Breitbart has a piece out today exposing how Mark Levin was the target of a couple of Wikipedia editors who posted negative items on his Wikipedia page in order to smear him over the past several years:
After radio host Mark Levin criticized the “police-state tactics” of the Obama Administration in its use of intercepts and FISA warrants in 2017, editors on Wikipedia began to attack Levin’s credibility through edits to his page on the site. The criticism, which allegedly prompted President Donald Trump’s controversial wire-tapping allegations, has since been vindicated by revelations about widespread falsehoods in FISA warrants issued against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, seen now as part of a broader Obamagate scandal. A number of attacks on Levin eventually ended up in news articles shortly before and after the premiere of his show on Fox News.
Levin warned his audience during his show early in 2018 to “Avoid Wikipedia like the plague” after reading the content that had been added to his page. Since then, Levin’s article has been expanded with even more slanted negative material and most efforts to remove smears have been repeatedly rejected.
In January 2018, Levin hosted a segment on his radio show where he read from his Wikipedia page. Describing the online encyclopedia as a “format where people who hate you . . . can go into your page and poison it” Levin began critiquing a section entitled “Views on political issues, groups and politicians” and various misrepresentations contained in it. After going through several paragraphs and questioning the inclusion of some claims and noting the omitted context of others, he warned his listeners against trusting Wikipedia. The entire section of mostly negative material amounted to nearly half of Levin’s page at the time and, other than a single paragraph noting his support for Cruz and then Trump during the 2016 election, all of it had been added over the previous year.
In 2017 Levin famously pulled together media reports to prove that there was an effort to wiretap Trump, as Trump himself claimed, and subsequently the media attacked Levin for it. Levin was ultimately proved correct, as we all know well today, but at the time a couple of Wikipedia users decided to edit Levin’s page and smear him:
Shortly after the media criticized Levin, Wikipedia editor “Snooganssnoogans” added a section to Levin’s page on Wikipedia claiming he made the surveillance allegation “without evidence” despite the Guardian article cited for the material noting Levin’s sources for the claim, though another editor soon corrected this material. The Guardian is considered “reliable” on Wikipedia and is one of the third most-cited news outlets on the site. Using the wire-tapping allegations as precedent, editor “Localemediamonitor” began including what the editor claimed were “past similar allegations [and] controversies” in the article. Snooganssnoogans also added material in this vein and both editors considerably expanded the section with more negative material over the following months.
Breitbart goes into a lot more detail regarding the edits that “Snooganssnoogans” and “Localemediamonitor” made and you can read about them there.
They note that these negative edits eventually made it into news coverage about Levin:
Negative material added by both editors eventually found its way to news coverage of Levin, particularly around the time his show at Fox News was announced and premiered. An article published in 2017 at the Forward announcing Levin’s show at Fox News contains phrasing similar to that at Levin’s page and references incidents most easily found there, such as Levin’s comment about Sanders. Reached for comment, the author acknowledged he probably uses Wikipedia when researching articles, but stated he could not recall details about the specific piece.
A Raw Story article in February 2018 about the premiere of Levin’s Fox News program opened with various details that similarly mirror what would most easily be found through checking Wikipedia. The author of that piece stated that he got the information for some details from the cited links, one being the same source cited on Wikipedia, and claimed another about “death panels” was “closely associated” with Levin’s show, though a search of articles about Levin suggests the detail is not closely associated with his show. Asked if he specifically denied using Wikipedia for article research, the author did not respond. In a past article, the author directly cited Wikipedia several times.
Later in 2018, when an editor tried to remove some of the smears on Levin’s page, Snooganssnoogans repeatedly undid the user’s edits well in excess of what is allowed by Wikipedia policy in order to keep the material in the article, but faced no sanctions for his behavior. Another prolonged fight erupted in 2019 when the editor added viciously negative reviews from several left-wing outlets about one of Levin’s books. When another editor tried to add conservative praise, Snooganssnoogans sought to have those reviewers labeled conservative to downplay them, despite left-wing reviews having no such label, and, when that was rejected, repeatedly removed the favorable reviews.
Reliance on Wikipedia by news outlets, scientific literature, and Big Tech, has made it a popular target for editors looking to push an agenda. Wikipedia’s resulting left-wing bias has been criticized by the site’s own co-founder. Instead of addressing the bias, the site’s owners have leaned into it by announcing a code of conduct to make Wikipedia a “safe space” and “inclusive” and endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement declaring “no neutral stance” on racial justice.
Levin was right in 2018 to warn his viewers not to trust Wikipedia and now you see why. Anyone with an agenda can become an editor there and begin smearing people they disagree with, and of course finds its way into the media.
If you are looking for an alternative, try Conservapedia. It’s been around for a while and should be more trustworthy that Wikipedia, especially when it comes to politics.