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BuzzFeed Reporter Targeted In Wikipedia Page hack.

A reporter who recently wrote about hedge fund billionaire and Trump supporter Robert Mercer's connections to white nationalists seems to have been targeted in the vandalization of a Wikipedia page belonging to Phineas Gage, an American railroad foreman who lived in the nineteenth century.

If you navigate to Wikipedia page for Phineas Gage, its shows a message which reads, "I have evidence that @Bernstein is responsible for at least six rapes in the past year, three of which were children. We ask that you help spread the word to bring down this monster. Thank You." The message is then attributed to WikiLeaks and anti-trolling organization GNAA and also uses the MeToo hashtag which has been used by victims of sexual abuse on Twitter.

The message refers to Joseph Bernstein who works as a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed.

The ( Wikipedia page  was hacked but there were no indications of why Gage's page was chosen. There seems to be no apparent connection between Bernstein and Gage, who worked for the American railroad in 1845. He is considered the most famous patient of neurology since while working for the railroad an iron rod pierced through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe. Gage is famous for miraculously surviving the fatal seeming injury.

At the time of writing this report, the page had been repaired, but here is the snapshot of the hacked page: 

Bernstein generally writes articles on tech, but his past five stories seem to have been targeting the extreme right.

All the stories are linked to a BuzzFeed story published on Oct. 6, accusing right-wing publication Breitbart of channelling white nationalist hatred, even though the executive chairman of the publication and former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has insisted that "there's no room in American society for neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and the KKK."

The report cites some emails and documents obtained from anonymous sources linked to Breitbart as evidence.

"These new emails and documents, however, clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum - and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream," Bernstein had written in the article titled "Alt-White: How the Breitbart machine laundered racist hate."

Following the revelations, Bannon fired Milo Yiannopoulos, the site's tech editor. The story further linked hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who partly owns Breitbart, to white nationalists.

"These documents chart the Breitbart alt-right universe. They reveal how the website - and, in particular, Yiannopoulos - links the Mercer family, the billionaires who fund Breitbart, to underpaid trolls who fill it with provocative content, and to extremists striving to create a white ethnostate," the story claims.

The story further accuses Mercer of funding other extreme right wing enterprises.

Bernstein's most recent article also targeted Mercer, who had chosen to step down from his position as the co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, his hedge fund company. It stands among the world's most powerful hedge funds and is valued at $50 billion.

The forces at work here are not yet evident. However, it does not seem the work of WikiLeaks since the organization generally targets government officials rather than journalists.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Nov 15, 2017
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