By Agahnim and TDA
Unlike other ‘Top Ten’ websites such as Google and Facebook, Wikipedia has no corporate hierarchy to maintain control. The well-funded Wikimedia Foundation exerts no authority over its content, instead leaving the site’s loose-knit community to govern everything. Wikipedia’s editors create and control its content through a continual series of conflicts and wars of attrition, governed by a system of inconsistent and vague policies and rules where one rule may be negated by another rule. Should these factions fail to settle their differences, then Wikipedia’s highest authority, known as the Arbitration Committee, settles disputes based on its evaluation of the parties’ conduct.
The Arbitration Committee, also known as ArbCom, is officially leaderless and its membership is changed in part every year by elections and resignations, leaving its longest-serving members with substantial influence over its operations. Its cases are decided by discussion on the Committee’s secretive mailing list and the Committee is kept
…continue reading Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator
By Gregory Kohs
A masquerade mask uploaded by Russavia
Wikipedia was in a bit of chaos last week, as some of its administrators and its Arbitration Committee sought to wipe away any mention of the real name of a user who goes by the nickname “Russavia”. One popular and prolific editor of military history articles has been indefinitely blocked for “outing” Russavia. And an administrator with nearly five years under his belt who sought to unblock the history buff was defrocked of his admin toolkit in the early hours of March 5th. Alas, the people who built Wikipedia have developed an accompanying set of rules that are so extreme, heavy-handed, and (not surprisingly) unevenly enforced, it’s not hard to believe that fewer and fewer people have the courage to edit the wiki encyclopedia any more.
What is especially perplexing is the fact that “Russavia” has identified himself as
…continue reading Wikipedia intervenes to hide identity of Russavia
By Eric Barbour
Here we examine a major scandal and Arbcom case, and a major embarrassment for Wikipedia, which transpired in August-September 2007. It is almost forgotten today. The principal is a well-known conservative attorney, and the apparent “victim” was filmmaker Michael Moore. The real victim was the truth.
[Editor’s note: the numbers in brackets are links to individual edits on article or discussion pages at Wikipedia, what are called by Wikipediots “diffs.” The practice of citing “diffs” is integral to WikiLawyering, one of the more exciting and fulfilling aspects of the Wikipedia Experience.]
Essentially, Wikipedia was being edited by Ted Frank, notorious tort-reform activist and right-wing attorney, with the assistance of his conservative “Team America” Wiki-Friends, most notably MONGO plus minor conservative WP figures Crockspot and Noroton. At first he edited under his real name, then later under THF, starting in June 2006. A popular subject: tort reform. By March 2007 he was
…continue reading Portrait of a Wikipedian: Ted Frank