Why this Site?

  • Our Mission:
  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
  • How you can participate:
  •  Visit the Wikipediocracy Forum, a candid exchange of views between Wikipedia editors, administrators, critics, proponents, and the general public.
  • 'Like' our Wikipediocracy page on Facebook.
  •  Follow Wikipediocracy on Twitter!

Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Guilty?

By Mila and friends

banned

Recently, an experienced and prominent Wikipedian, who goes by the user name Demiurge1000, was banned by the Wikimedia Foundation Legal team from ever again working on Wikipedia or any of its related sites. Philippe Beaudette, Director of Community Advocacy for the Wikimedia Foundation, provides a good perspective on how big of a deal such global bans are: “the number of times that the WMF has moved to ban someone from our community like this can probably be counted on one hand.” And he’s right: for more than a decade since Wikipedia was created, there have as far as we know only been four such bans.

The WMF has been very tight-lipped on the reason for the ban, but there are a few bits and pieces that could be used to figure out what was the rationale. According to James Alexander, a manager of Legal and Community Advocacy for the WMF, the ban “was done as part of our ongoing obligation to protect the site and its users.”

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and a trustee of its Foundation, believes that “the Foundation should take a much harder line and ban not just based on the narrow grounds they use today”. He explains that by “narrow grounds” he means “child protection”. So, if the impartial observer were to put it all together, they might reasonably assume that Demiurge1000 was given this “global ban” by the WMF to protect Wikipedians, and most likely to maintain compliance with Wikipedia’s Child Protection policy.

So far so good; it would appear that the WMF is working diligently to protect its users who happen to be children. But is that in fact the case?

…continue reading Guilty?

ASSUME BAD FAITH

By Peter Damian

The so-called Precautionary Principle is a fundamental tenet of risk management. The Principle says that if the impact of an event is suitably high, then the default position, the burden of proof, is on those who wish to show the risk of the event is suitably low. A well-known example: there is some uncertainty about whether there will be a catastrophic result of global warming. Global warming is a fact – CO2 emission is causing the planet to heat up. But we don’t know how much it is going to heat up, given the wide range of future predicted temperatures. However, the impact of it heating up, at the upper bound of current estimates, is clearly catastrophic. Therefore take suitable precautions.

Adults and children

Corporal punishment

Earlier, I posted about a problem Wikipedia editor who we called ‘Dennis’. That’s not his real name. Nor is his actual Wikipedia user name his real name. We don’t know who he is at all. We know almost nothing about him except that he is middle-aged, that he has an interest in caning and corporal punishment, and that he is active in the child ‘mentoring’ projects on Wikipedia.

Is ‘Dennis’ guilty of anything bad? We don’t know. All we know is that he has interacted with children on Wikipedia in a way that would not be considered normal, even for a parent or a close relative. He befriended an 11-year old boy who had been bullied by older Wikipedia editors. This is not abnormal, and most adults would do the same if they saw this happening in the street. But then he began an email correspondence with the boy and messaged him, against the parent’s wishes. When the boy told him it was against

…continue reading ASSUME BAD FAITH

Wikipedia punishes child safety whistleblower

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 statistics, was punished by the encyclopedia’s powerful Arbitration Committee, for raising complaints of a serious nature about child protection and predatory editors. Despite his considerable contribution to Wikipedia, he was indefinitely blocked from editing the site. This was not covered by any mainstream media.

“… the only place in their lives where their age doesn’t matter.”

The Wikipedia Adventure Wikipedia rarely features in media coverage of online child protection. Articles like this mention the usual suspects like Facebook and Twitter. They never mention Wikipedia, probably because of its image as a scholarly enterprise whose contributors include teachers and scholars like Keith. Yet a substantial minority of Wikipedia editors and administrators are children, and the Wikipedia itself deliberately targets young editors. “There’s a recurring motif inside Wikipedia of preteen editors who’ve spent their lives so far having their opinions

…continue reading Wikipedia punishes child safety whistleblower