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The Register Exposes More Wikipedia Abuse 524

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-the-internet-how-could-there-not-be-drama dept.
cyofee writes "The Register has up another article exposing abuse of Wikipedia's policies and processes. It tells a tale of a man, Gary Weiss, controlling the Wikipedia article about himself and his enemies (one of Wikipedia's biggest taboos) all under the blessing of the Wikipedia Cabal. A man who attempted to expose the affair on Wikipedia, along with his his entire IP range (some 1000 homes), was permanently blocked. This comes only days after the affair of the Secret Mailing list."
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The Register Exposes More Wikipedia Abuse

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  • Lord Acton... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AB_Positive (1050222) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:31AM (#21612627)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_corrupts#Lord_Acton.27s_Dictum [wikipedia.org]Power Corrupts... There's a joke here, but I'm having too much fun wrecking my employee's user accounts with my admin power.
  • Also blocked (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Splab (574204) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:33AM (#21612653)
    We have the same issue where I live, more than 1000 homes behind the same firewall. We have been blocked from editing at some point, bit harsh to block out so many IP's, but thats life I guess. Good thing I don't have the need to contribute.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:33AM (#21612663) Homepage Journal

    It's notable{{cn}} (heh) that, reading between the lines, Jimbo Wales is actually pretty convinced that those editing the articles concerned in the way described and banned for the fact are acting in bad faith.

    Ainsworth has contributed more featured articles to Wikipedia than all but six other writers. But in October, when he attempted to edit the Weiss article, he was immediately banned from the site for 24 hours by an administrator known as "Durova" - the administrator at the heart of the secret mailing list scandal.

    And Durova's ban was seconded by none other than Jimmy Wales.

    "Durova [has] my full support here. No nonsense, zero tolerance, shoot on sight," Wales wrote on the site. "No kidding, this has gone on long enough."

    and

    Without a doubt, Judd Bagley has seriously angered the powers that be at Wikipedia. He's even received an email from Jimbo Wales saying: "Your feigned innocence is not very endearing" and "It would be helpful if you could come to terms with the fact that you have behaved very very badly over a long period of time."

    Not exactly evidence of a cabal acting in secret. More evidence of a group of people behaving trollishly and being banned for doing so.

    Indeed, looking at the original sequence of events that supposedly set this off:

    Bagley restored the link to Businessjive. A few hours later, the same person removed it. So Bagley restored it again. And it was removed again.

    it looks like the whole thing was set off because of link-spamming from the supposed "victims" in this case.

    The Register doesn't give us enough information to actually tell if this is the case or if there's some other reason. It doesn't report in full what was said by anyone proposing bans on the so-called victims. It portrays the events as arbitrary despite the fact that, actually, these things don't go on in secret. Most telling of all, if Wikipedia's admins were banning people without presenting reasons for doing so, this would be newsworthy which means the fact they're not saying no reasons were given is itself telling.

    Very poor from El Reg. There may be a story right there, but anyone familiar with Wikipedia who's capable of reading between the lines is going to give a big "WTF" and assume El Reg is making up controversy where none exists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:34AM (#21612673)
    remove all entries related to biographies (living or dead) i dont remember seeing biogs in Encyclopedia Britannica so why should Wiki have them ? i see way too many ego entries about [insert random american blogger/nonperson] for them to be of any value to the public there are plenty of other venues for personal promotion this kind of crap is wikipedias equivalent of spam but instead of product promotion its corporate/blogger promotion wouldnt it be just better to start a different wiki just for biogs and egos and i dunno perhaps call it "myspace" or "blogspot"
  • Re:What do you know (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hedwards (940851) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#21612761)
    I don't really think that it was a good idea to start with. The main reason being that between outright corruption and the constant state of flux it wasn't ever something that could be properly relied upon.

    It is unfortunate, but unlike an encyclopedia, the constant state of change makes it nearly impossible to use for anything beyond casual reference. Even grade school level reports require a more reliable source of information, or at least one which can be guaranteed to be the same when somebody goes to verify the claims.
  • Re:Meh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#21612819) Journal
    Nothing prevents the "iron law of olichargy", so I ask: Why bother? Why don't you create a olichargy from the start and try to control it? Why let an egalitarian society slip into an unfair olichargy rather than having a well structured one from the beginning?
  • Re:Meh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmaDaden (794446) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#21612841)
    Yeah. I think the best solution is to put a 'ruling class' in place but to make sure all of their communication is public. If it's found that people are discussing Wikipedia not on Wikipedia they get a temp ban. It's by no means a perfect fix but with out someone in charge somewhere people will form their own little gangs. It just seems to be human nature.

    On a side note, I would love to see Jimbo [slashdot.org] himself make comment on all this. He seems to have totally given up on Slashdot with his last post. It would be nice to know what is going in the depth of Wikipedia land from it's creator.
  • by jjohnson (62583) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:59AM (#21613079) Homepage
    The parent isn't saying "Jimmy said it's good, and I believe him", it's poining out that the Reg article failed to give compelling (or any) evidence that the bans were *unfair*, the reasons *uncommunicated*, or the banned *prevented* from offering input--it's another one-sided attack job by El Reg, which has long had a vendetta against Wikipedia.

    It would be an interesting story if it all happened as the article described, but I don't trust the Register any more than I trust Wikipedia, especially when the latter is the former's topic.
  • by Tom Womack (8005) <tom@womack.net> on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:03PM (#21613147) Homepage
    This is just another part of the slow-motion meltdown of overstock.com, and the 'naked short-selling' financial conspiracy theory. There seem to be a lot of financial conspiracy theories around at the moment, presumably since there is some degree of actual financial chaos in the background, and the things financiers have demonstrably got away with are crazy enough that it's difficult to reject conspiracy theories on the mere grounds of strangeness in appearance.

    Disclaimer: yes, I write stuff on wikipedia, my handle is fivemack. Mostly I write about chemistry; it's pretty clear that wikipedia is the most comprehensive and reliable site for chemistry on the Web, since chemistry is advanced stamp-collecting and wikipedia is a superb medium for presenting stamps in multiple series. The science side of wikipedia is a wonderful resource, and doesn't seem too prone to the kind of lunacy that afflicts other parts of the encyclopedia; people have less heated feelings about the melting-point of tellurium or the carcinogenicity of tetramethylhydrazine than they do about whether Mount Ararat is a Turkish or an Armenian mountain.
  • by EriktheGreen (660160) on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:05PM (#21613175) Journal
    Wikipedia isn't a democracy, and I think the only people surprised by the way the admins operate are the ones with stars in their eyes.

    Wikipedia is probably the most successful collaborative effort on the internet, surpassing the Linux kernel in size and complexity. Its editors and authors do a lot of great work, putting data out there and generally being fair and balanced.

    But, it's not a church, it's not a publicly run trust, and there's no oversight committee. Jimbo Wales and Co. can do whatever they want.. it's their site. They can ban anyone they like for any reason, even if they publically claim to be even handed, fair, and open, and the worst they may be guilty of is lying. The real reason people are up in arms is that they are surprised about it.

    We get lied to every day, by the government, church, our coworkers, neighbors, pretty much everyone. We sort of expect it, though. Very few people buy in to a religion wholesale and stop questioning anything related to it. Unless you're a fanatic and stupid to boot, you realize that some of it is crap. Even though churches claim that morality and truth are the highest law, and they don't lie, cheat, or steal.

    People have let themselves believe (perhaps not consciously) that since wikipedia exists today, that we must have reached some kind of golden age of the Internet and mankind, that wikipedia will grow until it contains everything we know, and all will contribute to it, everyone will learn that being fair and true is the only way to live, and we'll all understand each other better.

    But wikipedia lies like anyone else. It's not utopia. "Best" is a relative term.

    Wikipedia is the biggest collaboration out there. But that doesn't mean it's made from pure angelic light trapped in circuits.... it's made of people, and people can be corrupt, biased, bigoted, jerks.

    The main reason I've never contributed to Wikipedia is that I was burned in the past. Anyone remember CDDB? There are other examples. I've seen some recent positive press for Wikipedia in the recent announcement that the code will be GPL.... it's another step in the right direction.

    Information wants to be free.

    Erik

  • Re:What do you know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gloy (1151691) on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:07PM (#21613203)
    A permanent link to a particular revision of every article, that's guaranteed not to change, is available for every revision of every article, view the page you're interested in and click the "Permanent link" link at the bottom of the sidebar. Seems to me that it is quite possible to overcome the "material has changed when verified" problem by simply citing that link instead. That of course doesn't change the fact that no encyclopedia should be cited in serious academic work.
  • Re:Meh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@optonli ... inus threevowels> on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:13PM (#21613291) Journal

    It's not the idea. The idea was "everyone contributes, and everyone is equal." If that was still the idea, we wouldn't be hearing all these stories of editorial abuse, because things are now unequal, and that inequality is what's breeding all these problems.

    Put a group in charge, and you're going to get abuse. That's just a fact. To get around this, most other organizations add some checks and balances, some oversight, some limitations on power. WP didn't do this, and now they're suffering for it.

    An amazing parallel to representative government. In the beginning, we set up a government where everyone has their say by voting for the people who represent them. We invest those people with tremendous power. 535 people make the laws in the United States, 1 person gets to review them before they become law, and 9 others get to review them after they become law. Despite the system of checks and balances the original framers of the Constitution tried to create, the country is run at the behest of 300 million+ citizens by only 545 of their countrymen. That it works at all is amazing; that it is corrupt to some degree is to be understood.

    The Wikipedia problem won't really be easily solvable, because at some point it needs to make the same trade-offs that the Constitutional Convention made. Eventually, if you want a higher degree of accuracy, you're going to have to reduce the number of people who have access to the data and you're going to have to trust that they have no ulterior motives in their editing, and you're going to have to keep track of just what they do and call them on it when it's clear there is malfeasance.

  • Re:All or nothing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Torodung (31985) on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:15PM (#21613327) Journal
    I didn't think you meant to hurt Wiki, just the article author. When a writer sources reasonable critical quotes amidst his theories of "cabals" and "black helicopters," he is doing you a grave disservice.

    I doubt you'll be banned for reasoned criticism, and I only think less of the author of this article, who clearly has a dire agenda, or is so wrapped up in media hype that he doesn't recognize it anymore. Some of these writers have it "turned up to 11" all the time.

    Best of luck to you. I'm sorry if I implicated everyone mentioned in the article. I was against the bombastic, ridiculous writing, not the people mentioned within.

    --
    Toro
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:25PM (#21613489)
    That committee (including yourself) has a history of choosing their preferred version of accuracy over the prescribed NPOV. Its contribution toward impartiality is therefore significantly questionable.

    If you want the arbcom to be respected as an agent of open transparency, then make a stronger effort to encourage the inclusion and documentation of prominent contradictory viewpoints. Currently you fail at this.
  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @12:58PM (#21613997) Homepage
    There seem to be similarities between the Wikipedia cabal blocking all edits from a particular IP range and spam blacklist services that recommend blocking mail from a particular range. As Jef Poskanzer wrote [acme.com]:

    Well, I don't know why, but in practice every single DNS-RBL eventually comes under the control of power-hungry weenies. They start listing sites unreliably, and if you complain you find yourself listed. And there's usually no way to get off the list.
    Sound familiar? From TFA, it appears that Wikipedia blocked an IP range not because of abuse on Wikipedia, but because someone expressed his own views on his own private website. Similarly spam blacklists have been known to block people for 'promoting spam' by hosting web pages, even when those actions are not correlated with sending messages you'd want to block. Web filtering programs often block pages which are critical of web filtering [peacefire.org], just for expressing an opinion the filtering company doesn't like, not for hosting obscene material.

    Is there any way around the 'power-hungry weenie' problem? I think some explicit policy on blocking could help. If any IP address is blocked from Wikipedia, there must be a link to an archived copy of the Wikipedia vandalism that was responsible for the blocking, and this evidence should be verifiable by anyone.
  • by Torodung (31985) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:02PM (#21614031) Journal

    They overdo it in many place (seriously, "totalitarian"?) but most of what is written seems reasonable when you strip away the, *ahem*, creative writing.
    Seems reasonable? Strip away the writing that serves to color all those facts with a sinister and conspiratorial nature? I wish.

    You're in the business and you don't understand how modern PR works?

    I agree, there's some useful information in there, but it is tinged with so much connotation of conspiracy and sinister control that it can have a rather marked affect on how the reader will interpret the seemingly reasonable material. It could even make them accept it without question if the job is done well enough.

    This is how you get anyone to accept a poor, evil interpretation of reasonable events. You hit them with emotional words ("creative" writing), and then you "back them up" with facts that aren't sinister at all, if you gave any context.

    The net result is a hit job. People are being encouraged to see mildly concerning information, to be sure, as part of a "cabal" of wicked "totalitarians" bent on.... well, God knows what. The author doesn't really get into why such sinister agents would be on the move in... Wikipedia.

    Really, it goes a bit beyond a "joke." That's a very lame excuse for some rather provocative PR work aimed at coloring opinions on Wikipedia.

    The only reason I used hyperbole was because it's rather hard to condense the above into something someone is willing to read. That article is poorly written, and it seeks to assault Wiki, as many of the other articles at the Register do.

    I'm quite sick of it.

    --
    Toro
  • Re:All or nothing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by axus (991473) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:04PM (#21614063)
    This is a common theme in abuse of power... it's paranoia that people are out to get you, out to destroy everything. And the paranoia is used as justification for evil acts. Here's an idea: the people who own the servers aren't going to shut it down unless they want to. Armed guards aren't going to show up and take away the servers. Banning someone that speaks freely doesn't have anything to do with "an agenda to take it all down". It's hypocritical to condemn China for censoring journalists and websites, and then turn around and censor someone complaining about abuse of power.
  • Re:Godwin. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasma ... org minus distro> on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:13PM (#21614191) Journal

    I think the biggest benefit of an oligarch/monarch is that they have the capacity for intelligent long range planning, of the sort that everyone goddamn HATES, but which really does good things for the world.

    It does good things for the particular ruler's worldview, yes. The loss of all the outliers is not without its cost, though.

    As an example, I think we should have a higher tax on gasoline to drive down consumption, and increase public transportation and help fund alternative fuel research. Is this possible in our democracy? Not really. Everybody votes against anyone who would even suggest it.

    Have you given serious thought to how the opponents might also be right? I realize the whole issue seems so simple to you, but there is a serious and rational counterargument that I'll bet you aren't even aware of. The counterargument is: our time is our most valuable commodity, the source of all other values, and public transportation's real expense is in lost time. Buses and trains seem cheaper when you don't factor in the very high hidden cost of all those people standing around at the station for fifteen minutes.

    During World War II, there was mandatory recycling in a number of cities, and that has benefits, but people hated it, and it got repealed as soon as the war ended.

    Again, it seems simple to you because you aren't factoring in all the costs that those "shortsighted" people are weighing. The value of their time, spent sorting and hauling or whatever, vastly outweighs the value of the recycled materials.

    An absolute ruler has the ability to switch policy overnight.

    You say that like it's a good thing. There is a lot of economic value in stability, even if the current stable point is not the absolute most efficient. Change is very expensive when there are contracts and properties and projects running.

    Democracies are unwieldy and take years to come to a new policy, and often they contain so many exceptions that they're practically useless.

    Your cynicism prevents you from seeing the hidden utility of a slow legislature and judiciary. And the exceptions as often as not exist to transform a "It sounds so simple and perfect!" law into one that isn't so costly to implement.

    If you could insure the whole "philosopher king" thing, make sure you have a person as absolute ruler who is both capable and worthy of it, then that would be by far the best system. Since you can't, we go with democracy, not because it's in any way better, but because it limits the possible harm that can come out of government toward the people. However democracy can't save the people from their own shortsightedness, and it's just damn inefficient.

    A philosopher king can save us from shortsightedness by delivering us over to narrowmindedness. It's not clear that we should prefer one over the other.

    I'll tell you the worse problem with democracy. On the day that the poorest 51% of the population discovers it can vote itself the wealth of the richest 49%, economic collapse is imminent.

    P.S. It's not a godwin unless your opponent tries to refute you by drawing a paralle between your argument and Hitler's. I mentioned Nazi Germany to illustrate mankind's willingness to join any evil as long as it is personally profitable.

  • Unsurprisingly... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moryath (553296) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:27PM (#21614405)
    look at the chain of wikipedia's former administrators who've been booted off the project.

    Look at how they operate. Parker Peters did a fantastic job writing it up: http://parkerpeters.livejournal.com/ [livejournal.com]

    If you look at every one of these cases, who keeps popping up? It's the same group of editors - David Gerard, JayJG, JzG, SlimVirgin, etc... all with the blessing of Der Fuehrer Jimbo.

    SECOND - Interesting emails have come to me. They are transcripts of the private "discussion" surrounding the banning of anyone who disagrees with abusive administrators in general on wikien-l, and in particular, my own ban - which was placed, not for the lying reasons they gave, but because I was making sense, I had exposed their lies and abuses, and they knew that I had the proper evidence on a CheckUser that they had deliberately lied about. They source to David Gerard, and my analysis was spot-on; he was the genesis of the banning campaign, which is no surprise, as he's always been the most totalitarian, corrupt, hotheaded, and completely worthless representative of any of the Wikipedia and Wikien-l higher-ups.

    Such is the Wikipedia way, the way that exists in most totalitarian states; if you are not right, you simply kill the messenger. They are doing their level best to do this, to this day. That they are trying to close off and shutter anyone who exposes them, and further hiding their back channels to hide their misdeeds, is plenty of proof.


    If Der Fuehrer Jimbo did bother to pop up on Slashdot as a few posters have wished he would, what would he say? It'd doubtlessly be the same thing he says on Wikipedia as he goes around threatening to ban anyone who exposes the abuses of his buddy clique as a so-called "troll."
  • Re:Quote (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Friday December 07, 2007 @01:31PM (#21614461)
    The full quote is: "Greatest misconception about Wikipedia: We aren't democratic. Our readers edit the entries, but we're actually quite snobby. The core community appreciates when someone is knowledgeable, and thinks some people are idiots and shouldn't be writing." In other words, knowledgable contributions are valued more highly than idiot ones. So, yes, that's all you need to know about Wikipedia's bias - an online encyclopedia values good information above bad.
  • Re:Unsurprisingly... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:14PM (#21615067) Journal
    So what is the ultimate goal here. Is Wikkipedia really an open encyclopedia accessible to everyone or id it an exclusive club of yes men attempting to push some hidden agenda.

    And if it is even remotely the second, I could see how exposing the corruption would be a serious things. It threatens the validity of the agenda. But I have to ask, if there is no agenda, then why would corrupt practices be something of interest. And if there is an agenda, what might it be? I know they have had slanted coverage of politically charged events. Things like one paragraph somewhat hidden on other pages explaining the real problems with the Katrina response and three quarters of the main article focusing on the government, Bush and how evil they are. But I doubt their motivation is purely political.

    I would be interested in knowing though. They certainly aren't banning together in secrecy in order to place incorrect information into articles for the sake of being wrong are they? I know they have had some posers like the tenured Harvard professor that was so good, he didn't have to leave his basement in KY long enough for anyone at Harvard to know who he was. There was a few others to. Of course there is also the accusations of ignoring policies to rule on topics or changes outside the secrete mailing lists.

    I don't know. Does anyone have any suggestions to what their motivation might be? Just "Power" doesn't cut it for me. It would be like having the toughest character in a video game. It only relates to the game, they don't attempt to conceal it and when people get pissed, they just play a different game. So I don't see this sort of power translating to anything other then imaginary power. Lets dig and see if we can uncover the real reasons.
  • by Rycross (836649) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:21PM (#21615177)

    You're in the business and you don't understand how modern PR works?

    I used a poor turn of phrase, sorry. I'm not in the business of writing.

    I agree, there's some useful information in there, but it is tinged with so much connotation of conspiracy and sinister control that it can have a rather marked affect on how the reader will interpret the seemingly reasonable material. It could even make them accept it without question if the job is done well enough.

    Yep, I mentioned that I thought that they were hyperbolic, and I agree with your point. To call the admins "totalitarian" is excessive.

    This is how you get anyone to accept a poor, evil interpretation of reasonable events. You hit them with emotional words ("creative" writing), and then you "back them up" with facts that aren't sinister at all, if you gave any context.

    I agree.

    Really, it goes a bit beyond a "joke." That's a very lame excuse for some rather provocative PR work aimed at coloring opinions on Wikipedia.

    From my limited reading of the site in question, I had the impression that this kind of stuff is normal for them. I guess my point of view was more that they were trying to be witty and not malicious. But, see my previous post and above comments. I do agree that the article is too hyperbolic to be informative. There may be legitimate complaints, but they're tainted by the way they're stated, which leads me to...

    The only reason I used hyperbole was because it's rather hard to condense the above into something someone is willing to read. That article is poorly written, and it seeks to assault Wiki, as many of the other articles at the Register do.

    See, thats the thing, you did kind-of the same thing as the article.

    And to be honest, I really like Wikipedia, but every time there's a controversy, instead of saying "Well yeah, we'll have to fix that. Nothing is perfect," Wikians come out of the woodwork to scream, "How dare you sir! There's absolutely nothing wrong with Wikipedia, and if you insist there is then you just want to bury the project!" At least thats how it seems to me. Anthropomorphizing the situation, you go from a likable guy who you can give you really great, if maybe a bit flawed, information, to a perfectionist prick who starts screaming at you at the first hint of criticism.

    Framing the argument to say that agreeing with what the article is saying amounts to killing off Wikipedia smacks of the latter person. Based on what you've written, thats not at all what you were trying to say. But I also apply that logic to the article at hand.

    I'm quite sick of it.

    You and me both. I guess thats what I was trying to point out, but I stated my point poorly. Communication is a bitch.

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday December 07, 2007 @02:34PM (#21615355) Homepage Journal
    >>If you look at every one of these cases, who keeps popping up? It's the same group of editors - David Gerard, JayJG, JzG, SlimVirgin, etc... all with the blessing of Der Fuehrer Jimbo.

    I don't know the other guys, but I really detest JayJG. He would do "drive-by reversions" on completely uncontroversial edits, like adding ISBN numbers to book entries, or modifying a summary to better reflect the article below, usually saying they were "unsupported edits".

    Looking at his history list at the time, he was doing between one to three reversions a minute, so there's no fucking way he actually read the article in question to see that the summary changes were, in fact, reflective of the article below (which also had the references in question). Changing it to have the reference in the summary, he'd revert it saying that there was now too much link cruft in the summary.

    Either he was pushing his own personal agenda (which, looking at his history of 'edits', I'm strongly inclined to believe), or he was just trying to boost his "edit count" in some sort of retarded metric that a lot of wikipedians share, that rank people by the numbers of edits they make, which is perfectly retarded. I saw a admin ignore one guy's post in a edit war thread because he "only had 80 edits".

    I actually prefer to make edits anonymously, since I'd rather have the edits judged solely on their merits, and not traced to me as well, in case a potential employer googles me, but the wikipedian admins (ignoring the don't bite the newbs policy) tend to treat all anonymous edits as vitriolic spam, regardless of quality. You know what? Just turn off anonymous editing on all of wikipedia if you're going to reject the addition of something as noncontroversial as adding ISBN numbers to a page, ok? Right now, they're just pretending to allow anonymous edits.

    Try the following experiment: make 10 anonymous edits to a {{controverisal}} page, then make 10 while logged in, and see if their isn't a bias there.

    The only really positive thing is that it seems JayJG has retired (an extended so-called "wikibreak", which is a perfectly retarded term as well, IMO).
  • by Gloy (1151691) on Friday December 07, 2007 @03:26PM (#21616081)
    The article was protected because of edit warring. You, 209.200.52.180 and various other people . In such a situation administrators do not take sides. Seriously, make all the accusations you like. They don't. They simply protect the page, in whatever state it is in when they get there, as reverting to their preferred version would, of course, be seen as taking sides. Of course, those unfortunate enough not to have their changes in the protected version will immediately start making accusations, usually simply of Protecting the Wrong Version(tm), but sometimes conspiracy theorists such as yourself seem to like to go a bit further. Perhaps you should read this [wikimedia.org].
  • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@chr[ ]blue.net ['oma' in gap]> on Friday December 07, 2007 @04:11PM (#21616715)

    Either he was pushing his own personal agenda (which, looking at his history of 'edits', I'm strongly inclined to believe), or he was just trying to boost his "edit count" in some sort of retarded metric that a lot of wikipedians share, that rank people by the numbers of edits they make, which is perfectly retarded. I saw a admin ignore one guy's post in a edit war thread because he "only had 80 edits".

    c) all of the above.

    There's a reason why there's userblocks for "This user has made xx,000 edits to Wikipedia". Often you'll read of a new admin who'll have "joined November 2006, made 11,000 edits, then became admin April 2007". 11,000 edits in 4 months?

    Look at Articles for Deletion, too - regular mention will be made of (though it's not policy) certain people's edit counts, "just as a helpful FYI". Durova, who got bit by the "sleuthing" calamity, is one in particular for that, or who'll point out that "this is this user's first vote in an AfD in their last 500 edits" (when said user has several thousand edits) - I've thought for a while about this and can think of not a single valid point that that makes.

    The only really positive thing is that it seems JayJG has retired (an extended so-called "wikibreak", which is a perfectly retarded term as well, IMO).

    Assuming a) he's not behind the scenes pulling strings, unlikely not to be the case, as he's still very vocal on mailing lists, and b) he doesn't have a sockpuppet (hell, I'd be surprised if he didn't have another admin sockpuppet).

  • Re:Unsurprisingly... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Smauler (915644) on Friday December 07, 2007 @07:56PM (#21619565)

    Wikipedia has that power now. However, there is one big thing that prevents that power from becoming too strong. Anyone can copy it. Anyone can replicate Wikipedia in its entirety, and change the bits they want, and moderate the bits they want. The _only_ thing wikipedia has is its popularity. There is nothing else, Wikipedia as an organisation has 0 true assets, apart from their popularity.

    If or when wikipedia gets too corrupt, users will leave. They'll leave to an identical copy of wikipedia without the corrupt bits.

    Most of the problem pages on wikipedia are about people or companies. I personally very rarely look up information on people (who aren't long dead) or companies on wikipedia - Wikipedia is never going to be a good source of information on those kinds of things, nor should it aim to be.

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte

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