Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007, 01:32 am
swisscelt: Now what?
So now that EssJay has [apparently] left Wikipedia, and a cadre of administrators, stewards, and the like are doing their level best to sweep the whole incident under the rug, what's left to do? We're being told to discuss this on the Village Pump, but I see nothing
there. On the Community Noticeboard, an ad hoc (and highly disorganized, IMO) discussion is brewing, but already people are calling for its closure.
I've said it before: This is serious.
We can't just pretend that because this is happening on Teh Intrawebz it won't be taken seriously in the American media and, ultimately, American and other national societies. How Wikipedia deals with this is as crucial to the continuing survival of this enterprise as any corporate scandal was to their respective companies. It's time we ALL grew up: This is the real world, people.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
So Wikipedia is shit, and it doesn't matter?
There's no conspiracy, unless of course you speak of a conspiracy of apathy. Otherwise, what we're really dealing with here is good ol'-fashioned coverup. It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see this.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
Assuming, of course, they're dealt with
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 08:39 am (UTC)
Sometimes, "reading between the lines" leads to inaccurate inferences and you ought to reread what I wrote.trixtag
understood what I was saying pretty clearly.
Your comments describe this to be a huge conspiracy cover-up that is compromising the integrity of Wikipedia. The fact that I didn't undermine that as a detriment seemed to be glossed over by you. All I said was whether it's EssJay or a simple anonymous vandal, it's read by many subscribed skeptics as the same thing.
And I asked you if you thought it was really a giant conspiracy. I don't understand why you're approaching that question with spin and a condescending tone. Implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you lacks your perception is really immature.
You want to play it like this is the biggest thing to hit Wikipedia? Talk about it when the scale of the scandal can be verified. You do understand that, right?
55,000 Google hits is hardly substantial in the realm of scandal. The only people who seem to seriously care about EssJay see to be alarmists or his Wikipedian friends.
Roughly 850,000 more hits are produced for Steve Colbert's consistent ridicule of Wikipedia and that has a much larger impact on discrediting Wikipedia than the kind of pseudo-identity people have come to expect of it.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 08:53 am (UTC)
Your comments describe this to be a huge conspiracy cover-up that is compromising the integrity of Wikipedia.
Heh... talk about reading between the lines.
It's a cover-up. That's all... and not a particularly good one at that. That's not the problem-- it's exactly what I'd expect in the wake of something like this.
The problem is that this didn't break in the Weekly World Reader. It broke in the New Yorker. That makes it at least as serious a credibility issue as the flap over John Siegenthaler. Moreover, as credibility issues like this mount, the larger issue of how this project is not taken seriously will increase.
No conspiracy to it, really.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
It's a disorganized, herd mentality style "cover-up" (using this a bit loosely) at that. Whenever something really stupid happens they always rush to come up with whatever excuses they can and then immediately declare "omg it's old news."
When Wales tried whitewashing his own Wikipedia article, tons of Wikipedians, especially more prominent ones, stepped in for damage control and defended him, even though this action would have been blanket-condemned had it been done by a non-prominent Wikipedian. In that case, Wales even tried disabling the "glamour photography" portion of his website completely so people couldn't find the soft porn pictures he had on it.
One would think that abuse of power by 'high ranking' Wikipedians would be taken more seriously. It isn't though, in large part because the higher up ones are a) religiously devoted to Wikipedia's greatness (cognitive dissonance) and b) very immature, especially when it comes to their authority.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Well buddy, you can't quote where you're inferring that I think "Wikipedia is shit and it doesn't matter".
I can however quote that you said, "There's no conspiracy, unless of course you speak of a conspiracy of apathy. Otherwise, what we're really dealing with here is good ol'-fashioned coverup. It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see this."
Which clearly, and as your response says, you think there's a cover-up and if it "doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see this", means you liken them the same.
You are spinning this beyond what is being said. You are saying that the cover-up is bothering you because you want WP to handle it better especially with the incident's publicity? Right? Now you're back tracking and saying the cover-up isn't the problem, but just it's publicity. They go hand in hand.
What did you mean by this exactly then if not that you view this cover-up to be a serious scandal:"We can't just pretend that because this is happening on Teh Intrawebz it won't be taken seriously in the American media and, ultimately, American and other national societies. How Wikipedia deals with this is as crucial to the continuing survival of this enterprise as any corporate scandal was to their respective companies. It's time we ALL grew up: This is the real world, people.""Once the story was picked up by the US media, it became a big deal."
You do realize the online NYer can hardly be described as the "US Media" at large, right?
Like I said, talk about the scale of the scandal when it can be verified; when you can prove it's larger than a corrected online article of the NYer.
And that article is still preaching to choir.
Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 09:55 am (UTC)
So Wikipedia is shit
Pretty much at the moment. The content rules can be modified very easily and it doesn't take a particularly large clique to establish enough inertia to bias them towards personal agendas. Without stable content rules then the corpus of material is suspect.
Allied to that is the tendency for admins to be all a bit fluffy and risk averse (not all but by far the majority) so fail to really address issues.
Most of the issues are leadership and general strategy related. It's a cult of personality at present, and that's not a sustainable state.