Skip to comments.Wikipedia Meets Its Own Climategate
Posted on 12/30/2009 6:31:55 AM PST by Titus-Maximus
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, had an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal drawing attention to the rise of "online hostility" and the "degeneration of online civility." He (and coauthor Andrea Weckerle) suggested ways in which we can "prevent the worst among us from silencing the best among us."
I agree with just about everything that they say. But there is one problem that Mr. Wales does not go near. That is the use of Wikipedia itself to inflame the political debate by permitting activists to rewrite the contributions of others. All by itself, that surely is a contributor to online incivility.
The issue that I am particularly thinking about is "climate change" -- or global warming as it was once called (until the globe stopped warming, about a decade ago). Recently the Financial Post in Canada published an article by Lawrence Solomon, with this remarkable headline:
How Wikipedia's green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles.
Solomon draws attention to the online labors of one William M. Connolley, a Green Party activist and software engineer in Britain. Starting in February 2003, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. I continue with a two-paragraph direct quote from Mr. Solomon's article:
[Connolley] 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 [of climatologist activists]. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world's most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets,
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Is there a connection to it from the Obama birth page? The liberal overlords may not have made the connection yet.
BTW, look at the Obama page. Even if we accept that it is conspiracy theory, the language and tone is much more hostile to the theory than it is on other conspiracy theory pages, like for 9/11.
It isn’t nonsense, and the article proves the point. What Connolly is doing is trying to pass his propaganda as “hard science” and not a subjective science with a “he said, she said” unprovable theory motif, like sociology.
If they can lie with impunity and put down as scientific fact things that are not true - then how can you say it is a goldmine of information. Maybe to find the birthday of a celebrity - and that is still questionable. Let’s put it this way - if I were a judge and you were a prosecutor using wiki evidence - that case would be thrown out and the accused would be walking the street.
Wikipedia is adulterated, it is like Chinese pet food, some of it might be good and some of it will kill your cat. Its “facts” are the fruit of the poison tree and I would submit that wiki needs much more discipline before this is student eligible. This is why many teachers have outright banned it as a resource.
The judgment you speak of may be resident in some people but I am not confident at all that its dependence nullifies the risk of drinking at this deliberately poisoned well.
The Left knows that wiki is now the primary and sometimes only source for the public of basic information - and they have taken control of the process. This is dangerous.
Is that anything like a Freepathon? :D
And this is why I only read Encyclopedia Dramatica. :lol:
Wikipedia is fine on technical or pop culture matters, and pretty good on history. In controversial matters the articles are not reliable, but even then it is a good place to find links to primary source material. For example, newspaper articles talk all the time about documents, proposed laws, photographs, etc., without actually including them, whereas on Wiki you can often find a link to the stuff so you can judge for yourself.
Lets do a little comparison:
Wikipedia: Impeachment of Bill Clinton,
Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, and acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. The charges, perjury, obstruction of justice, and malfeasance in office, arose from the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones lawsuit. The trial proceedings were largely partisan, with no Democratic Senators voting for conviction and only five Democratic Representatives voting to impeach. In all, 55 senators voted not guilty, and 45 voted guilty on the perjury charge. The Senate also acquitted on the charge of obstruction, with 50 votes cast as not guilty, and 50 votes as guilty. It was only the second impeachment of a President in American history, following the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868.
White Hose.gov Impeachment of Bill Clinton:
In 1998, as a result of issues surrounding personal indiscretions with a young woman White House intern, Clinton was the second U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was tried in the Senate and found not guilty of the charges brought against him. He apologized to the nation for his actions and continued to have unprecedented popular approval ratings for his job as president.