Hide Mode Activated

It’s not only the neoclowns who are in retreat now. If this 2020 article from Commentary is to be believed, it appears that Jews are increasingly concerned with scrubbing their early lives from Wikipedia.

My new best Wikifriend’s user name was “Coffee,” and he’s a conscientious editor. He politely informed me that it was appropriate to introduce my faith into my entry because it was “covered in a reliable source,” a Wikipedia standard for inclusion. That turned out to be the Times Book Review’s “ham-eating Jew” reference. Other Jewish professionals may not have had their religion listed because there was no such source for the citation. I had been kept from editing the insertion because Wikipedia protocols blocked removing properly sourced material. “I know that’s not the answer you were looking for,” he conceded.

He was right. It’s possible, I wrote back, that the “editor” who introduced Jewish identity into my and many other entries was so proud of the Jewish contribution to journalism and literature that he wanted the world to know about all these accomplished Jews. But, given the recent spate of overt anti-Semitism here and in Europe, it was certainly plausible that the intruder was trying to stigmatize Jewish “notables,” in the Wikipedia term of art. It seemed to me possible that Wikipedia was naively invoking a valid standard—reliable citation—to enable its material to be doctored by a stealth anti-Semite.

Ten days later, Coffee replied: “I have taken the description off…your article and am now in the process of combing through the thousands of edits made by this user to remove other violations. We determined that even though a reliable source covered your upbringing it was not enough to support the claim in your article. This was based on it not being of due weight to your notability, and because there is not a consensus of sources covering you in such a way. I’m applying this standard to every article…that this person edited and will likely have to look at others than just [those that] this editor has added as well (as this seems to be a rather big issue”).

In two weeks, he’d found more than 250 intrusions he considered inappropriate in entries of not-previously-identified Jewish “notables” and 1,142 in Wikipedia’s lists of Jews in 32 fields. These lists include everyone from cartoonists (43, including Jules Feiffer, Rube Goldberg, and Al Hirschfeld) to poets (28, including Allen Ginsberg, Emma Lazarus, and Delmore Schwartz). And there were hundreds more articles to vet. Most of the “Jew-tagging” had been in articles about notables in media and writing, but Jews in finance and retail were involved, too. Reviewing “tens of thousands” of interventions by one “editor,” Coffee found that he or she had added religious descriptors almost exclusively for Jews.

Jew-Tagging @Wikipedia, Commentary, May 2020

How, one wonders, is the identity of Emma Lazarus and Allen Ginsberg deemed unworthy of note, given the way in which it served as the foundation of the work that made them notable? Not that the retroactive scrubbing will serve to hide anything at all. Because, as has been the case for most of written history, it’s not their identity that is the issue, but rather their evil, observable, and societally-devastating actions.

Even a ticket-taker like Elon Musk knows: “Soros hates humanity. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization.”