Just weeks after Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales came under criticism for being overly zealous about removing information, particularly images, that could be considered to be child pornography from the electronic encyclopedia, the site is being accused by Fox News of harboring pedophiles.
"Wikipedia has become home base for a loose worldwide network of pedophiles who are campaigning to spin the popular online encyclopedia in their favor and are trying to lure more people into their world, an investigation by FoxNews.com confirms," according to an article on Fox News.
In reading the article on the investigation, one learns that it is based on the fact that people who hang out in pedophile chat rooms have talked about writing Wikipedia articles in order to ensure that the subject was covered in a fair and balanced way.
"This means that students who use Wikipedia to research the academic subject of pedophilia will immediately find a page on the topic that is being targeted by the pedophiles," Fox News exclaimed. "Wikipedia's "Pedophilia" page also is the first "hit" when you search the term in Google or Bing."
Um, isn't that the idea? Assuming that a student would actually be researching "the academic subject of pedophilia"?
Fox News also accused pedophiles of "gaming" the Wikipedia system by voting against removing pedophiliac content -- in other words, using the Wikipedia system just like any number of other groups. (Including conservatives -- who set up their own "Conservapedia" site in response to what was perceived as a liberal bias in Wikipedia.)
Fox News had also been behind the expose' on child pornography images in Wikimedia, resulting in criticism that the news organization had crossed the line into advocacy. "We cannot be a free encyclopedia if we delete files to make Fox happy," commented one user at the time. "It's intellectual corruption."
Involved in the investigation is Xavier Von Erck, a pseudonym for the person Fox News identified as "the director of the online pedophile watchdog organization Perverted Justice Foundation and Wikisposure.com, its offshoot project devoted to tracking pedophiles and pedophile activism on Wikipedia." Von Erck, who was involved with Dateline's controversial "To Catch a Predator" feature, was also accused of posing as a woman online in order to discredit a critic.
No word yet on whether Connecticut Attorney General and Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal is going to add Wikipedia to Craigslist and Google Streetview to his list of dark sides of the new Internet era.