Journalist slams Wickedpedian censorship
A lot of people have the mistaken idea that the big source of Wikipedia's problems is open editing, where virtually anyone can try to edit Wikipedia articles. This open editing sometimes results in vandalism or innocent errors from unknowledgeable editors. However, these effects of open editing can be self-correcting. A much bigger problem is the biased fascist control-freak Wikipedia administrators who exploit the arcane Wickedpedia rules to "lawyer to death" and arbitrarily censor others' views. This censorship is not self-correcting.
Lawrence Solomon, a journalist for Financial Post and National Post, which are major Canadian publications, said the following about the Wickedpedian control freaks' bias against critics of global warming theory:
In contrast to the high-handed treatment that greet global warming skeptics, those who support the orthodoxy are puffed up and protected from criticism, their errors erased and their controversies hushed. This is the case with Naomi Oreskes, a scientist with a PhD who had arrived at an absurd finding: That no studies in a major scientific database questioned the UN view of climate change. . . . .
. . . .In any event, her Wikipedia page is not really about her but her study, which has been thoroughly discredited by credible journalists and scientists. To suppress these critiques, the trollers apply Wikipedia’s bewildering rules as to what can and can’t appear, and when the rules are inadequate, the trollers make up new ones on the fly.
Several weeks ago, as I described in an earlier column, I attempted to correct passages on the Oreskes page that would lead readers to think her study had been vindicated and also to think that U.K. scientist Benny Peiser, one of her critics, had abjectly withdrawn his criticisms. Wikipedia’s rules thwarted me, used to revert my corrections, again and again. Those who came before me in attempting to make corrections, and, I would find out, those who came after, were similarly thwarted.
Wikipedia refused to accept Peiser’s critique, or his interpretation of his own views, or an account of his views that he had provided to me, or an account of his views published in a peer-reviewed journal, or an account of his views published in The Wall Street Journal, or an account of his views published by the U.S. Senate committee on environment and public works. Instead, the Wikipedia trollers insisted that all of the above sources were disqualified or irrelevant under Wikipedia rules, and that the trollers’ own understanding of Peiser’s views trumped all others.
There's just no satisfying the Wickedpedian control freaks -- I know this from personal experience.
Related articles by Larry Solomon are here, here, and here. An Uncommon Descent post about the articles is here.
A commenter remarked,
We can thank Google -- and its ranking of search results -- for Wikipedia’s rise in popularity and the unfortunate fact that it is the “go to” resource for many using the Internet today. The problem is that many believe that Wikipedia is a legitimate source, which clearly it is not.
Good point -- Google's Link Popularity ranking method   is also a reason why newer blogs find it difficult to compete with long-established blogs.
In the law profession, Wikipedia was apparently once highly regarded as a reference -- I don't know if it still is. A Feb. 5, 2007 article on a law professor's blog said,
Last week, we blogged stories on whether students or courts should cite, and law professors should write for, Wikipedia. The New York Times reports that "[m]ore than 100 judicial rulings have relied on Wikipedia, beginning in 2004, including 13 from circuit courts of appeal, one step below the Supreme Court. (The Supreme Court thus far has never cited Wikipedia.)"
I asked my crack research assistant, Drew Marksity, to determine how many times law professors have cited Wikipedia in law review articles. Using Westlaw's JLR database, Drew found that 545 articles cite Wikipedia. (An additional 125 articles mention Wikipedia but do not cite it as authority.)
The proper way to handle most Wikipedia editing disputes is to post a brief description of the disputed item along with a note that the item is disputed, a brief statement of the reason(s) for the dispute, and URL links to external websites or Wikipedia discussion pages where the dispute is discussed or debated. That way (1) there is no suggestion of Wikipedia endorsement and (2) Wikipedia articles are not cluttered up with long debates about controversial issues. Wikipedia's ways of handling disputes are long edit wars and censorship by control-freak administrators.
Wikipedia's bad reputation as a source of information on controversial issues has passed the point of no return.
Now supertroll ViU is going to respond with a remark about how I was vandalizing Wickedpedia and was properly censored. It happens every time, as surely as Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown at the last instant every time he tries to kick it.
Labels: Wikipedia (new #2)