“Artificial Intelligence,” Bots, and Censorship: Why Wikipedia can no longer be trusted
Wikipedia can no longer be trusted to be an unbiased source of information. My own personal experience is a case in point, but there are plenty of others. Anyone who has the slightest familiarity with my work will know that I have been working on complementary currencies and alternative exchange systems for the past 40 years and am a recognized authority in the field with four published books and numerous published articles, presentations, interviews, and honors, including the “Legend of Barter” award presented by the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), the trade association for the commercial “barter” industry. I have presented at four or five IRTA conventions and delivered the keynote presentation at their 2006 convention. But Wikipedia has been censoring any entry to any page that mentions my name or makes any reference to my work.
In an effort to provide more complete and useful information to readers, my associate Ken Freeman and I have been trying to add pertinent information to various Wikipedia pages, including pages on “complementary currency,” “mutual credit,” and the “commons,” yet each and every one of Ken’s edits has been quickly and repeatedly removed, most by an entity named, MrOllie. It is not clear whether MrOllie is a single person or a team of people but it is clear that Wikipedia is making extensive use of algorithms and bots, the essence of so-called “artificial intelligence.” But the initial instructions provided to a bot determine what it will do, and what it “learns” along the way depends upon enabling instructions that tell it how and why those initial instructions are to be changed.
MrOllie has been a busy little bee. His (its) edit history and this page show that between his first edit on 2008–04–16 and his recent edit on 2021–02–22, he has made a total of 85,776 edits, of which 62,646 (73%) are described as “(Semi-)automated edits” and 23,130 (27%), as “Non-automated edits.” The former would presumably be the work of some programmed search and destroy algorithm while the description of the latter would lead one to believe that some human intelligence may have been involved in each one. While an attempt was made to contact MrOllie, and discuss this matter with “him” our query has gone unanswered.
There is further evidence that bias has infected Wikipedia over a broad range of topics, especially those that might pose challenges to the orthodox political, economic, or social narrative. Like MrOllie, there is according to this article, another entity named “Philip Cross” that has been busy editing Wikipedia pages for the past 14 years, racking up a total of more than 133,612 edits. The article shows the pattern of edits over time which makes clear that most of them are the work of “artificial intelligence:”
“Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018, including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing. 133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing if it is one individual:
The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed.”
Well, it seems patently clear that that Philip Cross cannot possibly be one single real person but is most likely a robot that is programmed to search out and destroy any entries that might lead readers to information that does not support, or runs counter to, the official narrative on just about everything. This article, provides solid evidence of that and describes how Wikipedia, in the name of Philip Cross, has been censoring items by and about anti-war pundits and politicians, including George Galloway, John Pilger, Tim Hayward, and former UK Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. For more on this topic see Albert Jack’s article, How Wikipedia has been turned into FAKE NEWS.
This and other evidence has led me to avoid Wikipedia and to seek other sources of information when doing my own research, and to question, in general, the usefulness of artificial intelligence. After reading this article, Researchers Disappointed By Efforts to Teach AI Common Sense, I’ve reached the tentative conclusion that Artificial Intelligence (AI) must inevitably succumb to Acquired Artificial Stupidity Syndrome (AASS).
The original idea behind Wikipedia was that anyone could add, delete, edit or change information on the site. To many, that seemed crazy, but it seemed to work for a while, though it soon became apparent that some sort of controls would need to be instituted to keep scammers, spammers and vandals at bay, and it made sense to try to automate that as much as possible to make the task manageable. Thus, it has now evolved into “fortress Wikipedia,” part of the “establishment,” ready to repel all comers to protect itself and unable to distinguish between friend and foe.