Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia

by Robert Felix

History of climate gets ‘erased’ online.

“A Wikipedia trustee and a Wikipedian In Residence have been editing the online encyclopedia on behalf of PR clients,” says this article on cnet.com. “Add the discovery of an SEO business run on the side, and this tempest is out of its teapot.”

This latest scandal brings to mind the Wikipedia administrator accused of re-writing more than 5,000 Wikipedia entries in order to spread the global warming message.

“History of climate gets ‘erased’ online,” shouted the headline on wnd.com.
“More than 5,000 entries rewritten to hype global-warming agenda”

Here are excerpts from that article:

“A new report reveals a British scientist and Wikipedia administrator rewrote climate history, editing more than 5,000 unique articles in the online encyclopedia to cover traces of a medieval warming period – something Climategate scientists saw as a major roadblock in the effort to spread the global warming message.

Recently hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit expose a plot to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period, a 400-year era that began around A.D. 1000, the Financial Post’s Lawrence Solomon reports.

The warming period is said to have improved agriculture and increased life spans, but scientists at the center of the Climategate e-mail scandal believed the era undermined their goal of spreading concern about global warming as it pertains to today’s climate.

Instead, the group created a website called RealClimate.org.

The RealClimate.org team consisted of Schmidt, Mike Mann, Eric Steig, William Connolley, Stefan Rahmstorf, Ray Bradley, Amy Clement, Rasmus Benestad and Caspar Ammann.

Solomon revealed that Connolley, one man in the nine-member team who is a U.K. scientist, a software engineer and Green Party activist, took control of Wikipedia’s entries to see that any trace of the true climate history would be erased.

Beginning in February 2003, Connolley rewrote Wikipedia entries on global warming, the greenhouse effect, the instrumental temperature record, the urban heat island, on climate models and on global cooling, according to the report. In February, he began editing the Little Ice Age. By August, he began to rewrite history without the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned to the hockey-stick chart.

Through his role as a Wikipedia administrator, Connolley is said to have created or rewritten 5,428 unique Wikipedia entries.

“When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it – more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand,” Solomon wrote. “When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred – over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions.”

Through his control of the Wikipedia pages, Connolley is said to have “turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.”

See entire article.

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