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Why did Wikipedia purge The People’s Cube?

Digital despots of Wikipedia guard pages and routinely censor opposing viewpoints

Tina Trent author image / /   45 Comments

Wikipedia, the open-source online encyclopedia of everything, has deemed The People’s Cube website by political satirist Oleg Atbashian too non-notable to be counted as a part of “everything” anymore.

Last week, they purged the Cube’s Wikipedia entry.

How does Wikipedia make such judgment calls? Not by using amateur stuff like algorithms. Or, math.

Instead, they allow gangs of politically motivated computer geeks to descend on a wiki page they are targeting for destruction and harass the other contributors until everyone sane leaves the room. Then they vandalize the text into incoherence; claim they have subjected it to a rigorous process of collaborative editing, and recommend that it be purged.

Such behavior is the computer-programming version of anarchist stunts with names like “participism,” “sociocracy,” or “consensus-based decision-making.” In other words, it’s like when the lunatics of Occupy Wall Street took a break from defecating on police cruisers and crouched on street corners “twinkling” their fingers up and down until a critical mass twinkled in unison that they wanted to order pizza, or purge all the white men, or ask Katie Couric if they could use the “Today Show” bathrooms again.

It’s probably more or less the same people, too.

Wouldn’t it be far more ethical for the mandarins of Wikipedia to acknowledge that they removed The People’s Cube entry because they don’t like Atbashian’s brand of politics? Of course, doing so would force them to acknowledge that they censor content politically, which wouldn’t sit well with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ carefully curated public image as the rare Internet mogul who defends Internet freedom even when it puts him at odds with Communist Chinese officials.

Thus the tap dance of “collaborative editing” and the pseudo-scientific finding of insufficient “notability.”

What, one might ask, is the basis for Wikipedia’s measurement of “notability”? For a political comedy website like The People’s Cube (website link), audience share seems an obvious choice. And here, the Wikipedia folks have no argument. According to, The People’s Cube is the 28,724th most visited website. That certainly makes The People’s Cube seem a tad obscure – until one looks at other political comedy websites that are not considered too obscure to have their own Wikipedia pages.

The (terribly unfunny) left-wing political comedy website Daily Howler is ranked the 287,343rd most popular website, yet it has a Wikipedia page.

Free Wood Post, ranked as the 146,176th most popular website, not only has a Wikipedia page but is also included on Wikipedia’s List of Satirical New Websites.

I could go on, but left-wing political humor is pretty thin on the web.  Perhaps that’s why Wikipedia unleashed its editorial mob to break some knee-caps over at The People’s Cube.

The Author

Tina Trent

Tina Trent writes about crime and policing, political radicals, social service programs, and academia. She has published several reports for America’s Survival and helped the late Larry Grathwohl release a…