Under the belief that “if I can control access to the information, then I can prevent the idea from taking root”, do you suppose the Republicans will soon be coming after Wikipedia? That’s how I first found out about things like the Tulsa Race Massacre, and The Trevor Project, and the Southern Underground Railroad, and a lot of things that Republicans would rather I not know.
Just have someone sufficiently rich and right-leaning buy it. Then it can be chopped up easily.
Can it be bought? It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. I don’t think it can easily be taken over.
I suppose over several years and with judicious use of money, its board could be replaced with enough stealth Republicans to subvert it. But that sounds a little far fetched to me and I wrote it.
You’d need to define what you mean by “come after Wikipedia.”
The GOP’s speech suppression tactics thus far have involved:
- Regulating institutions under government control (public libraries and schools)
- Pulling favorable tax treatment for private businesses (Disney)
- Loudly carping about bias, making empty legislative threats (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc)
The first two don’t really apply to Wikipedia. The third might apply, but it seems like reference websites are less of an issue for them because their base aren’t really big readers. They are (or were) satisfied with boycotting Google and Wikipedia by using alternates like DuckDuckGo or Conservapedia.
Theoretically anyone can build a Twitter clone. It’s actually been done (Truth Social), but it isn’t popular because conservatives don’t really value free speech. What they value is negative attention from a captive liberal audience, which they’ll never get in a MAGA walled garden. That’s why they want to compel private companies like Twitter to serve them, and that why they aren’t really interested in Wikipedia.
Practically, I don’t know what they can do - buying or trying to influence Wikipedia with non-facts is going to be a lot of work, and as we know these people can be lazy. The easier and more effective tactical approach is to discredit Wikipedia, much like they do with other more neutral news sources and fact-checking organizations (like FactCheck and Snopes). Just keep repeating the meme “Wikipedia is biased and part of the MSM…” and that’s really all that’s needed. Unfortunately, facts are left-leaning.
I Googled, what is MSM? Do you mean Mainstream Media?
Yes, I hear them saying “MSM” as shorthanded dog-whistle for anything not in their echo chamber of propaganda. Main Stream Media. Also, Lame Stream Media - an easy way to discount an entire source of info.
I’m so annoyingly familiar with Lame Stream Media to the point where I didn’t recall seeing them use the term Main Stream Media. I had never seen MSM before at all.
The fight against CRT is over. We lost. It’s all OLED these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love LED’s for almost everything else. But for a television, you need a CRT.
Thanks Doc. I’ve been enjoying this persona lately. Keep up the good fight!
Joking aside I do feel that this is accurate, CRT has given way to DEI as CRT offended too many bigots.
I’m assuming that you knew that @DocCathode was talking about Cathode Ray Tubes in his post.
But, that aside, how has CRT offended bigots, and how is it “giving way”?
I would nitpick this to the effect that I don’t think Critical Race Theory has in any way “given way to” or been succeeded by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
DEI is a much broader-based movement than the more narrowly and theoretically focused CRT. And DEI has been around since well before bigots decided to make the “CRT” acronym their latest boogeyman.
They don’t have a chance in hell of winning a fight against Wiki…but that wouldn’t be the purpose in the first place. The purpose would be to rally the troops and give them something big to hate, and in that they would be 100% effective.
I’ll let you all in on a (not-so-secret) secret. Wikipedia could totally be ruined by the GOP, if they were determined enough.
Wikipedia works on collaboration. To put it simply, in many cases it’s a majority rules situation. They couldn’t do it in a ham-handed fashion, but if they had enough operatives they could essentially take the site over. It’s a matter of numbers.
I don’t think it would happen, but it could. Possibly.
The Church of Scientology has tried multiple times and in multiple ways (some of which I was personally involved in resisting) but they failed. The GOP is much more powerful and could possibly do it.
But will they? I don’t think they care enough about it. It’s not something that brings a lot of attention like Twitter or Facebook or Google. I think that it’ll just be overlooked.
I remember many years ago collaborating with Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager to help make a few minor changes to Newt’s article (and the guy was cool about it). It’s on their radar. But I think for the most part it’s not a threat and it’s hard to get people riled up about it.
IMO, I think they’ll go after children’s free use of the internet.
they’ll pretend it’s about porn or child safety, but I think a lot of people realize that free information makes people less religious and more open to diversity. didn’t religious rates drop when people get internet access? you can find all the info that undermines your cultures religion.
I think eventually they’ll go after internet freedom. at first with kids, but probably adults eventually too.
They can have my online writing site when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
It would be trivially easy to destroy Wikipedia, there have already been multiple attempts to attack websites that function on user contributions. FOSTA-SESTA has already done a lot of harm to sites that previously allowed sex work, all you would have to do is alter Section 230 in a way that makes a website like Wikipedia infeasible. Open Wikipedia up to libel suits by nutcases that don’t like how their article is written. Add onerous moderation and approval requirements to everything that is posted. This sort of thing would of course reach much farther than just Wikipedia, it would end most of the internet as we know it. Even if such a law did not survive First Amendment challenges (though with a biased Supreme Court, who can say?) it may be around long enough to end Wikipedia and most other social media as a viable platform.
Or, it could result in the Wikimedia foundation relocating to a different country.
It’s already international, but it’s headquartered in San Francisco. They could probably move without too much disruption (at least on the outside).