Today, on January 4, 2013, a rigorously assembled timeline was completed that connects key figures of the Internet, the former British government, and an oppressive central Asian regime.
Two weeks ago, Examiner broke a controversial story that explored some connections between Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and the autocratic government of Kazakhstan.
In the following day or two, the global press unleashed their own reports based on the facts disclosed in the Examiner report -- including The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, Eurasianet, and the Daily Dot. Since then, the Wikipedia criticism site Wikipediocracy.com has compiled an explosive and detailed timeline that meticulously links Wales with Blair and the Kazakh government's effort to coopt the Kazakh-language Wikipedia.
The timeline was completed today, and the various claims and assertions of fact are presented with verifiable links to reliable source material. The timeline's implications are manifold.
Did you know...
- That Jimmy Wales co-chaired a 2008 Middle East roundtable event for the World Economic Forum which was attended by Kazakh President Nazarbayev and Tony Blair?
- Jimmy Wales attended a Kazakhstan reception at this World Economic Forum event, dining on horse meat (which is traditional Kazakh fare) along with deputy representatives sent by then-Kazakh prime minister (now the President's chief of staff) Karim Massimov to talk with Wales?
- That Kazakhstan government lawyers are trying to prevent Facebook and other social networking sites from being used by opposition media?
- That Jimmy Wales acts as an "informal adviser on Internet strategy" to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and he has talked about his having "a place" in the Foundation?
- That Jimmy Wales and Cherie Blair (Tony Blair's wife) together cut Wikipedia's 10th birthday cake?
- That Jimmy Wales has asked for unflattering material to be removed from Cherie Blair's Wikipedia biography?
- That the founder of WikiBilim, the foundation helping to build the Kazakh Wikipedia with text from the state-sponsored encyclopedia, proudly reports that he once personally received a medal from President Nazarbayev, and that Jimmy Wales bestowed on him the "Wikipedian of the Year" award?
- That reporters from a Kazakh opposition newspaper once found the corpse of a decapitated dog outside their offices, with a note saying, "This is the last warning"?
- That opposition news sources are not considered 'reliable sources' in the Kazakh Wikipedia?
- That multiple Quora.com members reportedly received a private message from Jimmy Wales, asking them to "Please downvote the smear campaign and upvote my answer."
- That Jimmy Wales asked for a question about his ties to Kazakhstan to be removed from Quora.com (where he is a financial investor), and within a day it was removed?
Jimmy Wales may or may not have a role in Tony Blair's paid business relationship with the oppressive Kazakh regime. The evidence to date is circumstantial. However, it is becoming very clear that Wales is steeped in the political and social circles that are fostering image building collaborations with Kazakhstan. And Wales certainly seems to be bending over backwards to deny that anything contemptible is taking place within the Kazakh Wikipedia, despite multiple press reports to the contrary.
If this story and others like it are of interest to you, leave your comment below, and then use the "Subscribe" link above to be notified whenever articles from the National Wiki Examiner are published!