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Help wanted on German documentary concerning Conspiracy Theory and Wikipedia.

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posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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I'd like to draw attention to a German documentary of over an hour, presented in a very academic and pedagogic style that I watched recently.
It's core focus seems to be how Wikipedia treats "conspiracy theorists", or dismisses and falsely labels anyone that presents challenges or exposes inconsistencies in mainstream constructions of reality as somehow "mad" or "unworthy" of any debate or recognition.

The documentary itself is titled "Die Dunkle Seite der Wikipedia".
(The dark side of Wikipedia.)

It's main example is that of Danielle Ganzer.
As far as I understand, he was a Swiss doctoral student whose thesis on secret Nato armies was much celebrated and published.
However, when he started asking questions on 9/11 he was suddenly outcast from academia, and described as a "conspiracy theorist".
Not that his questions might not have other answers and explanations.
The point is, he was re-labelled and ex-communicated simply for raising them.

The documentary then goes on to describe the hierarchy of Wikipedia.
Many people tried to change the discriminatory descriptions into something more in line with Ganzer being a "social critic", or somebody asking pertinent questions.

However, Wikipedia eventually banned those people.
His main question was why the BBC reported certain facts on 9/11 before they happened.
It's proven in the documentary that this is so.

On Wikipedia, my feeling after watching the documentary is that they have gatekeepers along every level.
They don't just describe "truth", but also construct "truth".
If this happens on one topic, as is painstakingly described, it probably happens on many topics.


Sources:
"Die dunkle Seite der Wikipedia".


English entry on Danielle Ganzer:
en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 2-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 11:22 PM
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Can anybody discuss the German documentary more, or confirm and deny fascist experiences with Wikipedia?



posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 11:30 PM
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OK, every book has a bias that changes over time ... so how much should it matter?
I mean hunter-gatherers who once resisted colonialists and killed their sheep were considered "terrorists" in the 19th century.
Should we expect our books to be bias and judgement-free?
Or is it channeled for a distinct purpose?

Are the people who write those books (or nowadays edit Wikipedia) manipulating us, and they know more than we do - and it all leads to a wider agenda?

edit on 1-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 01:23 AM
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Is it an illusion of democracy?

But if democracy is an illusion, and some voices are silenced - that is Fascism!

Just be honest about it.

I mean, some systems like schools or the army are openly fascist.
But, we could see why.
They're institutions for learning, or defense that need to keep the greater collective good in mind.

Just don't tell the public something is democratic, when it's not.
That's false advertising.
edit on 2-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 01:55 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

You've posted a German-language doco on a German political activism and ATS is, generally, US-centric and almost entirely represented by an English-speaking audience. That will explain the lack of posts here.

This article translates the overall story into English.

I'm a huge fan of Wiki and even spend money on it as a valuable resource for the world. It works fantastically with stuff like early human migrations and histories of artists like Bob Marley. These are subjects that can be referenced and don't allow for a lot of political strife.

When it comes to conspiracy theorists, it's a totally different matter. In politics, calling someone a 'conspiracy theorist' is the worst insult going. You can come back from lying under oath and refusing to fight for your country, but being called a CTer is like tarring someone as delusional and dangerous. At the same time, it's a very subtle and subjective when it comes to putting them on either side of the Left/Right divide.

Daniele Ganser seems to have pointed out NATO associations with terrorist groups and offered the notion that NATO is fascist at heart and anti-democratic in aims and purposes. I'm skimming a couple of sites so forgive me if this wrong. He's argued that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the Western powers and that the commission report was fake in conclusions.

I wouldn't know because I haven't read his reasoning. To a lot of people that would place him inside the conspiracy theorist padded room. The wiki-editors would, like most people, also see Ganser as a CTer and this would colour their way of writing about him.

I have to go out and didn't want to leave your P dangling without a post. Will read more later.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 02:12 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

All very true.

Just shortly then - even if the clip may not demonstrate a hard, factual conspiracy as proven (which wouldn't make it conspiracy anymore, I guess), it does demonstrate a bias in the use of language and terminology.

In fact, it demonstrates such a hard policing of language, that one could say to suggest anything else is "career-suicide" within the mainstream parameters.

Now where does this leave intellectual freedom?
That's very concerning.

If merely proposing ideas (especially to power) is an intellectual sin, then we are reversing the Enlightenment back into the Dark Ages.


edit on 2-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 04:05 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

I have to admit disliking Wiki. It seems fine for celebrity trash information and topical stuff for kids doing projects for school, but its not and never will be a decent encyclopaedia. Too many people can put any stuff onto it and because of its huge audience its basically a political tool.

Obviously though running certain key words, if your surmise if right and I bet you do, trolls of various persuasions will work to remove what either wealthy individuals or their corporations/governments and some cultures don't want people dwelling on. Must be a bitch when a lot of people are posting information and cost a fortune to police. Obviously this could be checked by sweeping through the above group's budgets and seeing where the spending - that is dubiously accounted for - exists.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 05:54 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

The Wikipedia talk page on Ganser is relevant to this discussion, and you may want to read it or comment on it. From the wiki logo on top of the pages it seems the English Wikipedia has gone over five million articles, which actually seems low given all the people who supposedly are working on it.


edit on 2-11-2015 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: Aleister

Well, I gathered from the lengthy documentary that part of the problem is that Wikipedia presents as broadly democratic.

However, the gatekeepers of what actually appears become less and more exclusive as one moves up the hierarchy (a typical pyramid structure of power).

At least in the German language medium, this appears so acute that even the mid-level administrators are too afraid to talk openly on camera.



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: Shiloh7

Good points, I think.
The clip does say that Wikipedia needs admins because they have a problem with trolls, sock-puppets and the assortment of saboteurs all sites struggle with.

Whether that's really the same as labelling people out of the mainstream and academia for asking certain questions is another question.

What is crystal clear is that an institution like Wikipedia has a lot of power, and anyone's fate (or reputation for posterity) may be decided by its whims.
edit on 2-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

KenFM is a polemicist, I wouldn't give much on his opinion. Conspiracy-theory on Wiki? Nice try, but please don't bother when the mainstream on that site wouldn't agree with you. It's not ATS after all.

Go to a decent university and every prof with a brain will tell you pretty soon, that Wikipedia is not considered to be a decent source. It's just the mainstreams archive.

If I was up to learn more about Ganser I wouldn't read Wiki only, would you?



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: PublicOpinion

Good points, but what is a "decent" source?
I mean even before Wikipedia academics always fought.

People think of warriors - strong men and knights.
But no, the biggest violence was intellectual.
Vicious debate with the church, for example.
That was the root of the Enlightenment.

I guess the difference was that when there were still public academics, their disagreements were very public and well-known.

Coming to Wikipedia doesn't make it obvious at all.
Many of the terms and concepts are widely disputed at present.
edit on 2-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2015 @ 11:35 PM
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a reply to: halfoldman


Good points, but what is a "decent" source?

Ganzer's thesis. That should be your starting point.

Together with the basic assumption (never yet proven wrong) that all conspiracy theories are false.



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 12:34 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Thank you for providing additional resources, and thank you OP I will look in to it soon (hopefully).

-FBB



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 02:40 AM
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a reply to: FriedBabelBroccoli

Peace-out everybody.
I just saw this documentary, and since its central stream is about the label "conspiracy theorist", I knew it somehow had to go on ATS.

Out of my hands now.



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 05:18 AM
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originally posted by: halfoldman
a reply to: PublicOpinion

Good points, but what is a "decent" source?
I mean even before Wikipedia academics always fought.

People think of warriors - strong men and knights.
But no, the biggest violence was intellectual.
Vicious debate with the church, for example.
That was the root of the Enlightenment.

I guess the difference was that when there were still public academics, their disagreements were very public and well-known.

Coming to Wikipedia doesn't make it obvious at all.
Many of the terms and concepts are widely disputed at present.


Yes they are. And you'll have to find the article-forums to see how that unfolds, which is far from transparancy or an atmosphere of constructive debate if you ask me.

Wiki is Mainstream and you'll find only the consent of said debates, not the working progress. As Astynax mentioned, Ganser's work should be scrutinized first to see how much water the Wiki-article holds. It's not that bad at all.

With regards to fascism I think you're slightly over your head if you'll blaim Wiki only. Is the Mainstream fascist? That would be an interesting debate, as conspiracy theories generally have a tough stance there. This 'conspiracy-theory' lable deems inconvenient facts unworthy of discussion and said exclusion is a fascist attribute by definition.
edit on 3-11-2015 by PublicOpinion because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: PublicOpinion

All true, and the kind of painstaking discourse analysis presented in the German documentary is also worthy of deconstruction.

Have we reached a point where oppositional views that once helped historically oppressed people (also women or lgbt people) are now employed in a way that's oppositional for the sake thereof?

That is, are people sometimes reading too much into the language and text?

I mean if you're a "conspiracy theorist" maybe just say so, and do the title proud.
edit on 3-11-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

The issue you are identifying here concerning maintaining consensus and such. You are probably best off looking through resources in anthropology for the historical precedents for justifying why this is important. Germany also has a much stronger community based world view than does the US or many other nations so you have got to factor that in as well whatever current politics. Its a very messy deal digging in with any sort of "academic" rigour.

-FBB



posted on Nov, 4 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: halfoldman

Ok. I'm a "conspiracy theorist", call me Truther if ya like! Yikes!



Who on ATS isn't? Every decent journalist is, give truth a chance!
But KenFM is not what I would call decent reporter, he spins things constantly and I dislike him for that.
He makes his buck with the other side of propaganda-coins I'm fed (up) with. Screw all of that.




Have we reached a point where oppositional views that once helped historically oppressed people (also women or lgbt people) are now employed in a way that's oppositional for the sake thereof?



We already passed that point with 9/11 and the following years of Warfare with Terror.
Nowadays people rather tend to laugh at the name-calling believer, who labled you conspiracy-theorist, than about well thought-out conspirational worldviews.
Things are not in the dark anymore, we get duped with various 'trade-agreements' without any concealment at all. 'They' act desperate and the plebs is not half as dumb as expected, but that's just me being in my head.


edit on 4-11-2015 by PublicOpinion because: screw that as well



posted on Nov, 4 2015 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: halfoldman
Just don't tell the public something is democratic, when it's not.
That's false advertising.

But that's how the best propaganda works, by dressing itself up as impartial.

Whatever its faults, because it's a free, all encompassing source of information on everything, that everyone can access, Wikipedia has become the 'font of all knowledge'. Why on earth wouldn't it be targeted by special groups with the resources and desire to shape public opinion?

The CIA and FBI were caught at it in 2007 and no doubt, like others, used methods thereafter to hide their tracks.
Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'
CIA, FBI computers used for Wikipedia edits

Wikipedia uses hundreds of bots to police and fix entries, so you can bet others do too.
Meet the 'bots' that edit Wikipedia

The term 'conspiracy theory', which came to the fore after 911, has become a remarkably potent incantation for poisoning critical thought. It is as if there was a 'conspiracy theory conspiracy', by mainstream media, to brainwash people into believing there is something weak-minded, untrustworthy and disreputable about a conspiracy theory! We are not allowed to ask if the theory is sound or the conspiracy real, because all faculties of reasoning are choked by the expression. We forget the concept is fundamental to criminal law, and that we in fact live in a world where conspiracies small and large are uncovered on a daily basis. Indeed, a theory of human behaviour which precluded the propensity to conspire and to detect those who conspire against us, would be wholly inadequate.
edit on 4-11-2015 by EvilAxis because: typo




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