Wikipedia or WikiPIGia?

Political censorship of the Wikipedia entries on Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

February 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since August of the past year, there has been an orchestrated campaign of political censorship targeting the Wikipedia entries on Bob Avakian and on the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP). This political censorship has taken the form of Wikipedia editors totally gutting these entries of substantial and vital content and turning them into sources of misinformation, lies, and slander. As this article will show, this activity appears to be driven by opposition to the political and philosophical revolutionary work, program, and objectives of the RCP and an attempt to “air brush” off the pages of Wikipedia the person of Bob Avakian and an account of his body of work which spans a period of 40+ years.

This Wikipedia entry on Bob Avakian had been the established entry for over five years. This entry had given an objective, factual, and extensively documented and footnoted presentation of BA’s life, the role he plays, and his contributions to revolutionary communist theory brought forward together in a new synthesis of communism. In short, it was exactly the type of objective biographical entry needed for the online encyclopedia that Wikipedia is intended to be.

But then beginning in August 2014, at the same time that the Ferguson, Missouri, outbreaks were gaining steam and deeply impacting U.S. society, and then when the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West (“Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion”) was first announced, the Wikipedia entry on Bob Avakian was hit with a series of attempts to effectively or entirely dismantle it and turn it into a vehicle to demean and attack BA. Several Wikipedia editors began working in tag team fashion to systematically drain the entry on BA of almost all substantial and significant content, and to inject the entry with inaccuracies and slanderous statements, including those that could be used to fuel not only slander but repression. (Anyone is allowed to contribute to Wikipedia, and anyone who writes or edits Wikipedia entries is called an editor: the person doesn’t need to meet any qualifications or have any knowledge whatsoever of the subject matter of an entry.)

In an effort to cover up their motives and make it more difficult and time-consuming for other editors to reverse their malicious edits, these editors set about dismantling the entry bit by bit, engaging in serial vandalism. They made a steady succession of over 110 deletions and hostile edits to the entry over the period from August 13 to September 19 alone. As a result, the current entry is essentially devoid of any useful content and is less than one-eighth of its former length. Almost all references to BA’s works have been expunged as well as even any link to the website. Furthermore, the original references have been replaced by references to unprincipled and crude attack pieces by opportunists and easily discredited works by right-wing forces and government agents.

Around the same time as the political censorship campaign against the BA entry was escalating, at least one of the same editors and some other Wikipedia editors launched a concerted effort to do a similar thing to the Wikipedia entry on the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Their target was the newly rewritten Wikipedia entry on the RCP, USA, which had been posted on August 12, 2014. A week after this newly rewritten entry was posted, an editor removed the new entry, and without presenting any evidence, falsely claimed that it violated Wikipedia guidelines on having a neutral point of view and that it was a propaganda piece for the RCP. When the new entry was reinstated and the reasons for this posted on Wikipedia, the person who had deleted the new entry put out an urgent call to other Wikipedia editors to join in his/her attack on the entry on the RCP. This call has led to a “mob edit” and this entry being whittled away bit-by-bit by malicious edits aimed at, in essence, making the entry disappear.

What this editor gave as the reason for making this call to other Wikipedia editors exposes the actual political motives underlying all of this: This editor wrote that he/she was making this urgent call because he/she was “moved by knowledge that the RCP is a highly active organization at present, in the news for its organizing activities amidst the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, among other places.” This editor, as part of the reasons explaining his/her edit, included a link to a vicious attack piece against the RCP from the Gawker website, which was based entirely on material from a notorious white supremacist website called the Missouri Torch which had been spreading vicious lies and slander about the RCP, other political groups, and the people of Ferguson who were protesting the police murder of Michael Brown.

Along with these series of attacks on the BA and RCP Wikipedia entries, the Wikipedia entries of individuals associated with the RCP (Carl Dix, Raymond Lotta, and C. Clark Kissinger) have also been vandalized and subjected to attempts to gut or eliminate them. In fact, the entry on Raymond Lotta has been deleted entirely from Wikipedia.

This type of political censorship represents a flagrant violation of Wikipedia’s own policies and a manipulation of its protocols. Wikipedia guidelines do not allow vandalism—the intentional posting of information known to be false, libelous, or slanderous. It is not allowed for editors to deliberately edit or delete entries with the purpose of advancing or advocating their own opinions and viewpoints (political or otherwise) at the expense of the truth. Editors are frequently warned and admonished not to change or delete information just because they disagree with the views of the subjects of the entry, whatever those views may be—however, this has not been the case with the recent censorship of the entries of Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

As the situation now stands, what had been an objective biographical entry on Bob Avakian and an objective historical entry on the RCP and its political philosophy have been replaced by entries which are beneath even the “standards” of the worst of tabloid journalism. All of this also raises a very fundamental question of what the approach to truth is on Wikipedia—whether truth is objective or whether “might makes right”—and how this is reflected in its “editing rules.” For a short discussion of this, see the accompanying box: “Wikipedia, answer this: Does the consensus of the mob trump truth?”

A very fundamental question: When the biographical entry on Bob Avakian was first posted on Wikipedia (over five years ago), there were attempts to censor it, but established editors on Wikipedia authorized the entry as meeting the standards of Wikipedia—so why now this about-face in Wikipedia’s position towards the BA entry? An obvious follow-up question: Could the timing of this political censorship have anything to do with the huge social eruption around the police murders that have put a spotlight on a contradiction that goes to the very deepest core of this society: the historical and present day oppression of Black people, a contradiction which can only be resolved by either further repression and dramatic steps towards genocide against Black people or, ultimately, by revolution? Could this have anything to do with how the RCP, led by its Chair, Bob Avakian, has stood up and clearly called out and exposed both the problem and the solution—calling for a deeper and further spread of outrage and rebellion as well as actually building a movement which can lead to a revolution which will sweep away a whole system responsible for this historic injustice against Black people and all the ways this system fucks up this planet and the people on it?

In this recent period, agents of government repression, the media, as well as all and sundry counter-revolutionaries, right and “left,” have jumped out to target the RCP and the movement for revolution, and Bob Avakian and the pathbreaking new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward.*

This political censorship by Wikipedia amounts to the banning of objective, truthful entries on Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, and is part and parcel of these repressive political attacks. Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website on the entire Internet worldwide, which means that anyone turning to this online encyclopedia to learn about BA or the RCP is being fed total lies and distortions.

The basic question, Wikipedia or WikiPIGia?, is being acutely posed—right now—by this campaign of political censorship being waged against Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party. Whether this campaign is being orchestrated by counter-intelligence operatives of the government or by their functional equivalent in the form of individuals/groups bent on attacking revolutionary political leaders, or whether top Wikipedia administrators are aware of and permitting this censorship, is unknown at this point. Whatever the case, this political censorship smells of piggery and must be called out for what it is and a very broad spectrum of people must be won to step forward to oppose it and to reinstate the entries that present an accurate portrayal of Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party.


» Contact Wikipedia to protest this political censorship and demand that they immediately restore the uncensored entries on Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Email the Wikipedia Board of Trustees at Please cc a copy of your email to at

» Spread this article via social media.

» Read, share, and spread the uncensored Wikipedia articles on Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. (See box above.)



*See “The Ominous Attacks Against the RCP and Bob Avakian.” [back]


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