The controversial anti-cult activist Rick Ross has an overview of The Register’s article profiling how Wikipedia editor Jossi Fresco has allegedly used his position to shape the treatment of Maharaji/Prem Rawat on Wikipedia. As Ross write,
Jossi Fresco has worked for Prem Rewat, though he is rather vague about his current job, which seems to include using Wikipedia to promote his guru.
Jossi not only has used his editor’ position to stiffle criticism of Prem Rawat, but has also more generally manipulated Wikipedia entries on the subject of cults and related topics. Jossi’s efforts have at times included the Wikipedia page about me (Rick Ross), creator of CultNews.
But here is the real kicker.
If anyone thinks that Jossi Fresco’s actions at Wikipedia represent a “conflict of interest” what can be done?
Well, complaints would likely go to Wikipedia’s “Conflict of Interest Noticeboard.”
But don’t be shocked if you receive something less than a “fair shake” at this Internet location.
After all, Jossi Fresco created this board.
What is interesting about Wikipedia is that on the one hand it is roundly criticized on the one hand for being an encyclopedia that pretty much anyone can edit. But on the other hand, the reality is that only a very small number of users contribute most of Wikipedia’s edits, and those users collectively appear to form a group that is every bit as subject to capture by special interests as any other media outlet.
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