Katherine Maher, the newly installed chief executive of National Public Radio, said she sought to crack down on the “free and open” ethos at her previous job running Wikipedia because it was based on a “white male Westernized construct” that led to “exclusion of communities and languages.”

Maher, whose “woke” social media posts came to light following the damning essay written by former NPR journalist Uri Berliner about rampant liberal bias at the outlet, made the comments in a video unearthed by Christopher Rufo, an author and researcher at the Manhattan Institute.

Berliner, who penned a lengthy indictment of NPR last week in Bari Weiss’ online publication The Free Press, resigned from NPR on Wednesday after he accused Maher of having “disparaged” him while espousing “divisive” views that “confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.”

Prior to her being named CEO at NPR late last month, Maher, 41, was CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia, the free, open-content online encyclopedia which is one of the most visited web sites in the world.

In an interview that was cited by Rufo, Maher said that the idea of “free and open” was “recapitulating many of the same power structures and dynamics that existed offline prior to the advent of the internet.”

Maher said that the “free and open” approach was problematic because it resulted in the “exclusion of communities and languages” where “the idea of a written tradition is [not] particular [to them].”

She said that “the way in which we ascribe notability which comes from this white male Westernized construct” is how society determines “who matters” and “whose voice is elevated.”

“Radical openness did not end up living into the intentionality of what openness can be,” Maher said.

Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, scoffed at Maher’s comments about “free and open” Wikipedia, writing on his X account: “That’s literally the point of Wikipedia.”

Larry Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia alongside Jimmy Wales in 2001, has said that the site can no longer be trusted because it has been taken over by left-wing “volunteers” who cut out news that doesn’t fit their agenda.

Rufo on Wednesday posted another video of comments Maher made during the Atlantic Council’s 360/Open Summit in 2021.

In the video, Maher said Wikipedia under her leadership “took a very active approach to disinformation and misinformation” in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

She said that Wikipedia set up “sort of a clearinghouse of information” to deal with election- and pandemic-related content so that editors of the site could cooperate with the government to “identify threats.”

Maher also said that she viewed the First Amendment as “the number one challenge” because speech protections make it “tricky” to suppress “bad information” and the “influence peddlers who have made a real market economy around it.”

Ahead of Berliner’s Wednesday resignation from NPR, Maher, whose social media posts expressing overt support for Joe Biden and antipathy for Donald Trump have recently come to light, last week suspended Berliner for five days without pay for writing the piece without permission from his bosses at NPR.

The Post has sought comment from Maher, NPR and Wikimedia Foundation.

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