June 17, 2013

Schmockpuppets Wage Wiki War

Yet another tale of Zionist sockpuppetry at Wikipedia:  Ha'aretz is reporting the exposure of an employee of the Israel advocacy group, NGO Monitor, for using sock puppets and "meat" puppets to tilt entries in favour of Zionism and the State of Israel.  Wittily, Ha'aretz calls it "Aligning text to the right".
Arnie Draiman, a social-media employee of NGO Monitor who goes by the username Soosim, edited articles in English about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in an allegedly biased manner. Draiman concealed the facts that he was an employee of NGO Monitor, often described as a right-wing group, and that he was using a second username, which is forbidden under Wikipedia’s rules.

NGO Monitor asserts that it "provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.” Under Aims and Objectives on its About page it states its objective as "to end the practice used by certain self-declared ‘humanitarian NGOs’ of exploiting the label ‘universal human rights values’ to promote politically and ideologically motivated agendas.”

A discussion of the complaint against NGO Monitor’s employee on Wikipedia shows that he promoted his company’s agenda as much as the organizations he worked against promoted theirs, as journalist and blogger Yossi Gurvitz also wrote.

According to complaints from editors on Wikipedia, Soosim, who was active for several years, began editing intensively in 2010 after joining NGO Monitor (his LinkedIn page shows that he was working for Israel Advocacy. He is listed on NGO Monitor’s website as working in the communications department). The editors accused him of editing in a biased manner (“POV-pushing” in the site’s language), particularly on his organization’s page and on the pages of organizations that NGO Monitor’s president, Professor Gerald Steinberg, opposes such as B’tselem, the New Israel Fund and Human Rights Watch.

Soosim is also accused of having used a “sock puppet,” an additional account (Scarletfire2112) and a “meat puppet,” which is another person who did the editing together with him under that username. Comments from Soosim and Scarletfire2112 can be seen on articles’ talk pages.

The writer who complained about Soosim (user name Nomoskedasticity) also wrote that NGO Monitor has the custom of issuing a press release, waiting until it is quoted in a newspaper, and then quoting the news item in the relevant articles as fact. During the conversation, it turned out that Draiman even explained this during a workshop he gave on Israel advocacy in which he called on pro-Israel advocates to join the “wiki war.”

We have, of course, been here before.


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