Wikipedia editors are under fire this week for removing the entry for Partners Rosemont Seneca, the investment firm linked to Hunter Biden and his alleged multi-million dollar influence peddling schemes. The site bizarrely claimed that the company was “unremarkable”. The timing itself is remarkable considering the new disclosure that Hunter Biden’s business partner, Eric Schwerin, made at least 19 visits to the White House and other official locations between 2009 and 2015. This included a meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden, despite Biden’s repeated assertion that he knew nothing of his son’s affairs. relationships. Schwerin was the president of Rosemont Seneca.
Wikipedia has been accused of gross bias in removing the entry at a time when interest in the company is at its peak, including the possibility of Hunter Biden being indicted over its financial dealings. Rosemont Seneca is one of the most searched terms for those trying to understand the context of Biden’s business operations.
Yet an “AlexEng” editor wrote that the company was simply “unremarkable” – an absurd claim reminiscent of Atlantic Magazine writer Anne Applebaum’s recent assertion that it failed to cover the scandal because it was simply “not interesting”.
Alex wrote: “This organization is only mentioned in connection with its famous founders, Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz.” This in itself is a strange statement. It is mentioned as one of the main channels of alleged influence peddling. Alex added that “keeping it around” ran the risk of the page becoming “a magnet for conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden.” It was this last comment that I found the most concerning in the context of this decision.
Any Wikipedia page could be a magnet for conspiracy theories, including the page on Hunter Biden himself. The thing is, this is a real company with real connections that are under real criminal investigation. Indeed, various Republican members have already pledged to investigate this and other companies if they secure either house of Congress after the midterm elections.
Wikipedia therefore killed him just as a United States prosecutor digs deeper into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings, including money received from foreign sources through Rosemont Seneca.
The bias in the reference to “conspiracy theories” is glaring. While some are clearly misrepresenting the facts of the deals with Hunter Biden (on both sides of the controversy), the company’s central role in these deals is not a conspiracy theory. I have long criticized Hunter Biden and his uncle for engaging in crude influence peddling — a practice long associated with the Biden family.
I’ve also been very critical of how the media and social media companies have killed the Hunter Biden story. Much like Wikipedia’s explanation this week, they claimed the Hunter Biden laptop story was all Russian conspiracy theories and disinformation before the election. We are now approaching the midterm elections and suddenly Wikipedia kills the page on this key business.
Republican senators say Hunter Biden was associated at Rosemont Seneca with Chris Heinz, the son-in-law of future Secretary of State John Kerry, and their friend, Devon Archer. Archer was recently sent to prison for fraud in a case that did not involve Hunter Biden.
In 2013, Rosemont Seneca entered into a business partnership with a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Capital. There are references in these transactions to Bohai Harvest RST. “RST” stood for “Rosemont Seneca Thornton”, a consortium of Rosemont Seneca and the Thornton Group, a Massachusetts-based company.
Hunter Biden’s attorney insists he had no stake in RST. However, Rosemont Seneca and RST feature prominently in controversial dealings with foreign figures. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports that
“Prosecutors focused in particular,” these people said, “on Burisma’s payments, which first went to a company called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC before moving on to Mr. Biden. Between 2014 and 2019, Hunter Biden has held a seat on Burisma’s board of directors for which he was paid around $50,000 a month.
The company has been linked to a series of payments to Hunter Biden from car purchases to cash transfers that are under investigation. Wikipedia does not (and should not) take sides in such claims. On the contrary, it may serve as a conduit for those seeking the company amid major and ongoing controversy.
Yet “Alex” doesn’t consider any of this to be “notable” and dismisses references to the company in a federal investigation as mere “conspiracy theories.”
Wikipedia was founded with noble and even revolutionary goals of giving the world free access to sources of knowledge. The key minds behind Wikipedia saw the danger of bias creeping into this work and stressed the need for strict neutrality.
larry sanger said “Wikipedia has an important policy: Basically, you must write articles without bias, fairly representing all viewpoints.”
Likewise, Jimmy Wales “A general-purpose encyclopedia is a collection of synthesized knowledge presented from a neutral point of view. As far as possible, encyclopedic writing should avoid taking any particular position other than the neutral viewpoint position.
I have long been a fan of Wikipedia and its noble purpose. For this reason, I am saddened by this decision which appears to reject the company’s essential pledge. Wikipedia editors have increasingly been accused of bias in such decisions. However, this movement is particularly raw and inexplicable. Wikipedia will lose the trust of many if it follows the lead of companies like Twitter in allowing staff to use its platform for their own political agendas.
Wikipedia or WikiMedia should immediately reverse Alex’s decision on the Rosemont Seneca page.