Larry Sanger Speaks Out: The Wikipedia co-founder discusses Katherine Maher and the corruption of the Internet. 

Christopher Rufo:

Larry Sanger: I’ve been following your tweets. You’ve kind of shocked me. The bias of Wikipedia, the fact that certain points of view have been systematically silenced, is nothing new. I’ve written about it myself. But I did not know just how radical-sounding Katherine Maher is. For the ex-CEO of Wikipedia to say that it was somehow a mistake for Wikipedia to be “free and open,” that it led to bad consequences—my jaw is on the floor. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that she thinks it, but I am surprised that she would say it.

Rufo: In another clip, she says explicitly that she worked with governments to suppress “misinformation” on Wikipedia.

Sanger: Yes, but how did she do that in the Wikipedia system? Because I don’t understand it myself. We know that there is a lot of backchannel communication and I think it has to be the case that the Wikimedia Foundation now, probably governments, probably the CIA, have accounts that they control, in which they actually exert their influence.

And it’s fantastic, in a bad way, that she actually comes out against the system for being “free and open.” When she says that she’s worked with government to shut down what they consider “misinformation,” that, in itself, means that it’s no longer free and open.

But the thing is—I’m using the words carefully here—the Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t have an authority in the Wikipedia system: the website, its talk pages, the various bureaucratic structures. It just doesn’t have the authority to shut things down. So, if Big Pharma or their government representatives want to shut down a description of their research of a Covid-critical biochemist, I want to know how that happens. And I think the other people who are at work on Wikipedia, we want to know how that happens.

Rufo: I’ve talked with some reporters who cover “misinformation” and they have noted that Katherine Maher has ties to multiple NGOs that are deeply connected to U.S. intelligence services. Do you have any suspicion that she has been working with American intelligence to shape Wikipedia entries from a distance?

Sanger: I have suspicions. We do know that Virgil Griffith did research on how different agencies and corporations use Wikipedia to manage their reputation. He found that Langley, Virginia, had a whole lot of edits back in 2007. Why would they have stopped that?

I will say this: it’s outrageous, frankly, that a purportedly “free and open” resource, built by the public, built to represent a neutral representation of the views on every subject has not just been taken over by the Left, but has been co-opted by and working with the government—that’s not a thing I would’ve imagined happening 20 years ago.