As Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden continues to search for a running mate, the Wikipedia page of Kamala Harris — one of the supposed finalists — is undergoing numerous edits to its content. As reported by The Intercept, the page is being scrubbed off of “unflattering elements” of the California senator’s career.
According to the report, at least one editor has been removing mentions to more controversial aspects of Harris’ career, including her”tough-on-crime” record, her support for Orange County prosecutors who engaged in misconduct, and her decision to forgo prosecuting Steve Mnuchin for mortgage fraud.
“The edits, according to the page history, have elicited strong pushback from Wikipedia’s volunteer editor brigade, and have drawn the page into controversy, though it’s a fight the pro-Harris editor is currently winning.”
The report claims that the user behind the edits is “Bnguyen1114,” who has allegedly made hundreds over the last several months. In addition, the user has reportedly gotten into spats with Wikipedia editors, who noted the similarity between the new content and Harris’ campaign literature.
“You seem to have gone through a database of press releases from Harris’s office, cataloging every single one and adding it to the article,” one editor’s comments reportedly read. “That is not how we write encyclopedic articles.”
According to The Intercept, the same user has also attempted to remove information from the Wikipedia page of “Bernie Bros.” Notably, the user allegedly tried to delete information that shed doubt on the myth, which suggests that the Vermont senator’s support mostly comes from white males. The information in question suggested Sanders’ base was the most diverse out of the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Harris.
Harris is widely considered to be a frontrunner for Biden’s vice-presidential pick and has previously suggested she would be eager to take the position. But as just Amy Klobuchar’s chances were harmed by her prosecutorial record, Harris’ odds could likewise be at risk. In a piece for Bloomberg, Jeffrey Taylor argued that Harris’ background could hurt her chances, noting that she has at times been the focus of anger over police and prosecutors’ treatment of African Americans.
Taylor noted that Harris has many benefits that make her desirable to take the position of Biden’s running mate, including her close relationship with his late son, Beau. However, he claimed that her record of prosecuting men of color — which surfaced during the primary — could drag down the former vice president’s standing with Black voters.
“A renewal of that scrutiny could dampen enthusiasm for Biden’s candidacy among black voters, who support him overwhelmingly over President Donald Trump,” he wrote.