Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wikipedia is War

Its not enough to make a contribution to Wikipedia on a topic that you care about. If you really care about your subject you are going to have watch over your pages, ever-vigilant.

I realized this after reading a short but amusing interview with Bearcat - an individual who has dedicated considerable time adding and editing Wikipedia entries about the CBC. My favourite part was this:
There was an American editor who first popped up during the CBC labour dispute last year. He didn't know very much about the CBC, but seemed to have heard on NPR that there was a labour dispute, and this somehow inspired him to make a complete muck of CBC articles on Wikipedia. First he *removed* the program schedules from the articles, and then asked us why the articles didn't provide detail on CBC's programming. Then he started writing articles himself on CBC programs that didn't have articles yet; naturally, given his lack of knowledge, they mostly consisted of vague equivocations like "Music and Company is a program on CBC Radio Two that probably plays classical music."

He also tried more than once to propagate the theory that Toronto'’s CFMX (Classical 96) should take over CBC Radio Two, which he did mainly by changing the call signs of CBC stations to make it appear as though his fantasy takeover had *already* happened...

Wikipedia, needless to say, can be a real education in human psychology at times.
Its a recurring theme to my readings on Wikipedia. You must have patience, persistence and...
You have to be able to suffer a lot of foolishness to work on Wikipedia. You really do. And for most people who were brought up in academic discourse, the way people behave just isn'’t acceptable. But you have to balance that against the efficiency of producing the largest encyclopedia in human history over the course of five years.

the truth goes to whoever has the last edit, the editing will never end.

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