legitimate criticism about Israel, in the bottom of the world’s news websites, he and his peers have seen the most blatant of lies. When surfers see a Palestinian’s body, they start chanting lies: That the Israelis drink Arabs’ blood and rape women at checkpoints.

They share experiences from their latest visit to the Gaza Strip and talk about Israeli soldiers who torture children for fun while drinking and laughing. It is unclear how many of them know that other than in special operations, there have been no Israeli soldiers in Gaza for eight years. It does not matter: Comment posted, damage done. Bitton tries to beat them with words and images: Strives to expose hasbara lies by the other side, prove commenters’ ignorance, and raise questions that could dent their absolute faith.

“When you’re fluent in a language and know local customs, it gives you another perspective,” he said. “Surfers think, here is a person who is from my country and is out there and telling us what he’s experienced. Knowing Americans, for example, I don’t comment on a news item the same on the Republican Fox News website as I do on the liberal CNN website. I can appeal to emotion on Fox News since its surfers are predisposed to support Israel, CNN’s liberal readers need more logic and data. They want to know how and why; you have to show them less familiar angles.”

‘Like teaching cows to read’

The comment war suggests that maybe we do not suffer from a persecution complex; that maybe Israel is covered not proportionally to its size. Dr. Reich said that editors of news websites around the globe who took part in his study all said one issue makes their comment system spin more than any other: “Editors all over the world, from the Washington Post, from the Guardian, from Die Welt, from La Figaro, all talk about an influx of comments on any item related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In the comments for any item, the discourse deteriorates to hate speech. Website editors described the experiences saying,’you posted an item about the Mideast? You won’t get any sleep.’ They map out organized pro-Palestinian and Palestinian communities on one side, and pro-Jewish or Jewish communities on the other, that fight between them and ravage any new item published.”

But Israelis and Jewish communities in the Diaspora are not alone in the fight. “The majority of the people writing pro-Israel talkbacks are not Jewish,” said Philip Fabian, a 32-year-old German from Berlin. “I never started to write pro-Israeli talkbacks consciously. I am a classic news-junkie, and the internet contributed a lot in developing my political conscience, starting in the post 9/11 world and the Intifada of the last decade. It made me realize the obvious shortcomings of mainstream media news outlets, especially when it comes to Israel.”

The experience he describes sounds thoroughly Israeli: “With many people, after discussing and repeating the same things again and again, you realize that you are in a loop with no way out, and you know that trying to explain Israel or anti-Semitism to them is like trying to teach a cow how to read. But sometimes, you realize some people start to change bit by bit, because they admit to themselves that you are right in some points, or because they get a point of view on things that they haven’t encountered before.”

His comment activism came at a cost: “At times, the urge to argue about Israel was very strong, and it became an extremely time-consuming activity,” he said. “I wouldn’t let go of an online argument, even late at night or even during work time, and I lost a few friends who thought I was obsessed, but I don’t regret it. Advocating for Israel introduced me to new friends.”

The most skilled comment posters know to characterize other comment posters according to their land, and describe Latin America as one of the most problematic zones for Israel: “There’s a horrible knowledge base there,” a senior comment poster said, “Sometimes people write about Israel like they used to talk about the world being flat, showing false data and ‘facts’ that make us cry and laugh simultaneously.”

Trying to set the record straight is Nissim Tarrab, a 20-year-old fromVenezuela who is studying for his bachelor in communication in Israel. Every day he logs on to the biggest Spanish news sites: From papers of his own country, to the Argentinean Clarin and the Spanish El Pais.

“There have been a lot of changes in Latin America recently, and common financial interests with Arab countries cause South American countries to side with the Palestinians,” he said. “From there it sometimes looks like Israel is a dictatorship where Arabs have no rights. I read the news in Spanish every day, and when I find a story that sheds a negative and unjustified light on Israel, I’m moved to clarify the situation based on facts.

“It’s often frustrating, and some comment posters are not worth the debate. We got used to anti-Semitic remarks glorifying Hitler and denying the holocaust, but I’ll never forget seeing comment posters who justified the Fogel family massacre, who said that Palestinians experience that everyday. I was shocked, I couldn’t understand it.”

A lost cause in the comment war is the Arab arena, but even there, it turns out, there are those who maintain the wellbeing of Zionism. A few Arab Israelis who were part of hasbara efforts during various wars refused to be interviewed, but young Saudi Hussein, resident of Riyadh, is proud of his work. He started posting comments supporting Israel four years ago.

“I admit that I used to hate Israel because of the propaganda in the Arab and Muslim world,” he said, “And I even thought any dialogue with Israelis is treason. But as time passed, my opinions changed, and the Israelis I talk to helped me see the facts.” Hussein saves Israel’s face on Arab websites and on Facebook. More than once, he said, he has received hateful comments from extreme Islamists, as he calls them, who were enraged about his support of Israel’s existence and about negative comments he made regarding Hamas and Hezbollah.

“I write that I’m a good friend of Israel and Israelis and I’m proud of it,” Hussein said. His Saudi friends are aware of his odd hobby, and he said some support him and some do not care. He is not afraid of the Saudi regime, either: “I know the red lines in my country. If you attack religious symbols like Muhammad, you’re in trouble, but if you praise Israel – there’s nothing to worry about. Many Saudis support peace with Israel, and many famous Saudi individuals, like the manager of Al-Arabiya, said wonderful things about it without anything happening.”

Hussein’s work, naturally, is especially difficult: “Lies in the Arab media are many and big, and anything negative relates to Israel. The latest lie is of course by Assad supporters, who accuse Israel of aiding Jihadists in Syria. To those who call Israel a criminal I explain that Arabs in Israel live a much better life than Arabs in Egypt,Lebanon, Syria or Jordan, and that Israel is a democratic country that doesn’t discriminate. I emphasize that Israel must blockade Gaza to protect itself from terror organizations, and that food and medicine are always being sent to the Gaza Strip.”

But it works the other way, as well. The Israeli army of comment posters is made up of idealists driven by a sense of calling who want to prove the world wrong, but some of them say they themselves sometimes are faced with complex reality, and enemy comments seed doubts in them. Some incidents are hard to justify, some killing is avoidable, and sometimes they too are convinced that Israelis can do more for peace.

“I’m generally very convicted of the importance of Zionist work,” said Assoulin, “So there isn’t a comment poster who made me question the idea that Israel is based on, but such massive exposure to opposite opinions has made me see the reality in a more balanced way. I also don’t rush to justify everything Israel does. When soldiers in the West Bank detained the five-year-old, I clarified in my comments that I think the soldiers were wrong, and focused on explaining the context, the fact that what happened was a detainment and a slap on the wrist, not an arrest, and that it’s not a game of good vs. bad.” Many comment posters also say that the building in the settlements is an action they find difficult to explain.

Copy-paste hatred

The most successful attempt to raise an army of comment posters was during Operation Cast Lead, when the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya started a round-the-clock “war room”, where 1,600 multilingual students, mostly foreign students who were studying in Israel at the time, commented on major news websites. Three teams focused on posting comments to websites in 34 languages and 61 countries, and reached, they estimate, 20 million computer screens. Other than comments in English, Spanish and Russian, they made sure to leave pro-Israeli comments on websites in Georgia, Turkey, South Korea and other arenas not considered “classic”, all in the country’s native tongue.

Avishai Bitton at IDC online comments war room
Avishai Bitton at IDC online comments war room

“The idea we worked by was that we are not official representatives of the country, but simple people writing about our personal feelings living under fire, and that’s how we achieved what we did,” said Yarden Ben-Yosef, who started the war room. “I remember that on a news site in Denmark, comment posters promoted an anti-Israeli protest, and our posters developed a dialogue with them and showed them, in Danish, the Hamas Charter that calls to destroy Israel and links to Hamas summer camps that teach Palestinian children hate. Remarkably, a comment poster who was so active in promoting the protest suddenly admitted he never saw those things before.”

The problem is, comment posters say, that on regular, days Israel doesn’t hold an army of commenters. During a military operation, a force like that may be started ad hoc, but the comment war is a long-term war and it is daily events—from the killing of terrorists depicted as innocent citizens to releasing Palestinian murderers depicted as “political prisoners”—that keep it in motion. World opinion, therefore, continues to form in the war between the wars.

IDC comment war room (Photo: Oren Kochavi)
IDC comment war room (Photo: Oren Kochavi)
Firing online comments in 34 languages to 61 countries (Photo: Oren Kochavi)
Firing online comments in 34 languages to 61 countries (Photo: Oren Kochavi)

Four years ago, it was said that the Foreign Ministry was starting a division of paid comment posters to increase Israeli presence online, but the idea never took off. The Foreign Ministry explained that not only questions of cost went into the process, but questions of morals and reliability. A country that pays people, regardless of their opinion, to market it to the world, guised as independent surfers, is playing a very dangerous game.

“Even in the hasbara war, not all means are ‘kosher’, let alone if we consider ourselves to be the good side,” said Foreign Ministry’s Department of Digital Diplomacy Director Yoram Morad. “I’ve heard of programs that can flood pages with pro-Israeli messages, we could open fictitious profiles, but beyond the fact that such deceit is easily exposed these days—it’s just not the way.” Although comments are the only arena of direct conflict, the Foreign Ministry believes they are of less importance than viral posts on Facebook and Twitter or presence in the radio, television and printed press.

The keyboard fighters attest almost unanimously that in the visibility fight on comment pages, the Israeli defeat is absolute; according to numbers alone, we are David all over again, and the Arabs – Goliath. Israel is a melting pot with a huge potential of bilingual and multilingual comment posters, but in certain countries in the world, blue-and-white comments that question the news report itself or the comments on it, are mere isles in a sea of pro-Palestinian reproach.

Yarden Ben-Yosef said that in this war, numbers matter as much as words. “Even if the most intelligent writer writes a comment rich with data and historical facts, no one will read it because it’s too long. Ten pro-Palestinian comments that simply say “murderers” or another emotional word will win the battle for the readers hearts and on public opinion, and we should strive to balance the playing field, numbers-wise.”

Avishai Bitton disagrees with him. He calls those comments “copy-paste hatred” and in that game, if you ask him, we lost before the starting shot was even fired. A billion and a half Muslims sprinkled with anti-Israeli European sentiment leave no room for several dozens of millions of Israel-supporting Jews and Christians. “I don’t deny the fact that when the layman reader sees that about 90% of comments slander Israel they tend to adopt the position, but I think we shouldn’t focus on those readers, since it’s a lost cause. We should focus on intelligent readers who are genuinely interested in the conflict, who in 10 or 20 years will be leaders in their countries. It’s better to lose a thousand students on a campus in the US but gain the sympathy of one honors student of international relations, the one who will one day be a UN diplomat and have much more impact on our fate.”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem believes that institutional focus on comments is unrealistic, and the strategy of “pressure on the whole field” (investing in relations with pro-Israeli organizations, universities and key communities abroad) is the right way to create meaningful hasbara leverage, which will vicariously move the wheels of pro-Israeli comment posts. Until then, they’re relying heavily on independent initiative.

“We won’t find four million state workers who will post comments,” said Morad, “and that’s why Israelis need to understand that in that area, things depend on them much more than on the government. We can each do something, even if it’s educating two surfers, and the ministry’s job is to make sure there are no Israelis who wish to join the effort and find they have no one to turn to for tools and information.”

Roi Kais contributed to this report

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