Wikipedia Doesn't Like Me ...
Opinion by Consumer Advocate
Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
Wikipedia's General Counsel, Mike
Godwin, is sending me nasty emails. Apparently he doesn't like me telling
people how bad Wikipedia actually is, and he definitely doesn't want me telling
you what to do about it - when it effects you personally. He actually, the
other day, said I "was trying to destroy Wikipedia..."
Stand back while I turn down my
Even though, in some ways, it feels good
to have some people think I'm that kind of powerful, I can't really claim credit
for what's happening to Wikipedia. The whole world is beginning to realize that
Wikipedia is being run by the social equivalent of a pimply twelve year old.
Wikipedia is coming apart. What
I'm offering is a remedy for its victims. How? I'm telling people
how to sue Wikipedians in the Courts to stop them from victimizing others.
I've got the formula to beat them (and I'll tell what that is further into the
article) - and Mike Godwin doesn't want me to talk about it. He says:
"Thank you providing evidence of intent to engage in strategic litigation aimed
at shutting down Wikipedia."
Yup, he really said that. Let me
adjust that testosterone knob one more time.
Mike, I don't need to destroy Wikipedia.
It is doing that to itself. I'm actually trying to help you guys, but
you're not listening. The WHOLE WORLD is trying to help you, and you are
not listening. You need to make some changes - and here's why...
Critics like Oliver Kamm of the London
Times said in his
November 25, 2009 article:
"The persistent decline in the
number of Wikipedia editors may signal the end of the dominance
of a remarkable online resource. It cannot happen too soon.
Wikipedia is routinely cited in online articles as a substitute
for explanations of concepts, events and people. It has thereby
coarsened public culture. It is an anti-intellectual venture to
Knowledge is democratic in the sense that no
one has the right to claim the last word. Wikipedia is democratic in the
different and corrosive sense that anyone can join in regardless of competence.
Every editor’s contribution is of equal value.
That is an affront to the notion of disinterested intellectual inquiry. What
Wikipedia prizes is not greater approximations to truth but a greater degree of
hat ethos undermines Wikipedia in principle as
a reference source. There are many Wikipedia articles that are scrupulous,
balanced and fair treatments of their subjects. But these are liable to be
overthrown at any time by an editor with an idée fixe and an empty life.
The default position of Wikipedia is to leave
editors to sort it out among themselves. The loudest voices and most obsessive
contributors become the arbiters of truth.
scandals that have afflicted Wikipedia are not accidents: its culture invites them. A supposed theology
expert turned out to be a fantasist in his mid-20s. Jimmy Wales, founder of
Wikipedia, declared that this impostor had “been thoughtful and contrite about
the entire matter, and I consider it settled”.
It clearly didn’t occur to Mr Wales that
claiming knowledge you don’t have and have never worked for is wrong. Wikipedia
stands for vainglorious amateurism: it will be an easy act to follow."
Oliver, you hit the nail right on the
Wikipedia is being hit harder and harder
in the media, all around the world, as well it should be. The language used in the articles is
getting less, and less, respectful of what once was a very good idea.
You can't crawl around the internet without finding another complaint - usually
in the strongest of language.
Comedians are making fun of
And the lawsuits are a-coming... and
a-coming, and a-coming...
According to the London Telegraph,
Wikipedia's articles on global warming are nothing but propaganda. The
National Post says it even
stronger. The Bali Times quotes
I think Wikipedia/Wikimedia
management sits there with a dullness in their eyes reciting that old mantra
"Why is everybody always picking on me?
Well, listen up WikiFolks... I'll
make this easy for you. Take that all-day sucker out of your mouth and pay
attention children. I'm here to help you. I'll help you grow up
(1) People work hard in their
lives to accomplish things. They don't need to have some homeless,
muttering, schizophrenic wander into a public library, plop their reeking selves
down in front of the public internet, and log onto Wikipedia with a "private"
name, to take out their resentments against their betters, by re-writing
articles with so-called facts that were born in their drug-soaked, in-and-out of
consciousness, mind. Nobody needs that.
But that's one of the opportunities you
provide. You call it "privacy," and you actually think it is a good thing.
The other opportunity you provide is for
the victim of the library-using-crazy to, after spending twelve hours at their
profession every day, they get to come home, log onto Wikipedia, and change back
to the real information. Just what everybody needs to do after a long day
But it gets better. For, down the
road, a few hundred miles, is one of those homes where "we-the-people" store
recently out of prison pedophiles. You know the ones. They have to
be a minimum 1000 feet from a school yard or a children's playground.
Handily, there is only one small window, in that home, where the perverts can
peer out, using their binoculars, scanning that schoolyard - so maybe only
two-at-a-time can use the window leaving the other twenty-eight roommates to
fight over the use of the five internet-connected computers, all of which have
blocking devices keeping them away from the kiddy-porn sites. Since there
is no kiddy-porn available why not edit Wikipedia, eh? Do it long enough
and you can become an administrator? And, you can make friends, with
similar thought paths... like a maybe a "library-using-crazy?"
The wonderful world of Wikipedia
So, guess what happens. The
"library-using-crazy" gets really sick of this professional changing back his
writings every night so he contacts his admin buddy over at the pervert center
and complains. "Perv" fixes the problem by pointing out that the
professional is violating Wikipedia rules by editing information about himself,
and bans him from Wikipedia indefinitely. Then the professional gets upset
and demands to know who these people are - so the "Perv," and the
"library-using-crazy" complain to the ArbCom group and they, of course, ban the
professional forever for trying to "violate privacy," leaving the bad
information on the article page
And that's Wikipedia in a nutshell.
I think it is being run from a tree
(2) Larry Solomon, from the
National Post, in his article titled "How
Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles"
says it like this:
The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the
books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.
The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as
science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period
that began around 1000 AD.
The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most
widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale
rewriting of this history.
Solomon goes on to describe, in detail,
what happened next.
One person in the nine-member Realclimate.org team — U.K. scientist and Green
Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties.
Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source
the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when
opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley
set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global
warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on
the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he
began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In
October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles
on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of
the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished
climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the
band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm
All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His
control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained
at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual
impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he
removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his
hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had
them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found
themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing
conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with
Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the
missionary wing of the global warming movement.
So, WikiFolk? Did
the nice man send a plate of warm brownies up to your tree house
while he diddled your big sister, so to speak? Where the
hell were you when this "global warming" crap was going on?
(3) Everybody in
advanced health care knows that Wikipedia articles about health
are manipulated by a secret group with an agenda designed to
keep the health care status quo. No studies have yet been
conducted to determine how much death and damage this group has
caused to Earth's population. But I'd guess that it is
I've written about this
before, so there is no point in rehashing the issue. For a
refresher try "A4M
But, a common thing in the Wikipedia health
care world is the "badmouthing" of what are called
Alternative Medicine health care paradigms, professionals and
activists. Another word for "badmouthing" is
defamation, and defamation is actionable in the Courts.
Specifically, in the case of a health professional, refer
to the "defamation per se" Wikipedia definition which
reads: (Note the red highlighted words).
"The four (4) categories of
slander that are actionable
se are (I) accusing someone of a crime; (ii) alleging that
someone has a foul or loathsome disease; (iii)
adversely reflecting on a person’s fitness
to conduct their business or trade; and (iv) imputing
serious sexual misconduct. Here again, the plaintiff need only
prove that someone had published the statement to any third
party. No proof of special damages is required."
I used the
Wikipedia definition for a good reason. I wanted to show
you that Wikipedia is very well aware of the law. They
simply cannot deny it. They just think it doesn't
Here, below, is the section of an email I
wrote to a Wikipedian that actually tries to solve problems
(yes, there are some) I believe it was paragraphs three,
four, five, and six (all in green)
that set off Mike Godwin:
question: Is there a way within Wikipedia to put a stop to the
organized defamation attacks against my clients, by the group I
offered to "out" in the email below? If so, what is it? How do
we activate it right this minute?
We know that there are certain Wikipedia web pages that are
completely controlled, or unduly influenced, by this subversive
group - and they will use very trick they've learned to keep
those web pages the way they want - keeping them reflecting
their POV. This is not acceptable to us and none of us are
willing to spend most of our lives edit-warring with these
With this in mind our group is of the mind that the Court system
would work much better for us. Properly set up cases would
wreak havoc with Wikipedia volunteers, all up through the
volunteer ranks. Why? Because the volunteer ranks do not seem
to be getting any legal advice, and are of the opinion that they
have Section 230 immunity - when, in fact, since they are an
integral part of the editorial process, they have no such
My recommendation to our angry players was that we simply set
traps (set up a sting), positioning new editors into the system
so that they readily become victims of the subversive group.
Then when that happens we simply activate what appears to be
Wikipedia's internal controls, making, as it were, an appeal for
the editor's position. When that fails, go to the next step,
and the next, until all avenues have been exhausted in the
Wikipedia process. When all that fails, which it will, because
of the depth, and sophistication, of the subversive group's
infiltration, then we simply sue all of the participants in
every step of the process in a venue of our choice. There, each
of the Wikipedia volunteers can explain through the discovery
process, and more, how they arrived at the conclusion that
defamation was OK, because they at Wikipedia decided it was.
Wouldn't that be interesting? Thirty five to forty Defendants
each hiring their own attorney?
It would be very hard, I'd surmise, to get volunteers to serve
on those Wikipedia committees when they see what the term
"liability" actually means, as it is applied to people they
But let's go back to my first questions: Is there a way within
Wikipedia to put a stop to the organized defamation attacks
against my clients, by the group I offered to "out" in the email
below? If so, what is it? How do we activate it right this
Ok, it is time to drag
out your sense of disbelief. What do you think was
Wikipedia's response to my reasonable questions?
"I think there is probably so much prejudice regarding you that it is probably
impossible to accomplish anything. Actually I doubt it is unwise for you to try
to represent your clients because of that."
Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate