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01 October 2009

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Sean McBride

Is there a discernible pattern to these attacks?

Andy

Col. Lang,

There is some hope:

The council of elders that runs Wikipedia confirmed last week that, sometime soon, the unwashed masses will no longer be able to directly edit the profiles of famous living people. The proposed policy, first reported by the New York Times and later clarified by the Wikimedia Foundation, would require an ordained Wikipedia editor to approve changes before they become visible.
Stormcrow

I'm afraid this is S.O.P. for Wikipedia. They're a great place to get information when the subject matter area isn't in the crosshairs of somebody's hype artillery.

But when it is, their articles touching it aren't worth the electrons it takes to render them.

There have been endless "reforms" in the Wikipedia editorial superstructure, but the problem is a structural one that's built right into the model. It can be gamed, so it will be, and that's that.

This is yet another example of "the people, on the march". Sorry to see they're marching at you this time.

LeaNder

Sean, I had the impression, that Patrick Lang is under the protection of the people that also look for Juan Cole's page a while back. By now, this is a really fast impression, the edit war is about making it appear as if it was http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=W._Patrick_Lang&diff=317365716&oldid=317153100>autobiographical, which it obviously isn't. This seems to be going on for quite some time now.

Interestingly, blog links are allowed to stay, that was a big discussion in the Yaron Brook entry. And I didn't know about this: http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=patrick_lang>History Commons: Patrick Lang.

But strictly this is a fight that the manipulative forces will loose.

Any helpful tools to analyze entries and the main actors faster, that come to mind?

Ali

http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/
A very intersesting tool. I believe it tracks the ip addresses of ppl who r editing wiki.
I came across it a few years back. Turns out many edit to various pages were being done by the same ppl the pages were about. As an example, multiple scientolgy edits from their world hq computers (identified by their ip ranges), pages relating to the israeli-palestinian conflict by ip ranges indicating Israeli foriegn office etc.

Sean McBride

Are strong passions about Mideast politics motivating the malicious edits against Col. Lang? That wouldn't surprise me -- there is a long history of that kind of activity.

Howard C. Berkowitz

Citizendium is trying to take a different and responsible approach, using real names for editing and verifiable expertise. I confess I had been working on a biographical article on Pat but hadn't finished the draft, and should get to it.

We are small, but I hope with a different model. I'd be delighted to get more intelligent and respnsible commentary on topics such as insurgency, the Iraq War, etc.

china_hand

~ Are strong passions about Mideast politics motivating the malicious edits against Col. Lang? ~

Absolutely.

Wikipedia has a very powerful, pro-Israeli contingent that has been empowered by Jimbo Wales himself. Jimbo, AFAIC, is a scumbag of the highest caliber; the super-editors he has given the most control to are overwhelmingly far-right ideologues with viciously pro-Israeli, anti-Arab sentiments.

During the Bush era, the sorts of folks who really like FOX news and Billy ORanty were given pretty much carte blanche to ban whomever they wanted, so long as they could make a case against them.

I got banned when the gang created a fake account, then used it to make a few edits (not in my name) which they then blamed on me. Since then, i haven't bothered to go back.

It has gotten a bit more balanced in the last few years, but i think that's mainly because several people were putting together a research article with the aim of exposing the shenanigans going on over there. It's not that those formerly empowered have left, or changed their ways; they've simply gotten more subtle.

The only reason Jimbo ever makes any changes in that site's policy is because of bad press in the media. Otherwise, he simply gives it over to his friends and lets them do what they want with it.

Patrick Lang

Anon

Least of all me. pl

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