Try to imagine the condemnation that would befall me and WND if this website ever referred to anyone as a “Zionist twit and Jew-loving pig.”
The reaction would be instant and relentless in the media. There would likely be defamation lawsuits filed, hate-crime laws invoked, specials on MSNBC and, very likely, it would spell the end of WND.
Yet, a website much bigger than WND just characterized me with those exact defamatory and anti-Semitic words – and it’s just the latest of a long pattern of libelous characterizations of me and my work over the last five years.
The website, of course, is Wikipedia – viewed by nearly 700 million people regularly, according to its own hype.
In December of 2008, Wikipedia introduced me like this: “Joseph Francis Farah is an Evangelical Christian American journalist and noted homosexual of Lebanese and Syrian heritage.”
I received no apology – private or public – for either of these patently defamatory statements presumably viewed by millions.
Previously, the volunteer “editors” at Wikipedia claimed publicly I had an affair with a prominent female syndicated columnist. Then they characterize me as a “noted homosexual.” Neither one of these accusations has any basis in truth, of course. But truth and accuracy have never been the standard at Wikipedia – at least when it comes to WorldNetDaily.
Beyond the purely libelous and legally defamatory claims of Wikipedia, the entries about WorldNetDaily and me still contain voluminous untruths and are composed in extremely biased ways to cast the most negative light on the leading independent newssite and my personal work.
But that, of course, is well within Wikipedia’s First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, Wikipedia has now demonstrated a long pattern of defamatory attacks on me and my work. We are very close, I believe, to being able to make a strong libel case against this phony “free encyclopedia” viewed by hundreds of millions of people.
I’m sure no one reading this column can feel quite as outraged as me over what happens at Wikipedia.
Anonymously Wikipedia participants can make the most reckless statements without regard to the truth about me or anyone else with impunity. The only consequences are that the falsehood might be removed.
Wikipedia pleads it is “libel-proof” because of the nature of the bulletin board – anyone can post anything on the site.
That’s fine. I think there’s a place for sites that are permit that kind of free and open expression. But please don’t call it an “encyclopedia.”
An encyclopedia, by definition, is not a bulletin board. An encyclopedia is a book, or set of books, containing documentable facts and general knowledge – not defamatory hearsay, malicious gossip and verifiable untruths.
I am fighting the First Amendment battle on several fronts already – challenging the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ lawsuit designed to censor the ground-breaking book, “Muslim Mafia,” battling the United Nations over its ban of WND from the Copenhagen climate summit, and now this.
But I am not a quitter.
I’m not going to just sit back and watch as malicious cowards hurl defamatory invectives at me and others and hide their identity through the auspices of Wikipedia.
Those days are over.
I believe the day of reckoning has come for the ideologically driven, hatefully anti-Semitic and hopelessly reckless twits at Wikipedia.
I wish I had the resources to fight all these battles alone.
Unfortunately, I do not.
WND visitors have been gracious in partially subsidizing our legal fights – both on offense and defense.
Who knows? Maybe someday WND will own Wikipedia as a result of what I anticipate being a monumental and historic defamation case.