Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger confirms western intelligence agencies have been using the online encyclopaedia for information warfare
Wikipedia is one of many tools used by the US liberal establishment and its allies in the intelligence community to wage “information warfare,” the site’s co-founder, Larry Sanger, has told journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Speaking on Greenwald’s ‘System Update’ podcast, Sanger lamented how the site he helped found in 2001 has become an instrument of “control” in the hands of the left-liberal establishment, among which he counts 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?”
Activity by the CIA and FBI on Wikipedia was first made public by a programming student named Virgil Griffith in 2007.
Griffith developed a program called WikiScanner that could trace the location of computers used to edit Wikipedia articles, and found that the CIA, FBI, and a host of large corporations and government agencies were scrubbing the online encyclopaedia of incriminating information.
CIA computers were used to remove casualty counts from the Iraq War, while an FBI machine was used to remove aerial and satellite images of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
CIA computers were used to edit hundreds of articles, including entries on then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China’s nuclear program, and the Argentine navy.
Some edits were more petty, with former CIA chief William Colby apparently editing his own entry to expand 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.” Earlier this year, X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk released a trove of documents showing how the platform’s former executives colluded with the FBI to remove content the agency wanted hidden, assisted the US military’s online influence campaigns, and censored“anti-Ukraine narratives” on behalf of multiple US intelligence agencies.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also admitted that Facebook, the biggest social media platform on Earth, censored accurate information that was damaging to President Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaign at the direct request of the FBI.