Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Pernicious Model for Control of the World Wide Web: The Cuba Case

Larry Daley, 
“A Pernicious Model 
for Control of the World Wide Web: 
The Cuba Case" ASCE August 2006 Miami (Draft)

Introduction

Distortion of history to aid control by a central government is a thousands of years old technique. Since at least the times of the Pharaohs, rulers such as Ramses II (e.g. Barbotin and Leblanc, 1999) have successfully altered the historical record. Relating to more recent times, George Orwell writes:

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'" George Orwell, 1984
Blair, Eric-(George Orwell), 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3 (taken on
7-9-06) from http://classiclit.about.com/od/nineteeneightyfour/a/aa_1984quotes.htm)

Many view the internet as a source of unfettered information and thus freedom; to a great extent this is true. However, as most technology the internet is neutral with regard to its use. One observes, not only are there sources that promote freedom on the internet, but there are also influences that promote totalitarian views.

It is proper that ideas duel in electronic spaces. In theory as in formal duels, conditions on the web allow balance; this way the resulting freedom of expression of opinions should allow factual data to emerge. In reality there are interests of some weight which promote national or even international based censorship. Most of us are familiar with the mainland China circumstance, and its, in my view dubious, relationships with such internet giants as Yahoo.com and Google.com (e.g. Anonymous 2006; see also Wikipedia:Advice to Tor users in China, 2006). Other less well known interests exist throughout the world and even the UN wishes to exert control over electronic space in a process which by necessity involves placing dictatorial regimes in positions influence (e.g. DiPippo, 2005).

However what is less obvious, are attempts to control the internet in countries we view as “democratic,” where mechanisms are emerging to control expression of opinion and coerce diversity.

My interest (Daley publications), arose after attempting to correct what I initially perceived as uninformed errors of fact about Cuba in text publications and on the internet, most especially in Wikipedia. After much effort it began to become apparent that factual and referenced data that I inserted was being removed or altered with some less than scholarly purpose in mind (“El Jigüe” 2005; “Splash,” 2005). In Wikipedia ignorance seemed to be a factor of some weight for instance some anonymous editors (often of “UTC” rank) even removed references because they were in Spanish (“Mensch,” 2006). Thus, it became very clear that ideologues were seeking or had gained control of these topics in Wikipedia.

This circumstance strongly indicated that supporters of Castro do not limit input to promoting their ideas in Wikipedia; but they using all means at their disposal to engage in extremely aggressive repression of the ideas that differ from their own. Thus they extend the political controls on the island into international cyberspace. Unfortunately these methods of political control may well provide a model for the control of the internet even in democratic countries.

The above seemed an interesting phenomena and applying scientific analyses seemed to offer promise of useful results. In order to study this matter in scholarly focus, selected aspects of Cuban History, were examined in Wikipedia.

Materials and methods

Venue, according the Ahrens (2006) “… Wikipedia is an open-format Internet encyclopedia available to just about anyone who wants to write and edit an article. It was launched in English in January 2001 and now has millions of articles in several languages. …Unlike, say, the Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia has no formal peer review for its articles. They may be written by experts or insane crazy people. Or worse, insane crazy people with an agenda and Internet access. However, use of Wikipedia continues to expand enormously (e.g. Rubel, 2005).

The basic premise of Wikipedia is that many anonymous amateurs can replace a few specialists in the field to reach statistically approximated truth. Wikipedia has gathered the support of both Yahoo.com and Google.com, which provide this organization with advertising, funding and “bandwidth” (e.g. Green, 2006).

This premise is weak and subject to challenge, since:

· It neglects mature scholarship.

· It is vulnerable to group activity and political manipulation

For these and other reasons, existing “expert” knowledge is not only challenged but often overwhelmed by controlling activities of political action groups. In some instances ridicule is only avoided by the countervailing contributions of a few devoted but anonymous experts.

Wikipedia supporters (BBC staff, 2005) promote a reputation for accuracy based upon flawed studies (Giles, 2005). These supporters set aside rebuttals which characterizes these studies as contrived (Encyclopædia Britannica staff, 2006). Over time, Wikipedia continues to garner a reputation for malicious inaccuracy (e.g. Seelye, 2005). These criticisms are increasing in severity (e.g. Ahrens, 2006). However, even unfavorable mention in the press (e.g. Bachelet, 2006) is touted as favorable in Wikipedia (e.g. Snow and Snow 2006).

One notes in passing Wikipedia is, by far, not the only source of misinformation on the Cuban circumstance. Many in academia (e.g. Kapur and Smith, 2002) some even in the US government (e.g. Robson, 1996) place distorted ideas on to “the web.”

Scientific approach A scholarly study was undertaken using verifiable and referenced data probes of various kinds (see Table 1 for examples). A “semi-transparent” Wikipedia persona “El Jigüe” (User IP 205.240.227.15, for definition of Jigüe, and origins of the word see Daley, 2006) slowly developed and eventually was used to place test material on Wikipedia sites. Responses to these probes on the main pages, and interchanges on the discussion pages rolled in rapidly. Soon it became clear through these deletions and additions submitted by others, that there was more involved than mere ignorance of Cuban matters, scholarly rivalry or the usual academic style infighting. There were clear indications that there also were significant proportions of less excusable insertions and deletions. The objectives of these particular insertions and deletions, as expressed in the Results and Discussion section, were apparently guided ideologically by supporters of the Castro government (e.g. “Colle” 2006).

Pro-Castro ideologues eliminated factual data through a number of very irregular means. These ideologues enforced permanence of these changes through coercive practices. These practices were supported by spurious accusations of various sorts, usually “vandalism,” repeated corrections, lack of neutral point of view (NPOV in “Wikipedian,” e.g. “Lbmixpro” 2005); and summary Wikipedia style “trials” were held (Table 1). “El Jigüe’s” access was blocked repeatedly. During this time a number of other Wikipedia personas were also banned for persistently presenting material unfavorable to Castro government (e.g. “KDRGibby” 2006)

Even though he answered at length and in scholarly detail, “El Jigüe” was summarily blocked for increasingly longer periods and much of the material “El Jigüe” had inserted was removed (e.g. “Jay” 2006). It was clear that these were totalitarian style “trials” where, as in present day Cuba, the accusations of these “prosecutors” were considered factual evidence and not subject to rebuttal.

Table 1. Excerpts from Wikipedia trial of “El Jigüe.” Some Wikipedia notation and website URL are retained. Text references are included in References cited section. Addresses in [square brackets] are from Wikipedia or other web sites. Statements are in italics. Some material has been edited for brevity and order of rebuttal of charges section reversed to chronological order.

Accusation “==Statement of the dispute==''This is a summary written by users who dispute this user's conduct. “:Anon user is a self described Cuban counter revolutionary, who edits from an anti-Castro point of view. Claims his edits are "''merely a penance for my youthful support of Castro in the mountains''." [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk%3A205.240.227.15&diff=39125226&oldid=39119325] The user has made some valuable edits, but has shown no interest in ending his anti-castro campaign, or following NPOV policy --In fact, he takes offense from being asked to stop.

Charges: “:Evidence goes back ONLY to mid-January, these type of edits have gone since 15 September” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=205.240.227.15&offset=20050919195304&limit=50]. Repeated insertion of anti-Castro propaganda : Many statements are compleate (sic) fabrications, others are insertion of pov statement/commentary, and yet others are accusations from Cuban dissident websites.”…:Evidence goes back ONLY to mid-January, these type of edits have gone since 15 September “ [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=205.240.227.15&offset=20050919195304&limit=50].

“Evidence” of disputed behavior

#1. Blanking' [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=prev&oldid=37551874] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=prev&oldid=38826560]

#2: Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications'''. [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=39356019&oldid=39347161] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=39223375&oldid=39207375] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Che_Guevara&diff=37386520&oldid=37385511] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=39111664&oldid=39009785] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38933548&oldid=38915389] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37293596&oldid=37288500] [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37324104&oldid=37308969]

#3. Hostile editing'' ([http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fidel_Castro&diff=prev&oldid=39283339]* [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fidel_Castro&diff=prev&oldid=39288524]*) ([http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37477500&oldid=37476408], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37477500&oldid=37476408]) ([http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37396784&oldid=37395628], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37551874&oldid=37519129], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38826480&oldid=38809034], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38826560&oldid=38826511], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38828621&oldid=38826649], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=39422662&oldid=39418559]*)'''

#4. '''Misrepresenting source''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=39155441&oldid=39154180]

#5 '''Vandalism''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38933548&oldid=38915389], [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37396942&oldid=37396784] :::'''*'''''Has occured since the creation of this RFC.'':::''Many of these examples (“of vandalism”) are re-insertions of material previously removed.''

“Witness testimony”(sign with ~~~~:#[[User:Master Jay ([[User talk:Master Jay|Reply]])'' 23:36, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

El Jigüe’s response and attempted rebuttal of chargesI suggest each interested person read each item in detail and evaluate it independently. As to "Lying about content of source" I suggest you read the citation completely. El Jigüe 2-11-06

Charge 1 # is most puzzling I merely describe my background which should contribute, not detract, from the discussion. Here I am accused of holding a number of political opinions against Castro. This charge reads: "Anon user is a self described Cuban counter revolutionary, who edits from an anti-Castro point of view. Claims his edits are "merely a penance for my youthful support of Castro in the mountains. [1] The user has made some valuable edits, but has shown no interest in ending his anti-castro campaign, or following NPOV policy --In fact, he takes offense from being asked to stop." It is noted that my accuser aggressively promotes Castro and his "works" commonly without citation.

Charge 2 #"Evidence goes back ONLY to mid-January, these type of edits have gone since 15 September [2]. Repeated insertion of anti-Castro propaganda" * Many statements are compleate (sic) fabrications, others are insertion of pov statement/commentary, and yet others are accusations from Cuban dissident websites."Apparently the accuser believes that Cuba "dissidents" do not offer insight and only pro-Castro authors offer valuable information. " Apparently my accuser neglects to visit the web sites used which commonly also include Cuban government web sites.

Charges 3 and 4 "# Section blanking." are merely interrupted editing of a section I introduced. Why I would want to deleted a section that I introduced and wrote, and then promptly rewrote is not explained by accuser.

Charge 5 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." is merely the addition of link to a section of another contributor who describes of censorship in Cuba

Charge 6 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." relates to a modification of a tabulation of battle causalities (Daley was witness to events at 1958 Guisa see “Narrations of War in Cuba”) was which reads: "At Guisa the still fighting Batista army lost perhaps 200 men, while in the armored train (shades of [[Trotsky]]) that Guevara attacked the demoralized Batista army only offered token resistance. Later wars when Castro changed to regular USSR style military tactics caused his forces to have far higher losses. During the [[Bay of Pigs Invasion]] Castro's losses were very high, Triay (2001 p. 110) mentions 4,000 casualities; Lynch (p. 148 50X or about 5,000) (as statistics only comparible to Soviet loss ratios at the beginning of WWII). Other sources indicate over 2,200 casualties [http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/4/29/34913.shtml]. In one air attack alone Castro forces suffered 1800 casualities caught on an open causeway in civilian buses and hit by napalm (and thus mostly horribly dead) [http://www.serendipity.li/cia/bay-of-pigs.htm][http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1984/EJR.htm] [http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/articles/bayofpigs.htm]. Thus over 2,000 militia died defending Castro at the [[Bay of Pigs]]; and perhaps ten fold that again Cubans were lost in the War in [[Angola]]. These statistics are comparable to Soviet loss ratios at the beginning of WWII, and reflect the Eastern Block training these militia were receiving. Despite the fact that he was not involved in the fighting at the Bay of Pigs, the victorious government declared Guevara "a Cuban citizen by birth"; he divorced his [[Peru|Peruvian]] wife, Hilda Gadea, and married a member of the 26th of July movement, Aleida March.{{ref_label|Children|›|none}}"

Charge 7 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." refers to insertion of mention of a European art exhibit of propaganda art and states: ". Cuban propaganda print art is of the highest quality [http://www.iias.nl/iiasn/iiasn8/eastasia/chairman.html]."

Charge 8 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." refers to a tactful restatement of a previous contributors comments on repression in Cuba and reads: "In Cuba political police are generally referred to as [[La Seguridad del Estado]]. One could readily infer that all reference to this agency is so discomforting to some Cuban government supporters that it is being systematically erased here."

Charge 9 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." is the mention of the apparent defection (checked from two reliable sources) of the son of Vladimir Roca. This insertion reads: "Supporters of the Cuban government will compare the human rights record to the authoritarian rule under the previous US backed regime of Fulgencio Batista, and they argue that the overall current situation would of been far better if it not for U.S. sanctions. They also argue that the electoral system in Cuba today is more democratic than the in most western nations, where the corporate elite hold much political clout. However, these arguments have become even less convincing since the son of Ramiro Valdez, a former high Cuban State Security official now works for US funded Radio Marti."

Charge 10 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." is the mention former Soviet and present Chinese bases in Cuba " The USSR long after the [[Missile Crisis]] had bases in Cuba (e.g. at Bejucal and Bahia Honda), and the Chinese government still maintains a large [[electronic surveilance]] presence especially at a base in Havana Province."

Charge 11 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." is an earlier version of charge 12

Charge 12 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." relates to the mention of Vladimir Roca and reads: "comments on the present legalities follow. However, Cuba is ruled by a one party authoritarian system, which will ignore these very controlling rules if they believe the survival of Communist state is threatened. The most famous recent instance is the Vladimiro Roca et al petition [http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2004eng/Cuba.12127eng.htm], where even Vladimiro's status as son of a founder of the Cuban Communist, was not enough to fully protect him."

Charge 13 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." appears to be reinsertion of: "==Present State of Cuban Literature== Despite continual state repression, literature is very much alive in Cuba [http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/Recent%20News%202.htm#Secret%20prison%20libraries%20] Cuban authors continue to produce prolific printed and electronic work inside and especially outside of the island."

Charge 14 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." This charge is puzzling since the contested editing by the accused varies considerably such as changes in the definition of Guajiro. However the heart of the matter seems to be a reinsertion into "===Present State of Cuban Literature===" to read: "Despite continual state repression [http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y06/jan06/31a4.htm], literature is very much alive in Cuba [http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/Recent%20News%202.htm#Secret%20prison%20libraries%20] These repressive actions of the Cuban government have drawn much international condemnation e.g [[Ray Bradbury]] [[Fahrenheit 451]] author [http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45050]."

Charge 15 ""# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." " This was a reinsertion of a previously bowdlerized section and the reinsertion reads: " ===Present State of Cuban Literature=== +Cuban authors continue to produce large amounts of government supported printed and electronic work inside the Island. Cuba also has a large number of booths at bookfairs in Latin America. A good number of U.S university presses continually present scholarly volumes on various Cuban topics. Authors both pro- and against the present Cuban government present their views in the US. Amazon.com (directed by Jeff Bezos who was raised by a Cuban family) currently lists 6,026 titles dealing with Cuba; Barnesandnoble.com lists 3,126. Borders book stores carry 1,991 titles on Cuba in stock."

Charge16 "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications." This was a deletion done to prepare a revision in a section I had initiated which is " ===Present State of Cuban Literature=== " the revision was placed immediately in several consecutive edits:

Charges 17 and previous "# Anti Castro pov and/or fabrications.". The inserted content seems self-explanatory:

Point 17a " This output is dazzling and often quite spectacular and scholarly; however, all written material published in Cuba is censored by [[Seguridad del Estado]] and other means. Material by dissident authors in Cuba has to be smuggled out and presented on line by Cubans living in exile. These repressive actions of the Cuban government have drawn much international condemnation e.g [[Ray Bradbury]] Fahrenheit 451 author [http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45050] [http://www.petrifiedtruth.com/archives/002501.html] [http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/Recent%20News%202.htm]."

17b merely an insert of address Web site discussed

17c The intent was to demonstrate that in the US even writings by Generals in Castro's security forces are available in bookstores" [http://www.bordersstores.com/index.jsp] carry 2000 titles on Cuba. Books in stock at Borders in the US include a volume by a retired Castro General and former head of Cuba's Counter-Intelligence Unit (1976-1982) [[Fabian Escalante]] [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKescalante.htm]. Escalante, who more recently has denied a novel theory on the [[John F. Kennedy assassination]] [http://es.wikinews.org/wiki/Documental_de_la_televisi%C3%B3n_alemana_afirma_que_Cuba_estuvo_detr%C3%A1s_del_asesinato_de_Kennedy], was also a judge in the trial of executed a former Castro [[escopetero]] and African War Hero General [[Arnaldo Ochoa]] Sánchez [http://www.cubapolidata.com/cafr/cafr_ochoa_affair.html]."

Charge 18.# "Vandalism (attack on other editors)" My comment itself seems suffice, since it was merely restating previous point in more circumspect language: "In Cuba political police are generally referred to as [[La Seguridad del Estado]]. One could readily infer that all reference to this agency is so discomforting to some Cuban government supporters that it is being systematically erased here."

Charge 19 (was 18 but another charge was added) "Vandalism (attack on other editors)" "although some claim that the full extent of these gains may be exaggerated [http://archive.greenpeace.org/geneng/reports/hunger/realgreenrevo_4.pdf]."The citation in question is taken from [http://archive.greenpeace.org/geneng/reports/hunger/realgreenrevo_4.pdf] see page 10 (of web document quoted) under heading Case study 3- Cuba: towards a national organic regime. First paragraph of section starts: "Cuba has been often cited as an example of the first country to attempt a nation wide conversion to organic agriculture. These claims may be an ''exaggeration,'' but the Cuban experience..." my italics

I have not addressed the question of sound agronomic practice which would seem to indicate that "organic" production cannot long sustained high rates of crop production without good sources of nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and minor essential elements.

Thank you for your kind attention

Sincerely

El Jigüe 2-12-06

The summary of charges (Table 1) were immediately accepted by Wikipedia “Judges” and El Jigüe was quickly sanction by denying a’’him”editing access to Wikipedia pages for a period of some weeks.

Wikipedia blocking software

Although the software for blocking is not understood by this author, it is quite obvious that it is functionally simple, selective, and once set in motion, automatic. Thus any machine that accesses Wikipedia sites can be identified and allowed or disallowed access to these Wikipedia sites. Test with anonymizers such as Tor (Dingledine, Roger and Nick Mathewson (accessed 7-29-06) are not successful because Wikipedia maintains a list of Tor computers which it blocks also automatically (Wikipedia on Tor accessed 7-29-06). The government of mainland China has already done blocked access in this way (Wikipedia:Advice to Tor users in China (last accessed 7-23-06). One may note in passing that Wikipedia has blocked Congressional IP addresses in their controlled electronic space (Davis, 2006; Wikipedia, accessed 7-30-06); while Wikipedia supporters freely express their approval of this action in the US (e.g. Davis, 2006).

Results and discussion

These matters were brought to the attention of media, and Pablo Bachelet (2006) of the Miami Herald published a news piece. After this senior but still anonymous Wikipedians including far more skilled polemicists than previously encountered, intervened. However, these senior Wikipedians, although more subtle were equally ineffective or/and biased in favor of the present Cuban government.

Although it is not a scholarly or even a reliable source Wikipedia is one of the site most consulted by undergraduate college and high school students. This makes it the bane of many instructors.

This in itself is not “bad,” after all freedom expression is a right of which we must be proud. However, these heavily trafficked Wikipedia sections on Cuba, Castro, Guevara etc with their heavy influence on youth and the uninformed can be horrendous inaccurate and biased especially in favor of the Castro Regime. These sections are constantly patrolled by clever, devious and unscrupulous polemicists who favor the present Cuban government. Using various tactics which will be described in Material and Methods section these polemicists have achieved the “banning” of other input that differs from with their opinions (Bachelet, 2006).

Thus in Wikipedia there are, despite the efforts of many, absurdities such as the insistence that Cuba has “free” elections, the white-washing of Fidel Castro’s biography (e.g. his murderous activities at Havana University are described as “student activism”), and almost absolute ignorance, or worse, biased descriptions of Cuban history (Castro is never referred to as a Dictator, that designation is reserved for Machado). For example (see also Table 2), to Wikipedia the Liberal party survived into the times of Grau, Prio and Batista. The economy (“Cuban poverty increased greatly under Batista's leadership” sic), health data, and culture (e.g. the removed reference to “palestino” internal immigration), etc are similarly Bowdlerized (Zlietzen, 2006).

Sometimes the rational for these deletions is overt, sometimes merely puzzling. My favorite is the constant deletion of references to Graham Greene’s 1958 classic novel “Our Man in Havana.” One might infer from this that the Castro government has some hidden agenda, since Greene was an openly partisan supporter of the Cuban dictator (Sherry, 2004). Yet, Greene did work for British intelligence at one time, and the missiles of 1962 which he so oddly predicted were in reality not designed as vacuum cleaners.

Castro’s partisans brook little or no corrections, and almost immediately delete such based upon the most ridiculous of reasons. Scholarly critics of Castro, even when they write from this forum, are often not considered reliable sources by senior Wikipedia editors (Zleitzen 14:58, 4 July 2006 (UTC))

Given the situation in China, where that government’s approach to web censorship, is openly supported by Google and Yahoo, one can readily imagine this kind of collective censorship approach extending to all those societies where information is under some level of government control.

As said repeatedly above, this is a free country and one might expect that here countervailing forces will prevail. Yet, this is not so, for a number of reasons that will be described at length. Principal among these reasons is the massive advertisement, promotion, exposure and support for Wikipedia by Google and Yahoo.

A second reason is the prevalence of Wikipedia mirror sites, and other less original URL that present the same or similar material; these sites give the impression that the information is “universal” and thus sound. I was able to trace, using my own insertions verbatim copies of information at such other “informational” web sites (information not presented here).

However a third reason, perhaps the most important, is the is the lack of critical evaluation by present day youth when accessing web site information.

Scott, Jerry and Jim Borgman 2006

Table 2. Ten examples of matters that are consistently deleted or inserted by Castro Partisans in Wikipedia pages. These matters are not necessarily ranked by their relation to importance to activists. Discussion were far longer and were repeated with quite some frequency.

1. Mention of Castro’s spies in the US. Section detailing “Cuban espionage and related extraterritorial activity” was deleted repeatedly. This section mentions of background of William Wieland (supporter of Castro in US State Department), Fabio Grobart (Stalin’s Man in Cuba since the 1920s) and other Castro contacts. Deleted by such as “Splash” *[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3ADeletion_review&diff=27615209&oldid=27615117], second half. Since then, you added references, I'll admit that. It's plainly a POV screed, however, just as it was before, right down to the words, and is now under its fourth or fifth different title, not counting talk: pages. I '''endorse all the deletions'''. '''If restored, take directly to AfD'''. -[[User:Splash|Splash]][[User talk:Splash|talk]] 14:51, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

2. Reference to Castro’s irregular family interactions and fascist influences in his political formation. These were eliminated from Wikipedia Fidel Castro page although already in the literature cited (Szulc, 1986; Geyer, 1991; Thomas, 1998; Coltman, 2003; Raffy, 2003; Ros, 2003; and Fuentes, 2004). Revision as of 01:30, 23 March 2006 207.188.29.244 (Talk) (reverted to last version by NWOG)

3. Citations to rundown condition of Havana Addenda Cuba page Revision as of 18:39, 20 March 2006 Kmf164 (Talk | contribs)
(Reverted edits by 205.247.5.97 (talk) to last version by Tawkerbot2) Deleted “- *[http://www.therealcuba.com The Real Cuba photos and commentary] - Photographs from around Cuba with Anti-Castro commentary

4. Literary Censorship in Cuba The following lead sentences in the section: Present State of Cuban Literature Despite continual state repression [22], literature is very much alive in Cuba [23] These repressive actions of the Cuban government have drawn much international condemnation e.g Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 author [24].” Were eliminated from the Cuba page by Censor Colle comments at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Colle (ccessed 7/24/2006). These sections greatly offended some pro-Castro ideologues, e.g. El Jigüe What to do . . . Well, first of all, if any of his contributions are vandalism and violate NPOV, he will be blocked. We can even block him per 3RR rule. The continuation of his contributions is damaging to the Cuban related articles, and we must put a stop to it. --Jay(Reply) 18:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)” Note El Jigüe is a mythical small dark human (see Daley, 2006)

5. Escapees from Cuba Wikipedia persona “Comandante” deleted “-In 2005 an additional 7,610 Cuban escapees from Cuba entered through the "southern border in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30" [http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/cuba/13512948.htm?source=rss&channel=miamiherald_cuba]” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=38486456&oldid=38486378

6. Seguridad del Estado “Comandante” deleted “Such enforcement is the function of [[Seguridad del Estado]] State Security [http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=16083] [http://www.netforcuba.org/News-EN/2006/Jan/News923.htm] [http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=16086] [http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ESLAMR250261997?open&of=ESL-CUB]. [http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y00/jan00/10a1.htm]. Even members of State Security are not immune from retribution at least 22 are being held in jail at the present time [http://www.sigloxxi.org/eborges.htm]. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37743817&oldid=37743694”

7. Criticism of Cuban “electoral system” “Colle” removed “However, Cuba is ruled by a one party authoritarian system, which will ignore these very controlling rules if they believe the survival of Communist state is threatened. The most famous recent instance is the Vladimiro Roca et al petition [http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2004eng/Cuba.12127eng.htm], where even Vladimiro's status as son of a founder of the Cuban Communist, was not enough to fully protect him.” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37743694&oldid=37742652

7. Mention of Free Libraries Colle removed: “Despite continual state repression [http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y06/jan06/31a4.htm], literature is very much alive in Cuba [http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/Recent%20News%202.htm#Secret%20prison%20libraries%20] These repressive actions of the Cuban government have drawn much international condemnation e.g [[Ray Bradbury]] [[Fahrenheit 451]] author [http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45050].” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=37484223&oldid=37477500

8. Repeated classification of Ernesto “Che” Guevara should be classified as humanitarian: e.g. Che Guevara page Revision as of 13:42, 11 March 2006 by Swedenman. Criticism of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán *Revision as of 06:56, 6 March 2006 Polaris999 (Talk | contribs)
Guatemala - adding details, copy-edit Deleted “by sometimes bloody means, to bring about…” (Refers to killing of Francisco Arana).

9. Human rights violations cleansing “*Revision as of 02:56, 15 February 2006 Colle (Talk | contribs) Human rights - removed false data, illigetimate (sic) source Removed: “Yet, others report that from 1959-1987 there have been from 35,000 to 141,000 [http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB15.1B.GIF] (table is in thousands) executions.” Note below use of an odd but commonly used Wikipedia definition of “Vandalism” *Revision as of 03:00, 15 February 2006 Colle (Talk | contribs) Human rights - style, removed vandalism removedThe police La Seguridad del Estado supports the system.”

10. Public Health in Cuba Revision as of 09:24, 16 February 2006 KDRGibby (Talk | contribs)” bs, this is a propoganda (sic) piece for Cuba, the whole thing is nothing but praise on the public health”. Inserted section below Revision as of 09:27, 16 February 2006 Response by Colle (Talk | contribs) baseless views (from anti-socialist organisations) already cited in the article. Also: sources needed. Deleted section below Revision as of 09:32, 16 February 2006 KDRGibby responded (Talk | contribs) an oft repeated view that the communist health care system is terrible for normal cubans but great for rich Europeans and communist party leadership...quit deleting it. Inserted section below Revision as of 09:27, 16 February 2006. Colle again stated (Talk | contribs) baseless views (from anti-socialist organizations(sic)) already cited in the article. Also: sources needed. Thus Colle deleted “- “Critics such as the National Review, Cato Institute, and Heritage Foundation, claim that Cuba and its apologists mask the truth behind the Cuban health care system. They argue that real Cuban healthcare is abysmal and that what is shown to non-Cuban foreigners is a healthcare system unavailable to the average Cuban.” KDRGibby was eventually banned permanently from Wikipedia.

Conclusions

Clearly already Wikipedia is selectively blocking access to editing by those who oppose the government of Cuba. Lists of such users’ computers are maintained by Wikipedia. Wikipedia style software can be, and seems to be, used to politically control internet traffic in general in certain non-democratic countries (see above). In these countries this kind of control extends to other similar electronic media (Becker, 2006). In addition in democratic countries such a system if coordinated by mayor information providers on the internet such as Google.com or Yahoo.com could be applied to heavily influence the general internet. Such links between Wikipedia and the above mentioned companies already exist. AOL in one notorious case four years ago, blocked Harvard admission correspondence.

Solutions proposed here to this interesting problem naturally do not include censorship. Benign persuasion within the Wikipedia “world” appears too weak promote effective change. The author of this paper notes with approval recent efforts of some ethical Wikipedians to address this problem.

However it is my opinion that these valiant efforts, as were those attempted by others and myself previously will ultimately fail. For instance references to the massive arrests during and proceeding the “Bay of Pigs” and the “The War Against the Bandits” have been moved to remote secondary sites.” Mention of this “War Against the Bandits” (a conflict that lasted longer and involved far more insurgents and Castro militia than the original Castro forces and Batista soldiers in the war against Batista) has been tagged as “needing clean up,” and thus is in danger of being removed.

Therefore instead of merely concentrating on correcting details within Wikipedia, since these details are commonly removed or bowdlerized, it is suggested that it is necessary to make to the general public aware that Wikipedia’s articles on Cuba and similar or related subjects are not accurate, complete or reliable. Perhaps in this way higher quality competing web products will emerge. Another remedy, which is slowly growing derives from the presence of readily available, computer-searchable, scholarly texts on the web. In addition legislation may be called for to limit such monopolistic practices on the internet.

Sadly where scholarship and propaganda struggle for influence and access in the public media, it is most common for propaganda to prevail. Let us hope as now on far desert sands “Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds” that “The best (do not) lack all conviction, while the worst … (lose their)… passionate intensity" William Butler Yeats (circa 1917)

References cited

Ahrens, Frank 2006 (accessed 7-20-06) Death by Wikipedia: The Kenneth Lay Chronicles. washingtonpost.com Sunday, July 9, 2006; Page F07 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/08/AR2006070800135.html Ahrens is Washington Post's business reporter for the media and entertainment industry http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/radio/ahrens.html

Anonymous Amnesty-Internet 2006 (accessed 7-21-06) Amnesty scolds Yahoo, Google in report on internet repression. CBC Arts Last Updated Thu, 20 Jul 2006 17:46:10 EDT http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2006/07/20/amnesty-internet.html

Bachelet, Pablo 2006 (last accessed 7-20-06) Cuba entry in Wikipedia stirs controversy. Miami Herald Tue, May. 02, 2006, http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/14481721.htm

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Becker, Andrew 2006 (accessed 7-29-06) Some countries already monitor text messages. Contra Costa Times Sun, Jul. 02, 2006 http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/business/14952762.htm?source=rss&channel=cctimes_business

Blair, Eric-(George Orwell), 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3 (taken on 7-9-06) from http://classiclit.about.com/od/nineteeneightyfour/a/aa_1984quotes.htm)

“Colle” 2006*Revision as of 03:00, 15 February 2006 Colle (Talk | contribs) Human rights - style, removed vandalism (sic) Removed “The police La Seguridad del Estado supports the system.” This was then replaced Revision as of 04:05, 15 February 2006 70.107.103.226 (Talk | contribs) Present State of Cuban Literature Inserted “+ There exists censorship in Cuba.” And within 12 minutes it was removed by Colle *Revision as of 04:17, 15 February 2006 Colle (Talk | contribs) Present State of Cuban Literature – Colle removed above with vague comment; “there is censorship in every country:” Thus removing any reference to censorship in Cuba.

Coltman, Leycester 2003 Question mark over Cuba, The Real Fidel Castro Yale University Press ISBN 0300101880

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Dingledine, Roger and Nick Mathewson (accessed 7-29-06) Tor: An anonymous Internet communication system. http://tor.eff.org/ “Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol…Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion router

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March 2006Fontova, Humberto 2005 Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant. Regnery Publishing Company, Washington DC. ISBN 0895260433

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“KDRGibby” 2006 Revision as of 09:32, 16 February 2006 KDRGibby (Talk | contribs) remarked in discussion section of article “an oft repeated view that the communist health care system is terrible for normal cubans but great for rich Europeans and communist party leadership...quit deleting it.” Inserted section below. Response by Colle Revision as of 09:27, 16 February 2006 Colle (Talk | contribs) “…baseless views (from anti-socialist organisations) already cited in the article. Also: sources needed. Deleted “- Critics such as the National Review, Cato Institute, and Heritage Foundation, claim that Cuba and its apologists mask the truth behind the Cuban health care system. They argue that real Cuban healthcare is abysmal and that what is shown to non-Cuban foreigners is a healthcare system unavailable to the average Cuban.” Revision as of 09:32, 16 February 2006 KDRGibby (Talk | contribs) again inserted “…an oft repeated view that the communist health care system is terrible for normal cubans but great for rich Europeans and communist party leadership...quit deleting it.” It seems that KDRGibby was often under what seems unjustified attack by the extreme left [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:KDRGibby] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Communism/Archive7]. This interchange ended in KDRGibby being blocked [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Blocking_policy], and finally sanctioned [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/KDRGibby] on Case Closed on 06:42, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

“Jay” 2006 (in reference to) “El Jigüe What to do . . . Well, first of all, if any of his contributions are vandalism and violate NPOV, he will be blocked. We can even block him per 3RR (Three reversion in a day) rule. The continuation of his contributions is damaging to the Cuban related articles, and we must put a stop to it.” --Jay(Reply) 18:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

“El Jigüe” 2005 “Could the circumstance of the deletion of the carefully and multiple source documented [[Cuban espionage and related extraterritorial activity revised]] “piece” be brought up for discussion? A few reviewers have been constantly deleting this contribution, then alleging that when the article is replaced by another that there have been multiple postings. It does not appear that these reviewers are sufficiently knowledgeable and thus objective about the subject. However, one could readily infer, because of these reviewers allegations of lack of a neutral point of view (a matter of some difficulty given the political circumstances of that island) that the sub rosa or even subconscious intent of these reviewer is essentially political.” El Jigüe 11/29/05 *[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3ADeletion_review&diff=27615209&oldid=27615117

Giles, Jim 2005 Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. Special Report Nature 14 December 2005; Updated online: 22 December 2005 ; Updated online: 28 March 2006 | doi:10.1038/438900a http://0-www.nature.com.oasis.oregonstate.edu/news/2005/051212/full/438900a.html “Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a Nature investigation finds.”

Kapur, Teddy and Alastair Smith 2002 (accessed 7-20-06) Housing policy in Castro’s Cuba http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/education/oustanding_student_papers/kapur_smith_cuba_02.pdf (example of false statement “Most former owners were fully compensated for their losses, but landlords of slum tenement buildings received nothing from the government.”)

“Lbmixpro” 2005 “You (El Jigüe)have attempted to edit a page, either by clicking the "edit this page" tab or by following a red link. Your IP address is 205.240.227.15. Please include this address, along with your username (if you are a registered user), in any queries you make. Your user name or IP address has been blocked by Lbmixpro. The reason given is: Repeated Vandalism.”

Lynch L. Grayston (see Grayston, Lynch L)

McGath, Garry 2006 Wikipedia blocks editing from Congress The Blog of M'Gath Thursday, February 02, 2006 http://mcgath.blogspot.com/2006/02/wikipedia-blocks-editing-from-congress.html Wikipedia has instituted a block against edits from IP addresses in the range 156.33.xxx.xxx. These addresses are assigned to a notoriously dishonest and unethical group of people: the United States Congress. Go Jimbo!” (Jimbo refers to J. Wales head (CEO?) of Wikipedia.

“Mensch” 2006 “All the links referring to non-English sources are removed from the article. If necessary I can compile a list of the resources taken out of the article for Spanish speaking people who would like to validate them. But still, I'm unsure if non English sources qualify as material for an English Wikipedia entry, so it's probably better to find equivalent English sources.” mensch • t 21:47, 11 May 2006 (UTC) Discussion Cuba article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Cuba

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Seelye, Katharine Q. 2005 False Witness How true are "facts" online? Week in Review New York Times December 4, 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/weekinreview/04seelye.html?ex=1291352400&en=6a97402d6595c6f1&ei=5090

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“Splash” 2005 “Since then, you added references, I'll admit that. It's plainly a POV screed, however, just as it was before, right down to the words, and is now under its fourth or fifth different title, not counting talk: pages. I '''endorse all the deletions'''. '''If restored, take directly to AfD'''. -[[User:Splash|Splash]][[User talk:Splash|talk]] 14:51, 29 November 2005 (UTC)”

Thomas, Hugh Cuba or the Pursuit of Freedom (Paperback) Da Capo Press; Updated edition (April, 1998) ISBN 0306808277

Triay, Victor 2001 Andres Bay of Pigs. University Press of Florida, Gainesville ISBN 0813020905

Wikipedia:Advice to Tor users in China (last accessed 7-23-06) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Advice_to_Tor_users_in_China “Tor ( a electronic mailing program that allows anonymity) is often blocked from editing due to its use by vandals. This presents a problem for Wikipedia users in mainland China, who currently (January 2006) often can't edit Wikipedia by normal methods. The method which was previously detailed here no longer works. One possible solution is to use Wikimedia's HTTPS gateway, which is still accessible at the time of writing. This is not a privacy solution—any edits you make will be immediately visible, and an attacker with access to the network, such as the Chinese Government, will be able to correlate your edits with your IP address. It is not much better than ordinary HTTP for privacy, the difference is that it works for the time being.”

Wikipedia on Tory (accessed 6-29-06) Tor (anonymity network) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29 “Vandalism Safe in the knowledge that they cannot be traced, some use Tor to post disruptive messages to Internet message boards, wikis, or chat rooms. As a result, many large providers of such services, such as Wikipedia and many IRC networks, prevent users of anonymizing services from posting to them.

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“Zleitzen” 2006 “ Werlau, Maria C. (2005). "Fidel Castro, Inc.: A Global Conglomerate". Cuba in Transition 15: 376 –395. “ That'll be this Maria C. Werlau, the woman who wrote "Cuba: Safe Haven for Fugitives and Hotbed for Terrorists". Who states: "Castro's virulent hatred of the United States goes back far before he even came to power". Who ends with "The Bush Administration should exert maximum pressure on the Castro regime to guarantee U.S. and hemispheric security". OK, Ultramarine, your idea of scholarly research differs from mine.”--Zleitzen 14:58, 4 July 2006 (UTC)… “As an aside, Werlau appears at length in the infamous "Los Muertos de Castro" documentary. One of the most audacious pieces of propaganda and misinformation I have ever seen, on any subject. Take a look if you can find it. All material by Werlau should be treated with extreme scepticism (note characteristically Spanish misspelling of skepticism), that Ultramarine describes her work as real criticism does not make it so.”--Zleitzen 02:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fidel_Castro

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-05-08/In the news. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2006-05-08/In_the_news

“Zleitzen” in Current revision (15:38, 19 July 2006) (edit Zleitzen (Talk | contribs) (Demographics - removed "internal immigration"?!) History section Cuba article, Wikipedia Removed “There is internal illegal immigration to Havana seeking greater opportunities; these internal illegals are known as "palestinos".” Wilipedia edits to Cuba page found at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuba&diff=64677788&oldid=64677263