Study finds that toxic anti-Israel and anti-Semitic edits in Wikipedia can end up in schools – being taught to children as a fact in a textbook.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
A study has found that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bias is systematically infecting the popular online Wikipedia encyclopedia and fake and misleading information is not only being quoted from Wikipedia, it’s finding its way into the education system.
British blogger and independent researcher David Collier did an in depth study of the material relating to Jews and Israel and had the blunt conclusion about the 13th most visited website in the world: “Wikipedia is an anti-Semitic website.”
For the past six years Collier’s blog has kept a finger on the pulse of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity and he looked into how Wikipedia handles Israeli and Jewish topics.
“‘Israel’, ‘Jews’, ‘Jerusalem’ these are some of the most visited pages on Wikipedia. There are 10,000s of relevant pages. Yet every page on Wikipedia that is on the subject of Israel or Palestinians is tainted – and contains lies about Jewish people,” Collier noted.
Collier looked at how the topics were written and edited, and how text that is clearly wrong is added to subjects and stays on the pages without any professional editorial oversight.
When it comes to Israel and Jews, a lot of the material on Wikipedia is misleading, wrong and inciting, even though Wikipedia has a caveat that its material may not be accurate, the fake information is copied and reused by millions of people.
“Wikipedia’s influence is unimaginable. The problem here is that Wiki fails us all,” Collier said. “Some pages – such as the sections on Palestinian history – are incoherent and ahistorical garbage. The pages on Jews and anti-Semitism only help to spread hatred of Jews.”
“Those who set up the rules for Wikipedia may have anticipated acts of correctable terrorism on their pages – but did not foresee the war of attrition. Nobody was going to come along and attempt to rewrite history in a day. The best strategy [to rewrite history] is taking the current mindset apart brick by brick. Patiently over a number of years. That is what is happening with Wikipedia. As bad as it might have been a few years ago, each year it becomes gradually worse.”
Collier noted that a report he wrote in 2019 resulted in the publishing house Pearson pulling a school text book from the shelves after he found that the author had relied on Wikipedia as a central source for her research.
“Every edit by someone with a Zionist leaning is placed under a microscope, if it gets past the [Wikipedia] gatekeepers at all – and then immediately contrasted with the placement of an anti-Zionist counter-argument,” Collier said. “There is no shifting towards a more moderate or historically accurate narrative.”
“As it stands today – Wiki is doing more damage to historicity and to the Jews – than any other media outlet on the planet.”
Collier said people must be made aware that Wikipedia is promoting anti-Semitism and action must be taken to stop donations to the website until it cleans up its act.
“Stop funding this Jew-hate. Start petitions calling for change and for the government to discuss the problem,” Collier said. “Unless Wikipedia can clear up the insidious anti-Semitism from its pages – a call should be made for schools to block the website.”
“Wikipedia should be considered harmful content. There are anti-Semites out there trying to influence our children and turn them against Jews – why should that be accessible in a school setting? If Facebook and Twitter have to answer to government because of the negative influence they have, why isn’t the government also looking at Wikipedia? No one can deny its influence. It is time for us to deal with Wikipedia.”
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