We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
( Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science)
I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
In Shell’s case, a vast amount of information, which fully met Wikipedia guidelines, but was deemed damaging to Shell’s reputation, has been either covertly removed, or removed in dubious circumstances by editors hiding their identity behind an alias, as they are allowed to do. Royal Dutch Shell articles on Wikipedia are, in my experience, regularly patrolled and edited by individuals sympathetic to Shell. Most of the articles have been deleted in their entirety.
According to a recent cnet.com news report, BP’s press office has been accused of a behind the scenes operation allegedly rewriting an estimated 44 percent of the oil giant’s Wikipedia page: BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia
BP is not directly editing its page, but instead has apparently inserted a BP representative into the editing community who provides Wikipedia editors with text.
The text is then copied “as is” onto the page by Wikipedia editors. Readers might assume its unbiased information when its, in fact, vetted by higher-ups at BP before hitting the page.
BP is a mere novice and a paragon of virtue compared with Royal Dutch Shell when it comes to the manipulation of Wikipedia articles, when negative information is deleted without the public being aware of such censorship by the company that is the subject of the article.
In Shell’s case, a vast amount of information which fully met Wikipedia guidelines, but was deemed damaging to Shell’s reputation, has been either covertly removed, or removed in dubious circumstances by editors hiding their identity behind an alias, as they are allowed to do.
Such practices should not be permitted in relation to articles about companies.
Articles about Royal Dutch Shell published on Wikipedia are, in my experience, regularly patrolled and edited by individuals sympathetic to Shell. Most of the articles have been deleted in their entirety.
I first warned about such activity on 12 October 2010. I published an article (extracts included herein) containing the warning: “…it is only a matter of time before the culture of subterfuge and deception at Wikipedia results in a scandal.”
This is the complete paragraph:
Commonsense suggests that anyone who wishes to edit a Wikipedia article in which monetary considerations are involved should be compelled to disclose their identity and background so that the information can be exposed to public scrutiny. Otherwise it is only a matter of time before the culture of subterfuge and deception at Wikipedia results in a scandal.
My prediction soon came to pass.
The following is an extract from a December 2011 article headlined: “PR Firm Rewrites Clients’ Wikipedia Entries“
So much for reliable Wikipedia content. A high-powered British PR firm routinely rewrites Wikipedia content relating to its clients, reports the Independent. Bell Pottinger made hundreds of changes in Wiki entries over the last year, either adding positive comments or deleting negative ones about clients. At least ten contributing writer accounts linked to the firm have been suspended by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who blasted the firm’s “ethical blindness,” reports the Financial Times. Undercover reporters for the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism posing as clients were told by representatives of the PR firms that “sorting” Wikipedia entries is part of the service the company offers, notes the newspaper.
Removal of negative information means that the public, including current and potential shareholders, are presented with incomplete, censored information, providing a distorted picture of a featured company.
This is a quote from what he said:
As the founder of MyWikiBiz, I am someone who has, and continues to, manipulate information in Wikipedia on behalf of paying clients. Call it dirty work, but for the most part, I think the way the Wikimedia Foundation is scamming the public about how it is (not) governing the worlds knowledge is a far worse state of affairs.
I have also noted a more recent related article published in September 2012 under the headline: Corruption in Wikiland? Paid PR scandal erupts at Wikipedia
It is obvious from moves made by Shell that the oil giant attaches great value to its online reputation, which is badly tarnished due to a succession of scandals.
Shell appointed a specialist agency to carry out a makeover of Shell’s online reputation.
Shell was obsessed by my editing of Wikipedia articles relating to the company and wanted to edit the articles itself, but was concerned about being caught.
Shell employees were caught doing so from Shell premises.
Shell secretly censored postings made on its own Internet forum – “Tell Shell” – set up on the basis of inviting “open and transparent dialogue”.
Shell has attempted to seize our domain name and close this website down.
My comments are based on my own experience over several years of originating and editing Wikipedia articles.
Wikipedia articles are supposedly written by open and transparent consensus. In reality, Wikipedia is built on a platform of secrecy and concealment, which leaves articles wide open to censorship and manipulation by anonymous parties, with commercially driven motives.
Unpaid volunteers who act as Wikipedia administrators and editors are supposedly the bedrock on which Wikipedia has been built. It is a mostly-secretive community in which the vast majority of volunteers edit using aliases and are free to edit any articles, without anyone having a clue about who they are and what their background is. Thus it is impossible to determine if they have a potential conflict of interest.
This cloaked army has power and influence, but no realistic accountability. If banned from editing they can return under a new alias using a new IP address, with no bad odor attached. In other words, a completely fresh start. I was banned for making strong representations about the dark side of Wikipedia on this website and internally on Wikipedia.
The strange Wikipedian culture has some similarity to the Ku Klux Klan (fortunately without the racist element) but is actually more secretive. The privacy of those choosing to keep secret all information about who they are is maintained within the Wikipedia community, which is even developing its own unique language, partly in response to skulduggery by some editors.
In April 2008, I published a discussion from our Live Chat facility revealing that WikiScanner had detected that Wikipedia articles relating to Royal Dutch Shell had been anonymously edited from Shell premises. According to a posted comment “Information critical of Shell was systematically removed”.
As to Shell’s obsession with my past editing of Wikipedia, here is the proof in authentic Shell internal documents. Some information has been redacted for legal reasons.
LINKS TO SHELL INTERNAL EMAILS & DOCS IN WHICH ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WIKIPEDIA ARTICLES ARE MENTIONED IN RELATION TO JOHN DONOVAN
1 March 2007
2 March 2007 16:13 & 18.56 Plus 3 March 18:01
2 March 2007 16:51
19 March 2007 18.43 20 March 2007 8:10
23 March 2007
6 June 2007 12:51
SUNDAY 29 July 2007 11:31 & 30 July 2007 8:19 AM
30 July 2007 22:38 & 7 August 2007 14.24
31 August 2007 16:17
12 October 2007 15:21 & 15:58
16 October 2007
26 December 2007
19 February 2008 4 Pages
4 April 2008
9 March 2009
8 April 2009
8 July 2009
18 December 2009 11.34:
18 December 2009 12.07
Shell Focal Point document Donovan Campaign Against Shel
By John Donovan
Clickety click can be very disruptive!
Teachers in the UK are complaining about the uprise in such behaviour because they cannot concentrate on pressing their own buttons whilst attempting to give lessons in clicking buttons.
One secondary school headmistress, Penelope-Primrose Hyacinth, told a certain tabloid newspaper that comes up in the morning (if you’re lucky) and sinks very deep in the evening, how it is in modern classrooms these days:
“The silence in only interrupted by the irritating sound of communial clicking including the teachers. The only thing that disturbs the clicking sound is the bell ringing for a break, which everybody strangely hears. Then there is a sudden rush outside for a puff on a fag, joint or swallowing pills, but annoyingly the clicking even continues during such activites.”
Also on the uprise, are parents who are concerned about the disruptive behaviour of their little darlings. Instead of booking themselves in for rehab to kick the habit, they are booking places for their offspring so at least they can spend some quality time together doing something they both enjoy!
More as we click it…
‘During a period of immense financial market upheaval and Government bailouts of banks and financial insurance companies, Friedman was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Board (which implements the Federal Reserve’s Wall Street policies) while simultaneously serving Goldman Sachs (a company impacted by the quasi Governmental policies of the Federal Reserve) as a Board Director. The AIG bailout, an historically large controversial bailout, directly benefitted Goldman Sachs who had one of the largest counterparty claims against AIG. On May 7, 2009 Friedman resigned as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in response to criticism of his December 2008 purchase of $3 million of stock in Goldman Sachs. Friedman, who remains a member of Goldman Sachs’ board, came into violation of Federal Reserve policy when Goldman was converted to a bank holding company in September 2008, thereby placing it under the regulatory authority of the New York Fed. Friedman requested a waiver from this violation when the conversion occurred, which was granted roughly two and a half months later. In his resignation letter, Friedman stated that the Fed did not need the “distraction” caused by his “public service motivated continuation on the Reserve Bank Board…being characterized as improper.”‘ (Wikipedia)
So we should not be surprised that Friedman is presently making exceptionally high compensation as a director of Goldman Sachs (and that is not the only board on which he presently serves):
The Potemkin (Russian: Князь Потёмкин Таврический, Kniaz Potemkine Tavritchesky, ‘Prince Potemkin of Tauris’) was a pre-dreadnought battleship (Bronenosets) of the Imperial Russian Navy‘s Black Sea Fleet. The ship was made famous by the Battleship Potemkin uprising, a rebellion of the crew against their oppressive officers in June 1905 (during the Russian Revolution of 1905). It later came to be viewed as an initial step towards the Russian Revolution of 1917, and was the basis of Sergei Eisenstein‘s silent film The Battleship Potemkin (1925).
Following the mutiny in 1905, the ship’s name was changed to Panteleimon after Saint Pantaleon, but restored to Potemkin in 1917, before a final rename to Boyetz za Svobodu (Fighter for Freedom) later in that year.