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Bramson Campaign Violates Wikipedia Policies to Turn Noam's Wikipedia Entry into Partisan Promotion

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Bramson Campaign Violates Wikipedia Policies to Turn Noam's Wikipedia Entry into Partisan Promotion

September 09, 2013 - 18:51

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UPDATE: Noam Bramson Wikipedia Entry Flagged for Conflict of Interest

If you believe Wikipedia, Noam Bramson has really arrived.

For the first time ever in his 18-year political career, Noam has his own entry on Wikipedia.

Sadly, like so much about Noam, it's a fraud; Bramson's entry appears to have been created by his campaign staff and done in such a way as to violate numerous Wikipedia policies designed to protect the integrity of the information on Wikipedia and is basically a campaign ad posing as a legitimate, neutral Wikipedia page.

I realize not many people know how Wikipedia works or think may be is it not reliable but the folks behind Wikipedia make a great deal of effort to enhance and protect Wikipedia.

I first met Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia about 10 years ago. I have traveled with him a few times, spoken at conferences with him, and otherwise had the opportunity to chat him from time to time.

I have been aware of his efforts with Wikipedia since 2004 when "no one" heard of it. We both attended a conference together at Harvard's Kennedy School (you will find me referenced in the final report). I was even at what may have been the first Wikimania conference. It was was at Harvard Law School, I think in 2004. I have even been engaged on some of the controversies like the Seigenthaler Controversy. I spoke a number of times on panels at the First Amendment Center (which Seigenthlaler ran) and at MTSU (Seigenthalter chair) and Newseum. Jimmy also spoke at MTSU when I was there (along with Al Gore).

Here is a debate I had with Jimmy on the PBS web site about Wikipedia neutrality.

So while I am not a "Wikipedian" I am well aware of how it works.

One of the sacred issues in Wikipedia is "NPOV" that articles must be written from a Neutral Point of View (NPOV). There are also lots of other rules.

Noam now has a Wikipedia page that violates many of those rules, in many ways.

A review of the History section of Noam's entry shows that almost every edit has been done by a user named "concretebeachRI".

You will also see that the entire page, all the info and edits came into being in July 2013.

If you look at user "concretebeachRI" you will see that this user has ONLY contributed to Wikipedia by editing Noam's page.

There are many ways in which the Noam Bramson entry in Wikipedia violates Wikipedia rules -- too many to mention here -- but the overall issue is that the Noam Bramson entry is quite clearly a campaign page masquerading as a legitimate encyclopedic entry in Wikipedia.

One of the bigger problems is a policy violation on "Autobiography" (not writing about yourself), NPOV (the article contains many non-neutral statements), Verifiability (there are a number of undocumented, unsupported statements).

So who is concretebeachRI?

I decided to track down the mysterious concretebeachRI.

Fortunately, this person is not very tech savvy and did not bother to hide their tracks too well.

I first found him on twitter:https://twitter.com/concretebeachRI

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Twitter says he is living in New Rochelle so I knew I was on the right track.

His list of "follows" strongly suggested he is associated with Iona College.

More twitter searches told me a name which I confirmed on the Iona College web site: Jay G Wegimont

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The name also gave me a Facebook page.

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No surprise that his Facebook profile says he just graduated and was a poly sci major. Looks like he graduated in May.

Back to his Twitter account for a moment.

I checked the list of those he follows: https://twitter.com/concretebeachRI/following

I found two people worth noting: Barry Caro and Noam Bramson. Caro is Noam's campaign spokesperson.

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Now who follows him? https://twitter.com/concretebeachRI/followers

Barry Caro, right at the top of the list.

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All of which will largely support the idea that Noam used a campaign worker to subvert Wikipedia by linking a campaign page pretending to be a wikipedia page to the official City of New Rochelle entry.

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