By Gregory Kohs
Throughout mid-2008, a number of people interested in analysis of Wikipedia joined me in a project to methodically enumerate one calendar quarter’s worth (4Q 2007) of edit data underlying the 100 Wikipedia articles about the (then) current United States Senators. What they found was alarming at times. While most vandalized edits were brief in duration and clearly juvenile in content, a substantial portion of edits were plainly intended to be hurtful and defamatory against the Senators. Most of the vandalized edits were reverted within a minute or two. However, many of them endured for hours at time. Some for several days. And a few persisted for weeks on end.
But, no matter how hateful or how libelous the edit, no matter how long it persists on Wikipedia, the folks who own and operate Wikipedia’s servers who have the ultimate editorial control over what stays and what gets jettisoned from important portions of
…continue reading Wikipedia goes to Washington
by Eric Barbour
As a well-known supporter of Google and the publisher of a major blog that discusses Google in depth, Philipp Lenssen has some political capital in the world of search engines. On Wikipedia, though, Lenssen’s legacy may prove to be one of self-aggrandizing manipulation of Wikipedia’s content, plus a heaping dose of Lenssen’s contempt for critics of Wikipedia. In sum, his exploitation of Wikipedia for his own agenda is little different than the Wikipedia activities of a number of other “digerati”. In one of his most obviously biased gestures, Lenssen admitted trying to recreate a Wikipedia biography of Google and Wikipedia critic Daniel Brandt, against Brandt’s vociferous wishes, even though Brandt’s notorious public opposition to Google would clearly make Lenssen a less than objective author on the subject. It would be akin to Glenn Beck writing the “official” biography of Nancy Pelosi.
Portrait of a Wikipedian: Philipp Lenssen
Over the years, resourceful Wikipedia editors have developed an ever-expanding array of techniques for making Wikipedia into a grotesque parody of an actual encyclopedia. On one of the more entertaining policy pages, Wikipedia professes to be not a soapbox, but experienced editors know that policy pages are simply weapons to be used against inexperienced editors. For the truly committed Wikipediot, Wikipedia is nothing but a soapbox, or to be more precise, an arena of combat in which the victorious warrior will gain control of the soapbox. Sometimes, however, there is no clear victor, and this is reflected in some of the tortured titles for Wikipedia articles.
One milestone battle in the history of WikiKombat was an article with the title “Allegations of Israeli apartheid.” As you may have surmised, when the article was introduced in 2006, the original title was “Israeli apartheid,” and indeed, there were numerous Reliable Sources™ asserting that such a
…continue reading What’s in a Name?