TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bias, Sabotage Haunt Wikipedia's Free World

Re: Bias, Sabotage Haunt Wikipedia's Free World

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Fri, 17 Feb 2006 14:06:52 -0800

On Thu, 16 Feb 2006, Phil Earnhardt wrote:

> I haven't investigated the process of "correcting" an entry yet; I'm
> somewhat concerned by Mr. Crispin's reports on his attempts to do
> that.

To the extent that it undermines the credibility of Wikipedia, it
should be of concern. However, I don't see a good or obvious remedy.
Among other things, what is a "correction" to one person may be an
ideological screed to another.

Nevertheless, what happened in the incident that I mentioned is that
EVERY last bit of my edits were revoked, including grammar and
structure changes to make the articles less sloppy. What's more, a
comment that I added to the Talk page was removed.

I investigated the background of the person who did it. He's a proud
member of the political party of the disgraced politician (an
ultra-Left party), now totally out of power.

My choice was to fight it, or to let it pass. I decided to let it
pass. It makes no sense to fight the Left on a battlefield of their
choosing; instead you defeat them where it matters. Nevertheless,
it's yet another example of the Left's assertion of control via

> At the same time, I am tremendously encouraged by the Wikipedia. I
> regularly use it personally and professionally. Even if the ridding of
> bias is problematic, it seems the best game in town.

It is a useful resource, but it's vitally important to recognize its
limitations on current topics which have political implications.

I would not trust ANY Wikipedia biography on ANY current (or recent)
public figure. If Wikipedia wants to be credible, it should delete
all these biographies or simply replace them with short dry texts.
Defer biographies until they're long-dead.

-- Mark --
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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