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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Duke Case — Airbrushing Wikipedia's History of the Rape Hoax

There has been some strange goings-on at Wikipedia regarding the Duke lacrosse case. There has been infighting and some curious editorial decisions made about the official Wikipedia history of the Duke lacrosse case.

First, note that the WikiScanner currently shows that 202 of the 1025 edits for the page '2006 Duke University Lacrosse Case' came from Duke University. So Duke people are editing the entry about the Duke scandal, which might present a conflict of interest.

Next, note some of the editorial decisions at Wikipedia regarding the Duke story:

  • The separate Crystal Gail Mangum biography page was deleted. The reason given by a senior Wikipedia editor: “delete for salting against mission posters.” Go figure that one out. Her bio was republished on WikiTruth.info. And by the way, Michael Nifong has a Wikipedia page. But no mugshot?

  • Mangum's March 16, 2006, police photo has also been removed. That photo was key evidence in proving her allegations were false. Tawana Brawley's photo graces her hoax Wikipedia page. This and other strange editorial decisions led one Wikipedian to post: "Why Has This Entire Fiasco Been Neutered?" He then writes, "It's because one of Wikipedia's most scummy contributors, "Cbertlet", spends a good deal of his time covering up the truth of left-wing/feminist/Marxist political correctness. He throws weight around here like an arrogant Nazi gauleiter, and threatens anyone who opposes him with a barrage of smears from the SPLC, of which he is a tool. It is as simple as that."

  • References to the Duke "Group of 88" have been trimmed to one small reference in the main article, which currently reads:
    Other Duke faculty members (self-identified as the Group of 88) have also been targeted for their comments on the case's ongoing impact on race and gender relations on the campus and in the city.
  • There is no mention of the Group of 88's "Listening Statement" advertisement in the main article. The Group of 88 and their "Social disaster" advertisement are discussed in the separate "Responses to 2006 Duke University lacrosse case" article, which is not that easy to find.

  • Duke President, Richard Brodhead, is only mentioned a total of three times in the main article, as follows:

    1. "On April 5, 2006, Duke's lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign and Duke President Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season."

    2. "On the same day[April 5, 2006], Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, suspended the remainder of the lacrosse season."

    3. "On September 29, 2007, Duke President Brodhead, speaking at a two-day conference at Duke Law School on the practice and ethics of trying cases in the media, apologized for "causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support."

  • The media's rush to judgement and all of Nifong's media enablers (Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, Bob Ashley/Herald-Sun, and Duff Wilson/NY Times , etc. ) are not mentioned in the main article. Some are mentioned in the response page.
One word comes to mind after looking over the editorial decisions made at Wikipedia: airbrush.

The truth about the Duke rape hoax is being airbrushed out.

All this airbrushing is just another very good reason to buy the KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor book, Until Proven Innoncent, if you want the true story. The Johnsville News is an Amazon affiliate.

update:
Now that KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor have written the definitive book about the case, maybe Wikipedia might even use it for a source. It is currently not cited as a reference.

source:
Wikipedia discussion about the case and editorial decisions:
Talk:2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal/Archive 3 [Oct 2006-June 2007]
Talk:2006 Duke University lacrosse case [June 2007-Present]
Talk:2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal/Archive 1 - April 2006
Talk:2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal/Archive 2 [May-Oct 2006]

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