The Wikipedia page on Quillette journalist Andy Ngo was repeatedly vandalized in response to his reporting on the most recent Antifa-related violence in Portland. Although most vandalism was removed within minutes, some stayed up for hours before being removed.
Ngo’s page on the site was eventually locked so only more established Wikipedia editors could make changes, but Antifa supporters were able to continue adding smears to the page.
Protests against Antifa in Portland on Saturday resulted in several violent confrontations as Antifa attacked the protestors. Andy Ngo, an editor at Quillette, posted videos and commentary about the violence on Twitter. He soon came under attack from Antifa supporters who claimed he was “lying” or “distorting” the events.
In one instance, Ngo noted a protestor was hit with a hammer by an Antifa member as the violent far-left group attacked a bus transporting the protestors. Critics claimed it was the protestor who initially brought the hammer. Video shows the protestor used the hammer to defend other protestors on the bus being attacked by Antifa before it was taken from him and hurled at his abdomen after he was maced.
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 17, 2019
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 21, 2019
Despite the original video and subsequent videos making this clear and Ngo only stating accurately that a protestor was hit with a hammer, Antifa supporters including Carlos Maza claimed Ngo “lied” and spread the attack on social media.
One of the basic jobs of any journalist is to recognize when you’re being played by a bad faith propagandist.
Still can’t believe how many CNN-types take Andy Ngo’s schtick seriously.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) August 18, 2019
Unregistered users and new accounts began showing up to Ngo’s page on Wikipedia as the attacks went viral, starting with one user putting scare quotes around the description of Ngo as a journalist. Later vandalism included a user calling him a “mouthpiece for fascist propaganda” and making light of an Antifa assault on Ngo that left him with a brain hemorrhage.
While some vandalism was quickly reverted either by established editors or the vandals themselves, other vandalism was able to stay up longer. Edits from newly-created accounts calling Ngo a “propagandist” and accusing him of “grifting” off Antifa protests stayed up for hours until another user removed them. Vandalism calling Ngo a “propagandist” or “grifter” was a common attack and other vandalism branded him a “fascist” and a “nazi” as well as calling him a “white nationalist” despite him being Asian.
Other vandalism on Ngo’s page included more crude mockery while accusing him of lying and suggesting he was wrongly portraying “fascists” as the victims of Antifa violence. Efforts were also made to remove as “right-wing propaganda” any mention of Antifa’s previous violent assault of Ngo from the intro of his page. At times intervening vandalistic edits meant editors policing the page accidentally restored more serious vandalism, thus taking longer to get the page clean.
After around half a day of persistent vandalism, Ngo’s page was locked so that new accounts and unregistered users would be unable to edit it. However, while more explicit vandalism ceased, established editors sympathetic to Antifa continued editing Ngo’s page to add smears. User “BeŻet” added partisan attacks labeling as “racist” an op-ed by Ngo expressing concerns about multiculturalism in Europe. BeŻet, whose recent edits include criticism of anarcho-capitalism and defense of left-wing anarchism, also tried to introduce claims about Ngo’s coverage of the most recent Antifa violence being “inaccurate” resulting in an edit war as editors repeatedly removed and restored the material.
Further material BeŻet added before the protests was criticized for citing socialist magazine Jacobin to accuse Ngo of doxing Antifa activists. While the claims cited to Jacobin were removed, a claim he added from Vox that Ngo doxed a female activist remained. The female activist in question had charged and attacked protestors, but was knocked out when another protestor defended them. BeŻet also insinuated Ngo calling pro-Antifa writers “ideologues” got them targeted with death threats. Ngo’s remarks were responding to research on journalists associated with the group.
Pages related to Antifa have seen repeated efforts by Wikipedia editors to downplay the group’s violence, characterizations of its violence as terrorism, and to censor mention of the assault on Ngo and the terrorist attack on an ICE detention facility. Supporters of Antifa on the site have mocked Ngo’s assault and praised the attack on the ICE facility. Wikipedia has also echoed Democratic rhetoric popular with Antifa, including the ICE attacker, labeling the detention facilities “concentration camps” despite criticism from Holocaust scholars. Such incidents and others demonstrate the online encyclopedia’s worsening left-wing bias.
T. D. Adler edited Wikipedia as The Devil’s Advocate. He was banned after privately reporting conflict of interest editing by one of the site’s administrators. Due to previous witch-hunts led by mainstream Wikipedians against their critics, Adler writes under an alias.