The US establishment and the CIA are using Wikipedia as one of its tools to wage “information warfare,” the site’s co-founder, Larry Sanger, has said.
Intelligence agencies have been manipulating the online encyclopedia for more than a decade, Sanger told Pulitzer Prize winner American investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald on Wednesday.
Sanger said Wikipedia has become an instrument of “control” in the hands of the US establishment, which includes the CIA, FBI, and other US intelligence agencies.
“We do have evidence that, as early as 2008, that CIA and FBI computers were used to edit Wikipedia,” he said. “Do you think that they stopped doing that back then?”
A programming student named Virgil Griffith first published the activity by the CIA and FBI in 2007. Griffith developed a program that could trace the location of computers used to edit Wikipedia articles.
He discovered that the CIA, FBI, and a number of other corporations and government agencies were scrubbing the online encyclopedia of incriminating information.
The CIA used its computers to remove casualty counts from the Iraq War, while the FBI removed aerial and satellite images of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
The CIA used its computers to edit hundreds of articles, including entries on former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China’s nuclear program, and the Argentine navy.
In addition, former CIA chief William Colby even edited his own entry to inflate his list of accomplishments.
“[The intelligence agencies] pay off the most influential people to push their agendas, which they’re already mostly in line with, or they just develop their own talent within the [intelligence] community, learn the Wikipedia game, and then push what they want to say with their own people,” Sanger told Greenwald.
“A great part of intelligence and information warfare is conducted online,” he continued, “on websites like Wikipedia.”
X (formerly known as Twitter) owner Elon Musk has released a trove of documents showing how the platform’s former executives colluded with the FBI to remove unwanted content.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also admitted that Facebook at the direct request of the FBI censored information that was damaging to President Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaign.
Musk in December released what he called the “Twitter Files,” delving into the company's decision to block the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The posts focused on the controversy surrounding Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Twitter’s reaction limiting the spread of posts about it.
Greenwald has revealed in an article that an axis of the CIA, Big Tech and the DNC-allied wing of the corporate media spread an absolute lie in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election.