It has been said that the internet is the greatest tool for freedom in the world. In a sense, this is certainly true. It has so far allowed for a discussion of many topics that are simply not addressed by the mainstream media. As long as the internet remains free of total government control, we can expect that a part of the influence of the internet may remain a positive one.
That said, a free internet may still be a tool for misinformation, propaganda, and oppression, and it is currently serving that purpose as well. In fact, it is probably serving that purpose more fully and effectively than its more positive purpose. The sources that tend to get a lot of hits, for instance, also tend to be centralized, mainstream sources. Most people don't seem to know how to find alternative information, so they end up at the big misinformation sites – sites underwritten or owned by big corporations or the government. Many of these sites read as if they have recently been cleaned by the CIA or the FBI or both. In fact, they have.*
The search engines tend to solidify this trend, even when they may not actively support it. They show you the big sites first, the sites where all the sheep are grazing, and unfortunately there is not an advanced search that you can do at Yahoo or Google based on truth. The only method that is really proved to work, so far, is taking recommended links from sites you already trust and admire. This is to be expected and it is not my main concern here, but it is worth including as a caveat.
My main concern here is addressing Wikipedia, one of the most searched sites on the internet. Those who have considered the question for more than a moment will have already understood that major newspapers and magazines have their editorial content predetermined by owners and administrators. Many people have accepted the fact that much reportage is unreported. Many stories die of neglect or are killed outright. We have come to accept this with The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, or wherever else we find ourselves under a major masthead, either online or off. Many major news sources have accepted money directly from the executive branch, and these sources aren't always ones that are considered to be on the right. Wherever we are, we are being spun, we (should) know we are being spun, and we simply search for the spin that spins us right round baby right round. But even those who know this seem to forget it when they visit encyclopedic or scholarly sites. They imagine that unbiased sites exist or can exist.
Sites that contain relatively less bias and more uncensored fact certainly do exist, but Wikipedia is not one of them. In general, the university sites are also not among them. The problem is that most people seem to be unaware of this. They assume that when they go from The New York Times or The Washington Post to Wikipedia or Stanford University, they have gone from a more biased site to a less biased site, but this is simply not true. The government and corporations have so many strings attached to the universities that the puppet cannot scratch itself without getting tangled in a web. Wikipedia is compromised even further, since it is attached to the puppet with another cobweb of strings. Wikipedia is the smaller puppet in the pocket of the first puppet.
Wikipedia is founded on a basic lie, a lie that becomes bigger with every passing month. It is claimed that anyone can edit Wikipedia, but try it. An increasing percentage of pages are locked. We are told that this is to prevent vandalism. But Wikipedia had and has mechanisms in place to answer vandals; it does not need to lock down large numbers of pages. These pages are locked in order to prevent certain information from being added to them, information that is most often encyclopedic and sourced. All other unlocked pages are heavily policed, and any undesired information will be deleted immediately. I have found this to be true on a very wide range of topics, from art to science, from history to biography. It is not vandals that are being policed and deleted and locked out, it is anyone who posts anything that is not palatable to the Wiki-mandarins.
Only those who have spent some time on the discussion pages at Wiki will know what I am talking about. Behind every page is a discussion page, where conflicts are supposed to be ironed out, where you come screen to screen with the specific mandarins of that page. I encourage readers to go to pages that address subjects they know something about, then to duck behind the scenes and see what is going on in the discussion page. What you find is huge levels of suppression, misdirection, and intimidation.
What we appear to have is a huge bureaucracy of monomaniacal flunkies, deleting all content that does not support the status quo in the clearest way. Usually these are mid-level or low-level people from universities, or from the government directly. There is not enough administering to do at work, so they moonlight at Wikipedia as volunteers. They spend many hours every day policing their pages, making sure that no word that might offend their bosses makes it into print. They do this because it makes them feel powerful. They are the gatekeepers at a site that gets a lot of hits. They make decisions. They are important.
Yes, they feel very important, and this is crucial since they have never actually created anything themselves. They have not written any important papers or created any artifacts. They don't even create the pages themselves. They need a consortium of flunkies to edit and scrabble together a single page of half-truths, but even this must be a heaven of creativity compared to their day jobs, since they do this without pay.
For instance, go to the JFK assassination page. This page simply describes the Warren Commission findings. You are told the standard lie. I think I can say this without being described as a conspiracy nut, since according to a 2003 poll, over 70% thought the Warren Commission was a whitewash and that the Kennedy assassination was not done by Oswald with a single bullet. I myself have never met anyone that accepted the standard lie. I suspect that the other 30% here must have been made up of 28% I don't know/no opinion/I am under 12 and 2% I no speaka Englese, or I am Alexander Cockburn.
We do get a link to a conspiracy page, and there we learn shocking facts like the fact that Woody Allen made a one-line mention of the Warren Commission Report in Annie Hall and that Jerry Seinfeld made some remark about the assassination in Seinfeld. Not one word about E. Howard Hunt, no mention that Dulles or Bissell might have been involved or had motive, no mention of Hoover's declassified note that George Bush, Sr. was involved in the assassination (when asked about it, GB said it was another George Bush). We learn that Dulles was appointed to the Warren Commission, but we are not told the obvious: that this was as clear a case of conflict of interest as can be, since Dulles was fired by Kennedy 2 years earlier, in very nasty circumstances. It is like appointing Himmler to be a judge at the Nuremberg trials.
Then, go to the Dulles page at Wikipedia. Again, a complete whitewash. No hint that Dulles should have been a prime suspect, and was in many later theories. Not even a link to the JFK conspiracy page. But, as I said, no link is necessary, since there is no mention of it on that page.
Not one mention of Oliver Stone either, although we get paragraph after paragraph of conspiracy theory mentions in books and movies. No matter what you think of Stone or his theories, it is undeniable that his movie JFK had a wider influence than a one-liner by Woody Allen or Jerry Seinfeld. The page is not intended to be about a final explanation, authoritative or mythical; it is a page that is supposed to inform the encyclopedia reader about the existence of theories. Yet it egregiously omits what is probably the central theory of all JFK assassination CTs. On pages like this, I seriously think that Wiki may have been infiltrated by the CIA. The omissions and commissions are so pointedly outlandish, and so indefensible, that they are difficult to explain without broadening the conspiracy to contain Wiki itself.
Another reason for suggesting this is the discussion page. There is no discussion about how absurd the page is itself. There is a long discussion about deleting the page as a whole. But this discussion reads like it was scripted. Everybody gets a chance to call the conspiracy people nutcases and retards, yet everyone votes to keep the page up. Why? Because the page is a misdirection. It has been cleansed of all real content, and the only thing left is purposeful blind alleys. Of course they want to keep it up, since it is doing its intended job perfectly. But they have to pretend to want to take it down; they have to pretend that it is already so over-the-top and unpatriotic and dangerous that they can barely stand to look at it without kissing the flag immediately afterwards and saying their paternosters. The whole act is so unbelievably transparent that they could only get away with it by assuming their audience is made up of those 30% who don't know or don't care or can't see through a glass wall. And this must be the assumption within Wikipedia, since they have no problem slandering 70% of the population, right off the top.
Another example is Wiki's suppression of fact in regard to "conspiracy theories", even in biographical entries. For instance, the biographies of Brian O'Leary and Ed Begley, Jr. have both been edited of easily proven facts, and the editors have explained these edits in very strange ways. Brian O'Leary is on film stating that NASA may have faked the Moon landings. This is important, since O'Leary was a NASA astronaut and science advisor for many years, including the late '60s. Until recently, Wiki was preventing this fact from being included in his bio, and now it mentions it only to dismiss it as an "out of context" statement. But if you watch the video, there is no context in which the statement could be seen as pro-NASA. If O'Leary has since changed his mind, due to pressure from NASA, fine, tell us that (and provide a checkable source). But don't try to pretend he never said it. The fact that he EVER said it is important as a piece of historical evidence. As for Ed Begley, Jr., I was personally told that his acting as moderator for a major 9/11 Truth event in 2002 was "outdated information". True, Begley has since distanced himself from 9/11 Truth, but that does not mean that his moderating never happened. As a historical fact, Begley was there, in a very prominent position. The editors at Wiki apparently don't understand what history is, or what biography is. Earlier acts are not erased by later acts or statements: if they were, then Leni Riefenstahl's bio need not contain any reference to the Nazis. I answered Wiki that if everything from 2002 was outdated information, then all of history should start at 2003. That would greatly reduce their number of pages.
Wikipedia's default procedure has become this one:
Immediately delete any word that does not support the status quo in that topic.
If you complain of this on a discussion page, you are told you didn't have the proper reference. Wikipedia has mountains of unreferenced and indefensible opinion, but, not surprisingly, it is only opinion they disagree with that needs to be referenced.
If you return with references, they tell you they are the wrong ones.
If you return with references from Encyclopedia Britannica, say, they then begin to attack you personally. They will find some reason to discredit Encyclopedia Britannica, such as that they can't be cross-checked online without a membership, and then they will demand your bona fides.
If you want to remain anonymous, they attack you as lacking courage (I have never experienced this myself, but have seen it happen to others).
If you have a BA in science, say, then they find someone with an MA; if you have an MA, they find someone to attack you who has a PhD. If you have a PhD, they want to know if you have been peer-reviewed.
If you have been peer-reviewed, they attack the journals you have been published in. If you have been published in major journals and have published books and are a full professor in a university, then they really get nasty.
They attack you as a crank. Your theory is not the currently accepted theory, you are not as famous as the people whose theories are accepted, therefore you are a nobody and a crank.
This argument makes sense to those who volunteer at Wiki, since they are working directly or indirectly for the status quo, on every page. They are working for the people who are in power. Wikipedia, like most other things, is not about truth; it is about power. As long as you understand that, no problem. But I don't think most people understand that. Or they know it down deep, but they forget it at convenient times.
You can find Wiki going through all eight steps in many places, but I will give you only one example. The Big Bang pages are some of the most highly contested pages on Wiki, even beyond the Hitler page. A lot of tenured peer-reviewed PhDs in physics don't believe in the Big Bang, but you would never know it from visiting Wiki. On this topic as on every other, Wiki is strictly status quo. I don't have a strong opinion either way on the Big Bang. My opinion is that we don't know enough to say, one way or the other. But I would like to see alternative viewpoints, and see them treated with respect. There is no reason that an encyclopedia cannot offer us this.
Wiki goes far beyond a bias toward currently accepted theory, since it actively suppresses and deletes all alternative theories, no matter who accepts them, touts them, or how many references can be made for them. When it allows an alternative theory page to exist, it assigns standard model people to write this page as well, and blocks editation from those who actually believe the theory. For example, on the subject of the Big Bang, Wiki has an "alternate cosmology" page; but this page is just more salesmanship for the Big Bang, and more claims that alternate cosmologies are a thing of the past.
Wiki goes even further, since it slanders and intimidates those who do not accept every last tenet of current theory, in every wing of every science and art. And it goes even further, since it resorts to lies when debating these people on the discussion pages.
It goes even further, since it rigs its search engine to make it more difficult to find some entries than others. Try this example. Search on Alfven. Wiki will tell you they have no page by that name, and you have to scroll down and do a further search on Hannes Alfven. But if you type in Penzias, Wiki takes you straight to his page without a first name. Why? Because in the field of cosmology, which includes the Big Bang, Penzias is a major supporter of the standard model; Alfven, though a Nobel Laureate in Physics, is not. We might expect those sorts of tricks at Fox News, but we don't expect them at an encyclopedia.
When you see Wiki for the first time, you think, "Oh, an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. That is so charmingly democratic and egalitarian." Your first idea is that with a project of this sort, you would get a smorgasbord of opinion – but maybe that is OK in an encyclopedia that is enfranchising so many in the search for truth and knowledge. But your first idea is so naïve. Wiki never intended to enfranchise anyone. It didn't even intend to be an open work, except in the beginning and in very shallow ways. It intended, from the beginning, to justify higher levels of fascism under the cover of democracy. In this sense, it is exactly like the society it catalogs and within which it exists.
A classical encyclopedia does one thing: it catalogs information. Wiki does this too, but it does two things beyond that. One, it gives the appearance of being progressive. It claims to be open to editation, and implies that this makes it richer and more democratic. It makes people feel that they are included, and makes society appear to be moving forward. The old encyclopedia had none of this. It was catalogued by professionals and collected from experts. It was neither fascist nor democratic. It was simply hierarchical and professional, neither of which necessarily implies fascism. What this means is that Wiki delivers, in the long run, the same basic information, which is neither broader nor deeper. But it gives the false impression that it is both.
Second, Wiki allows you to go behind the closed door. What do you find here? More freedom, more information, more logic, more reason, more good humor? No. What you find is a room where you can be interrogated and mocked. A room where you are treated like the worm you probably are. Your input was not really wanted, and now that you are there, they can make that abundantly clear. The project is not open, they don't want editors, and they don't want bilateral argument. They want a clean unilateral page, which page is theirs and theirs alone. They want donations and readers, they want a few yes-men to police the pages, and they want you and all the other "vandals" to take a hike.
This second fact is not an accident or an unfortunate side-effect. It is a central desideratum of the whole Wiki project. A Wikipedia is powerful in ways that the encyclopedia never imagined. It creates a false sense of progression, while delivering a veiled wallop of suppression. The old encyclopedia, unless it fell on your toe, could never attack you personally; but if you are feeling masochistic, you can skip down to Wiki, fall into any page pretty much indiscriminately, and take a mental beating from the gang of cops of your choice. Then you can come home, put a raw steak on your soul, and say that at least you did it for democracy. Those lovely mandarins were beating you senseless for your own safety and for the open-source future of civilization.
*An application called "Wikiscanner" proves that Wikipedia is edited by the FBI and CIA.
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" – Dead or Alive