Wikipedia does fire drill to downplay Harvard’s Gay plagiarism/antisemitism scandal
12/18/2023 // News Editors // Views

Wikipedia's woke editors are scrambling to downplay recent scandals involving Harvard President Claudine Gay.

In recent days, editors have removed mention of the allegations from the intro to her article, eliminated detailed descriptions of the alleged plagiarism, and have attempted to minimize Gay's handling of antisemitism on campus, Breitbart reports.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from

In Congressional testimony earlier this month following several on-campus incidents involving pro-Palestinian protesters targeting Jewish students, Gay refused to say whether calls for "intifada"  violates Harvard's conduct policies. [That whole controversy is, as is often the case, a game of semantics - as the word "intifada" doesn't mean "genocide," as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) suggested in her line of questioning to Gay, along with the presidents of UPenn and MIT (which led to the resignation of Penn's Liz Magill). Intifada more appropriately translates to "shaking off" an oppressor, or an "uprising" against them.]

Gay’s initial statement and criticism of it from prior Harvard President Larry Summers was mentioned several days later on her Wikipedia page and information about her Congressional testimony added more recently. Details about her testimony were promptly removed claiming “due weight” followed by the rest of the paragraph with editor “Innisfree987” claiming the cited sources did not back the material. The latter claim was subsequently proven wrong and the material restored. At the same time, Innisfree removed further material in the article unfavorable to Gay claiming “due weight” as the reason.

The flurry of coverage about Gay’s comments eventually allowed some mention of them to remain. While expansion on the controversy over Gay’s comments about campus antisemitism concerns continued on Gay’s page, Christopher Rufo’s allegations of Gay plagiarizing sources in her dissertation and other writings began getting attention. Attempts to mention the plagiarism allegations in her article’s intro were repeatedly rejected based on the sources being unreliable. The cited sources included the Post Millennial, which was banned on Wikipedia in an ongoing purge of conservative media, including Breitbart News and Fox News. -Breitbart

The internal battle among editors continued, with one trimming the contents down to a single paragraph, so as to eliminate specific examples of Gay's alleged plagiarism, claiming "due weight" as the reason.

A fight over Harvard's page ensued as well, with one attempt to mention Gay's controversy rejected by editor Samuel Klein, who previously served on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, which governs Wikipedia. He argued that the content was 'undue,' and suggested an alternative version which essentially avoided Gay's issues.

Due weight is often an argument invoked when editors oppose content that has backing from sources deemed reliable on Wikipedia. Under the site’s “verifiability” policy, sources are deemed reliable based off community “consensus” and this has led to many conservative outlets being precluded, which means claims unfavorable to the left are often excluded. However, in cases where media deemed reliable cover the same information, editors who want to minimize it will often claim the added material gives “undue weight” to the subject. At times this can lead to completely excluding claims or simply reducing how much is mentioned.

Similar “due weight” arguments have been invoked by Innisfree and other left-wing editors before to minimize and remove material about then-New York Times editorial board member Sarah Jeong’s bigoted anti-white comments. In discussion of the matter Innisfree consistently voted in favor of material about the controversy defending her attacks on white people as responses to harassment and invoking the GamerGate anti-corruption movement in gaming, which left-wing media and editors on Wikipedia have smeared as a harassment campaign. Despite frequently arguing giving attention to Jeong’s anti-white comments would be undue, Innisfree favored and added a paragraph mentioning Jeong allegedly facing harassment in 2016 from Bernie Sanders supporters. -Breitbart

Similar justifications have been used to alter factual entries exonerating Donald Trump during the Ukraine impeachment, as well as articles critical of various Russiagate allegations. It was also used to exclude unfavorable references to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

In other words, the Ministry of Truth.

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