After riots over the death of George Floyd in police custody prompted renewed attention to the violent far-left group Antifa, editors on Wikipedia sought to keep out or minimize any mention of Antifa’s involvement in rioting as part of the group’s page on the site.
Material about past Antifa violence was also removed and an effort has been made to soften or remove the description of Antifa as a far-left militant group.
Wikipedia editors have further sought to smear Antifa critics such as journalist Andy Ngo, who was viciously attacked by Antifa last year, and prominently accuse conservatives and the Trump Administration of spreading what they call conspiracy theories about the group.
The page on Antifa has been a regular source of friction on the site since it was created around the time of the Unite the Right Rally in 2017, which saw significant Antifa violence.
Left-wing editors, including those openly identifying as socialists and Antifa supporters, have repeatedly tried to portray the group as defending others from “fascist” attacks and sought to minimize or avoid mentioning violent aggression from the group.
On pages about the Floyd protests and riots, editors have also devoted more attention to dubious claims of far-right involvement in rioting than Antifa’s involvement.
Such downplaying of Antifa’s involvement in rioting has also occurred on the Wikipedia page for the group. This included an attempt to remove mention of Antifa engaging in physical violence from the article’s intro.
One editor who previously had an Antifa image on his profile page removed mention of looting in Austin, Texas, which Austin police stated was carried out by individuals from an Antifa group. To justify removing the incident, editors stated it only cited local coverage, though several incidents favorable to Antifa on the page are similarly cited only to local outlets.
Editors have further targeted for removal statements from Attorney General William Barr about the role of Antifa in the riots, including removing a statement from Barr that there was clear organized Antifa activity during the rioting by claiming it was “wishful thinking” on his part with editors arguing the Trump Administration statements were “unreliable” sources.