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Topic: Wikipedia - A Reminder (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Jacob P Secrest
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Posted: January 30 2007 at 8:23pm | IP Logged | 1  

Rumors happen. Insults happen. Silliness happen.

All of which are bad, they are often personal attacks (with rumors and
silliness it's a case to case basis).

However contact info is rare.

Edited by Jacob P Secrest on January 30 2007 at 8:23pm
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David Whiteley
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Posted: January 30 2007 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 2  

That's a good thing. I'd hate for my extreme example to be a common one.
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Jacob P Secrest
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Posted: January 30 2007 at 8:48pm | IP Logged | 3  

I've actually never heard of it happening (on Wikipedia that is, on
Uncyclopedia it was happening, but they cracked down on it).

I still see a difference between personal attacks and blithering nonsense.
Both are vandalism, but with different intent, the blithering nonsense has
many purposes, feeble attempt to prove the unreliability of Wikipedia,
shits and giggles, etc...

Personal attacks usually have one purpose, to mislead people and to just
in general attack someone, personally.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: January 31 2007 at 10:03am | IP Logged | 4  

Interesting article on steps to minimize Google-bombing. This is the same mindset as those who 'see no harm in sabotaging' websites.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4512298.html

As the technology progresses, it will be easier to minimize the trolls, regardless of their 'humorous!' intent.

I find the practice of deliberate sabotage 'to deliberately discredit' as appealing (sarcasm off, read as 'appaling') as those who attempt to sneak mock-bombs and other similar devices onto aircraft 'just to show that new security measures have holes'.

On a webboard I run, we have had several former members (kicked off for trolling, violating TOS, etc) who try to rejoin under different aliases and different IP addresses. Why would someone expend such effort when it has been made explicitly clear that you aren't welcome? What efforts are humorous to one person is a royal pain in the ass to someone else that has to correct it. And the sad thing is that the people 'who don't care', 'lololz itz all f0r funz' would be the first to whine if it were to happen to them.

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David Whiteley
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Posted: January 31 2007 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 5  

Jacob, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
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Chris Hutton
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Posted: February 01 2007 at 12:00am | IP Logged | 6  

I'd bet good money that many of the people who rely on Wikipedia for information also believe the chain emails they receive.
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David Whiteley
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Posted: February 01 2007 at 12:05am | IP Logged | 7  

One good thing about getting a chain email is sending a snopes link back to
the originator to try and clue them in a bit.
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Chris Hutton
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Posted: February 01 2007 at 12:37am | IP Logged | 8  

I did that to a friend-- he told me he didn't have the time to check Snopes.


It's at most an investment of a frigging minute!!!!!
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Jacob P Secrest
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Posted: February 01 2007 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 9  

My mom does that to my grandmother all the time.
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Matthew McCallum
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Posted: February 10 2007 at 12:16am | IP Logged | 10  

The issue of Wikipedia real deals with a fascinating debate over the content of information provision in the current century. For much of the last century, there were a very select few -- in relation to the totality of the population -- who were the gatekeepers of information for the rest of us. Now with the internet we can all be content providers (for good or ill) which in theory should provide a much more diverse viewpoint. We're still in the early days of this process and it's interesting watching how it's all shaking out.

If you remember, IMDB (one of the most useful websites around; we really should have something like that for comics) started out as a contributor-driven effort where the information was later verified and posted. I think ultimately Wikipedia is going to have to go to a similar vetting process, likely designating editors and meta-editors who will greenlight the proposed additions before they go live. The Wiki people are also going to have to decide if they are in the encylopedia business (dealing with documented facts) or if they are an online editorial offering subjective opinions in their entries. (Actually, most of the journalists I read nowadays don't recognize the difference between objective and subjective reporting, so why should the Wiki people be any different...)

I'd like to add that the fellow who wrote earlier on this thread that he went into Wikipedia to good naturedly corrupt a page with pancake entries because he COULD and he HAD to do so because the readers of his website NEEDED entertainment, and then defended his actions as reasonable because essentially Wiki leaves the door open and lets him do it, misses an essential point of community. (I opened another tab so I could look up his name: Randy Sterger.) Randy, I see you're a new arrival, so welcome to the JBF, good to have you aboard. My friend, a good time had at someone else's expense is wrong. Vandalism, even in jest, is vandalism, just as a pie in the face delivered to an unsuspecting victim is assault. Even if you hold the whole of Wikipedia in general and that one article in particular in utter contempt, someone laboured in the creation of that work, and I would hope they put their best efforts into trying to create something of value. Intentionally corrupting another person's labours is a nasty business and not very good karma. I'd strongly urge you to invest your energies into creating something new and original that would take our breath away, rather than splattering mud on someone else's stuff. I'll put the soap box back in the closet now.



Edited by Matthew McCallum on February 10 2007 at 12:28am
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Matthew McCallum
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Posted: February 10 2007 at 1:07am | IP Logged | 11  

Just before running off to bed, I was reading Jacob Secrest's posts from a few days back and wanted to offer a couple of thoughts. Wikipedia has a utility and a value, but not in its current form and methodology.

In theory, the concept for Wikipedia is very clever: an open-end contributor-driven reference where you'll plug into the expertise of millions of individuals to build the site. A very fast, economical way to compile a lot of information in a very short timeframe. The Internet Movie DataBase worked that model quite successfully, although within a much more narrow field of interest and a significantly less abstract world. (Either Bob Hope was in the film or he wasn't -- not much to debate.)

In practice, however, at Wikipedia there is no filter for the bias and editorializing that inevitably arises in the composition of articles, particularly when dealing with push-button issues or the more colourful personalities. There is no provision to stop vandals from causing damage: sure, Wiki goes in and cleans up after the fact, but how many hits do they get in the interim with the bad data?

IMDB had editors who reviewed the data before it went live and eventually Wiki will have to adopt a similar policy. I suspect that Wiki is already moving in that direction and at some point in the near future there will be editors and meta-editors who will have to greenlight changes before they go live. The only question remains how will these individuals be selected and what qualifications will they hold for these positions?

Like all great 1960s concepts that rely in men acting like decent creatures to work effectively, Wikipedia fails to account for the thugs who like to smash and destroy pretty things, the Merry Andrews who like to foul their nest for a lark, the mioptic shortcomings from our own narrow point of view and shallow self-interest, and the general frailties of humankind overall. In short, it's a neat idea, and would work great in utopia, just not in this world.

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John Byrne
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Posted: February 10 2007 at 5:31am | IP Logged | 12  

Wikipedia has a utility and a value, but not in its
current form and methodology.


****

Then your statement should read "Wikipedia
could have a utility and value…"
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