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Guide to Wikipedia on 9/11

Wikipedia.org is an open-source, publicly-editable encyclopedia. The Wikipedia model has been highly successful in generating a vast and thoroughly cross-referenced web encyclopedia covering nearly every subject, including the 9/11/01 attack. Wikipedia pages relating to 9/11 have achieved very high visibility. As of September 2006, a Google search of 9/11 returns the Wikipedia 'September 11, 2001 Attacks' page as the second entry.

Given Wikipedia's influence, it would be surprising if it were not a focus of efforts to shape public perception about the of the attack. The emergence of tools for identifying editors, such as WikiScanner has already exposed violations of Wikipedia's policy by showing editors of pages about military operations comming from locations with CIA ip numbers. 1 2 

The Use of Wikipedia as Propaganda Tool

A scan of Wikipedia's most prominent pages on the 9/11/01 attack shows a concerted effort to promote the official story and prejudice the reader against all alternatives to it. The techniques employed to this end include:

  • Uncritical endorsement of the official story:
    The 'September 11, 2001 Attacks' page recounts the official story with over 8000 words, while allowing only two sentences to describe and direct the reader to the "conspiracy theories."
  • Pejorative labeling of all challenges to the official story:
    9/11 Researchers are shackled with the designation of "conspiracy theorist" whether they propose alternative theories or simply expose problems in the official story.
  • Psychopathologizing of persons questioning the official story:
    The "9/11 Conspiracy Theories" page is created and managed by Chip Berlet, who dismisses all critics of the official story as victims of a delusional world view that he calls "conspiracism," which "sees major historic events and trends as the result of secret conspiracies."
  • Relegation of challenges to the official story to secondary pages:
    All challenges and questioning of the official story are corralled into areas such as the '9/11 Conspiracy Theories' page, separated from the pages purporting to recount true history.
  • Use of logical fallacies, such as appeals to authority and prejudice:
    The main pages refer glowingly to official reports such as the 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST Report, and relegate criticisms of them to pages bearing the "conspiracy theories" label.

Wikipedia's view of the attack is not reflective of the degree of skepticism of the official story in the general public, let alone the merits of criticisms of the official story ennumerated by websites like 9-11 Research. Wikipedia's main page on the attack devotes less than one percent of its content to criticisms of the official story, which contrasts with the findings of widespread public skepticism by scientific polls such as the Scripps poll and Zogby Poll.

Key Pages on the 9/11/01 Attack

Several of the Wikipedia pages on the 9/11/01 attack are sites of ongoing battles between defenders and critics of the official story -- battles that attest to the importance of those pages.

Several people have worked tirelessly to prevent these pages from becomming nothing more that propaganda for the official story. However, there is only so much each individual can do: Wikipedia policy allows the banning of contributors who revert a page more than three times within 24 hours.

Contributing to Wikipedia is easy. Although Wikipedia allows anonymous editing, we recommend making changes as a registered user because it gives your edits more weight in the Wikipedia community.

  1. Click on 'Sign in / create account' in the upper right-hand corner of any page.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Once logged in, proceed to edit pages. Note that there is a discussion behind each page, participation in which can help to solidify your contributions.

References

1. WikiScanner Identifies Editors on Wikipedia,
2. See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign, wired.com,

page last modified: 2007-08-28