Wikipedia helps NYT cover up David Rohde kidnapping

New York Times reporter David Rohde was kidnapped last year in Afghanistan and, in order not to raise his value to his captors, the NYT was able to get other news organizations to keep the news secret. Another source that agreed to keep it secret was Wikipedia (link).
A dozen times, user-editors posted word of the kidnapping on Wikipedia’s page on Mr. Rohde, only to have it erased. Several times the page was frozen, preventing further editing — a convoluted game of cat-and-mouse that clearly angered the people who were trying to spread the information of the kidnapping.

Even so, details of his capture cropped up time and again, however briefly, showing how difficult it is to keep anything off the Internet — even a sentence or two about a person who is not especially famous.

The sanitizing was a team effort, led by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, along with Wikipedia administrators and people at The Times. In an interview, Mr. Wales said that Wikipedia’s cooperation was not a given.

“We were really helped by the fact that it hadn’t appeared in a place we would regard as a reliable source,” he said. “I would have had a really hard time with it if it had.”
In other words, Wikipedia's very special rules were used to keep something they knew to be the truth out of an entry. Discussing the morality of Wales' decision is up to the reader, but this incident shows once again that you cannot trust anything you read at Wikipedia, how much Wikipedia is a creature of the mainstream media, and just how flawed Wikipedia's rules are.

Regarding the last, the two news agencies reporting the truth were, according to Wikipedia, not reliable sources. At the same time, the New York Times - which was not reporting the truth - was, again according to Wikipedia, a reliable source.

And, in the NYT article, they admit that one of their reporters, Michael Moss, edited the entry to highlight Rohde's support for Muslim causes. That can be seen at en.wikipedia. org/w/index.php?title=David_S._Rohde&oldid=251616596 (remove the space).

Shortly after that edit, an IP address-only user added a link to a news report of the kidnapping ( That news agency has their own WP entry: en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Pajhwok_Afghan_News That link was removed from the entry by Moss (using the name "Michaeljohnss"). Later, more links were added, including to a blog that linked to a since-expired news report on the kidnapping from an Italian news agency that's over four decades old, per WP: en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Adnkronos_International

Reviewing the rest of the history as WP editors used various rules to keep the truth out of their entry is left as an exercise. Keep this incident in mind when you see other edit wars involving Wikipedia's very special rules.