Mention of citizenship issues deleted in minutes, 'offending' users banned
Wikipedia, the online "free encyclopedia" mega-site written and edited entirely by its users, has been deleting within minutes any mention of eligibility issues surrounding Barack Obama's presidency, with administrators kicking off anyone who writes about the subject, WND has learned.
A perusal through Obama's current Wikipedia entry finds a heavily guarded, mostly glowing biography about the U.S. president. Some of Obama's most controversial past affiliations, including with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former Weathermen terrorist Bill Ayers, are not once mentioned, even though those associations received much news media attention and served as dominant themes during the presidential elections last year.
Also completely lacking is any mention of the well-publicized concerns surrounding Obama's eligibility to serve as commander-in-chief.
Indeed, multiple times, Wikipedia users who wrote about the eligibility issues had their entries deleted almost immediately and were banned from re-posting any material on the website for three days.
In one example, Wikipedia user "Jerusalem21" added the following to Obama's page:
"There have been some doubts about whether Obama was born in the U.S. after the politician refused to release to the public a carbon copy of his birth certificate and amid claims from his relatives he may have been born in Kenya. Numerous lawsuits have been filed petitioning Obama to release his birth certificate, but most suits have been thrown out by the courts."
As is required on the online encyclopedia, that entry was backed up by third-party media articles, citing the Chicago Tribune and WorldNetDaily.com
The entry was posted on Feb. 24, at 6:16 p.m. EST. Just three minutes later, the entry was removed by a Wikipedia administrator, claiming the posting violated the websites rules against "fringe" material.
According to Wikipedia rules, however, a "fringe theory can be considered notable if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory."
The Obama eligibility issue has indeed been reported extensively by multiple news media outlets. WorldNetDaily has led the coverage. Other news outlets, such as Britain's Daily Mail and the Chicago Tribune have released articles critical of claims Obama may not be eligible. The Los Angeles Times quoted statements by former presidential candidate Alan Keys doubting Obama is eligible to serve as president. Just last week, the Internet giant America Online featured a top news article about the eligibility subject, referencing WND's coverage.
When the user "Jerusalem21" tried to repost the entry about Obama's eligibility a second time, another administrator removed the material within two minutes and then banned the Wikipedia user from posting anything on the website for three days.
Wikipedia administrators have the ability to kick off users if the administrator believes the user violated the website's rules.
Over the last month, WND has monitored several other attempts to add eligibility issues to Obama's Wikipedia page. In every attempt monitored, the information was deleted within minutes and the user who posted the material was barred from the website for three days.
Angela Beesley Starling, a spokeswoman for Wikipedia, explained to WND that all the website's encyclopedia content is monitored by users. She said the administrators who deleted the entries are volunteers.
"Administrators," Starling said, "are simply people who are trusted by the other community members to have access to some extra tools that allow them to delete pages and perform other tasks that help the encyclopedia."
According to Alexa.com, Wikipedia is the seventh most trafficked website on the Internet. A Google search for the words "Barack Obama" brings up the president's Wikipedia page in the top four choices, following two links to Obama's official websites.
Ayers, Wright also missing in Obama's bio
The entire Wikipedia entry on Obama seems to be heavily promotional toward the U.S. president. It contains nearly no criticism or controversy, including appropriate mention of important issues where relevant.
For example, the current paragraph on Obama's religion contains no mention of Wright, even though Obama's association with the controversial pastor was one of the most talked about issues during the presidential campaign.
That paragraph states: "Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand 'the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change.' He was baptized at the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 and was an active member there for two decades."
Ayers is also not mentioned, even where relevant.
WND monitored as a Wikipedia user attempted to add Ayers' name to an appropriate paragraph. One of those additions, backed up with news articles, read as follows:
"He served alongside former Weathermen leader William Ayers from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation. Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1991. Ayers was the founder and director of the Challenge."
Within two minutes that Wikipedia entry was deleted and the user banned from posting on the website for three days, purportedly for adding "Point of View junk edits," even though the addition was well-established fact.
The Wikipedia entry about former President George W. Bush, by contrast, is highly critical. One typical entry reads, "Prior to his marriage, Bush had multiple accounts of alcohol abuse. ... After his re-election, Bush received increasingly heated criticism. In 2005, the Bush administration dealt with widespread criticism over its handling of Hurricane Katrina. In December 2007, the United States entered the second-longest post-World War II recession."
The entry on Bush also cites claims that he was "favorably treated due to his father's political standing" during his National Guard service." It says Bush served on the board of directors for Harken and that questions of possible insider trading involving Harken arose even though a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation concluded the information Bush had at the time of his stock sale was not sufficient to constitute insider trading.