Wikitruth, wikidare, wikikiss...
April 17, 2006 4:57 AM   Subscribe

What is a wikipedian? Every so often a Wikipedian comes to their senses, sees a problem with the way things are operating, and tries to do something about it. Tired of seeing articles carelessly deleted, censored, and then cherry picked as to what is "encyclopedic enough", several Wikipedia members formed "Wikipedians against censorship".
posted by PeterMcDermott (40 comments total)
 
What is a wikipedian?

Round here we call 'em wikipedophiles.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 5:09 AM on April 17, 2006


The Wiki zealots are really fucking tiring. Reading the 'censored' articles they host is enough to drain away your will to live.
posted by unSane at 5:14 AM on April 17, 2006


Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can become irrationally angry about.
posted by flashboy at 5:15 AM on April 17, 2006


At last the truth may be known!
posted by Wolof at 5:24 AM on April 17, 2006


The Wiki zealots are really fucking tiring.

I disagree. I think zealots can provide hours of endless entertainment and amusement -- provided you don't have to deal with them in any meaningful way.

Then, I grant you, they become really fucking tiring.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:29 AM on April 17, 2006


Trying to find novel ways to be a jaded metafiltarian is exhausting.

The competition to get in the first "meh" or snark is fierce and will no doubt soon involve steroids, balco, genetic engineering and ben johnson's coach.

Reopening the purportedly open process is a good thing because it will help people understand what is where and how and why. Now if only we had something similar here so we could understand responses in threads where comments have been deleted.
posted by srboisvert at 5:56 AM on April 17, 2006


The links are dead. Now I'll never know the truth.
posted by Goofyy at 5:59 AM on April 17, 2006


In the Wiki, we call these kinds of people inclusionists. It's not censorship, it's a result of the compromise between being an indiscriminate collection of information and completeness. I think having a non-WP location for valid information that's not considered "encyclopedic enough" for Wikipedia is a fine thing, but the name is a bit over-the-top. Since anyone can contribute and anyone can participate in AFD (although non-contributors' opinions carry less weight there), "censorship" is a word that doesn't feel right. When the community decides that a certain article doesn't belong, it's called "sticking to the Vision".
posted by Plutor at 6:24 AM on April 17, 2006


What is a wikipedian?

...metafiltarian...


Wikipedians are the people from the kingdom of Pedantia in "Gulliver's Travels".

Metafiltarians were the suicide cult who believed that UFO's hidden behind a comet would capture their departing souls.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:15 AM on April 17, 2006


When YTMND does a better job than Wikipedia, you know things aren't working quite right.
posted by public at 7:17 AM on April 17, 2006


worst thing is finding something about you that is incorrect on Wikipedia and then not being able to edit it, as editing your own entry is very faux paux
posted by philsom at 7:26 AM on April 17, 2006


That's the most... sensitive ytmnd I've ever seen...

*snif*
posted by interrobang at 7:31 AM on April 17, 2006


Metafiltarians were the suicide cult who believed that UFO's hidden behind a comet would capture their departing souls.

No, No, NO! Metafilterians are the people with blue, yellow, and white patches sewn onto their clothing who've accepted Matt Wholelottanothingforyai as their savior.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:04 AM on April 17, 2006


You know, I actually think Wikipedia works quite well.

You'd never know taht from all the coverage it gets though.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on April 17, 2006


Hmm...

It seems from teh links that censorship is actually a GOOD thing, and gets rid of a lot of shit. Who knew?
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on April 17, 2006


You know, I actually think Wikipedia works quite well.

You'd never know taht from all the coverage it gets though.


Kinda like the United States.
posted by srboisvert at 8:16 AM on April 17, 2006


What is a Wikipedian? Apparently "No input file specified."

Now, what can change the nature of a man?
posted by blahblahblah at 8:40 AM on April 17, 2006


It seems from teh links that censorship is actually a GOOD thing, and gets rid of a lot of shit.

Deletionist!

worst thing is finding something about you that is incorrect on Wikipedia and then not being able to edit it, as editing your own entry is very faux paux

Actually, I feel it would have been better if Siegenthaler, for example, had fixed his own entry. The main problem with editors working on articles about themselves is verifiability and neutral point of view. But the community has been circling the wagons on this one and there's now a specific guideline recommending against it.

Dealing with articles about yourself (a newer guideline page, none of it older than December 2005) seems to contradict If Wikipedia already has an article about you (which has been around since 2003). Generally, though, it's perfectly acceptable to bring issues up on the Talk page even if you are the subject (as long as you're ready to accept that the issue may not be resolved 100% to your liking).
posted by dhartung at 8:59 AM on April 17, 2006


Plutor: When the community decides that a certain article doesn't belong, it's called "sticking to the Vision".

But what community? And whose vision?

One answer:

"Community" is a big, hairy character of a word, travelling with a lot of very old baggage that has very weak clasps. It's actually been quite blind these many years, now, though, like Mister Magoo, it doesn't know it and thinks its vision is as good as ever.
posted by lodurr at 9:24 AM on April 17, 2006


Why is it wikitruth.info? Are they saying the wikipedia is full of lies. Sounds like they should have gotten

minoreditorialdecisionsonlypeoplewhoeditwikipediamightgiveashitabout.com

"Defenders of the truth" "The atrocities have gone on long enough."

Err, I visited because Jimbo Whales once let his dog crap on my lawn but I stayed for the hyperbole. Christ, get a life.
posted by skallas at 10:19 AM on April 17, 2006


What is a wikipedian?

The word "wikipedian" made me think of Gilbert & Sullivan.

However, It turns out I'm not smart enough, or well-versed enough in Wikipedia culture to do a parody about them. By way of apology, I offer this fragment of one one about MeFi:

I am the very model of a modern MeFi-tarian
I've commented on many threads both cultured, and barbarian
I've read the posting guidelines, and I bookmark threads historical
From macrame to Caraboo, in order categorical
posted by sparkletone at 10:19 AM on April 17, 2006


worst thing is finding something about you that is incorrect on Wikipedia and then not being able to edit it, as editing your own entry is very faux paux

You can correct factual items like your birthday or something equally non-controversial. I've done it to my article. If your edits aren't controversial it's not a big deal.
posted by jessamyn at 10:21 AM on April 17, 2006


lodurr: "But what community? And whose vision?"

The community would be the people who participate in AFD (and recently, also prod). The Vision would be the vast set of laboriously discussed and tweaked set of policies and guidelines. Wikipedia only seems like it flies by the seat of its (massive) collective pants.
posted by Plutor at 10:30 AM on April 17, 2006


In a less literal sense, some people might argure that the community would also include the people who choose not to participate in AFD or prod, plus the people who implicitly approve of the policies and guidelines by either using or contributing to Wikipedia. I'm not certain if I'd argue that, myself.
posted by Plutor at 10:33 AM on April 17, 2006


Agree with what jessamyn said about editing your own article.

I've been dealing with spam, vandalism, and self-promotion on Wikipedia for a year or so now. Some people believe it's their right to edit Wikipedia articles about them to portray themselves in the best light possible, or to add their own webpage to the external links on all the related topics, or to wholesale remove valid criticisms.

In other cases, someone will come along with a belief that they are the world's foremost expert on a topic and will expound their viewpoint in very biased ways and then freak right out when people call them on it.

I do strongly believe in the value of Wikipedia...I don't expect any article to be 100% factual or truthful or unbiased. But I've certainly found more useful info on pages there than in most places on the internet.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:00 AM on April 17, 2006


I thought the transcript of this speech by Jason Scott explains a lot of the wikipedia controversies fairly well. There are much deeper issues than the petty vandalism of pages that will come along that may make a lot of people question the stated goals and administration of wikipedia. Not in a "this is a conspiracy"-way, but in a "this doesn't work like we thought it would"-way.
posted by mikeh at 11:04 AM on April 17, 2006


Some people really need to get a life.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 AM on April 17, 2006


Hmm... the Jack Thomson article isn't gone as "wikitruth" implies, and actually seems a lot stronger due to wikipedias actions.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on April 17, 2006


Plutor: My point would be that the community is not the contributor, and the vision "of the community" is not the contributor's vision.

You could look at it as a forest:trees kind of thing, at a simplistic level. People aren't likely to see themselves in the "actions" or "visions" "of the community."
posted by lodurr at 12:58 PM on April 17, 2006


Mikeh: as discussed previously
posted by lodurr at 1:00 PM on April 17, 2006


So, if I go and add articles to Wikitruth.info, I can assume they won't ever be deleted from there or face censorship? Cool!
posted by Jimbob at 3:40 PM on April 17, 2006


You can't add anything; it's not publicly editable.

"this doesn't work like we thought it would"

Well, duh. Scott's speech was great, but that arguent pissed me off. Wikipedia was founded as a silly side project, not a utopian dream; nobody anticipated it being a hundredth the size it is.
posted by Tlogmer at 4:02 PM on April 17, 2006


You can't add anything; it's not publicly editable.

Comedy gold!
posted by Artw at 4:35 PM on April 17, 2006


I do strongly believe in the value of Wikipedia.

Personally, I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about it.

However, I found the link interesting as an introduction to the various arguments and warring factions that goes on behind
the scenes in bringing Wikipedia to us.

I think the only other way to learn that stuff would be to immerse oneself in the morass that is wikiediting, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to go there.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:22 PM on April 17, 2006


Wikipedia is more than a communal encyclopedia. It's the reflective surface the internet uses to perceive itself. Wikipedia is transcendant, it is hyperreal.

Wikipedia is a catalyst for epistemological debate, and long may it continue to be so.
posted by 0bvious at 6:41 PM on April 17, 2006


5% of people in an online community like to spend 90% of their time talking about 2% of its problems. The only notable thing is that they have an uncanny way of getting attention.
posted by scarabic at 11:17 PM on April 17, 2006


5% of people in an online community like to spend 90% of their time talking about 2% of its problems. The only notable thing is that they have an uncanny way of getting attention.

...Metatalk! [/matthewchenisspamming]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:00 AM on April 18, 2006


lodurr: "You could look at it as a forest:trees kind of thing, at a simplistic level. People aren't likely to see themselves in the "actions" or "visions" "of the community.""

Just because someone doesn't identify themselves as a part of a larger social structure doesn't make it untrue. Despite the fact that everyone on Metafilter has their own ideas for what's a "good link" or what's "valuable discussion" or even what should happen to deleted posts and comments (or if it should ever happen at all), there's still a structured community here. Even more so at Wikipedia, since it's so strongly codified.

I think that what I'm trying to say is that the forest/trees dichotomy is inherently false. The forest is the trees.

Er, maybe.
posted by Plutor at 7:51 AM on April 18, 2006


Well, no -- the forest is not the trees. The forest is not even the aggregation or agglomeration of the trees. They are different kinds of things.

Not that I disagree with your immediate response. But the fact that people do not identify themselves as part of the social structure is, nevertheless, extremely significant.

For example, Martin Niemoller was part of the social structure that could be shorthanded as "Nazi Germany." That's a fact. Now, what does that fact mean?

Similar fact: You, Jason Scott, and the folks over at "Wikitruth" are all part of the social structure that could be shorthanded as "Wikipedia". What does that fact mean?

My point is that there isn't any clear relationship -- and may not be any identifiable relationship at all -- between what people think they're participating in and what they're actually participating in.
posted by lodurr at 8:58 AM on April 18, 2006


... I realize I didn't explain my first comment.

The forest is not the trees in a sense much like that in which a car is not a pile of car parts.

That's relevant because there are at least two important "group-things" that are "Wikipedia": The Wikipedia that people think exists -- the one that exists in some person or persons mind(s) (which is most likely not one thing, but i won't go there right now) -- and the one that exists as a social fact.
posted by lodurr at 9:02 AM on April 18, 2006


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