‘Morning Joe’: ADL Chief Slams Wikipedia Reliability Downgrade as ‘Flat Out Wrong’ | Video

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” after Wikipedia downgraded the reliability of the top Jewish civil rights group, saying that the move is simply “not grounded in evidence.”

Earlier this week, Wikipedia’s editors determined that the ADL should not be trusted to provide reliable information on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and is a “generally unreliable” source on antisemitism. This comes amid an uptick in anti-Jewish hate and violence since the attack on Israeli soil by Hamas in Oct. and the subsequent war in Gaza.

“Wikipedia is an organization that we deeply respect, a website we all use,” Greenblatt said when asked for his opinion on the move. “But I also have to acknowledge that its processes are a bit of a black box. The standards are a bit opaque, and we don’t have total access and transparency into how it works.”

The ADL CEO argued that “at a moment when Jewish people around the world are facing incredible vulnerability, suggesting that the leading Jewish organization tracking that vulnerability somehow isn’t valid, that our processes aren’t rigorous, that our data isn’t accurate, it’s flat out wrong.”

Greenblatt asserted that a “handful of editors” at the website are basing this decision because the ADL “as a Jewish organization, support[s] the Jewish state.”

“Frankly, it’s not a basis to kick us off of Wikipedia or any other place,” Greenblatt continued. “That would be doing an incredible disservice to the public at large.”

Greenblatt argued that regardless of the fact that the organization does both research and advocacy, the positions that it takes should not disqualify the legitimacy of the research conducted.

“We should listen to Black people when they tell us what racism is, and listen to LGBTQ groups when they tell us what homophobia is, and we should listen to Jewish people when they tell us what anti-Semitism is,” Greenblatt said.

Eugene Robinson chimed in, attesting to the validity of the research conducted by the ADL, adding that they are not pretending to be a journalistic entity.

“It is possible to disagree with advocacy or policy positions that the ADL might take and still respect the research,” Robinson said. “I wouldn’t say that makes you unreliable.”

Greenblatt said that the decision made by Wikipedia is “not grounded in evidence” or “based in fact,” and the ADL is “going to do everything we can to explain to the leadership at Wikipedia why we think they are getting this wrong.”

“Anti-Semitism is up. Acts of harassment and vandalism and violence are up,” Greenblatt continued. “If you don’t have the leading organization in the world tracking anti-Semitism and our data on Wikipedia, anti-Semitism will continue to increase.”

“If we can’t shed a light on this, I worry that the oldest hatred will continue to fester,” the ADL CEO said.

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