The Encyclopedia Hijacked: Wikipedia, the CIA, and the CCDH's Campaign Against Sayer Ji and GreenMedInfo

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In a shocking exposé, evidence has emerged of a coordinated effort by the CIA and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) to infiltrate Wikipedia and launch a targeted campaign against alternative health advocate Sayer Ji and his website GreenMedInfo. This chilling tale of censorship, manipulation, and the erosion of free speech raises alarming questions about the integrity of the once-trusted online encyclopedia and the hifdden agendas of powerful organizations bent on silencing dissenting voices in the realm of health and medicine.

The promise of the early internet was one of unfettered freedom, decentralization, and organic knowledge-sharing. As Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger recently revealed in an interview, this vision guided the online encyclopedia's creation in 2001.1 The goal was to sustain a "free and open" internet where information and ideas could thrive without interference. Sanger and his collaborators established rules to maintain neutrality and avoid bias.

However, recent statements by Katherine Maher, former CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation (which owns Wikipedia) and current CEO of NPR, have called this founding ethos into question. Maher has explicitly rejected the principles of a "free and open" internet, collaborated with governments to censor dissent, and dismissed the concept of objective truth in favor of left-wing relativism.1 Sanger expressed shock at these revelations but noted they align with the increasing bias and systematic silencing of certain viewpoints he has observed on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia's Potential Ties to Intelligence Agencies

Sanger suspects that Wikipedia may have been co-opted by intelligence agencies like the CIA, with Maher potentially facilitating government influence over the platform's content. He points to research showing a high volume of edits originating from CIA computers as early as 2007.1 While the Wikimedia Foundation technically lacks direct authority over Wikipedia's content, Sanger believes backchannels exist for governmental and corporate interests to shape narratives and quash inconvenient information.

The Erosion of Internet Freedom

This development marks a stark departure from the internet's early promise. Influential manifestos like John Perry Barlow's 1996 "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" and the 2012 "Declaration of Internet Freedom" championed an online world free from government overreach, censorship, and top-down control.2 Barlow envisioned cyberspace as a realm of the mind, naturally independent from the "weary giants of flesh and steel" - the governments of the physical world.

Yet today, these dreams lie in tatters. The 2012 Declaration site has vanished, and in its place we find a 2022 "Declaration for the Future of the Internet," signed by 60 nations with notable NATO alignment.2 This new declaration embraces a "multistakeholder" model where governments partner with private entities, academics, and NGOs to shape a "rules-based" digital landscape. The document justifies curation and suppression of content as necessary to bolster "resilience to disinformation and misinformation" and foster "inclusion."

The rise of the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) epitomizes this shift. Created in 2018 to protect digital infrastructure, CISA quickly pivoted to asserting control over elections and policing citizens' thoughts - which CISA director Jen Easterly chillingly termed "cognitive infrastructure."2 CISA now serves as the nerve center for government censorship, funneling demands to social media companies.

Wikipedia's Defamatory and Biased Treatment of Sayer Ji

Against this backdrop, Wikipedia's transformation takes on a more sinister character. The platform's treatment of Sayer Ji, founder of the alternative health website GreenMedInfo, exemplifies its biased and potentially defamatory approach to individuals who challenge the conventional narrative on health and medicine.

Unsubstantiated Claims of Pseudoscience

The Wikipedia article on Sayer Ji begins by labeling him as "the founder of alternative medicine portal GreenMedInfo, a website known for promoting various pseudoscientific publications."3 This claim is presented without proper context or evidence, ignoring the fact that GreenMedInfo's database consists primarily of peer-reviewed study abstracts -- 93,000+ -- from reputable scientific journals indexed on PubMed.

By dismissing Ji's work as "pseudoscience" without engaging with the actual content of his website, Wikipedia demonstrates a clear bias against alternative perspectives in health and medicine. This bias is further evident in the article's selective use of sources and its failure to present a balanced view of the controversies surrounding Ji and his critics. Previous versions of Sayer Ji's website included doxxing attempts, illustrating how serious their agenda has been in targeting individuals expressing disfavored speech. 

Reliance on Disputed Sources

One of the primary sources cited in the Wikipedia article is a piece by Jonathan Jarry of McGill University's Office for Science and Society (OSS). Jarry accuses Ji of selectively curating studies to support his views while downplaying contradictory evidence.4 However, as pointed out in the article "Cherry Picking or Crucial Counterbalance? The Heated Debate Over Medical Misinfo between McGill Univ. & GreenMedInfo.com," McGill University and its affiliates have their own potential conflicts of interest, having received significant funding from pharmaceutical companies.5

By relying on Jarry's critique without acknowledging these potential conflicts, Wikipedia presents a one-sided view of the debate surrounding Ji's work. This lack of balance and context is a recurring issue throughout the article.

Uncritical Amplification of the CCDH Report

The Wikipedia article also cites the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) report, which accused Ji of being one of the "Disinformation Dozen" responsible for spreading misinformation about vaccines on social media.6 However, as detailed in the article "Debunking the CCDH's 'Disinformation Dozen' Report: How Flawed Methodology and Misleading Claims Fuel Misinformation," the CCDH report itself has been criticized for its flawed methodology and misleading claims.7

Meta (formerly Facebook) disputed the CCDH's findings, stating that the "Disinformation Dozen" were responsible for only about 0.05% of all views of vaccine-related content on their platforms, not the 73% claimed in the report.8 By uncritically repeating the CCDH's claims, Wikipedia contributes to the spread of misinformation and the defamation of individuals like Ji.

The Real Purveyors of Misinformation

The case of Sayer Ji and the "Disinformation Dozen" raises important questions about who is truly responsible for spreading dangerous misinformation. Organizations like the CCDH and the Stanford Virality Project have been criticized for their own role in promoting false narratives and suppressing legitimate debate.

The Stanford Virality Project, for example, has been accused of pushing for the censorship of true stories and legitimate concerns about vaccine side effects, as revealed in the Twitter Files.9 By framing real testimonials and factual reporting as "misinformation," the Virality Project and its partners in government and tech companies contributed to an environment of suppression and self-censorship.

Similarly, the CCDH's "Disinformation Dozen" report, despite its flawed methodology and disputed claims, was used by government officials and media outlets to pressure social media companies to censor and deplatform the named individuals. This created a chilling effect on free speech and open debate, as those who questioned the prevailing narrative faced the threat of being labeled "misinformation spreaders" and having their online presence erased.

The Path Forward

As Big Tech platforms increasingly bow to government pressure and engage in viewpoint suppression, the need for decentralized, censorship-resistant alternatives grows more urgent. Initiatives like Elon Musk's Twitter takeover offer a glimmer of hope, as do 100% independent multi-media platforms like UNITE.live, but the forces arrayed against internet freedom are formidable.

To effectively address the spread of misinformation and the suppression of free speech, we must look beyond surface-level accusations and examine the role of powerful institutions, government agencies, and ostensibly impartial organizations in shaping public discourse. The cases of the CCDH and the Stanford Virality Project demonstrate that the real purveyors of dangerous misinformation may not be dissenting voices but rather those who seek to silence them under the guise of fighting "disinformation."

As we navigate the challenges of the digital age, it is crucial that we remain vigilant in defending the principles of free speech, open debate, and the pursuit of truth. By holding all parties accountable for their claims and actions, and by fostering a culture of transparency and intellectual honesty, we can work towards a more informed and empowered public discourse on matters of health and well-being. The struggle for liberated minds and free information in the digital age has only just begun.

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References

1 Rufo, Christopher. "Larry Sanger Speaks Out." City Journal, April 19, 2024. https://www.city-journal.org/wikipedia-co-founder-larry-sanger-on-katherine-maher-and-internet-corruption.

2 Kheriaty, Aaron, Debbie Lerman, Andrew Lowenthal, and Jeffrey Tucker. "The Closing of the Internet Mind." Network Affects, May 23, 2024. https://networkaffects.substack.com/p/the-closing-of-the-internet-mind.

3 "Sayer Ji." Wikipedia, accessed June 5, 2024. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayer_Ji.

4 Jarry, Jonathan. "Popular Health Guru Sayer Ji Curates the Scientific Literature with His Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy." McGill Office for Science and Society, July 11, 2019. https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/pseudoscience/popular-health-guru-sayer-ji-curates-scientific-literature-his-bachelors-degree-philosophy.

5 "Cherry Picking or Crucial Counterbalance? The Heated Debate Over Medical Misinfo between McGill Univ. & GreenMedInfo.com." GreenMedInfo, April 3, 2024. https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/cherry-picking-or-crucial-counterbalance-heated-debate-over-medical-misinfo-betw.

6 Center for Countering Digital Hate. "The Disinformation Dozen: Why Platforms Must Act on Twelve Leading Online Anti-Vaxxers." March 2021. https://www.counterhate.com/disinformationdozen.

7 "Debunking the CCDH's 'Disinformation Dozen' Report: How Flawed Methodology and Misleading Claims Fuel Misinformation." GreenMedInfo, June 2, 2024. https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/debunking-ccdhs-disinformation-dozen-report-how-flawed-methodology-and-misleadin.

8 Bickert, Monika. "How We're Taking Action Against Vaccine Misinformation Superspreaders." Meta, August 18, 2021. https://about.fb.com/news/2021/08/taking-action-against-vaccine-misinformation-superspreaders/.

9 Taibbi, Matt. "The Great Covid-19 Lie Machine: Stanford, the Virality Project, and the Censorship of 'True Stories.'" Substack, May 22, 2023. https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-great-covid-19-lie-machine-stanford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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