Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy paid an editor to remove information from his Wikipedia page that could potentially damage his political prospects, according to a new report.
It is against Wikipedia’s rules for anyone to edit an article about themself. However, it is acceptable to pay someone else to make changes as long as those payments are disclosed.
Mediaite, which first reported the alleged payment, said an editor with the screen name “Jhofferman” had removed lines about Ramaswamy’s receipt of a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2011, as well as his role in Ohio’s COVID-19 Response Team. Jhofferman reportedly deemed the fellowship as “extraneous material,” while Ramaswamy allegedly made an “explicit request” to remove his COVID work.
Paul Soros was the older brother of George Soros, a Hungarian American businessman known for funding progressive causes and was the biggest individual donor in the 2022 election cycle, according to Mediaite.
Meanwhile, Ramaswamy’s role in Ohio’s COVID-19 response was mentioned in his interview with former Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson in May 2020. At the time, he expressed hopes that the development of therapies against the virus would lead to a “more measured” or less restrictive approach to battling the pandemic.
However, according to Mediaite, Ohio, was known among Republican-led states for adopting a more restrictive approach against the virus.
Wikipedia editors restored the removed content after Mediaite published its report.
Still, the page in question notes that the article “may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view.”
Jhofferman, who describes themself as “both an occasional volunteer editor and an even more occasional paid editor,” has also reportedly received payments from Bennington College President Laura Ruth Walker and 3D printing company BCN3D Technologies. However, neither Walker nor BCN3D have any known connections to Ramaswamy.
Ramaswamy is currently polling at 5% — tied with former Vice President Mike Pence and above former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley (4%) — for the Republican primary, according to the latest YouGov / CBS News poll. Former President Donald Trump continues to lead the pack at 58%, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 22%.