Most of the millions of internet users who turn to Wikipedia for information are unaware that some of the site’s data have been carefully selected by those with means.
Journalist Lee Fang reported Tuesday that in 2014 Hunter Biden hired a consulting firm to alter information written about him on the site. This included deleting information about his ties to the Ukrainian firm Burisma, for which he is now under federal investigation.
Biden asked public relations firm FTI Consulting to also remove information about his ties to disgraced Ponzi scheme artist Allen Stafford, as well as a line about the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) being tied to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
NED is heavily funded by the US government and widely believed to be a CIA front. Since the 1980s the organization has helped orchestrate several regime changes, which involved funding Nicaraguan rebels, financing anti-apartheid efforts in South Africa, and bankrolling the Arab Spring.
According to Fang, Biden previously worked for NED. But a review of his current Wikipedia page shows no mention of his association with the organization.
In addition to removing information, Biden asked FTI to add official titles he held at non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other innocuous details.
Just a month after his emails to FTI, Biden’s page had dramatically changed into a flattering portrait of the then-vice president’s son. Details about his volunteer work appeared, along with several appointments he held on boards and committees. Negative references had been removed.
The edit history for Hunter Biden’s page reveals that just after he conveyed his request to FTI, there was a flurry of edits by several different users, at least one of whom was discovered to be a sock puppet, or a fake account. That user, named Earflaps, had also been involved in efforts to improve the online images of Russian businessmen.
“This is back in good shape,” wrote FTI’s Ryan Toohey to Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s business partner in charge of the overhaul. “We’ll be keeping an eye on it for changes.”
Years later, Biden’s father used Wikipedia to spread government misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. He commissioned a group named Hacks/Hackers to hire Wikipedia censors — called “Research Coordinators” — for a project called NewsQ. The censors’ job was to list which sources of vaccine information are “credible sources” and which are “unreliable”. Job applicants did not need a medical background or expertise in a medical field to become a Research Coordinator.
“That list is already taking shape on Wikipedia, with liberal outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, and The Atlantic all marked ‘reliable,’” reported The Daily Wire. “Conservative sites, including The Daily Wire, Daily Mail, Epoch Times, and The Federalist, are all classified as either ‘unreliable’ or ‘conspiracy’.”