By Peter Damian
Retaliatory treatment of whistleblowers nearly always attracts public interest. The recent sacking of a Ryanair pilot, for “gross misconduct” after speaking out on a TV documentary about safety fears, was widely covered in the press. Stories about the climate of fear surrounding the exposure of child predators in the BBC and in the Roman Catholic church have been extensively covered in the mainstream media. The plight of Mike McQueary, who was made a scapegoat after his allegations of child sexual abuse at Penn State University, made headlines across the United States. Whistleblowing is big news. And rightly so – if people are afraid to expose evil, evil will flourish.
Yet there has been no press coverage about the punishment last week of a whistleblower in the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia. Last week, a long-serving editor who we will call “Keith”, who had made hundreds of contributions to articles about set theory, mathematics and
…continue reading Wikipedia punishes child safety whistleblower
This is an updated look at The Duck Test.
For those ranking Wikipedians who toil day in and day out, with no hope of remuneration, there can be another kind of reward: the satisfaction of knowing that one’s personal set of prejudices, or what is known at Wikipedia as one’s Point of View (POV), has become the dominant one on a given set of articles. Once an editor has ascended high enough in the pecking order, becoming one of Wikipedia’s leading peckers, he or she may hope to have his or her prejudices incorporated into the “House POV.” But Wikipedia articles change frequently — how does one defend the House POV against interlopers? Initially it was not easy, but as Wikipedia has evolved and matured over the years, the means of defense have been perfected
…continue reading Ducks Redux
by Wer900 (with Eric Barbour, Hersch, and others)
A lie told often enough becomes [The Truth™]. —Vladimir Lenin
The dispute summary Many editors of Wikipedia, particularly those who have high social status in its “community” or are employed by the Wikimedia Foundation, are (or at least appear to be) fervent believers that corporations and government lack any significant influence on Wikipedia. They like to pretend that their “conflict of interest”, or COI, regulations keep Wikipedia a “neutral” and trustworthy reference. If the encyclopedia’s history, social structure, and its leaders’ dealings are any guide, though, one can only conclude that Wikipedia is an arena of combat for competing groups of propagandists. A case in point is the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in particular those relating to large biotechnology corporation Monsanto.
Viriditas, a long-standing editor of Wikipedia, reverted edits by various users on the March Against Monsanto article, many of which removed or mitigated the
…continue reading Wikipedia as a political battleground: after a GMO/Monsanto content dispute, longtime Wikipedia contributor Viriditas is blocked