Diary

Cleaning Up Obama

President Obama vowed to clean up American politics; he said “enough to the politics of the past.”

But this story from World Net Daily points out that this “cleaning up” is being taken too far by some people out there on the Web.

Apparently, Wikipedia editors have been cleaning up President Obama’s Wikipedia page. In fact, the page is currently protected from editing “until disputes have been resolved.” Several issues–which all received substantial media attention during the primary and general election races–are not covered in the Wikipedia page. In fact, posting comments relating to these stories have resulted in users being banned and the content being scrubbed. Here are two sections from the World Net Daily article:

The entire Wikipedia entry on Obama seems to be heavily promotional toward the U.S. president. It contains nearly no criticism or controversy, including appropriate mention of important issues where relevant.

For example, the current paragraph on Obama’s religion contains no mention of Wright,, even though Obama’s association with the controversial pastor was one of the most talked about issues during the presidential campaign.

Ayers is also not mentioned, even where relevant.

WND monitored as a Wikipedia user attempted to add Ayers’ name to an appropriate paragraph. One of those additions, backed up with news articles, read as follows:

“He served alongside former Weathermen leader William Ayers from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation. Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1991. Ayers was the founder and director of the Challenge.”

Within two minutes that Wikipedia entry was deleted and the user banned from posting on the website for three days, purportedly for adding “Point of View junk edits,” even though the addition was well-established fact.

What? POV junk edits? Good golly. It’s a matter of public record that Ayers and Obama served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago. In fact, the Obama wiki page links to the Woods Fund of Chicago, and both Obama and Ayers are listed (although about a dozen lines apart, although their times of service overlapped).

Compare this “clean” Obama wiki with the article for President George W. Bush, which lists his record of alcohol abuse and includes a note about the current recession immediately following challenges in his administration.

I’m not sure this is the kind of cleaning up of Washington that President Obama had in mind. Wikipedia users who add relevant and news-covered information to his article should not be banned, nor have their content immediately removed by the Obama “Clean Police” on the site. Hopefully this Wikipedia review recognizes the right to include relevant information and keeps the “critical” information on his entry. He may have been hailed as a messiah, but Wikipedia doesn’t need up his entry in an attempt to substantiate that.

Crossposted to The Erb Report – Politics.