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Yet Another Wikipedia Scandal

2

Posts

  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Bernard, I'd really recommend you read up on the Essjay scandal. Yuo'd be amazed at how high a position he was given (up to being placed on, not elected to, the Arbitration Committee (one of the highest ranking bodies in the Wikipedia power structure) when his duplicity was KNOWN by Wales.

    I read about it when it happened, and I was kind of surprised, but not so much. Really, I've always felt the Internet was full of deception anyway, which is why I'm reluctant to give any real details about myself and tend to trust anything I read in print at least slightly more than anything on the 'net. Specifically about Wikipedia, I'm happy to believe anything I read about, for example, Bioshock, but if I start reading about a leading politician being convicted of something, I'm more likely to check the sources (and if none are there, I might look into it further or dismiss it). Maybe I'm just cynical. Also, Wikipedia seems to be so massive it's up to individuals, and there are bound to be some inept or corrupt people in the mix.

    I *didn't* realize Wales knew about it - that's downright awful. I'll read about it all on Wikipedia tomorrow

    BernardBernoulli on
  • ShoggothShoggoth Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Shoggoth wrote: »
    So much wiki hate.

    Boo hoo I can't cite it in my research paper.

    God, i wouldn't cite wikipedia for anything legit if you tied me up, poured barbeque sauce on me, and threw me into a komodo dragon exhibit

    using any sort of encyclopedia as a reference is generally a bad idea, but an online open-source encyclopedia? uuugghhhhhhhh

    and the citation thing has merit because seriously, it's one thing to look something to the get the general gist of a subject, but no real understading is going to come from reading a wikipedia article. you're not an "expert" because you read a bunch of online sources, you're just some dude who has read some online sources. wikipedia is nice and shiny and a good place to find out about stuff you may not have known about before. as a place to create a base of knowledge though, it's utter crap.

    there's an article on "glomping" for fuck's sake

    Of course everyone knows it's not as reliable as a fucking scientific journal tho. We know.

    It's actually, pretty fucking awesome for what it is. I don't know what every one else is reading about, but a lot of the shit I read on there is usually pretty accurate and when it isn't I can see that the article is being disputed/whatever and it's plainly bullshit. If you're not able to glance over a wiki and smell some bullshit you're probably in not fit to be writing a research paper any way. You find something to be bullshit? Guess what, look at the sources. Doesn't have a source? Ok, unsubstantiated.

    Your example of glomping is actually pretty good, where the fuck else would you look something like that up? Wikipedia serves it's purpose amazingly well, it's more or less designed to trade some reliability for sheer amount of information.

    Tl;dr I fucking love wikipedia, despite it's shortcomings.

    Shoggoth on
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  • Pants ManPants Man Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Shoggoth wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Shoggoth wrote: »
    So much wiki hate.

    Boo hoo I can't cite it in my research paper.

    God, i wouldn't cite wikipedia for anything legit if you tied me up, poured barbeque sauce on me, and threw me into a komodo dragon exhibit

    using any sort of encyclopedia as a reference is generally a bad idea, but an online open-source encyclopedia? uuugghhhhhhhh

    and the citation thing has merit because seriously, it's one thing to look something to the get the general gist of a subject, but no real understading is going to come from reading a wikipedia article. you're not an "expert" because you read a bunch of online sources, you're just some dude who has read some online sources. wikipedia is nice and shiny and a good place to find out about stuff you may not have known about before. as a place to create a base of knowledge though, it's utter crap.

    there's an article on "glomping" for fuck's sake

    Of course everyone knows it's not as reliable as a fucking scientific journal tho. We know.

    It's actually, pretty fucking awesome for what it is. I don't know what every one else is reading about, but a lot of the shit I read on there is usually pretty accurate and when it isn't I can see that the article is being disputed/whatever and it's plainly bullshit. If you're not able to glance over a wiki and smell some bullshit you're probably in not fit to be writing a research paper any way. You find something to be bullshit? Guess what, look at the sources. Doesn't have a source? Ok, unsubstantiated.

    Your example of glomping is actually pretty good, where the fuck else would you look something like that up? Wikipedia serves it's purpose amazingly well, it's more or less designed to trade some reliability for sheer amount of information.

    Tl;dr I fucking love wikipedia, despite it's shortcomings.

    i'm not saying wikipedia isn't kickass or fun to go through, because it is, but there's just so much bullshit to wade through, especially on the sites about lesser known type stuff. the information is only useful as a primer at best.

    and glomping as an article is just a waste of space. it's hard for someone to take wikipedia seriously when you could swap a page with encyclopediadramatia and not have anyone notice

    Pants Man on
    "okay byron, my grandma has a right to be happy, so i give you my blessing. just... don't get her pregnant. i don't need another mom."
  • ShoggothShoggoth Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Well yes sir, I agree.

    Shoggoth on
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  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Are there people who are like: "If you're not contributing to Wiki, you're to blame for any shortcomings Wiki may have."

    As if one could equate contributing to Wiki as a civic duty.

    VoodooV on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    the information is only useful as a primer at best.
    Just like most encyclopedias.
    and glomping as an article is just a waste of space
    What space?

    Couscous on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    VoodooV wrote: »
    Are there people who are like: "If you're not contributing to Wiki, you're to blame for any shortcomings Wiki may have."

    As if one could equate contributing to Wiki as a civic duty.

    That's one of the first things you hear from the Wikifaithful if you point out any deficiencies.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Pretty much everything that can be said about Wikipedia was quoted by me on the first page of the last thread we had on this subject:
    Feral wrote: »
    Pretty much everything that can be said about this was quoted by me on the first page of the last thread we had on this subject:
    Feral wrote:
    Pretty much everything that can be said about this was said on the first page of the last thread we had on this subject:
    ElJeffe wrote:
    If I have a question about the geography of Israel, you know what I do? I don't go to the library and check out a book on Israel; I turn around and ask the girl sitting 10 feet from me who comes from fucking Jerusalem. Is she an expert? No, but she still knows a lot about the subject, and ignoring her input because she doesn't have 3 degrees in pretentiology is retarded.

    Looking something up on Wikipedia is like asking a question of that really smart guy you know who's always kicking ass at Jeopardy. There's a good chance you'll get the right answer. In fact, there's a goddamned fantastic chance that you'll get the right answer on the vast majority of topics. Can it be wrong? Sure, and that's why you shouldn't use it if you're writing a research paper, or something. But if you just want to check a fact, and the 0.01% chance of error is acceptable, it's awesome.

    Yes, ElJeffe's post is from four threads back. And it's still quoteworthy.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    I agree, but we don't really need his head to get any bigger.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Quid wrote: »
    The article itself links to a better one explaining that this particular admin may have been purposely fucking with the information to plant false information.

    Supposing it's true, I'd be angry but not entirely surprised.

    Edit: Also, the above. I've seen the way proper edits work in Wiki and there's no room for aggressiveness. The whole thing's hippy passive.

    I've tried to add information to a Warhammer 40k article, and had 2 or 3 little nutjob Wikinazis with their bot software go after me for it. Specifically, they didn't like the fact that I was linking to a non-English website (with an English section and English captions on everything) and that I was linking to a "personal webpage".

    I even quoted, to their "face," the relevant policy, they basically ignored me.

    Oh, and when I removed the entire plot of Disgaea 2 from it's Wiki entry, 2 days after it was released, I had some little prick go off on me for "suppressing information."

    There was also one more major clusterfuck, I think related to Jack Thompson and the Janet Reno "Are you a lesbian" note he handed her at that debate, but I barely remember that. Something about 1-10 admins all watching that article like a hawk, unwilling to believe initially that any of the information added to the article was real, since Jack claimed it was all made up.

    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.

    GoodOmens on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.
    I like the hard sciences sections, mostly because I know there's not enough people out there intelligent and motivated enough to actually insert bullshit there in a way which isn't going to be mindnumbingly obvious.

    electricitylikesme on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.
    I like the hard sciences sections, mostly because I know there's not enough people out there intelligent and motivated enough to actually insert bullshit there in a way which isn't going to be mindnumbingly obvious.

    Of course, that willingness to accept their own sources (and not hunt up proper ones) can be problematic. I remember one of the articles about a formula used in population ecology had the formula itself displayed incorrectly (inverted) because the high-school bio website they'd pinched it from was the same D:

    The Cat on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.
    I like the hard sciences sections, mostly because I know there's not enough people out there intelligent and motivated enough to actually insert bullshit there in a way which isn't going to be mindnumbingly obvious.

    Of course, that willingness to accept their own sources (and not hunt up proper ones) can be problematic. I remember one of the articles about a formula used in population ecology had the formula itself displayed incorrectly (inverted) because the high-school bio website they'd pinched it from was the same D:

    Not to be unexpected though given the nature of wikipedia.

    electricitylikesme on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.

    Yeah, but Wikipedia dosen't see itself as "just the internet", so that logic dosen't apply. It dosen't see itself as a great time waster, or anything else you said. It sees itself as a respected depository of human knowledge.

    If you we were talking about ED or Wikichan, yeah you could dismiss it with "its the internets!". Not something where millions of people go and expect a factual, non-biased source of knowledge, so dismissing his argument with that one fails.

    It is a bunch of Comic Book Guys and Furries (go read the Furry discussion page for some kicks) going around enforcing their opinions, and because so many of them are admins they can just boot you for trolling, and now you've got a bunch of false knowledge being perpetuated. If you've never had to deal with someone from wikipedia, its almost like you're dealing with a cult.

    For example, here's Wikipedia on Frat Hazings:
    While a report of hazing activity does occasionally appear in the news, for almost all fraternities and sororities in the United States hazing has been abandoned. For most organizations, hazing has been replaced with education and brother/sisterhood experiences.

    Man what?

    siliconenhanced on
  • BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User
    edited July 2007
    KiTA wrote: »
    I've tried to add information to a Warhammer 40k article, and had 2 or 3 little nutjob Wikinazis with their bot software go after me for it. Specifically, they didn't like the fact that I was linking to a non-English website (with an English section and English captions on everything) and that I was linking to a "personal webpage".

    I even quoted, to their "face," the relevant policy, they basically ignored me.

    Oh, and when I removed the entire plot of Disgaea 2 from it's Wiki entry, 2 days after it was released, I had some little prick go off on me for "suppressing information."

    There was also one more major clusterfuck, I think related to Jack Thompson and the Janet Reno "Are you a lesbian" note he handed her at that debate, but I barely remember that. Something about 1-10 admins all watching that article like a hawk, unwilling to believe initially that any of the information added to the article was real, since Jack claimed it was all made up.

    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    Not that I've edited a lot of stuff on Wikipedia (usually spelling mistakes and stuff), but when I've done something slightly bigger, I've never had any problems like this. I remember editing a Battletech page which was just rubbish, I kept an eye on it and people were fine with it. I edited some game page which was saying the game was no good on PC because the mouse only had 2 or 3 buttons and could only be used to look around, no problem there. I've noticed people don't like lots of links going all over the place, that's true.

    I've never tried it, but apparently changing pages like Jack Thompson's need a lot of discussion in the Talk page proving anything significant, and then there's the "consensus" thing, so if you're outvoted 3-1, there's simply nothing you can do. Maybe call in an admin., but apparently they're probably not impartial

    edit: also, I figure you can slap a citation required thing on any claim you don't agree with, and if they don't cough one up after a while, you can change or get rid of it

    BernardBernoulli on
  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    KiTA wrote: »
    So yeah, while there's tons of Passive Aggressive bullshit at Wikipedia, it also has it's fair share of Comic Book Guys running around enforcing their favorite opinions.

    So, basically what your saying is that it's the Internet.

    For all its deficiencies and quirks, Wikipedia is still the best time waster on the Web, especially that magic "Random Article" link. If you just want to learn about something, and you don't care what it is, and you're not picky about it being true, you can burn hours just wandering the labyrinthine halls of human trivia.

    Yeah, but Wikipedia dosen't see itself as "just the internet", so that logic dosen't apply. It dosen't see itself as a great time waster, or anything else you said. It sees itself as a respected depository of human knowledge.

    If you we were talking about ED or Wikichan, yeah you could dismiss it with "its the internets!". Not something where millions of people go and expect a factual, non-biased source of knowledge, so dismissing his argument with that one fails.

    Sorry if I wasn't being clear. I didn't mean "it's just the Internet so it's OK that there are inaccuracies." I meant "it's the Internet, so you just have to accept that it's going to be filled with obsessive assholes, and hope that you can actually find something useful."

    I was being snarkily sarcastic, rather than dismissive.

    The trouble with Wikipedia is twofold:
    1. As you said, people do expect it to be authoritative. My students (I teach high school) sometimes complain that a teacher won't let them use Wikipedia for research. I tell them that Wiki is a great first step for research, but that it should never, ever be the last step. That's the part that people forget.

    2. Wikipedia had the potential to finally fulfill all the wonderous, hopeful ideas about what the Internet could become: a community of users sharing information and ideas, increasing knowledge for all. Remember those Utopian articles back in the 90's?

    GoodOmens on
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  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    See it's stories like this that make me think that Wiki shouldn't be allowed to advertise that anyone can edit it anymore because, like KiTA has pointed out, someone has appointed themselves the Warhammer emperor and all edits must go through that person apparently. Whether it's right or not, or whether or not you could work to get your stuff in despite the self-appointed emperor's efforts is beside the point. The fact is, not everyone can edit it.

    Enough obsessives and comic book guys have appointed themselves guardians of the internet and took over Wiki and you must go through them in order to make an edit. If you get into their "circle," great, but how is that any different from a traditional encyclopedia where you have to be on official member of the research staff (ie: join their "circle") before you can write for them.

    Problem is, whenever you hear Wiki talked about in the media or something, you always hear about the "anyone can edit it" thing. You never hear about what you hear here, that someone from the obsessive internet nazi society removed what you tried to add.

    VoodooV on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The purpose of an encyclopedia is not to be an in-depth source on highly technical or controversial topics, nor is it expected to be error-free. Accuracy takes a back seat to breadth and accessibility for any encyclopedia. Wikipedia is extraordinarily broad and accessible - even if it's error rate were higher than a print encyclopedia (and, by the way, it's not, Wikipedia has an error rate comparable to Encyclopedia Brittanica), it would still be a better encyclopedia, because it's better at being those things which we expect an encyclopedia to be.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • agoajagoaj Now is the time of my revengeRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Rolo wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Wikipedia may not be the most partial or accurate place to get your information?

    You don't say.

    no dude, it used to be the best possible source of information about EVERYTHING, but then this one lady screwed it all up and only now is it a bloated and ultimately useless open-source online information repository.

    Shit, man. And me with my Master's thesis coming up. Just my luck.

    Are the articles about the background stories of random video game characters still accurate? I'd really hate it if someone were lying about Tails.

    I hear he has two tails, but there's no source on that in the article.

    npovbreachkr1sg2.png

    agoaj on
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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Now I'm depressed. Terribly terribly depressed.

    GoodOmens on
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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm sure there are all kinds of questionable people who are in some positions of power with Wikipedia, of course it is advantageous to have an insider for your article, be it for government, military, a corporation or just some random group of people. Just look at the citations though, any kind of long term poisoning of an article is difficult verging on impossible.

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    The purpose of an encyclopedia...nor is it expected to be error-free. Accuracy takes a back seat to breadth and accessibility for any encyclopedia.

    You're joking, right? Most encyclopedias take accuracy seriously, and print errata. And as is been shown, thie issues facing Wikipedia are not ones of accuracy, but of bias and trustworthiness.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I agree, but we don't really need his head to get any bigger.

    Too late. My skull already exploded.

    Ego everywhere.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    I'm sure there are all kinds of questionable people who are in some positions of power with Wikipedia, of course it is advantageous to have an insider for your article, be it for government, military, a corporation or just some random group of people. Just look at the citations though, any kind of long term poisoning of an article is difficult verging on impossible.

    Nope. You just need the proper authority and the right tools (mainly high level admins with access to oversight). This is why this scandal is so dangerous - it focuses on exactly that issue.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    The purpose of an encyclopedia...nor is it expected to be error-free. Accuracy takes a back seat to breadth and accessibility for any encyclopedia.

    You're joking, right?

    Nope.
    Most encyclopedias take accuracy seriously,


    When did I say that they don't?
    What I'm saying is that accuracy, though important, is not nearly as important as breadth and accessibility. To expect otherwise is to misunderstand the purpose of an encyclopedia.
    and print errata.

    So does Wikipedia. And you don't have to wait a year for it.
    And as is been shown, thie issues facing Wikipedia are not ones of quadrilateral, but of square and rectangle.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    And as is been shown, thie issues facing Wikipedia are not ones of quadrilateral, but of square and rectangle.

    :lol:

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    I'm sure there are all kinds of questionable people who are in some positions of power with Wikipedia, of course it is advantageous to have an insider for your article, be it for government, military, a corporation or just some random group of people. Just look at the citations though, any kind of long term poisoning of an article is difficult verging on impossible.

    Nope. You just need the proper authority and the right tools (mainly high level admins with access to oversight). This is why this scandal is so dangerous - it focuses on exactly that issue.

    How so. Even if you have a corrupt admin in play, if people continue to change an article while citing reputable sources, it becomes difficult for any single admin to prevent the changes, especially since other admins will be brought in if there are continuing flame wars. I dont know a huge amount about the admin structure and their authority though, is there something that I am not considering here that makes it easier for a single admin to corrupt an article in the long term?

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    The purpose of an encyclopedia...nor is it expected to be error-free. Accuracy takes a back seat to breadth and accessibility for any encyclopedia.

    You're joking, right?

    Nope.
    So, what you're saying is that an encyclopedia will print an inaccurate but accessible article as opposed to an accurate but inaccessible article. Right.
    Feral wrote: »
    Most encyclopedias take accuracy seriously,


    When did I say that they don't?
    What I'm saying is that accuracy, though important, is not nearly as important as breadth and accessibility. To expect otherwise is to misunderstand the purpose of an encyclopedia.
    See, accuracy is what keeps you out of the courtroom, not breadth or accessibility. Not to mention all the other things that come from being accurate.
    Feral wrote: »
    and print errata.

    So does Wikipedia. And you don't have to wait a year for it.
    Except when someone has a vested interest in not letting the fix go through. Yes, it happens.
    Feral wrote: »
    And as is been shown, thie issues facing Wikipedia are not ones of quadrilateral, but of square and rectangle.
    Of course, quadrilateral contains parallelogram and rhombus as well. But, the thing is that it is possible to be accurate and biased, as well as being accurate and untrustworthy.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    I'm sure there are all kinds of questionable people who are in some positions of power with Wikipedia, of course it is advantageous to have an insider for your article, be it for government, military, a corporation or just some random group of people. Just look at the citations though, any kind of long term poisoning of an article is difficult verging on impossible.

    Nope. You just need the proper authority and the right tools (mainly high level admins with access to oversight). This is why this scandal is so dangerous - it focuses on exactly that issue.

    How so. Even if you have a corrupt admin in play, if people continue to change an article while citing reputable sources, it becomes difficult for any single admin to prevent the changes, especially since other admins will be brought in if there are continuing flame wars. I dont know a huge amount about the admin structure and their authority though, is there something that I am not considering here that makes it easier for a single admin to corrupt an article in the long term?

    There's a good essay on this in The Wikipedia Review - I'll have to find it. (Edit: Found it.)

    That said, you're basically thinking of an idealized Wikipedia, not Wikipedia as is. The reality is that if you're up against an admin, always bet on the admin. Other admins will not support you, they have tools beyond what you can use (like oversight, which they WILL use to cut you off at the knees), they'll institute policy to kneecap you (yes, I'm looking at you, WP:BADSITES), they'll provoke you into doing something that allows them to drop the banhammer on you, etc.

    In other words, admins can and WILL abuse their power. And when that happens, you are FUCKED, as it is unlikely they will ever be held accountable (again, look at when and why Essjay was fired to see why you have no chance to survive.)

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    KiTA wrote: »
    There was also one more major clusterfuck, I think related to Jack Thompson and the Janet Reno "Are you a lesbian" note he handed her at that debate, but I barely remember that. Something about 1-10 admins all watching that article like a hawk, unwilling to believe initially that any of the information added to the article was real, since Jack claimed it was all made up.

    That's because Jack threatened to sue them. Considering that Wikipedia's phyiscal location is in FL, that's not a threat they could take lightly.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    So, what you're saying is that an encyclopedia will print an inaccurate but accessible article as opposed to an accurate but inaccessible article.

    If they know it's inaccurate? No, they won't. Do they check every single fact before it's printed? No, they won't.

    What I'm saying is that for any reasonable use of an encyclopedia, you should expect a reasonable, but not perfect, level of accuracy. As has been said countless times, for any serious academic or professional work, you should not be citing an encyclopedia. You should be going to a professional publication, peer-reviewed journal, textbook, or primary source. Period, full stop, end of story.

    So what is an encyclopedia good for? Primarily, it's for getting your bearings on an unfamiliar topic. A good encyclopedia should be able to explain a topic to a reader otherwise unfamiliar with that area of study in such a way that after the reader finishes the article, he or she will understand some of the basic concepts and have an idea of where they can go for more detail.

    With that in mind, Wikipedia is better at being an encyclopedia than just about any other encyclopedia. Complaining that Wikipedia is a poor encyclopedia because it - gasp - might have inaccuracies is like saying a Honda Accord is a shitty car because it can't go 150 mph and scale off-road terrain. It's such an egregious example of missing the point that it frankly baffles me that we have this discussion over and over and over again.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    the day I don't like a product/website or whatever because there are assholes out there who might fuck with it, please shoot me in the head.

    more later, on my way out the door at work.

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    So what is an encyclopedia good for? Primarily, it's for getting your bearings on an unfamiliar topic. A good encyclopedia should be able to explain a topic to a reader otherwise unfamiliar with that area of study in such a way that after the reader finishes the article, he or she will understand some of the basic concepts and have an idea of where they can go for more detail.

    With that in mind, Wikipedia is better at being an encyclopedia than just about any other encyclopedia. Complaining that Wikipedia is a poor encyclopedia because it - gasp - might have inaccuracies is like saying a Honda Accord is a shitty car because it can't go 150 mph and scale off-road terrain. It's such an egregious example of missing the point that it frankly baffles me that we have this discussion over and over and over again.

    No, you're the one missing the point. Wikipedia's problem stems from the fact that the "bearings" it gives can't be trusted. Let's take as an example the tax protester movement. The whole movement lives on deceit - the arguments they use over and over have been debunked thoroughly, and will basically net you additional fines and possibly jail time if you use them in court. But since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, what's to stop said "protesters" from bolstering their arguments by rewriting the relevant Wikipedia pages? Nothing, and if you take some time to read their edit histories, you'll see attempt...after attempt...after attempt.

    Luckily, this is one of the few times where there's a happy ending - there is an editor who watches for these attempts and makes sure they don't stick. But if they weren't there, you would most undoubtedly have a series of pages that would convince anyone who didn't know anything about the matter that these arguments would work, and lead them to "experts" who would be more than happy to advise them in their case. And this is only one case of many - and some of these biases are held by administrators, who have even greater power to push their biases.

    If you can't see the problem at this point, I doubt you ever will.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    No, you're the one missing the point. Wikipedia's problem stems from the fact that the "bearings" it gives can't be trusted. Let's take as an example the tax protester movement. The whole movement lives on deceit - the arguments they use over and over have been debunked thoroughly, and will basically net you additional fines and possibly jail time if you use them in court. But since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, what's to stop said "protesters" from bolstering their arguments by rewriting the relevant Wikipedia pages? Nothing, and if you take some time to read their edit histories, you'll see attempt...after attempt...after attempt.

    Luckily, this is one of the few times where there's a happy ending - there is an editor who watches for these attempts and makes sure they don't stick. But if they weren't there, you would most undoubtedly have a series of pages that would convince anyone who didn't know anything about the matter that these arguments would work, and lead them to "experts" who would be more than happy to advise them in their case. And this is only one case of many - and some of these biases are held by administrators, who have even greater power to push their biases.

    If you can't see the problem at this point, I doubt you ever will.

    I see that Wikipedia is not a reliable substitute for a lawyer or accountant. All these years I've been getting tax advice from an encyclopedia, I've been setting myself up for possible prosecution!
    Thanks for clearing that up for me. :^:

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Alright, I'll be a little less glib.

    You mentioned that the tax protestor problem has had a happy ending. Is there an example of a similar issue occurring with a biased admin who (A) wrote clearly biased articles about a non-trivial issue and (B) was not de-admined or overruled when his bias was discovered?

    I'm sorry, but admins being pinks about made-up gods in a tabletop wargame or the plot of a video game aren't alarming to me. Oh no, Wikipedia readers might not know what happens to Rosalin in Disgaea 2! The horror!

    So what I'm seeing so far is that the only real examples of flagrant bias happen in articles which, frankly, really don't fucking matter while bias in articles that might actually matter to somebody (who's not a fanboy) is rapidly cleaned up.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Alright, I'll be a little less glib.

    You mentioned that the tax protestor problem has had a happy ending. Is there an example of a similar issue occurring with a biased admin who (A) wrote clearly biased articles about a non-trivial issue and (B) was not de-admined or overruled when his bias was discovered?

    Yes - the very admin this whole thread is about. Seriously, take some time to look up "SlimVirgin" on Google.
    Feral wrote: »
    I'm sorry, but admins being pinks about made-up gods in a tabletop wargame or the plot of a video game aren't alarming to me. Oh no, Wikipedia readers might not know what happens to Rosalin in Disgaea 2! The horror!

    To me, it reminds me of how RMS defended anti-Tivoization by constantly talking about TiVo. Now that the GPLv3 is in the wild, people are starting to realize that the same clause might apply to Aunt Tillie's insulin pump, where it may not be the best of ideas to let anybody modify the software. Yes, there are these little Wiki-slapfights in meaningless topics - but there are major topics where biases are enforced. I'd suggest starting with Objectivism (it's pretty well known that Jimbo at the least supports it.)
    Feral wrote: »
    So what I'm seeing so far is that the only real examples of flagrant bias happen in articles which, frankly, really don't fucking matter while bias in articles that might actually matter to somebody (who's not a fanboy) is rapidly cleaned up.
    It's not the flagrant bias that's dangerous. It's the quiet, subversive bias that should be worrying.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • SalviusSalvius Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    That said, you're basically thinking of an idealized Wikipedia, not Wikipedia as is. The reality is that if you're up against an admin, always bet on the admin. Other admins will not support you, they have tools beyond what you can use (like oversight, which they WILL use to cut you off at the knees), they'll institute policy to kneecap you (yes, I'm looking at you, WP:BADSITES), they'll provoke you into doing something that allows them to drop the banhammer on you, etc.
    Did you seriously just refer to a proposal that was rejected as evidence that admins can implement whatever policy they want to "kneecap you"? Because I think it supports the opposite point.

    Salvius on
    current.png
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Salvius wrote: »
    That said, you're basically thinking of an idealized Wikipedia, not Wikipedia as is. The reality is that if you're up against an admin, always bet on the admin. Other admins will not support you, they have tools beyond what you can use (like oversight, which they WILL use to cut you off at the knees), they'll institute policy to kneecap you (yes, I'm looking at you, WP:BADSITES), they'll provoke you into doing something that allows them to drop the banhammer on you, etc.
    Did you seriously just refer to a proposal that was rejected as evidence that admins can implement whatever policy they want to "kneecap you"? Because I think it supports the opposite point.
    Okay - while BADSITES may have not succeeded, admins will still go after you if you link from what they think is an "attack site".

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Alright, I'll be a little less glib.

    You mentioned that the tax protestor problem has had a happy ending. Is there an example of a similar issue occurring with a biased admin who (A) wrote clearly biased articles about a non-trivial issue and (B) was not de-admined or overruled when his bias was discovered?

    Yes - the very admin this whole thread is about. Seriously, take some time to look up "SlimVirgin" on Google.

    Okay, I've found a parody piece on EncyclopediaDramatica, a nearly incoherent rant on WikiTruth, and some random forum postings on WikipediaReview. So she's a hardass and she's unpopular... in other words, she's The Cat of Wikipedia. Whoopty fucking doo.

    And the article linked from Slashdot? Sorry, that doesn't fly.
    OhMyNews wrote:
    As I could not locate the article in which I had learned about the allegations, I consulted the article on the Entebbe Operation on Wikipedia, where I knew the story had been noted. To my surprise, I found that all references to the alleged collaboration between the PFLP and the Shin Bet had been suppressed. Moreover, it is no longer possible to edit the page.

    Actually, the Entebbe Operation article is editable, and there's a long conversation in the Talk page that makes it completely transparent why the Shin Bet line had been removed. Also, none of the recorded edits to that page were made by SlimVirgin.

    So what the hell is the problem here? That SlimVirgin might have worked for MI-5? Do you believe that working for an intelligence agency makes an author's contributions inherently invalid?
    Feral wrote: »
    I'm sorry, but admins being pinks about made-up gods in a tabletop wargame or the plot of a video game aren't alarming to me. Oh no, Wikipedia readers might not know what happens to Rosalin in Disgaea 2! The horror!

    To me, it reminds me of how RMS defended anti-Tivoization by constantly talking about TiVo. Now that the GPLv3 is in the wild, people are starting to realize that the same clause might apply to Aunt Tillie's insulin pump, where it may not be the best of ideas to let anybody modify the software. Yes, there are these little Wiki-slapfights in meaningless topics - but there are major topics where biases are enforced. I'd suggest starting with Objectivism (it's pretty well known that Jimbo at the least supports it.)

    I hate Objectivism as much as the next guy, but the Objectivism article doesn't appear particularly biased to me. It's a pretty neutral, though very detailed, point-by-point explanation of the philosophy of a highly prolific (if batshit insane) author.
    Feral wrote: »
    So what I'm seeing so far is that the only real examples of flagrant bias happen in articles which, frankly, really don't fucking matter while bias in articles that might actually matter to somebody (who's not a fanboy) is rapidly cleaned up.
    It's not the flagrant bias that's dangerous. It's the quiet, subversive bias that should be worrying.

    So are you arguing that traditional encyclopedic collaboration techniques are significantly less prone to 'quiet, subversive bias?'

    And, frankly, are you absolutely sure you're not defining "bias" simply as "anything I don't agree with?"

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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