A Not-So-Candid CAMERA

CAMERA, a lobby group that campaigns against criticism of the Israeli government in U.S. media, had a campaign to impact Wikipedia's coverage of Israel and Palestine issues. In emails, CAMERA's Gilead Ini stressed that the effort should be secret, and counseled members to avoid "picking a user name that marks you as pro-Israel, or that lets people know your real name." He also instructed members to "always log in" under their user names, so that Wikipedia would not "record your computer's IP address." While directing CAMERA members to certain articles on Israel and Palestine, Ini cautioned that new Wikipedia users should "avoid editing Israel-related articles for a short period of time," so as not to develop reputations as "one-topic editors." A long-time Wikipedia editor, "Zeq," advised CAMERA on its plan. Zeq suggested that some CAMERA members "stay away from any Israel realted [sic] articles," until building up enough support to become nominated as administrators, who help resolve controversies. "We will go to war after we have build [sic] our army," Zeq wrote. After the emails were published, Zeq was banned from editing Wikipedia for one year, for -- in the words of one Wikipedian -- "recruit[ing] meatpuppets from off-wiki to push POV," a point of view. CAMERA responded by "temporarily or permanently" ending its Wikipedia email group, "in hopes that members' personal contact information will not be made public."