Saturday, September 27, 2014

Editor Laments: Anonymous Ideological Thugs Rule Wikipedia Now


[Previously, at WEJB/NSU:

“Wikipedia on Race”: My American Renaissance Exposé.”]

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

At “Why is Wikipedia Deleting All References to Neil Tyson’s Fabrication?”
Neil Tyson's Internet defenders sure are cultish and anti-science.
By Sean Davis
September 18, 2014
The Federalist

By Dean Esmay

I have had a Wikipedia editing account for about 11 years. I have thousands of edits in. Over the years my edits grew more and more sporadic, the last ones being an attempt to give a fair entry on a publication I volunteer on (including lots of direct links to direct criticisms of it). Even that was subject to vandalism and ideological thuggery. I gave up. I've seen this time and time again in too many subject areas not even personal to me or that I have no real interest in: anonymous ideological thugs rule Wikipedia now. The project I loved when it started more than a decade now has fallen apart, not due to the fact that any idiot can edit it -- that tends to be a self-correcting problem -- but due to the fact that ideological thugs with an agenda can control a subject area and ruthlessly suppress all meaningful dissent. And they get away with it anonymously, making them fundamentally unaccountable.

ActualModerateConservative to Dean Esmay

But YOUR changes have always been impeccably free of ideological scent and have been purely about getting the facts right.

Okay then.

Hey, maybe you are right, but I tend to be skeptical about any account such as this where the writer is as pure as the driven snow and everyone else are "ideological thugs".

Dean Esmay to ActualModerateConservative

That's a dodge, a cop-out. and a cheap shot all at once. I do NOT think I am impeccably free of ideological slant. I strive hard to get the facts right and to stick to them, but just like in the original Wikipedia spirit (now dead in too many areas to count) I also strive to work diligently with anyone who raises an objection or sees a problem, or to even undo my own errors when I make them.

The ideological thuggery and bullying I speak of is something I have experienced LESS than a number of Wikipedians I have known, or just watched on the sidelines as a neutral party, on multiple subjects.

Because of this commonplace, everyday ideological bullying behind the scenes that I have witnessed happening to multiple people on multiple subjects, my Wikipedia editor account now lies mostly-dormant. As someone else said, the only thing Wikipedia is trustworthy on at all anymore is basic facts on things like movies and TV shows and musical bands, and even then I've seen it creep in.

There are ways for Wikipedia to clean house, and no, that does NOT entail doing everything my way or letting my view predominate on any subject. Indeed, your response is the cop-out that the bullies always use, going right to personally attacking anyone who dares question the ones in charge about their methods and their attitude.

Wikipedia is not to be trusted, and it's not because they don't agree with me. It's because multiple cliques with power have formed who monopolize and censor and use wikilawyering excuses to get away with it.

ActualModerateConservative to Dean Esmay

Ah yes, the "bullying" charge that curiously enough only came into vogue around places like this as a charge when it became a hot topic in the meainstream.

[Bull. I’ve been exposing The Pretend Encylopedia on the ‘Net since 2008 (see link at the top), and was exposing it on Wikipedia already in 2006.]

Funny, that.

The reality is that there is nothing the far right enjoys more than using a charge that they perceive as a standard "liberal" tactic and throwng it back in their face by using it against them. It is just so silly, as if there was a big game going on somewhere on the internet where everyone is scoring points.

Regarding your claim of ad hominem attacks in your other post, I take it that your blanket statements about unnamed wikipedia editors and references to ideological bullies do not count as "ad hominem" attacks in their own right. If you don't think they do, then you may wish to seek a clearer understanding of the term "ad hominem".

Look, I don't have a lot invested in Wikipedia. I use it like everyone else and understand its limitations in the same way as any semi-sensible, reasonably educated person knows. The VAST majority of articles that they publish have no political leaning one way or the other. People on the extreme ends of the political spectrum see veiled politicl statements everywhere, in the same way as they see conspiracies everywhere. It is an inevitable byproduct of extremist thought. I am not saying that you are extremist; heck, I don't know you from Adam. I'm just making some suggestions for others to think about when reading your post. I appreciate your need to defend yourself. The world trudges on.

Dean Esmay to ActualModerateConservative

I've actually been talking and commenting about the lockstep bullying, groupthink, and censorship on Wikipedia for a few years. By the way, I voted for Obama, how "far right" can I be?

Why not return to the discussion rather than making it about you trying to mindread others' motives?

And ad hom would be attacking specific editors and inviting you and others to fight over that person. Which would also be a good way to get away from what's really at issue: the systemic corruption.

Dean Esmay to ActualModerateConservative

Um, no. In fact, your sarcastic response is typical of the type of ideological bullying I'm talking about: going straight to ad hom assertions about the motives of those questioning the system instead of addressing the issues.

In the original Wiki spirit, I strive hard to be neutral and fact-based, but I also work hard to work with others who think I may be wrong, or may have lost the plot, or injected too much of my own views in, and even to correct my own errors when I make them (which I do).

The ideological thuggery I speak of is something I have actually experienced LESS than others I have seen, some of whom I have known and some of whom I have just watched on the sidelines while I did simple things like fix punctuation or grammer (I have tons of such edits).

This problem with using wikilawyering tactics and ad hom reasoning by those in charge of the pages is something I have watched over the years get worse and worse in multiple subject areas, may of which I have no vested interest in at all.
You know, you can rarely fix a problem that you won't acknowledge exists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Now," he says. You're only just noticing?

I gave up on Wackypedia years ago. It may be a reliable source of information pertaining to non-political topics--but we live in an age in which even meteorology and psychology are relentlessly politicized. So using Wackypedia as a source of trivia about the various Pokemon and their various superpowers is probably defensible. For anything with any real-world relevance whatsoever for grown-ups, though, Jimbo Wales and his Thought Police have made certain that only the Right Ideas can be placed in the Holy of Holies, Right Ideas placed by the Right People who Think Correctly. OLDTHINKERS UNBELLYFEEL INGSOC