December 5, 2005 4:00 AM PST

Growing pains for Wikipedia

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For Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, last week was a tough one. And he's going to change the ground rules for the popular anyone-can-contribute encyclopedia because of it.

First, in a Nov. 29 op-ed piece in USA Today, a former administrative assistant to Robert Kennedy lambasted the free online reference work for an article that suggested he may have been involved in the assassinations of both Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.

Then, on Dec. 1, a new flurry of attention came when former MTV VJ and podcasting pioneer Adam Curry was accused of anonymously editing out references to other people's seminal podcasting work in an article about the hot new digital medium.

To critics of Wikipedia--which, in a spin on the open-source model, lets anyone create and edit entries--the news was further proof that the service has no accountability and no place in the world of serious information gathering.

"Wales, in a recent C-SPAN interview...insisted that his Web site is accountable and that his community of thousands of volunteer editors...corrects mistakes within minutes," former Robert Kennedy aide John Seigenthaler wrote in USA Today. "My experience refutes that...For four months, Wikipedia depicted me as a suspected assassin."

Wales has dealt with criticism for years, and he's sensitive to it. He knows that many people worry that Wikipedia's self-policing process can't possibly keep up with the massive number of new articles that crop up on the site, and the edits that appear in existing entries. The cybertome, after all, is home to millions of articles--nearly 850,000 in English alone, with many other entries in dozens of additional languages. In October, the English-language site hosted 1,515 new articles per day.

Special report
History by committee
How wikis are changing our view of the world

But Wales said the Seigenthaler incident was an aberration.

"The system failed in this case," Wales said. "A bad entry was kept for some time until (Seigenthaler) actually fixed it himself. Basically, what I would say is we're looking right now, and over the weekend, at this particular incident and what went wrong. It seems like the key issue is we're having some growing pains."

When Wikipedia articles are first published, they show up on a special page, and volunteers--so-called new-page patrollers--monitor entries in their area of interest.

Wales said the Seigenthaler article not only escaped the notice of this corps of watchdogs, but it also became a kind of needle in a haystack: The page remained unchanged for so long because it wasn't linked to from any other Wikipedia articles, depriving it of traffic that might have led to closer scrutiny.

Also, Wales said, the entry was unusual in that it was posted by an anonymous user--most new articles are published by registered members, who are more likely to be held responsible for what they write.

CONTINUED: Currying disfavor…
Page 1 | 2

98 comments

Join the conversation!
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who cares?
i like wikipedia, i think its excellent, no banners, pop ups, a great source of info
Posted by digitallysick (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Uh, does he not get the point?
This may not solve the overral problem, but why didn't he just correct the article himself? Isn't that the point of Wikipedia?

I don't know why anyone would get all up in arms about this. Wikipedia is a good resource, especially for pop-culter topics. However, it's not the only resource and should be treated as one of many tools for research.
Posted by supadave (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
that's what i'm saying over here
...tale is useful in continuing to draw attention to wikipedia, what it's worth, and what it's good for. But really, how can the guy whine about disinformation that lingered for four months *until he corrected it himself*...

I very sanguine about requiring registration for authoring.
Posted by (22 comments )
Link Flag
He didn't correct it himself..
because then he could whine and moan about something that could have been easily corrected.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Apathy's Stench Runs Rampant
That's how everyone thinks, until the wolf knocks on their door. Remember, everyone will not be as savvy as you.

It's not enough to just correct the error; it (information based on ignorance)must be exposed for everyone's sake; for the unfortunately tainted and the innocent subsequent seekers of knowlege. Yours is the attitued that allowed the existance of African slavery for hundreds of years, the Jewish Holocaust and the unconstitutional imprisionment of Japaneese-Americans in WW II.

To this degree, he fullfiled his social responsiblity. Help keep the wolf from our doors. Stamp out apathy. Be aware. Be awake.
Posted by Hipenoone (1 comment )
Link Flag
Wikipedia has no credentials....
... it is nothing more than an amorphous compilation of
uncorroborated opinions by many people who have no idea what
they are talking about. Any truth in Wikipedia is an accident. So it is
nothing more than another form of blog, possibly interesting, not
likely true, and totally undependable.

You want truth -try the Britannica - it at least tries to be correct.....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I suppose
the same could be said for replies to News.com stories.
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
Link Flag
I have used it for many research papers
And have never found any blatantly wrong information, a few things that are slightly off base, but thowse are due to not completely understanding the subject.

It is not authoritative, but very useful as a starting point.

You are coming off like one of those arrogant people who believe only they know the truth. So you have read every entry in it, and are so knowlegable that you can claim that any truth in it is accedental? Pretty funny coming from someone who has made slightly ignorant and off-base claims about certain physics concepts on CNET.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Britannica has errors
Boy brings encyclopaedia to book
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4209575.stm" target="_newWindow">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4209575.stm</a>
Posted by me_news (2 comments )
Link Flag
In agreement about 90%.
I believe there's a large sum of people who contribute to Wikipedia who *do* have an idea of what they're talking about. I happen to be one of those people -- but I stay far, far away from sections which involve opinion(s), or whenever I second-guess myself as to facts vs. fiction.

But as I mentioned in another CNet Talkback item below, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter -- idiots (or vandals, as the case may permit) will always win. For every 100 positive/accurate Wikipedia edits, there's 1 mindless/moronic one, which eventually results in what was documented in the CNet article here.

But what really interests me isn't the fact that Wikipedia is an "uncorroborated compilation of opinions" -- it's the fact that it's completely ENTIRELY 100% succeptable to HTTP GET/POST worms of any kind.

Eventually, DDoS kiddies will manipulate their scripts and use the 100,000 compromised machines they have to edit/change/destroy Wikipedia in one foul swoop.

Trust me, folks -- it will happen, as long as Wikipedia continues to take the "anonymous is OK" stance. The instant they make it register-only (with actual registration confirmation, either via Email-back or via mangled visual letters), Wikipedia should become a "better" source of information.

Until then, take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. As for me, I'll be sitting in the corner, waiting for some IRC packet kids to completely destroy Wikipedia in about 30 minutes.
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
You just described the sum of all human writings.
So to put your trust in any of it is to trust only to chance. Yet
trust we do...
Posted by emcourtney (36 comments )
Link Flag
Completely disagree
Wikipedia is a fine resource, and to claim it's bunk and opinion is pure ignorance. I write frequently on Wikipedia and can testify to the integrity of everything I write. I watch all edits to my articles and several others. There are thousands of editors that do the same thing; dedicated people like me who do care. It is here to stay.

As for it being a resource, it is like any other source of information: it has ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES. You just have to know how to use it. It is an excellent source for quickly locating information that is written in easy to understand language. MOST articles carry references for the material in them (ideally all should), and the facts of the articles can be checked through these references. Unfortunately, there are many unreferences edits, but the person doing the research can use Wikipedia to get an overview of the topic and then would have to find other resources to cite to confirm it.

Another thing is the community debate and interaction. Many edits are debated and discussed on the talk pages, and editors will confront others about unreferenced additions or edits. The interaction itself is an important part of the project and holds hints of the future of communication and information sharing. It is dynamic knowledge and debate. Opinion is not to be included in the articles, despite what the heresay is. What is opinion is removed and is often debated in the talk pages.

Also: people like me use Wikipedia to research topics they want to know more about. When I have to research a certain plant and write an article, I learn much more about it than just reading a book. Then you also have to contend with the criticism of other editors who point out any mistakes you might make. It's a valuable learning tool.

Sure some garbage slips though. You should come to Wikipedia knowing this and knowing that error is possible and that wile Wikipedia is not a primary source, it IS generally accurate enough to get an overview of any given subject. Besides, if you find any errors, sign on and correct them.

DanielCD
Posted by DanielCD (5 comments )
Link Flag
Conflict of interest is unavoidable
It is impossible to seperate people of interest from a topic of interest. Very, very rarely is it possible to find a person who can be considered an authority in a field that does not gain some kind of payment or reward for being an authority in that field. Anyone who spends their life dedicating themselves to a craft or field must expect to receive some kind of compensation for their time and efforts. Excluding these people from participating in their fields of expertise means you will have second-rate amateurs writing "authoritative" pieces on very important topics.
Posted by plbyrd (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unaccountable? Compared to what?
I use wikipedia as another source of information. I don't just simply believe it (or Newsweek or the WSJ) just because it is written. It's a wonderful idea and will be flawed just as any human endeavor is.

I don't know much about their accountability process, but perhaps they should adopt some web-of-trust model to score both authors and data.
Posted by batpox (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Contirbuter Reliability/Rating/Equity System
Why not have a system of rating contributer quality and reliability.

It might rank posts by long time members, and long time quality contibutors above those w/o membership or recent postings.

It might allow Wikipedia users to page rank the quality of the posts. It might prioritize those post from historically reliable contributors above those of nonmember, new posters.
Posted by RSMeehan (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Give Wikipedia a chance
Personally, I believe Wikipedia (along with blogs) are quickly changing the landscape of traditional media and information distribution. Like all things that are freely available for consumption, there will be abusers.

Let's not discount the potential of Wikipedia because of a few bad apples. I hope the model of openness and accessibility doesn't change too much.

Ronald Lewis
Founder and CTA
Riverscape
www.riverscapecorp.com
Posted by ronaldl79 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The potential....
... of Wikipedia is proportional to the quality and quantity of
editorial control within Wikipedia. So far, control seems to be
almost entirely missing. That reduces Wikipedia to an
unsubstantiated collections of opinions, sort of a super blog. No
more credibility, just a lot more volume.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
The issue is
That traditional media outlets and other forms of informations are being threatened by this. It is very much like Microsofts attacks on open source. OS is a serious threat to MS , so they attack it by any means possible.

Just like this joker could have fixed it himself, but that wouldn't be good since he could use it to whip up controversy. He blatantly misused it, and then uses his misuse to rail against it. Very funny.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Use Semantic Web To Impute Importance for Notification
In distributed open hypermedia where the dominant quality is the speed of distribution of an assertion, one cannot rely on the wisdom of crowds. One must be able to get notification based on the seriousness or consequences of the assertion itself.

The semantic web has uses. Services have uses.

One of these will be an ontology of personal importance. What we learn (or knew) about the Internet as a medium is that it speeds up signal distribution but has no means to separate truth and superstition, something the mammals are often bad at with or without technology. The wisdom of crowds is only as good as enough people care and comment.

If an assertion is read but not vetted, it is just an opinion. The problem is not in finding the number of links but in using the number of links joined to the seriousness of the assertion to create automatic notifications to interested parties. Authority is not in owning the assertions but in verifying them. A record of authority is the statement of that vetting and verification.

If you ever have to implement an internal affairs module, the utility of those concepts is obvious.

len
Posted by Len Bullard (454 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All Hail Wikipedia
I have to say that Wikipedia is probably one of the best ideas on the net, up there with google, and cnet =^]. The fact that some of the articles may be false is not a very large problem. I think he probably should have made users register to begin with, but this may or may not resolve the "accountability" issue. Saying wikipedia is unaccountable is like saying CNet is biased to certain products, or google only allows you to see what pages they choose. Bottom line is wikipedia is no more reliable than anything else out there. lol, you can be an australian website and still have a ".us" domain name. I've gotten quality information from wikipedia on photography, software, and hardware specifications. I mean it has everything, so give it a chance.

^a10
Posted by AimsAlpha (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what's the point?
Why should anyone give Wikipedia a "chance"? A chance to what? Get you into trouble?

Whatever you learn there has to be learned somewhere else too, why not just skip the first step and go straight to the reliable resource?

I don't see how anyone could argue that it "doesn't matter". Why not just skip looking things up and just invent your own answers?
Posted by laurels (13 comments )
Link Flag
There is more to Wikipedia than is being discussed!
Hello all,

I have a US$950 set of Worldbook Encyclopedias sitting on my bookshelf. Yet, when I need information on a topic I usually find myself going to Wikipedia instead of my bookshelf. This is mainly (but not entirely) because of one very important Wikipedia feature -- DISCUSSION (a.k.a. TALK).

DISCUSSION is an area that is attached to each article where all interested parties can discuss the factual validity of an article. While not necessarily in and of themselves valid sources for academic research, these DISCUSSION areas often contain lots of information that points me in directions I never would have explored otherwise. Take a look at the Seigenthaler article&#8217;s DISCUSSION page to see what I mean:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:John_Seigenthaler_Sr" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:John_Seigenthaler_Sr</a>.

Also, for people like Earl who seem to think that Wikipedia is the root of all evil, how many &#8220;prestigious&#8221; news organizations (ex. CBS News, New York Times, and Newsweek) have made more catastrophic mistakes of late? If you think that my argument is a logical fallacy, I invite you to use the Wikipedia articles on the subject to refute me:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies</a>

I have a rule of thumb that I follow no matter what the material -- If an outrageous claim (ex. one man is responsible for the podcasting phenomenon) is not cited then research the matter further and don&#8217;t form an opinion on way or another until research has been concluded.

newmsubob
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Recalibration....
... Wikipedia is too miniscule to be the root of all anything. Sure
every publication makes errors. Serious publications, especially
for reference sources, maintain major editorial functions to
minimize the potential of error. Wikipedia makes no overt effort
itself to be correct. And depending upon the mass of potential
authors to establish accuracy is the ultimate is hopelessly
wishful thinking.

By the way, only a desperate person would use a Wikipedia
article to prove or disprove anything. And as long as you are
doing actual research anyhow, why bother starting with
Wikipedia???
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by jkoskovics (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The results of freedom of speech is sometimes just an opinion
The Wikipedia is a great concept. But like any other media, it needs to develop and correct major errors, along with issues that lead to malice, or unfounded accusation.

I myself found someone had taken information from my website on the Broadcast History in Northern Ohio, and posted it verbatim without my permission or credit. Additionally, gaping holes existed and incorrect assumptions were made.
The only recourse was to correct it myself, and fill in major holes and mistakes.

Am I upset with that, somewhat. More for the potential that someone may in the future build a model of history based on erroneous information if a qualified professional does not set the record straight.

But now, a step has been taken to prevent (or curtail), future mistakes. The Wikipedia project has taken a positive step towards improving its accuracy and integrity, but must do more to ensure accuracy and accountability.

For one thing is certain, Publishing without facts is simply an opinion.

And sometimes opinions can be dangerous.
Posted by jkoskovics (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
user participation requires accountability
The "scandal" facing Wikipedia is a problem that is endemic to participatory models in general. At Download.com (where I used to work), we routinely dealt with fraudulent and misleading user reviews, many of which were written by the developers of the software in question. Given the sheer quantity of user-inserted content on sites such as Download.com and Wikipedia, the problem is not one that can be solved through manual monitoring.

IMHO, eBay has the best working model for policing user activity. In particular, the ratings system given to sellers is an effective (not perfect) method for establishing credibility for content contributor. For this to work, of course, participation must be limited to registered users. However, in practice, a person such as Adam Curry could be flagged as an "uncredible" source of information if other users are able to see that he is the source of biased information. The key concept here is transparency of agency; the more we know about the person who posted the information, the better we can understand the inherent bias of that information.
Posted by ~amigosito~ (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One more critial improvement......
.... would be to not allow any edits of a Wikipedia article, just
amendments, and these allowed only to registered and identifiable
authors. But that probably would kill the basic format. So Wikipedia
is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't.

I guess we;re just stuck with a defective concept....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
ATTN: Joseph and Earl -- Wikipedia has some problems, but...
Ask yourself, is Wikipedia more of a good thing or a bad thing? I say it&#8217;s a good thing!

As Joseph Koskovics mentioned, lack of proper citation (or outright copy and pasting without permission) is probably Wikipedia's largest flaw. I've had to bring this to Wikipedia's attention before. I think that Wikipedia should make a bigger deal to fist-time contributors about citation and copyright law alike. Also, I applaud the new article guidelines that are outlined in the Cnet article. We'll have to see if they actually stop the relatively small amount of misconduct that happens at Wikipedia.

As for Earl, I am curious... Do you hate Linux, OpenOffice, and coupons to your local Dairy Queen? :~)

Rawbertow
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually,....
Linux, OpenOffice, and Dairy Queen coupons are quality goods.
And I don't hate Wikipedia. I don't even care about Wikipedia. If
people think that it's a good thing, fine. People think that all sorts
of things are fine. I take a limited exception to seeing Wikipedia
masquerade as a reference source, but, hey, maybe that's as much
as some people can handle.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Adam Curry rips off everyone
Adam Curry ripped off my husband 10 years ago! He did it in a
similar fashion to this, it's not so surprising...
Posted by annebot (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
How about Google!!!
I am shocked that for at least a month now, entering the word "failure" into google for a search brings up George W. Bush's official White House biography as the number one hit. Seems a little bit editorial for a search engine, don't you think?
Posted by PhilipJames (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Bad, bad idea
I'm all for neutrality and objective articles. However, I think that by limiting, say, myself ([[User:Astronouth7303]]) from editing articles about [[FIRST]], [[openFIRST]], or [[CrystalSpace]], I think you're missing a crucial editor. No one else may bother to update those articles.

Granted, I may strive for NPOV more than others, and strive for the good thick-skin needed online. I believe that my point still stands.
Posted by astronouth7303 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Same result Even on MSN Search!!
It is not only Google, if you do a search on MSN search, you get the second result as <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html</a> which is the "Biography of President George W. Bush". I am also clueless about this. I even opened the site to find if the link of word "faiure" with the content of the link but could find none.

I think it has to do with the search technology which Google and MSN are using.
Posted by sudeshp (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google and MSN Results Explained
When seaching for the wourd "failure" on Google, I saw a link entitled "Why these results?" in the Sponsored Links section. It takes the user to:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/googlebombing-failure.html" target="_newWindow">http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/googlebombing-failure.html</a>

I'm not a Bush fan by any means, but "googlebombing" is not a very nice tactic either.

rawbertow
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
Heh
read google's methods for searching/profiling information.
Posted by Joelshouts (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What?
I understand your opinion. There is no accountability for writings in Wikipedia. However, I really don't understand what makes it an uncitable source. It's a web site. Like any other. I can go to angelfire (if they still exist? you get the point), sign up for a free account, and blast whatever rubbish I feel fit to put on the internet. Aka an internet source.

I've used many interent sources for my research papers. There are many web sites with vaild information. Where is Wikipedia any different?

That being said, I don't suppose I would ever cite Wikipedia in a serious research paper. It would be unwise, for all the obvious reasons.
Posted by Joelshouts (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, well if you want my opinion...
I really don't understand where the argument is.

Does the party for Wikipedia really feel that Wikipedia is always correct? If so, what do you say to
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_language" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_language</a>
Scroll down to Gullah. Thats right, is Gullah spoken off the coast of Alaska? Nope. I just added that, probably around 10 mins ago. If you don't mind, I'd prefer that you didn't take it out, at least for a few days. If you've looked at the link and Alaska is gone from Gullah, then someone changed it back. Look at the change log to see how long it took.

So if, for example, right now, someone was doing research on creoles, I may have just steered them down quite a wrong path.

Toward the party against Wikipedia: can you honestly say that all of Wikipedia is worthless? Sure, there may be some wrong information. People do what they can about accuracy, just like any other information source. Take some time, read. Browse something that isn't so controversial. French Revolution would be a good topic, for example.

We've already seen that article about Brittanica, and how it has its faults.

On accountability, someone's name on some article obviously means that the article contains true information. I mean, hey, look at newspapers. Since they started publishing authors names, there haven't been any retractions! Everyone agrees that newspapers always are correct, since the author's name is on it. [/drama][/sarcasm] Yeah, point: accountability doesn't solve truth problems. There are many ways to push an agenda besides anonymously editing a Wikipedia article.

Point being, the is no absolute answer. Wikipedia isn't "good" or "bad". It is what it is, and take it for what it is. Many people collaborate on these articles. Some ******* may come by and add Alaska to an article about Creole languages. What is to stop him? Therefore, should you trust Wikipedia as always being accurate? I wouldn't. I also don't accept what Joe Random tells me about whatever subject, since most people have unreasonable opinions on just about everything. He might be right. Joe could also be blatantly wrong. Who is to say without further investigation?

Wikipedia has a HUGE base of valid information. Saying that this is only by accident is fairly... narrow minded? I don't see how someone could make that statement. I love using Wikipedia as a starting point for other research. The information base is very broad. For example, try finding a better online resource on martial arts (Hint: don't... I've looked).

So, yeah, in summary, I guess the point is this - Wikipedia is a useful tool, but it should be taken for what it is, and recognized for the flaws inherent within its design. Realize that everything you are reading may be false, so check other sources. At the same time, Wikipedia has a huge amount of information, and you may be missing out on something that is genuinely useful.

It is my personal belief that, in the end, Wikipedia will produce high-quality, freely available articles encompassing many points of view. When both sides in an argument reason on a subject, I expect that the most correct, or at least the most agreed upon, answer will result. I might be wrong, though.

How is this unreasonable? I don't see how anyone could have any other view. If you see a flaw in my thinking, I implore you, let me know. I would like to see it too.

P.S. It still says Alaska under Gullah :)
Posted by Joelshouts (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All good points...
,,, but we are still left with the conclusion that nothing in Wikipedia
can be accepted without verification using credible (or mostly
credible) sources. Therefore, there is no point using Wikipedia, go
right for the credible (or mostly credible) sources.

Wikipedia is a fine collection of people's focused and random
opinions about things. If all you want is opinions, then Wikipedia
works.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
All good points...
,,, but we are still left with the conclusion that nothing in Wikipedia
can be accepted without verification using credible (or mostly
credible) sources. Therefore, there is no point using Wikipedia, go
right for the credible (or mostly credible) sources.

Wikipedia is a fine collection of people's focused and random
opinions about things. If all you want is opinions, then Wikipedia
works.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Self-Conscious Seigenthaler
Seigenthaler is one self-conscious bugger. No one mentioned that him discovering the error and changing it would have been the Wikipedia in action. Instead, he chose to step back and open fire.

No one gave a hoot until he made a fuss; he isn't popular or important enough to drive traffic to the page and have visitors find the error otherwise. Only he found it, alone and arrogantly, and made a fuss. It would be like any anonymous stranger looking up his entry, finding an error, and becoming so enraged he starts a fire about it. That Seigenthaler had the means and clout to say something says nothing about the Wiki and a whole lot about him.
Posted by Soupir (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Suppose....
... someone put an article into Wikipedia saying that "Soup
Thomas, or whatever your real name is, is reported to be a child
molester. But so far, nothing has been proven."

Now, would YOU be satisfied just with editing the article? Or
would you be out to nail the author and perhaps the Wikipedia
staff ??????

Like how many other places might that report have circulated to?

I think that you would make one h--- of a fuss.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
That's "google bombing"
Google "google bombing" to find out how average laypeople can 'trick' the google search engine. Google hates that, and eventually they fade away as the web crawling algorithms are tweaked to resist these intentional attention.

That's why doing google on "failure" points to Bushs' biography.

For whatever it matters, it also lists Michael Moore -- it's a google bomb war between both red vesrus blue.
Posted by VeryBerry (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's Google's official word
Here's the offical word by Google:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/googlebombing-failure.html" target="_newWindow">http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/googlebombing-failure.html</a>
Posted by VeryBerry (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
AFRIMERICAN VS. WIKIPEDIA BIASES
Afrimerican is a term created, and defined in 1989 as an accurate academic, legal term of description, and definition of Negroid people born in the United States, and all articles written about it on Wikipedia have been deleted by wikipedia administrators with all sorts of excuses, and in spite of the fact the Afrimerican word and definition has been officially added to the U.S. Census Racial Classification list. First, it was claimed Afrimerican was not in/on Google,(a lie), then Wikipedia said it was a misspelling of Aframerican, which is actually a term used by and in the Caribbean islands, not in/by/for Afrimericans/Blacks born in America, then they claimed it was a misspelling of Afroamerican, then they reversed themself and said it is found on Google, and listed various websites that cite it, then Wikipedia stated I wanted them to include it to promote my website, thus, when they could not denigrate or dismiss it, they got personal,

I concede it is personal, not for some pitiful self aggrandizing reason they try to project as the cause, but because I am not African-American, Afro-American, Black, Colored, or Negro, and I am personally offended with not only being given such terms to describe and define me by whites, but doubly offended with it being forced on me, and all efforts to force it on me despite my protestations; That is like the scene in "Roots" where the slave master kept telling Kunte Kinta his name was Toby, and no matter how he protested he was brutalized until he accepted it,(they started cutting off body parts): That's what wikipedia has been doing per all writings about Afrimerican. In fact, this whole dialog mirrors that scenario, with the exception there no longer is the legal right to whip, hang, or dismember me like back in the day when that was the norm anytime a Negroid person protested an injustice, and based on that Wikipedia has not only been engaged in mass misinformation communication, they have exhibited a degree of negative exclusionary racism that is not mere words, but very much demonstrated by their actions.

Additionally, what I have learned is when I type in African-American, Afro-American, Black, Colored or Negro, Wikipedia comes up first or second, and your definition/description of the term/race is given, and it could be said you are angry because you can't totally dominate and promote your ideas/ideologies about the race that are rooted in institutional racism, thus you seem to be making a concentrated purposeful attempt to be an extension of the white imposition of such terms, and of the tactic of forcing it on the race and others, and in ignoring/ostracizing Afrimerican, your objective integrity is nil. It could be reversed and said you are angry because you want to be the dominant internet word and information reference source on all topics about the race, and another source of feeding the lies and alternating views to keep the matter in perpetual pointless debate, but you can't with Afrimerican because it is wholly Afrimerican owned and stands on it's own merit(s), it is what it is, and to ignore that brings the whole character of your enterprise into question.

When it comes to matters about the Afrimerican word and definition, and Afrimericans as a race, Wikipedia is extremely biased, misleading, misinformed, and misinforming,

This writer gives Wikipedia a no confidence vote.
Posted by Afrimerican (9 comments )
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Last time I checked...
I was a white American. How come I'm not called an English American or German American? I think the reason is because I was born in America. Just like my Mom and Dad and their parents.

This is the way I see it. If you are born in America then you are an American. If your born in Africa and gain American citizen ship then you are African American. If your born in Mexico... guess what... you are an American.

Personally, if I were a black man and born in America, I would take offence at being called an African American, Afrimerican, or Afroamerican. It sounds like to me people are still trying to label blacks. I haven't done much study on black history, so I speak completly out of context, but to me if you are born in America then you are American, period. You don't need any other added labels. You should be proud of that.

If you weren't born in America, well... so what. Be proud of where ever you call home.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
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Let's just call the whole thing American...
...and move on. I am sick and tired of the people getting upset about being called by a wrong label. I do not care if you family can be traced back to Africa, Europe, Asia, and any place in between. If you were born in America guess what you are American by birthplace, yes that does include North and South. Does it mean that you have no heritage or you give up your past? NO!! Stop trying to tie culture to place of birth. The two are not always exclusive. Further more what you consider yourself is your business do not try and push it off as the standard for others. On most applications you have an option to either answer the ethnicity question under other or not at all. No one can force a label on you so long as you do NOT educate people about who YOU are, not about what you think the race is. This is exactly why those of us (black and white) born and raise in the Caribbean and Africa with family history there tend not to agree with extremist and militants born within the 50 states. Slavery went differently for us, read up.

I was born and raised in the Caribbean on an island that is a US territory, and I consider myself to be a Cruzan and Caribbean. I nor my friends and family have NEVER heard or been referred to as Aframerican. Some may say American, some Lucian, others Thomian, some Antiguian, Grenadian, but none Aframerican. I suggest that your research also starts to include interviews from actual Caribbean people. This is where Wikipeida has exposed the biggest flaw in history and current events, which is they are filled with opinion, first-hand, second-hand, and third-hand accounts and\or knowledge of events and facts. It should be all recorded on an open field where everyone can present their facts, which is what Wikipedia is doing. Will there be mistakes? Yes, depending on who you ask. Just ask any journalist who retracts a statement. The free exchange of ideas lets us learn more about the world and others. Is it credible? Yes, as much as any history book. Unless the author was there or did it they cannot 100% be credible, and even then there will be someone else there who will probably view it differently. Agree to disagree.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
I have a question
The CEO of the company I work for was born and raised on South Africa. His family has lived there for a few generations. He is white. Does he qualify as an Afrimerican?

I am half Native American, the other being German, Irish and Swedish. Does that make me a Geririswemerican?

I kind of like that. Next time I'm asked my race that's what I'm going to put.
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
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