From Hoaxed book, available here in paperback!
I’m an author, filmmaker, and journalist. You’re reading this book, aren’t you? And it’s based on a major motion picture, which is a fancy way of saying movie. Hoaxed is my second film. My first film, Silenced had a huge cast of everyone from all walks of life.
I enjoy talking to and about interesting people and interesting subjects, and don’t really have “politics.” Think about all of the profiles of me, and there have been thousands. None of them mention my actual political views, because my views are sort of boring.
My first book Gorilla Mindset has sold over 100,000 copies. The average book sells 1,000 copies in a lifetime, thus promoting multi-best-selling author Neil Strauss to say, “Selling 10,000 copies of a book is equivalent to a gold record. Selling 100,000 copies of a book is going platinum.”
I’m currently involved in precedent-setting litigation in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, after I sued to obtain records involving a convicted sexual predator. The Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, a non-partisan organization devoted to journalism, filed a brief supporting my lawsuit. The Miami Herald also filed a lawsuit after mine was dismissed, claiming that my lawsuit was just and valid.
A member of Congress, John Conyers, resigned because of my reporting. And an A-List Hollywood actor was fired by Disney after my reporting surfaced some disturbing views he had. Chuck Todd asked the National Security Adviser of the United States of America about me on Meet the Press. That’s the level of the game I play at, when I choose to.
As Muhammad Alisaid, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
Yet if you Google me, you’re be taken into an alternative universe called Wikiality, a term coined by left-wing comedian Stephen Colbert. According to the Urban dictionary, “Wikiality refers to the changing of reality or truth via a Wikipedia-like system, allowing the public to change facts as long as there are others that agree.”
The Wikipedia entry on me describes me as an “alt-right conspiracy theorist.”
I have a biracial family, so a “white ethnostate” isn’t a desire of mine, and I don’t like the alt-right guys. Countless articles from reputable sources explain that I’m not alt-right. It is simply inaccurate to describe me as alt-right, but accuracy doesn’t matter to Wikipedia.
Some people with very disturbing Internet histories, in an effort to incite death threats against me, have taken over the Wikipedia entry on me. If you make a change to my Wikipedia page, the change will be reverted within 5 minutes. Whenever I’m in the news, the editors lock the page down to prevent anyone from editing it to reflect the truth about me.
I’m not the only victim of Wikiality. Nazism was the official political philosophy of the GOP, Google results showed. Whatever one thinks of the GOP (and I don’t think highly of it), Nazism would be a bit too far. The Google result was disinformation.
Google refused to take personal responsibility for spreading disinformation. The fault was Wikipedia’s, Google claimed.
Google prioritizes Wikipedia in its search result. The top search hit for nearly any subject will be Wikipedia. (Facebook, too, has integrated Wikipedia into its system, and when you share a link to a news article, and click for more information, the Wikipedia page shows up.)
The issue is that stalkers and harassers can take over a Wikipedia page. It only takes 3 people to collude against you, and your Wikipedia page will share whatever they want it to. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop this.
When Wikipedia isn’t outright fake, they exaggerate trivial stories.
Did you know, for example, that a member of Congress resigned because of me? John Conyers, Jr. settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. I obtained the settlement documents, which BuzzFeed published. Boom. He resigned. Don’t take my word for it, the Washington Post wrote about my involvement in the Conyers story.
Susan Rice, former director of the National Security Agent, used her tremendous powers to spy on American people. The process, known as “unmasking,” was the biggest spying scandal of 2017. Rice denied that she unmasked American citizens, and then was forced to admit it after I broke the story.
The Wikipedia page on me doesn’t even mention the Susan Rice unmasking story, and it barely mentions my reporting on James Gunn. Gunn was fired from a billion-dollar film franchise after I uncovered disturbing Tweeted he had made, which he claimed were merely jokes about child molestation. James Gunn gets one line in the entry about me.
Five full paragraphs are devoted to a trivial internet beef I had with some guy whose name I can barely remember. Sometime a year or so ago, I found a Tweet by a mid-tier YouTube. His Tweet read: “Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/ a great sense of mise en scene.”
That Tweet was pretty creepy, to put it mildly, and I called MSNBC for comment. MSNBC cancelled his contributor contract, although it quickly rehired him after Christopher Hayes came to his rescue. He was only joking, Hayes claimed, and everyone needed to lighten up. What’s a rape joke among friends?
In terms of my life, the media bro story wasn’t a top 100. To the creeps who stalk my Wikipedia page, one trivial story takes on outsized importance. Five full paragraphs detailing every in-and-out to something I spent an hour on.
Meanwhile, my reporting on a member of Congress and A-list director receive a blur. How many journalists have forced a member of Congress to resign and reported a story leading to the director of a billion-dollar film franchise resign?
If Wikipedia were accurate, they’d describe me as an author, filmmaker, and sometimes journalist. They’d include in their entry that I’ve made multiple films and am involved in major free press litigation.
Wikipedia is a fake encyclopedia.
Do not trust anything you read in it.
And don’t trust anyone who refers to me as part of any political movement.
If you liked this essay, read Hoaxed book, which contains several more original essays in addition to deep dive interviews with some of the world’s most interesting thinkers.