After NBC News published a hit piece on news outlet the Epoch Times and its association with the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement persecuted by China’s government, the Wikipedia page for the outlet was vandalized and filled with attacks sourced to the piece. One editor involved has a history of attacking Falun Gong and defending Chinese communist figures such as Mao Zedong.
The editor also contacted an Antifa-supporting socialist editor with a similar history, which included downplaying the oppression of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. Other Wikipedia articles associated with Falun Gong have also been subject to smears from Antifa-supporting editors.
NBC published a report last Tuesday regarding the Epoch Times and its surge of success due largely to its hard-hitting coverage on alleged improprieties in the discredited Russiagate investigation. In their report, NBC smeared this coverage as pushing a “Spygate” conspiracy theory, even though reporters for Epoch Times obtained early access to testimony before the House Intelligence Committee for which they were noted in the New York Times. The report also smeared the outlet for its association with the spiritual movement Falun Gong, perpetuating narratives used to justify China’s decades-long repression of the movement.
Following the NBC report, the Epoch Times Wikipedia page was updated with various attacks from the piece, including those smearing its Spygate coverage as conspiracy theories. Also included were claims the outlet promoted the “QAnon” conspiracy theories. Responding to NBC’s piece, Epoch Times U.S. editor Jasper Fakkert noted those claims appear to conflate the outlet with a program focused on conspiracy theories that is produced by an affiliated company.