Wikipedia and the Power of Terminology 4

A friend just emailed me this link, in which my entry is used as an example of biases on Wikipedia:

It is certainly true that my Wikipedia entry contains terminology which is expressly used to inculcate doubt. For example I “claimed” that Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy. I should not have thought that was a dubious statement.

More significant, I think, is the curious entry that Murray “claims” he complained to the British government about the use of intelligence obtained under torture. This is a strange place to try to insinuate doubt. I have testified that I did this to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in person, and in writing to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and on pretty well every major media outlet in the World. The British government has never, once, denied that I did this. I have also provided documentary evidence like this,

This document was also submitted to, and republished by, the European Parliament, and the British Government has never denied its authenticity.

Furthermore my book, Murder in Samarkand, which details all of this, was submitted to the British government for clearance. They produced a document requesting what they distinguished as either factual or policy motivated changes. I have also published this document:

This is undoubtedly a real document as the British Government has claimed copyright over it. Other than where noted in this document (and I made most of the changes requested) there is therefore no dispute over the factual accuracy of Murder in Samarkand.

I do not however think it is necessary to believe in an institutional conspiracy at Wikipedia. The negative slanting of my entry is, I think, just the work of pro-Bush and pro-Karimov trolls.

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4 thoughts on “Wikipedia and the Power of Terminology

  • ChoamNomsky

    Redressing facts as claims is a standard media tactic. So for example, in the face of widespread reports of suffering in Iraq caused by the sanctions, the media would say something like "Saddam Hussein has claimed the sanctions are making ordinary Iraqis suffer".

    At the same time the media would ignore high profile reliable sources like Dennis Halliday who headed the UN Humanitarian mission and called the sanctions genocidal.

  • peacewisher

    Don't just moan about it Craig – change it! The whole point of wikipedia is that it is an organic entity… that eventually settles on something resembling the truth.

  • Craig


    Wikipedia is beyond my technical ability. And I rather draw the line at doctoring my own entry!

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