Wikipedia, while very handy in some instances, is often not a balanced source of information, despite the capability for users to manually update the info.
A while back, upon hearing of the launch of a new populist type party "For Britain", I decided to do some research on them and see what the score was. They were in the headlines for the wrong reasons after their party leader and founder Anne Marie Waters was spied on with a hidden camera by left-wing activists. This was for an ITV documentary where she was secretly filmed knocking about with some "Britain First" types and was recorded saying a few unguarded and controversial things, but overall I felt she did not come across as an extreme person, and if anything, many watching would have agreed with some of what she said regarding Islamic extremism and the lighting fast demographic changes happening around Europe today. The documentary wanted to portray her as some far-right extremist, but I'm not sure it worked. For a start, I think that filming people in their own homes and personal surroundings without them knowing, is a cheap shot, and would probably catch the best of us out to some degree, particularly if those doing the secret filming hated you and did all the editing. This was not only abuse of an individual based on someone else's self-perceived political superiority, but also a terrible example of big brother type journalism that really should only be for the police or secret services to deal with serious criminal investigations, not by politically bias journalists. I did not really hear her say much that proved her own political ideas were "far-right", whatever that word even means today. I am not exactly an active supporter of "For Britain", as their direction and ideas are really yet to unfold. I have a hunch that they are just a party created to divide populism in the UK and keep it from winning seats or gathering too much momentum. However, a fair hearing they should have.
Upon my research, I visited their Wikipedia page to "learn" more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Britain
The page has since been altered quite a bit but the first thing I noticed was that same old term again, "far-right", in the opening description. I was confused as to why they were described as such and I felt the need to point out to Wikipedia that the parties website does state they are pro-western democracy and liberty, although at that stage they had not yet released any official manifesto or any official ideas for us to judge properly. But it seems that the label "far-right" simply works because they oppose the growth of Sharia Law offices in London and other Islamic issues going on that many in the country are very worried about. It is a social issue, in fact, political Sharia Law its self, is usually hard right.
To see what effect it had, I edited the page description to read "a new political populist party". Moments later it was changed back to "far-right" again and I received a message saying..
"Please do not add unreferenced or poorly referenced information"
"Please stop adding unsourced content. This contravenes Wikipedia's policy on verifiability. If you continue to do so, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia".
Seeing as there was no manifesto from the party yet, obviously, there is no way to describe clearly what political spectrum they are placed, and anyone making that claim is not making it on factual information but personal bias, particularly as Waters, the parties leader, and founder, has previously worked for both Labour and UKIP and is also a lesbian. I noticed that the sources used by them were mainstream news outlets "The Times" https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ukip-loser-anne-marie-waters-will-start-far-right-party-fsgps673r
And the American journal "Politico" https://www.politico.eu/article/former-ukip-leadership-candidate-to-launch-new-far-right-party/ both published small articles before the party had even officially been launched!, with politico even deceptively misquoting Ms. Waters into using their terminology.
For the record, while the current statements on their website certainly do not look like it, perhaps this party will go on to be the most far-right party on the planet or a complete let down for the populist movement. The point is, It seems any politician who is anti-EU, anti-mass immigration, and anti-mass multiculturalism, is now described as "far-right", and woe betide anyone who mentions the words "White People", as then, without any doubt whats so ever, you are of course a Neo-Nazi.
Anyway, I then decided to edit the description to "a new party described by some media outlets as "far-right"", as I felt this was a more defined description which made their source articles become more valid. Again, it was changed back. I informed them that they were abusing an encyclopedia website relied on by millions for factual information. To my astonishment, I received this comment back..
"How this party is described by independent third parties is precisely what Wikipedia is interested in. When the party releases it's manifesto/party platform and those third parties describe it, we can then use those sources if they differ from the current ones. But we won't describe them as they want to be described"
I continued to debate the moderator, telling him that If the party had not yet been created, or that it had not yet written a manifesto, then the only description you can use to describe them is surely the parties own one, as well as some details and history of the people involved in the party. I was not asking them to describe them as the party wanted to be described, I simply wanted the page to be accurate. This moderator was simply stating that the mainstream media has the authority on how this stuff is labeled and described and that Wikipedia does not rely on detailed and factual information, but simply the whim of an editor writing a piece for his or her journal that Wikipedia favor.
I think it's clear that what we are seeing is the dated and dwindling mainstream media that most people see through and no longer trust or like, being transferred into a growing authoritarian Internet. We have seen the fantastic effects of alt-media and how this has forced a more open and exciting world of info exchange, and how elections are now much harder to manipulate and predict by the mainstream, but now we are seeing attempts to take away that freedom. They gave us the ball, now they are losing and they want their ball back. Clearly Wikipedia and other similar sites provided to us for "factual" data, are to represent an authority on history, politics, science, and knowledge in general. When you consider the direction things are moving in and that potentially one big source could control all of this power with full hardware and software ownership, then things could get extremely limited in what we hear and what we say.
Currently, it is mostly Conservative and Libertarian sources who are being purged and attacked by mainstream and social media giants, as well as of course organizations like "Hope Not Hate" who are branding everyone right of Stalin as a far-right threat, including us here at THA Talks. But for those with a passionate hate for the types of right-wing or libertarian groups I am talking about, one must remember, should others lose their human rights and freedoms due to the new authoritative paradigm we are all entering, then the reality is, so do you and your children. The fact that you may just so happen to be sitting on the comfy side of the fence, for now, should by no means be a reason to be content about it all, as once freedom has gone, eventually, the boot will end up on your throat. I feel this is something the whole of the country should be united against. Use your freedom of speech or lose it!Here is an appropriate parody, a bit of satire by a talented chap I came across called Daniel Bostock, clinging on to his fantastic youtube channel for dear life.