Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-10-31/Interview

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  • Scary stuff. I have long wondered, we are several thousand passionate amateurs with excellent protection against most of the enemies of Wikipedia's neutrality, but that's because most of them are stupid. What if a hundred smart, organized people make a concerted, persistent, subtle, carefully planned campaign over a run of years? Jim.henderson (talk) 20:30, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I think you've got Miller's argument exactly right. Now just throw in "and why wouldn't they do it?" Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:10, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
      • This story is focused on political manipulation of Wikipedia but there are other types. Jim.henderson's 'what if...' has already happened. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:23, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
      • @Smallbones - To which I respond, "and who says they aren't already?" I'd look to the Israel/Palestine area first, Eastern Europe second... Carrite (talk) 17:05, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
        • @Carrite - I won't disagree. While I don't know much about the Israel/Palestine area, I'd look at Russia first. There are some incredibly ham fisted articles about current events involving Russia, e.g. International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia a 200,000k article that is only arguably notable and could easily be written in one paragraph. Somebody must have decided to turn the propaganda spigots on, and just forgot to turn them off. (that's the most likely explanation I can come up with anyway for the length and number of pageviews and pagewatchers for this article, see [1]) - others may have a simpler explanation. The much more important Assassination of Boris Nemtsov (see [2]) has some even more obvious problems, which are just very difficult to mention on-wiki.
Miller has mentioned his suspicions on this type of thing in His New Statesman article linked to in the second question.
The contribution of Miller and the BBC broadcast IMHO is that this type of work hasn't been taken to the mainstream highly-reliable popular press before, and that he gathered a good deal of evidence for his thesis. Some Wikipedians might look at the very broad "accusations" and the somewhat limited data provided and say - "more evidence needed". But in the mainstream highly-reliable popular press, the amount of data provided is very high, even unprecedented. Non-Wikipedians will be more easily be convinced than Wikipedians will be. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:58, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
    • The easiest & most effective way to subvert Wikipedia's neutrality would be not to change Wikipedia directly, but to contaminate the sources we use. Want a given company to look good? Put pressure on the news media reporting & any books published about it. Without reliable sources, rumors about unsavory practices remain rumors, which policy dictates we cannot cite, or even refer to. (It's why American newspapers historically have run few investigative articles on car dealerships. Not because they are all honest & bend over backwards to make the customer happy: they buy a lot of advertising space in local papers, & thus exert a lot of power over editorial content either directly or indirectly.) -- llywrch (talk) 23:28, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
      • Yes. By brainwashing the public you easily get hundreds of "meatpuppets". It's easy to see with any sufficiently large corporate interest. Nemo 15:18, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
        • I'm referring to information manipulation, which is not brainwashing. -- llywrch (talk) 20:53, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • See WP:DISINFORMATION -- GreenC 02:43, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
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