Talk:Criticism of Wikipedia/Archive 3

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Wikipedia "editors" are clueless

I contributed all the valuable information in my head about Desert Combat Extended being I'm the guy who started the whole thing. But you know how stupid some Wikipedia editors can be; they kept answering "You need to specify your source!" Hello Dipshit! I AM THE SOURCE! What better way to get the correct information from the original source? Then there was the whole "neutrality" of the article. Once again: HELLO! I AM THE SOURCE! I even offered many forms of proof and they rejected them all. One of which was the second forum that was created after the original disappeared after Desert Combat Extended was discontinued. What else does Wikipedia Editors want? Indiviual testimonies from all the 100,000+ players that played DCX (Desert Combat Extended) over it's 3 year lifespan?

It's a good thing the Desert Combat Extended article is blocked. My strategy worked; keep posting until they block it off. I rather have that than Wikipedia's inaccurate and incomplete article about my creation.

I also must say that Wikipedia is incorrect about many articles as well. One of which is my employer. There are many errors on that page that I could correct if not for the fact that I believe Wikipedia will do some Ninja Edits and remove thruthful information.

No wonder professors ban all information coming from Wikipedia. It's useless! True encyclopedias are written by people in the know, not some bunch of clueless clowns with editor powers.

Wikipedia... you suck!

Zeuser (The founder of DCX) --Zeuser 19:59, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I keep finding that "factoids" I read on Wikipedia turn out to be utterly and completely fallacial. As a result, I no longer believe anything posted on this site. Way to go, Suckapedia! 19:25, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Is "fallacial" even a word? ·:·Will Beback ·:· 20:57, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe he meant fallapalooza. Casey Abell 21:26, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe he tried to say something that mattered to him, without being made fun of. Why don't you try to resolve this problem instead of poking "fun" at him? --Kaizer13 14:12, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Maybe the evidence-free, virtually meaning-free "suckapedia" comment did matter to him. But such comments serve no purpose in writing Criticism of Wikipedia. If the anon editor has verifiable, detailed and documented material to add to the article, it is welcome. "Suckapedia" doesn't qualify as verifiable, detailed and documented. Casey Abell 16:03, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
At the same time, facetious responses to such comments are equally pointless, so that's hardly a compelling argument. --ToobMug 10:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
We'll just have to agree to disagree. I think that a pointless and counterprodutive remark like the "suckapedia" comment deserves a facetious response. Casey Abell 22:45, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this website is just plain jacked-up and should be done away with. When it comes to people tampering with information, they practically get away with murder. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wikieuphoria (talkcontribs) 02:09, August 20, 2007 (UTC).

Jacked-up like a 70s muscle car or Jacked-up like drunk on Jack Daniels whiskey? I'm sorry, I think you should write so a fool like me knows what you mean? "Practically" getting away with murder is the same as getting caught, don't you think? Nanabozho 03:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I tried to create an article of my comic book character that's been on differnet fansites and usenet servers, Manator, but the stupid staff decided to delete it, plus tons of other entries I frequently visit. Saying sh*t like I needed to cite sources for my comic - the only source is me. I feel for you DCX man...totally do. --The Manator E 18:15, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I understand. I think my cat Casey should have their own page on Wikipedia, but I also know the deletionists wouldn't stand for it. Nanabozho 19:50, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh yeah, all of the Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse comics should be deleted too, because they're fictional and have sources too. Yeah, just like a household pet. --The Manator E 21:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tme2nsb (talkcontribs)

Partial revert of Jimbo

It's not often that I revert an edit by Jimmy Wales. And it now seems to me that my edit summary was borderline incivil, for which I apologize. I also screwed up "screwed up" — which just shows that anybody can, well, screw up.

Truth to tell, I came this close (hold your thumb and forefinger a half-millimeter apart) to a complete revert of Jimbo's edit. In my opinion, "out of mediocrity, excellence" is a clever and completely unobjectionable summary of Wikipedia's fundamantal idea: average people, working together and often lacking conventional credentials, can produce superb encyclopedia articles.

Frankly, I'm not convinced by Jimmy's Google-based argument. Still, I can understand why some might be uncomfortable with the harshness of the term "mediocrity", which has acquired so many negative connotations. So I didn't revert entirely, though I was tempted. The first part of the edit, which (no doubt unintentionally) messed up most of the footnotes, had to be reverted, of course. I just wish I had been gentler, and a better typist, in my edit summary. Casey Abell 13:48, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Be careful when editing to not let impartiality be perceived as ambivalence or apathy to the topic, mediocrity has negative connotations in this day and age. Just use a more subtle synonym because you have poorly articulated what you have attempted to express, try to be a little more effusive too, I know it should be primarily a factual article but don't kill us all of ennui.

Please avoid editing this article if you are a wikipedian.

To aviod Conflict of interest, all wikipedian should avoid editing this article. Thank You. 04:58, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

That's an interesting paradox. I assume this would include anons. Perhaps you should take it to AfD as it would make an interesting argument. —Malber (talk contribs) 15:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you really think that Wikipedians can't also be critical of Wikipedia?
Atlant 16:34, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:COI does not forbid people editing about their organisation or interests (unless they are paid or involved in the running of it, etc). This is the same as the way I can edit about the University I go to, despite being a part of it. Even if that were not true, in this case WP:IAR would probably override any problems normal Wikipedians will have editing this article. However, WP:COI does require editors to be extra careful when editing the page. --h2g2bob 02:47, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
How is that possible? People who edit wikipedia technically are wikipedian. Also, If this article was only edited by those who oppose wikipedia, it will likely not get cleaned, updated, or rewritten for a while. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 22:34, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the one raising the issue that has a question that ought to be taken seriously, but all I can offer is that you should disclose that you are a Wikipedian, perhaps a userbox would do the trick? Something like: This Wikipedian is a Wikipedian. Nanabozho 03:50, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, are most of the above comments serious, retarded or sarcastic? It's an honest question. Many Wikipedians manage to be all at once, but mostly the middle one. --Fandyllic 6:23 PM PDT 21 Aug 2007

removed text

From "censorship", I removed "it took less time to delete this page than the time it takes to read it" as it's badly worded and not really in the right place. It has an interesting point at it's center, but I can't think how to rephrase it correctly. If anyone can think how to edit that in properly, feel free to do so. --h2g2bob 02:37, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

By what conceivable criteria... this article encyclopedic? I'm not sure it belongs on Wikipedia at all -- after all, there's no "Criticism of Britannica" article in the Encyclopedia Britannica -- but it absolutely does not belong in mainspace. It is an essay and should be treated as such. --Tkynerd 02:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I just checked my 2005 print version of the Britannica, and the "Encyclopedia" article contains a long section titled "Problems of encyclopedias" (volume 18, pp. 264-5). This section reads remarkably like the Criticism of Wikipedia article, including a number of specific criticisms directed at past and present editions of Britannica. For instance, this passage discusses bias in the Britannica:
"Various editions of Encyclopedia Britannica, almost from the beginning, were accused of bias as well. The practice of relying on outside specialists for articles, a practice now followed by most serious encyclopedias, has increased the likelihood that bias will be worked into an article."
While Britannica doesn't split off a separate article for such criticism - the print encyclopedia only has so much space, after all - the encyclopedia certainly doesn't regard this criticism as unencyclopedic or unworthy of notice in their main article space. Similarly, we shouldn't regard criticism of Wikipedia as unworthy of an article in our main space. Casey Abell 15:40, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
None of that answers my question. What makes this article encyclopedic? I wouldn't object to Problems of encyclopedias on Wikipedia, but I do not find that Criticism of Wikipedia is encyclopedic. To begin with, as someone else pointed out during one of the AfDs on this article, it violates WP:SELF. --Tkynerd 16:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I didn't make myself clearer. I was only trying to answer your question by discussing how Britannica regards criticism of itself as an encyclopedic topic and worthy of discussion in its main article space. Of course, the judgment of what is "encyclopedic" will always be somewhat subjective, and I doubt that either of us will persuade the other on this issue. I'm afraid the issue may be undecidable in a rigorously objective way. But Britannica has made a judgment similar to Wikipedia's: criticism of the project is encyclopedic and can and should be treated at length in the main article space.
It seems that you would prefer a general "Problems of encyclopedias" article similar to Britannica's. If we followed Britannica's example, that article would include extensive discussion of criticism of Wikipedia, just as Britannica's article extensively discusses criticism of itself. So it appears that the material of this article would remain, but only as part of a larger article. That would be fine with me, but some editors think we have too many articles that are already too long. So a separate, shorter article may be the least controversial way to go. Casey Abell 19:10, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
To keep a Problems of encyclopedias article at a reasonable size, much of the detail in the current article would have to go, which is the right course of action. As it stands, the article is still navel-gazing, arguably POV, and unencyclopedic. Further, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the material in this article is duplicative of material that can be found elsewhere on Wikipedia, where it belongs. --Tkynerd 20:03, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, on second thought, I'm not at all sure that criticism of Wikipedia's specific model belongs in a Problems of encyclopedias article. Such an article should be an account of problems that are common to encyclopedias in general, as the name indicates. The Wikipedia-specific criticism does not, IMO, belong in mainspace. Still waiting for counterarguments that aren't just hand-waving. --Tkynerd 20:07, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

When opposing comments are dismissed as "hand-waving", it's clear that persuasion is not possible, and there's no need to continue the discussion. You could try another AfD, though the article has already survived five of them. Casey Abell 17:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I haven't really seen anything beyond "it's encyclopedic because it's encyclopedic," which of course is circular reasoning and qualifies as hand-waving if anything does. Not everything that gets written about in the media is therefore encyclopedic, and I've seen no other real arguments for this article being encyclopedic. I'll reiterate that Britannica does not have a Criticism of Britannica article. If there are other arguments, I'm ready to hear them -- and contrary to your unwarranted assumption and attack, I can be persuaded; I've just seen nothing persuasive yet. --Tkynerd 17:36, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Britannica doesn't have an article on Criticisms of Internet Explorer, although it might mention some of them in an article on Internet Explorer. That we have split what would be an enormous article (wikipedia + its criticism) into two so as to be more comprehensive is of no great consequence: Brittanica doesn't do it because they don't have the space (and maybe because they're there for the profit...). How can your entire argumentation be built on the fact that Britannica doesn't have a certain article? It doesn't have an article on Xenu either. Does that mean we should delete it too? yandman 08:47, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
My entire argumentation is not built on that fact. Reread the question that formed the initial portion of my first post on this topic. I'm still waiting for an answer. What are the criteria by which this article is encyclopedic? --Tkynerd 12:43, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

It's a good question. User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles #6 seems to rule this article out:

The mailing list will remain open, well-advertised, and will be regarded as the place for meta-discussions about the nature of Wikipedia. Very limited meta-discussion of the nature of the Wikipedia should be placed on the site itself. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. The topic of Wikipedia articles should always look outward, not inward at the Wikipedia itself.

--Shtove 18:56, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I consider most of this discussion absurd, but in the spirit of understanding... How can Wikipedia exclude itself from the notable topics to include in itself? This reminds me of the argument in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which describes how God was disproved. If Wikipedia criticism and other self-evaluative or self-descriptive topics are not allowed, shouldn't all of Wikipedia be considered non-notable and not worthy of having any content? --Fandyllic 6:29 PM PDT 21 Aug 2007

lack of grammar or logic

"Additionally, the issue of vandalism detection is an important one. Most vandalism is detected via "Recent changes", a listing of all recent edits. As such, even obvious vandalism that slips by those who watch for vandalism may remain undetected for several weeks, or even months"

This certainly is wrong or vandalized itself, it implies that recent changes feature makes obvious vandalism to remain undected for several weeks. "As such" is not the right wording. My last "vandalism"/"test", was to make that point. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:34, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

I reworded it. Is it better now? – Qxz 02:16, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

So much for free speech

Should also add a section that details how this site deletes pages about sites critical of Wikipedia, what's the matter Jimbo, you don't like it when you don't get the fawning admiration you think you deserve?

Main page should read "Welcome to Wikipedia, the nasty new face of internet censorship"-- 15:52, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome to add a section stating that this is one criticism of the project, if you can back it up with reliable, independent sources. The second part of your comment, though, I think is best ignored – Qxz 15:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm welcome to add a section? Why thank-you your highness. I find it amusing that you mention "back up with reliable sources" when this site has a known history of deleting entries on websites that clearly criticise/parody Wikipedia, is one example. Rather than acknowledge such sites you force your own agenda by trying to deny their exsistance, but then of course the internet is serious business -- 20:59, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, arguably the Internet is serious business; it has — at least in developed nations — revolutionized the way business is done, changed the way we handle information, and impacted many aspects of society. Returning to your point, however, the article about the website you mention was deleted because no independent reliable sources could be found for its content (such sources as did exist came entirely from the website itself); the nature of the website is unrelated. This article, too, should contain only sourced material. In what way is my request "amusing"? This requirement is clearly outlined in Wikipedia's content policies, which also state that unsourced material may be removed – Qxz 22:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
^^On A lighter note, This is what we call a lulz-killer. The internet cannot simply be just serious business, but It should be a well-balanced diet between seriousness and play. Wikipedia is absorbing all the worst parts of the internet. Biggotry, over-professionalism, and most importantly, arrogance.--User:Gravy

Your request is amusing because you ask me to back up my claims that Wikipedia actively pursues a policy of censorship regarding websites that parody it. The evidence for this is on wikipedia, by the very fact that the entry for Encyclopediadramatica has been deleted and even the talk page deleted. And to say that it was deleted because no independent sources could be found for its content, well, clearly demonstrates that this sites admin do not understand satire. The day that the ED article is restored (and others like it) is when you can then say that wikipedia is not the nasty new face of internet censorship, but then that isn't going to happen, Uncle Jimbo isn't going to allow anything to ruin the lucarative gravy train he's on now. -- 23:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Being satirical does not exclude a website from the sourcing policies; they apply to all articles. Nor does removing material because it is unsourced constitute censorship — any more than removing nonsense and gibberish constitutes censorship. Again, the nature of that particular article was not the deciding factor in its deletion, it was the lack of sources. Thousands of other articles have been deleted for the same reason, on all kinds of subjects — people, bands, organizations, websites. Are you suggesting that Wikipedia actively pursues a policy of censorship regarding each of these subjects too? Clearly this is not the case – Qxz 23:37, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

"Being satirical does not exclude a website from the sourcing policies"....Great cop out,please keep this up, you're doing a fanatstic job of proving me right. Must drive you people mad that can control what people see but not what they think. Lack of sources may be your cited reason but everyone knows it was deleted because wikipedia do not want people to see this site beacause it parodies and satirises your great leader Jimbo. I'm not suggesting that wikipedia that Wikipedia actively pursues a policy of censorship....I'm saying it. This site is far too important to Jim Wales et al for anyone to threaten it or even dare criticise...such is the nature of the Jim Wales personality cult-- 18:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The way that ED fappers react over the TOW ED article deletion gives me much lulz in light of their view about teh internets being serious business. Malber (talk contribs) 16:33, 8 April 2017

Not an ED fapper (and can you provide a source to back that up? know, in the spirit of the great wikipedia policy that is always being touted) just using it as an example of Wikipedia's policy of deleting articles about sites that criticise it. Then to say it was deleted because it doesn't cite sources for satire........oh dear

He doesn't need a source; this is a talk page, not an article. It really helps if you READ and think critically about what other people say. Think about WHY it was deleted before you start crying. When you can answer that question (not from a biased viewpoint without any standing or basis, but on Wikipedia's own admission), you can cry about the unfairness.Robinson0120 02:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments regarding the deletion of the encyclopediadrmatica article. Unfortunately for you, your comments only serve to prove me right. Your doing a grand job of proving that editors on here show a fanatical devotion to Jimbo Wales and try to shout down all who criticise him. It really must drive you crazy knowing you can't silence us all. If you have a problem with people satirising Wikipedia or expressing criticism of your great leader, why don't you move to North Korea? It is really sad when a project like wikipedia that had so much potential is hijacked by people who will stop at nothing to enforce their point of view.

Anyone considering these arguments may wish to consider the existence of the article about Wikitruth, a site which is more consistently critical of Wikipedia than ED, and which has now survived a good while… funnily enough, thanks to its being extensively referenced in outside sources… Lenoxus " * " 04:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, the article about EncyclopediaDramatica was removed because trolls at ED don't take the Internet seriously and instead of collaborating in creating a nice article about them, they decide to troll it by adding stupid things like "I HERD U LIEK MUDKIPZ" and other senseless memes. ED has a huge Lulz ratio, but still ED is full of dumbasses. Oh and also, the address "" is in the spamlist, because these Lulz-Maker like to link various unrelated subjects to their homepage.
[ Medical advice].
Now stop trolling. --Sébastien Leblanc (Talk|Mail) 17:26, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Truthiness as a commodity

How about this for a section? —Malber (talk contribs) 15:06, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so. And given that everyone else who has used the words "commodity" and "truthiness" in the same sentence today has been reverted, neither does anyone else – Qxz 15:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you've taken my wikiality a bit too seriously. —Malber (talk contribs) 17:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
It was either that or revert you – Qxz 19:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Grammar edits & queries

Just did some edits for grammar and readability.

The Suitability as an encyclopaedia section has this: "Critics such as Robert McHenry have said that Wikipedia errs in billing itself as an encyclopedia, because that word implies a level of authority and accountability that they believe cannot be possessed by an openly editable reference." This is the editor of Britannica, the online version of which defines Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia - contradiction there, so is this sentence an inaccurate paraphrase or a direct quote?

The Exposure to vandalism section has this: "Most undetected vandalizing edits are done by registered users, which are often reviewed less often than those by anonymous users." I don't know what this means.--Shtove 16:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

To answer your second question, "anonymous" users are those who do not log in under a user name, but simply edit without logging in; they show up as just IP addresses in the edit logs. But I have a feeling you already knew that. What the sentence is saying is that anonymous users' edits tend to be viewed with more suspicion than the edits of registered users, so vandalism committed by registered users is more likely to go undetected. --Tkynerd 16:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Your way of putting it is much better. The point about registered users' vandalism is plausible, but is it surmise or assertion - this is more likely to happen, or does actually happen? And I wonder what source will back it up?--Shtove 16:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Probably best to remove it, unless someone does find a source somewhere. I very much doubt there's a reliable, independent source saying vandalism from registered users is noticed less; I'm not sure there's even a Wikipedia project page that says it — in any case, it's really just speculation based on our intuition as contributors, which unfortunately is original research – Qxz 19:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

search engine

Is anyone else sick of seeing "There was a problem with your search. This is probably temporary; try again in a few moments, or you can search Wikipedia through an external search service:?" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:25, 2 February 2007 (UTC).

Yes. Unfortunately it seems we can't afford better hardware to run the search function on, and it keeps getting overloaded with requests. – Qxz 18:14, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Robert McHenry quote

The quote is as follows: "The user who visits Wikipedia to learn about some subject, to confirm some matter of fact, is rather in the position of a visitor to a public restroom. It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security. What he certainly does not know is who has used the facilities before him." The Page History sort of throws the quote out the window, doesn't it? I know who used the facilities, it was and RandomUser13, and I can see they did this yesterday and that an hour ago. thoughts? --MulletManDan 20:30, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

But do you know who that really was? Anonymous knows. Malber (talk contribs game) 20:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Comment from

uh,y would wiki put this here? 18:07, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Why not? – Qxz 18:14, 4 February 2007 (UTC)



Likewise, Robert McHenry, former editor-in-chief of Encyclopædia Britannica said in November 2004: "The user who visits Wikipedia to learn about some subject, to confirm some matter of fact, is rather in the position of a visitor to a public restroom. It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security. What he certainly does not know is who has used the facilities before him."[10]

What Mr. McHenry describes sounds awfully familiar... perhaps like the history tab? This quote has been bothering me for some time, because everybody knows exactly who used the facilities before them. I would like to see a sentence or so pointing out this fact, just a thought. Comments? --Hojimachongtalkcon 01:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

You can see the history, but you still don't know who the editors are - I think the point is that the edits are made by people whose bona fides you can't check or have confidence in. BTW - online Brittannica defines WP as an encyclopedia, contradicting McHenry's quoted comments in the suitability section of this article.--Shtove 11:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Interestingly, most articles in the "Micropedia" part of the print Britannica aren't signed, so you really have no idea who wrote or edited them. The encyclopedia only gives a general list of people who worked on the Micropedia. Also, a number of signed articles in both sections of the encyclopedia have an "Ed." attached to the signature, indicating that non-specified editor(s) contributed significantly to the article. So many times a reader can't be sure exactly who wrote or contributed to a Britannica article. This hasn't prompted McHenry to compare the Britannica to a public restroom. Casey Abell 13:25, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
However, Britanica purports to have editorial oversight, so it doesn't matter which junior editor wrote an article in Britanica because you're supposed to be able to trust that fact checking was done on it. There is no editorial oversight at WP which is why so much importance is heavily placed on verifiability through reliable, third-party, non-trivial sources that do have fact checking editorial processes. Now, whether or not you trust Britanica's editorial process as much as you trust those signs in restrooms that say, "Employees are required to wash hands before returning to work," is up to you. Malber (talk contribs game) 15:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Anybody can "purport to have" anything, and anybody can be "supposed to trust" anything. Many errors have been found in Britannica, which indicates that its editorial oversight is hardly infallible. I agree that a decision to trust Britannica's oversight is completely subjective. What is objectively true is that many (actually, most) articles in the print Britannica are unsigned and thus not attributable to specific individuals. Casey Abell 15:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

complete re-write

There are a number of issues being raised about the article as stated above, but nothing to convincingly justify the necessity of a complete re-write. Even if this step were taken, the page would undoubtedly be amended and edited so as to re-address the exact same issues, thus accomplishing nothing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:27, 18 February 2007.

Many of the criticisms currently in the article shouldn't be there. Some of them are internal problems that are unknown to anyone not actively participating in Wikipedia because they have not been mentioned by independent reliable sources. These need (and have) discussion on appropriate project pages but do not belong in this article. Others have been added by disgruntled former or banned contributors and it's debatable whether they are valid criticisms at all; there certainly aren't verifiable sources for them. The article should stick to what has been covered in the media, who largely stick to the issues of accuracy and reliability – Qxz 16:13, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Larry Sanger

Is there any reason he was identified as "former Nupedia editor-in-chief" instead of "Wikipedia co-founder"? I think his criticism is better noted on the basis of him having a connection to Wikipedia instead of simply him having a connection to just the Wiki process. To leave out his involvement in Wikipedia lessens the impact of his criticism.Dookama 12:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

It probably has something to do with this: [1], [2]. Malber (talk contribs game) 18:42, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Those are.... interesting and slightly disturbing logs. --Dookama 19:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Red Link

Just so it's known, the Daniel Brandt article was deleted without review by Yanksox and it's currently being disputed. I'd reccommend leaving the link in until the issue is resolved. --Dookama 19:36, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Nauseating American viewpoints

I cant find it mentioned anywhere, that there is so much US biased content on wikipedia. It was mentions that English speaking nations had more contributers but this does not cover the nauseating viewpoints of Americans for example the article on WW2 has the war in the pacific at the top of it despite the fact that the war in Europe was more important and interesting and this is one of the most popular articles in wikipedea. The article railroad car should be called a proper correct English term as railways were invented in the UK, this would match wikipedias own rules, but Americans must have their egos pandered to. As for the article Empire State express I deleted ridicules claims by Americans out only to be accused of being anti American. I can bet you there will be a yank who will remove this information as he will be unable to accept the truth.Oxyman42 22:42, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

A quick perusal of Talk:Empire State Express shows that you engaged in personal attacks and unwarranted, unfounded accusations of sockpuppetry there. As for the name of Railroad car, that name follows WP:NAMING and WP:ENGVAR, so there's no reason to change it. --Tkynerd 14:11, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You do realise that your response is an ad hominem attack, right? --ToobMug 10:35, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Right there with you buddy. I find the censorship by members of the American public ridiculous and highly damaging. Wikipedia is, in places, liable to become another American propaganda machine. I propose leaving the American Wikipedia to the Americans and establshing an English Wikipedia, with English version articles. It might be an idea to prevent all but proven Englishmen and Englishwomen editing it. Sadly, I fear it is an uphill struggle. There's just too damn many of them. Spite & Malice 11:09, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

A fantastic idea, an English wikipedia. That way the rest of the world doesn't get american spellings of english words rammed down their throats. I will suggest this to some webwise friends of mine, watch this space! ;)

I don't like having british spellings of english words rammed down my throat, but I just deal with it, ok? And who is to say that the war in the pacific isn't more interesting than the european portion of WW2? Assuming that the european portion of WW2 was more interesting is a very egotistical eurotrash point of view. And as for an american propaganda machine, would that really be worse than a european/british propaganda machine? The complaints presented here are so ridiculous that it is almost laughable. 01:29, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I would personally enjoy a Wikipedia free of British (mis)spellings, even though I happily make reverts like this one in order to follow Wikipedia policy. --Tkynerd 14:11, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
An "English" Wikipedia with biases towards British viewpoints would be no better than an American-biased Wikipedia: BOTH ARE BIASED. Period. Neutrality means that all significant viewpoints get their fair shake, and by definition if they are relevant MUST include American viewpoints but should also not be biased in favor of them. Nor should it be biased in favor of any other country's viewpoints. Just because America may not be all that great doesn't mean that everyone else is automatically the best. There are countries out there just as bad if not worse. This tends to get lost a lot. mike4ty4 19:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Interesting Phenomenon of Improvement

Notice how pointing out in this entry problems can cause them to be solved? There is a portion that talks about how the entry of 'feminist science fiction' was deleted, but now links to that entry, alive and of seemingly good quality, for instance. Maybe we should state the existence of the phenomenon explicitly in the entry, as well as putting mentions of resolved problems properly in past tense. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:45, 26 February 2007 (UTC).


Should we add info from this link? - Ta bu shi da yu 08:38, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Only if it's considered to be a reliable source, and if those criticisms appear in another, independently published work. —Psychonaut 04:14, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
The Grauniad has A fact of one's own as an opinion piece which mentions this list. ... dave souza, talk 22:12, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Essjay Issue

Please do not remove sections of this article without providing a valid reason for doing so. Especially if you are a Wikipedian. This section is meant for criticisms of Wikipedia and should not be subject to censure.

That would be... you, as well as everyone else who will edit this page. Perhaps you shouldn't add unsourced information without a valid reason? --Hojimachongtalk 23:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The article had proper citations. If there was a problem with the citations, that should have been noted in the discussion for fixing, instead of complete removal of the article. Completely removing an article critical of Wikipedia without providing valid reasons is akin to censure. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC).
As I am one of the editors who removed the section, let me explain. The last sentence of's edit gave his/her personal interpretation for for why no disciplinary action was taken. That's POV and original research, and would be removed even if the article were not about Wikipedia, its founder, and its administrators. (That's not to say that the rest of the edit was okay, just explaining that that was what I particularly objected to.) ElinorD (talk) 23:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
If the problem was only with the last sentence, why remove the entire section instead of just the offending sentence? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:02, 2 March 2007 (UTC).
I didn't say it was only with the last sentence. In fact, I said that I was not saying that the rest was fine, but was explaining that that was what I particularly objected to. ElinorD (talk) 00:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Hm. If there are no citations (by the type of sources described on WP:N and WP:RS), it's probable that the event is not notable enough for inclusion in the article. Censorship is in the motive, not the action in itself. Motive: an interesting and applicable word here. In addition, there are no reliable sources on who Essjay is (of which I am aware), so WP:BLP might apply. GracenotesT § 00:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, but Gracenotes put it better than I could have, which is why I just explained my objection to the last sentence! ElinorD (talk) 00:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Included in the references in the Essjay subsection was the article in The New Yorker in question, which also contains an editors note that they discovered after the article was written that Essjay was actually a 24 year old with no advanced degrees or teaching experience. Also included in the references was a copy of a letter written by Essjay where he used his credentials and experience as leverage in an argument. The New Yorker is a very reputable magazine and should be more than enough of a reference. Additionally, Essjays own page has been edited to show that he is indeed a 24 year old with no advanced degrees or teaching experience. How much more evidence and how many references do you need? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:15, 2 March 2007 (UTC).

The New Yorker didn't say that Essjay's real name is Ryan Jordan. It only said that Essjay said that his real name is Ryan Jordan. How does the New Yorker article use this incident as a criticism of Wikipedia? Obviously people disagree on whether Essjay should be criticized for this or not, and if you're mentioning in an article, it should have a bit of sourcing. GracenotesT § 00:38, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

A favorite adage, by the way: "the plural of anecdote is not data". GracenotesT § 00:39, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Look, I'm trying to not let my systemic bias get in the way, and refer to policies and guidelines, but it's clear that we both have bias, GracenotesT § 00:50, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I made a major edit change to the article in question, moved it under the existing New Yorker article subsection, removed any POV problems, and added a lot more references. Please let me know if it is up to standards. 01:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I do have problems with the statement "Many other examples where Essjay used his purported credentials as support exist as well." The citations after it do not indicate that Essjay referred to his credentials, but rather to his knowledge of the subject. GracenotesT § 01:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Some quotes by Essjay from the references you are questioning to show why they are relevant:
  • I am a scholar of Roman Catholicism.
  • I'm not Catholic, I just study Catholicism.
  • I've been a Catholic scholar for years, and I couldn't tell you know how many times I've heard this myth, in and outside class.
All of these statements imply that he has credentials.
(Butting my head in) I strongly disagree that these statements imply he has credentials. I have read the diffs in question, and nothing he said in them indicates to me that he has an advanced degree in anything. He merely says he is a 'scholar' of Catholicism. Furthermore, his knowledge seems to back that up. I encourage you to look up the word scholar. --Otheus 17:28, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
If he claims to have degrees on his User Page, it backs the word up with implied years upon years of formal study. And I think the last one in particular implies credentials. "in and outside class" paired up with "years" implies that the issue has come up over and over and over again -- and how many issues come up in several different classes over a course of years? Probably just a handful and probably not something that's untrue (you would hope as much, anyway...). So the statement has an undercurrent that suggests that Essjay teaches some classes on Catholicism on top of the suggestion of his credentials. --Dookama 18:35, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, those statements themselves do not strictly imply degrees or official credentials. Essjay could be an erudite who went to Catholic school. But, yes, in that context of his user page, etc, it would. Unfortunately, all those pages were deleted, and as I understand, they had been "corrected" a little while ago, and I have been unable to find any cached page, etc, that has this. I'm not justifying Essjay here, merely playing devil's advocate, addressing a specific, minor point.
Also, you removed this quote from the article which I believe to be very important:

I am a tenured professor of theology at a private university in the eastern United States; I teach both undergraduate and graduate theology.

My Academic Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (B.A.)
  • Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.)
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology (Ph.D.)
  • Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD)
I admit that I did forget to reference it. The correct reference is here: 01:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
There's no reason to do this when it can be accurately summarized. While Essjay (according to posts on his talk page) is not a tenured professor, there's no indication that he doesn't actually study Roman Catholicism. GracenotesT § 01:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
It's good form to provide a direct quote when it's as relevant and important as Essjay's admission in that User History. I don't think you can sum up things any better than he did himself.
But... if he claimed to have a doctorate of philosophy in theology, then wouldn't he be backing up his claims with false credentials -- so it wouldn't really matter if he studies Roman Catholicism. The point of the criticism is that people can back up their edits with false credentials, so removing the credentials that Essjay claimed to have needlessly dulls the criticism. I haven't looked into it thoroughly, though -- this is just an initial impression. I'll either edit this comment or add another if I change my mind after looking into it more. --Dookama 01:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The point of the article is not to criticize Essjay, it's to describe and summarize criticism about the situation. Dulling criticism is perfectly fine. Dulling representation of the criticism is not, and the inclusion of the direct text does not affect this. GracenotesT § 02:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
After looking things over a bit more, I'd argue that the wording should mention his claims to a doctorate in canon law. The rest are superfluous. It should really just mention the Ph.D. in Canon Law and his arguments on Catholicism, since those are the only arguments he's sourced as having used his purported credentials in. The other lower degrees don't really need mention (possession of a doctorate implies a bachelor's and master's), though the fact that two doctorates were claimed to be held merits mention. Something like, "Two doctorates, one of which was in Canon Law..." would work. --Dookama 02:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
To pontificate, "with four academic degrees" explains the situation well enough, in my opinion.

Also, I think it's important that I explain why I find this important enough to write an article about and then defend it. I think that this whole situation is really bad for Wikipedia. Not only was a Wikipedia Admin caught lying to a reputable magazine about his credentials, that same admin was never punished for his actions. In my eyes, this really sets a precedent that it's OK to lie on Wikipedia, since even if you get caught, nothing is going to happen to you. This whole thing is preposterous, and I think it's flat out ridiculous that he can get away with this. You can't have people like Essjay running your site and expect people to take it seriously. Essjay's continued existence as a Wikipedia Admin is a major criticism for Wikipedia - that's also why I included the fact that he hasn't been punished for his actions and continues to be a Wikipedia Admin at the bottom of the article.

That's a valid point of view (one which I don't exactly hold), and my sole problem with the inclusion of the "Essjay's adminship has not been revoked" indicates that it should have been, which does not adhere to a neutral point of view. And looking through blogs and stories about this, I do not see many people clamoring for Essjay's status as an admin removed. GracenotesT § 02:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
How about something like "Essjay's adminship has not been revoked, in large part due to an unspoken consensus among the community that he still deserves his adminship"? Not that exactly, I'm horrible at wording things like that, but something along those lines would be a good compromise. It would preserve NPOV and put in the fact that someone feels needs to be included. --Dookama 02:21, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Here are some people who have the view that Essjay's status as admin should be removed:
And in case you're curious how this all started: here a link to the thread where he was accidentally found out: 02:25, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Dookama: if you can find a citation for that (since analyzing a community must have a source), go ahead and add it. Personally, it's not worth mentioning that nothing happened because nobody talked about it., I'm sort of in an awkward position here, because on one hand your comment about Essjay not being de-sysopped is very POV, but on the other hand I don't want to seem like I'm censoring your beliefs. GracenotesT § 02:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, the fact that it's 'unspoken' would merit it not being citable . . . and considering that there are citations of people calling for him to be desysopped, would it be okay to add in, "Essjay has not been de-sysopped, though external sites have provided outlets for those who think he should be"? I think blogs and all that are considered non-notable sources (which I don't agree with, but that's neither here nor there), though... and that's where most analysis of a community comes from. --Dookama 02:42, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, communities are notoriously difficult to source information about. GracenotesT § 02:54, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Gracenotes:I made some more changes to the article to try and remove the POV problem, please let me know what you think of it now. I really do appreciate your help in this matter and I want to let you know that. 03:13, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Since so many have feared a surge of criticism in the press, I'd a look at Google news and found... not very much interest. It hardly seems to have escaped the blogosphere. However, the Inquirer includes the exciting revelation that "Essjay is a member of the Wikipedia management team and makes daily decisions about what information is accurate or not." Wow! And here was me thinking that we all did that! ... dave souza, talk 20:03, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Try wording things a bit better -- and just because there's not a firestorm of news stories doesn't mean that it's not a relative surge. --Dookama 20:20, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
No incivility intended, don't really see where you've found it. Just my ironicish way of pointing out that the Inquirer has ideas of what Essjay's duties entailed which I found surprising. No doubt a culture clash, for which I apologise. The relative surge is indeed there, what's surprised me is the absence of stories in sources I'd have expected to run it. Is Slashdot losing its grip? ... dave souza, talk 22:28, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Incivility? My arse. DS worded things just right. On the lack of interest, maybe it's the fact that the Essjay part of the New Yorker article is the dullest part of a good piece of writing. Or maybe nobody cares about WP anymore. Boo hoo. Anyway, Dookama is "unimportant".--Shtove 23:46, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of Wikipedians

I have a great idea for a new article which parts of this article may be applied. Please start a new article titled Criticism of Wikipedians and I will meet you at the stub. --QuackGuru 17:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Isn't the navel-gazing on this article bad enough? ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 18:02, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
This new article proposal is a wonderful idea. It will keep us honest, improve policy, and avoid scandals in the future. --QuackGuru 18:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
At present only two Wikipedians have notable criticisms as Wikipedians- Jimbo and Essjay. That isn't enough for an article. JoshuaZ 18:18, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Make that three - Alan Mcilwraith However, I have my doubts whether there should be an article specifically to critise other editors unless we are happy to have it soley as a troll magnet - Munta 18:56, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Allowing internal policy considerations to drive mainspace article content seems a bad idea because the purpose of articles should be to inform the reader. Efforts such as you are talking about more appropriately belong in project space. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 18:37, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
So... we shouldn't... inform the reader about criticism of Wikipedians just because it would be written by Wikipedians and (probably) looked at the most by Wikipedians? I think what you're implying with "the purpose of articles should be to inform the reader" is that people don't care about Wikipedians -- just Wikipedia. I disagree with that and think that at some time, it would be appropriate to make a Criticism of Wikipedians article. As it is, there are enough people to make the article, but I think it should wait until there's more substance to make the article. --Dookama 22:00, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I was simply analyzing QuackGuru's reasons for proposing such an article, which were that the article would serve as useful self-criticism. If there is outside interest (i.e., reliable sources have written about it) in such criticism, WP should do an article on it —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ObiterDicta (talkcontribs) 23:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC).
Okay, the way you worded that it just sounded like you were saying that there is not and should never be an article about criticism of Wikipedians -- and while I don't think there's enough out there to merit an article now, I think there probably will be in the future. --Dookama 23:36, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The article Criticism of Wikipedia is detailed enough as it stands.--Ianmacm 18:41, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

If you're looking for something to keep us honest, QuackGuru (nice username, by the way), try to implement it in project namespace: pages beginning with "Wikipedia:". It would be infinitely more effective. GracenotesT § 18:07, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Bullying and attempted control of outside mediums

I was browsing through the junk heap that is Wikipedia looking for some scrap that I might be able to use in a Usenet post or two when I came across these remarks on someone's user page. Can you honestly read that and tell me that the person isn't completely crazy? Since when is Wikipedia trying to push itself on the entire Internet? This is ludicrous, and if it's true I really, REALLY feel like going out onto random websites and saying obscene and nasty things about Wikipedia contributors. --The Bede 04:14, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Moved from article namespace --h2g2bob 05:53, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Hillary Rodham Clinton's biography

I removed the section on Hillary Clinton's biography but it was put back. Space was the main reason for removing it, as the article is already becoming too long. The error mentioned in Hillary Clinton's biography was an inaccuracy rather than a glaring mistake, and even professional journalists do this sort of thing from time to time. It is not in the same league as the Seigenthaler affair and is probably not worth a whole section.--Ianmacm 07:29, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm reluctant to remove it as it makes a valid point against the theory that articles can be expected to continuously improve and that errors can be expected to be caught and removed quickly. I did move it and the section immediately above it into the first section ("Criticism of the concept") because they don't belong in "Criticism of the contributors." I also removed the first sentence of the Clinton material because it made the whole thing sound like a debate rebuttal. --Tkynerd 13:28, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't like removing things but am becoming concerned at the article's ballooning length. The claim about Hillary Clinton's valedictory speech seems to have been made in good faith and is a fairly minor mistake by Wikipedia standards. There are probably far worse errors out there right now.--Ianmacm 16:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I think you're missing part of the point: Yes, the Clinton edit was probably made in good faith. That's the point! We have other examples of vandalism or obviously wrong or libelous information persisting on Wikipedia. Clinton's non-status as valedictorian is an example of positive information -- the sort of minor detail that wouldn't jump out at most readers, unless they had read any one of the many books on Clinton, as an error. That's why this is a valuable example: minor error in a prominent article, made in good faith, which will then be repeated at and in a thousand student papers. And it survived thousands of edits by Wikipedians. KillerAsteroids 18:53, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

This single example doesn't deserve an entire section, but it's a helpful reminder of the difficulty of fact-checking. So I moved it to, you guessed it, the "Difficulty of fact-checking" section. I also cleaned up the footnotes and squeezed the material into a single paragraph. The article is getting awfully long, but it's hard to decide what to axe. Maybe we can cut down the Essjay stuff after the main article on the controversy finally stabilizes. Casey Abell 18:41, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I never intended to excuse the mistake, only to put it in context. All Wikipedia articles need to be checked by knowledgeable people, and most Wikipedians are not experts on the finer points of Hillary Clinton's career. The biggest problems facing Wikipedia are huge errors, vandalism and lack of neutral point of view. The Hillary Clinton error does not fall into these categories, but I am happy for it to be used as an example of the need for fact checking.--Ianmacm 11:17, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

How much more improvement until this article receives featured status?

Would anyone be interested in doing such a thing? --ĶĩřβȳŤįɱéØ 03:10, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Seriously, I think that quite a bit of work would be needed before FA status was granted. Parts of the article are still overlong and wordy, although it does make many useful points.--Ianmacm 08:57, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be better to try to get Wikipedia itself up to featured status, before doing such a thing with the related articles. It's a good article already, but there are/were problems (see recent peer review). This article needs improvement to get it up to even "good article"-ish level, though I'm not sure it would actually be approved as one even then – Qxz 09:11, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Removal of unsourced and non-RS compliant material.

Per this edit, I removed material. 1) anon blogs are *not* WP:RS compliant. 2) the other cited source from Info Week doesn't talk about the other attack site. Thanks, - Denny (talk) 22:01, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

While you may be right in accordance with a strict interpretaton of policy, it is rather ironic that you deal with a complaint that Wikipedia censors out references to certain critical sites by... well... censoring out references to those sites. (See Self reference) *Dan T.* 23:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Why would any main article space article be exempt from policy? - Denny (talk) 23:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed the funniest edit I have yet to witness on this project, SqueakBox 23:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
If the criticism or criticizing website is worthwhile or notable, it will meet RS. ;) - Denny (talk) 23:51, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Like Wikipedia Watch. Would your new attack proposal want to ban that from this article were it ever to be made policy? SqueakBox 00:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
It depends on concensus/judgement of a policy nature, I suppose. Do you think that the hivemind and hivemind2 pages are "attack sites"? - Denny (talk) 00:44, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Well the hivemind page is an attack site, IMO, yes. I am not happy to see my real name there because while it never took much to figure out who I am I have never given out my name on wikipedia, and he may have outed me through another third party blog ()from annon banned occasional wikipedia user). I was linking to hivemind on my user page and was asked not to which I was happy to do on my user space but even as an attack site I think there are strong arguments (a) to link to it on wikipedia and (b) to make those links live. its also controlled by a web master and thus mucgh easier to judge to be an attack site than a forum would be, but if it was to be labelled as such I would want that either to be through consensus on this page or another page where community discussion occurs (as in afd's, rfa's etc), SqueakBox 01:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia: A Techno-Cult of Ignorance

The entire ebook can be found at this link. It'd be nice if someone could incorporate this link into the article.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

No limit to hours per day editing

People can edit Wikipedia for 24 hours straight without sleep. I think this leads to dominant editing of Wikipedia. There should be a limit of say twelve hours per day. Dhammapal 10:15, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd have thought it would lead to dormant editing, and obviously there's a limit of 24 hours. Surely no-one can edit continuously, but your scheme would prevent insomniacs from making any edits during odd hours. Just a thought, must take a nap. .. dave souza, talk 10:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
It must be possible for the Wikipedia computer to pick up where someone has made at least one edit every hour for 12 hours. I am not suggesting a curfew (there are different time zones), but more of what we call in Australia a cooling-off period.Dhammapal 10:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

A Library of Alexandria of Links (The True Story of the Co-Founding of Wikipedia)

OK. Lets review the facts:
  1. It does not matter what Wales' opinion or Sanger's opinion is.
  2. Undue weight does not apply in this case when facts must be written from a neutral point of view.
  3. What is th definition of founder. A person who established Wikipedia.
  4. Two people worked togther to establish and build Wikipedia from the beginning.
  5. When two people work together and start a project from the very beginning they will be both called co-founders.
  6. There was never a dispute when Larry Sanger was still part of this project.
  7. Some article refer to Jimmy Wales as 'the' founder but do not explain the co-foundership issue at hand.
  8. Mr. Jimmy Wales has never given any documented evidence for his new version (since 2004) of reality (revisionism).
  9. At the risk of repeating myself, Wales never disputed his co-founder position before 2004.
  10. I have provided strong evidence (references) to color the picture.
  11. Here are some references for Wikipedians to get to up to speed on the facts and the history of Wikipedia.
  12. By the way, the appeal for the verifiability of the facts is exactly what the Wikipedia community demands in its WP:RS, WP:V, and WP:ATT policies. It isn't my rule: it's the community's consensus.
  13. Early Media Coverage
  14. Links and more links
  15. Early versions of Wikipedia pages
  16. Early versions of Wikipedia pages
  17. Early versions of Wikipedia pages
  18. Early versions of Wikipedia pages
  19. Official Wikipedia Press Release of 2002
  20. Official Wikipedia Press Release of 2003
  21. Official Wikipedia Press Release of 2004

Wales and Sanger created the first Nupedia wiki on January 10, 2001. The initial purpose was to get the public to add entries that would then be “fed into the Nupedia process” of authorization. Most of Nupedia’s expert volunteers, however, wanted nothing to do with this, so Sanger decided to launch a separate site called “Wikipedia.” Neither Sanger nor Wales looked on Wikipedia as anything more than a lark. This is evident in Sanger’s flip announcement of Wikipedia to the Nupedia discussion list. “Humor me,” he wrote. “Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes.” And, to Sanger’s surprise, go they did. Within a few days, Wikipedia outstripped Nupedia in terms of quantity, if not quality, and a small community developed. In late January, Sanger created a Wikipedia discussion list (Wikipedia-L) to facilitate discussion of the project. At the end of January, Wikipedia had seventeen “real” articles (entries with more than 200 characters). By the end of February, it had 150; March, 572; April, 835; May, 1,300; June, 1,700; July, 2,400; August, 3,700. At the end of the year, the site boasted approximately 15,000 articles and about 350 “Wikipedians.”[3]

Yours Cordially, :) - Mr.Gurü (talk/contribs) 21:48, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I've been muling over this issue too, at wikinews:user:h2g2bob/JvL. Perhaps the best explanation is Larry's: User:Larry Sanger/Origins of Wikipedia. As I see it, Larry was a full time employee at Nupedia, so "co-founder" would not be appropriate. However, Larry set up and was project leader for Wikipedia during the early years, for which he deserves considerable credit. --h2g2bob 12:21, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, no. He was a full time employee of Bomis, so whatever argument goes for Nupedia goes for Wikipedia too.--Shtove 15:10, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo as de facto leader

I have provided several references from sources normally regarded as reliable – Associated Press, The Times, and a scholarly paper by two university professors (one from Transylvania!) – for Jimbo as the project's de facto leader. This seems to be a way out of the sterile "co-founder" dispute. The media don't regard Jimbo as the Big Guy at Wikipedia because he's the founder or co-founder. He gets that status because he is, well, the de facto leader of the project. Could Larry Sanger have unblocked Daniel Brandt and made the decision stick until he decided to rescind it himself? The de facto leader status is not only verifiable from reliable sources, it's true. And we might as well admit it in the article. Casey Abell 22:47, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

What kind of understatement is that? Jimbo is our (select yourself):
  1. saint,User:Rursus/OTHITPWMEEENAE
  2. prophet,
  3. demigod,
  4. mascot,
  5. icon,
    Jimmy Wales in August 2006.jpg
    This user is a member of the
    Cult of Jimbo
  6. boddhisatwa,
  7. savior,
  8. god,
depending on the cultural/religious background. Said: Rursus 18:06, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


I think one way to reduce the criticism of Wikipedia is to make the editing process of topics stricter and more difficult to do. Instead of just anyone editing a topic, I think that the edits should be made in the form of a submission that one of a team of editors would inspect, and accept or reject depending on the content. I know this sounds troublesome and complicated, but I can't think of anything else. All I know is that Wikipedia is way too vulnerable to both vandals and people who don't have their facts straight.

Mathew Williams 09:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's philosophy is of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Submissions are reviewed by non-expert volunteers at WP:RCP. Take a look at other models like Citizendium. --h2g2bob 12:05, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Edwina Currie

I have recently found this article where a few known people have commented on and rated their Wikipedia articles. Edwina Currie took the unimpressed approach and expressed her views, which included saying that Wikipedia was "less accurate than most gossip columns." She also quoted what the article stated about her appearance on Hell's Kitchen, which was vandalism unfortunately. I was wondering whether this should be included in the Criticism of Wikipedia article. Regards. Eagle Owl 10:36, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Names included in article

I think the names of Ryan Jordan and Alan Mcilwraith should be included. The inclusion lends weight to the anecdotal criticism. Removal inserts a marginal POV through exclusion of information. --Dookama 21:30, 30 April 2007 (UTC)Nevermind, I get it now. --Dookama 22:09, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to nominate this as a featured article. In preparation for this, I've removed a couple personal names, as they have already received plenty of adverse publicity and there is no need for more (that would occur if this article were to be featured). 22:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

In's name,

--Dookama 22:54, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually it let me put {{fac}}; what it would not let me (as an anonymous editor) do is create the required "subpage" Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Criticism of Wikipedia. Thanks. 23:12, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Created the subpage for you. Provide your reason, etc. --Dookama 23:38, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I am having second thoughts about this. For now, reverting my removal of the personal names. Please remove them again if this article becomes featured content on the site. 14:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I was about to suggest this at Good article nominees - I won't for now, but I think it should get feedback from GAN/FAC --h2g2bob (talk) 14:55, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a propaganda machine

Wikipedia has become a propaganda machine. Wikipedia has a certain political point of view “Political Correctness”, and all articles, which do not comply with this, is deleted or altered. Wikipedia’a policies are often used as an excuse to delete information from articles.

At times only selected sections of articles are deleted. This may change the balance of an article and it promotes only a specific Point of View or political agenda. Links to opposing information is deleted or sabotaged (by changing characters in the links).

It also appears as if official Government agencies are keeping a very close eye on articles in Wikipedia. The moment an article (which does not suit a certain political view) is posted or altered, the posted information is changed or deleted. Even the comments made in the discussion is deleted or altered.

· It should not be possible for one editor to change the comments of another editor. It is ridiculous that some other person can change or delete the comments you made on Wikipedia. (It is ridiculous that the person you are debating may change your arguments.)

· Opposing political points of views should be tolerated. It must not be possible to delete the comments of political opponents. This makes articles one sided. This results in the lost of credibility by Wikipedia.

· Editors (and their sock puppets) which continuously & immediate delete or revert the work of others should also be banned. Well-researched information is sometimes deleted because it does not promote the propaganda machine.

· The speedy deletion of certain articles is also ridiculous. If somebody starts an article on any political opponent, or person being critical of any matter, the article should not just be deleted. By doing this Wikipedia looses enormous credibility.

· Political opponents to current administrators need to provide proof of every single comment made on Wikipedia (with references to sources). When the same administrators make comments, they don’t need to provide the sources of information for verification. It is much easier for an administrator (or his sock puppet / friend) to delete opposing information, than to proof an editor wrong by publishing new information. (Let the information speak for itself).--Grasshut 06:34, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Quite unfortunately, you are right. And quite saddeningly, certain wikipedians will not go improve themselves only because another "trollish outsider" has taken the time to point out how ridiculous they are. KSM-2501ZX, IP address:= 00:29, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I almost deleted the above :). Seriously, it was nice of you to provide zero links to the action you have described. --Tom 14:19, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
If he did have provided the links to the action he described, wouldn´t they probably be deleted? KSM-2501ZX, IP address:= 00:36, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

University citation...

"Some university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work"

Only some?

As far as I know, there is not one accredited university who's citation requirements accept encyclopaedias. This appear to be a silly use of a weasel word to diminish one of Wikipedia's flaws. --Barberio 19:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears? Our study suggests that Wikipedia is 6 times more liberal than the American public. Now it's time for the Conservatives to get our voice out on the internet!

Actually, why should the universities cite wikipedia, when wikipedia contains lots of references itself? Unlike older encyclopedias. Wikipedia shouldn't be regarded as an old-fashioned encyclopedia. The criticism is obviously loopsided and compares apples (wikipedia) with pears (encyclopedias). Wikipedia contains much more, with somewhat less factual reliability, but much more extensive references. That's the nature behind interconnecting all facts of Internet (and some pseudofacts) in one information structure. Said: Rursus 17:57, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Conservapedia as alternative to Wikipedia

Conservapedia began in November 2006, as the class project for a World History class of 58 advanced homeschooled and college-bound students meeting in New Jersey.

Conservapedia has since grown enormously, including contributors worldwide. Conservapedia already exceeds the number of entries in the Oxford Dictionary of World History. Conservapedia is rapidly becoming one of the largest and most reliable online educational resources of its kind.

We don't make false claims of neutrality, as Wikipedia does. We have certain principles that we adhere to, and we are up-front about them. Beyond that we welcome the facts.

Retrieved from ""

And if you get a frontal lobotomy, you might actually find Conservapedia to be your liking. *Dan T.* 13:04, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
(ec) Riiiight. For an example of Conservapedia's "reliability," check out its page on Robert Byrd. Two sentences on his Senate career and the rest of the article on his membership in the Ku Klux Klan and how he used the word "nigger" in an interview. It neglects to mention his opposition to John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign on account of the candidate's Catholicism. Reading other articles pretty much confirms that its contents are limited to what you can learn from listening to talk radio. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 13:08, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I hope you're content with it, and I wish you good luck! I'll stick to Wikipedia. Said: Rursus 18:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
The best thing that Conservapedia has going for it is the requirement that information added to an article be both verifiable and truthful. WP only requires WP:VERIFY and hopes that the fact-checkers of the publisher did their job. Yeah, fat chance. This leads to articles that are incredibly one-sided and often left-of-center in their perepective. Jtpaladin 23:26, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm? I was banned from Conservapedia for putting in the up to date unemployment figure for Sweden. The conservatives there liked the five year old figure that they had, to go along with a moronic paragraph showing that this was "proof" that welfare cripples the economy. Didn't work so well with the current (very low) figure, so they reverted it and site-banned me. The whole exercise is a bunch of self-congratulating of people who don't like to think. Sad mouse 22:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of Wikipedia, as posted on Conservapedia

The Dictionary Conservapedia (a rival of Wikipedia) has an Article about Wikipedia. This article contains links and inforation critical of Wikipedia. [4]

Examples of Bias in Wikipedia is posted on Conservapedia. [5]

A lot of the stuff on that list is just the bias of Conservapedia showing... they consider it "bias" when another site fails to exhibit biases compatible to theirs. *Dan T.* 04:47, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I can say the same about several Wikipedia editors(and no, I am not a conservatist, nor a liberal. I am already too old for such meaningless labels). KSM-2501ZX, IP address:= 00:46, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I think someone should create a liberalpedia in response and to counter conservapedia. Conservatived frequently complain about liberal bias in wikipedia and the media, and yet neither prove the bias nor mention the conservative bias in political talk radio. Mrsmith93309 20:19, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The Golden Seal

Gold Seal Campaign:

What do you think of this? The administrators of Wikipedia establish a Gold Seal campaign for certain articles. This “Gold Seal” will indicate for a given article it’s factuality and lack of vandalism. Basically it will show..

1-This page is properly cited.

2-This page has been verified.

This will be an important step for Wikipedia. It means students, high school included will be able to cite Wikipedia in their work. As of now many schools do not allow students to this.

As for editing an article, It will still be allowed yet a person can easily revert to the Gold Sealed, verified page on Wikipedia. This will be an amazing step for Wikipedia, though difficult, it will allow readers to know for sure what they are reading is true. It will surely improve Wikipedia’s image in the public sphere. Of course someone will have to organize this, but in then it will be sufficient use of labour. -Mattawa

It is a good idea, but this is the wrong place to suggest it. Also, I would still never allow my students to reference wikipedia because as well as factual problems it has one aspect that makes it unsuitable for referencing - it can be modified. You should be able to go to the reference and see the identical document to what was read at the time of referencing, and in wikipedia you can not. Sad mouse 13:21, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Corporate Clout

There is a dangerous trend among Wikipedia administrators to take information from corporate web sites as gospel truth and to show complicity in allowing wholesale reproduction of their content. Such is the case of the entry for TV3 (Catalonia). The result of this insidious policy is to remove any critical references to the TV network (even though these are rigorously sourced) and to accept corporate propaganda at face value. Given the vast resources available to corporations, the outcome of such a misguided policy will simply be to replicate much of the "information" spewed out by the PR departments of major companies.

In fact, the article TV3 (Catalonia) is interesting for the conflict between the author of the above note and another editor. The article has now been locked down for five days by admin Moreschi with an edit summary of "Edit-warring". [6] We've already got a section in Criticism of Wikipedia about that. Casey Abell 19:09, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Media protraying vandalism to wiki articles as attack on celebrity himself.

Take a look at "Sopranos" Fans Whack Creator's Wiki Entry" It seems that vandalism on wikipages is now being reported as if its organized smear campaigns.

--Wowaconia 08:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Daniel Brandt merge

This old revision of the Daniel Brandt article may have information useful for merging into this article.

Please delete the link above when this info has been merged. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 01:34, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

No thanks. Nothing worth merging. Thanks for informing us. This was tried before at this article and rejected. :) - Mr.Gurü (talk/contribs) 01:55, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Okie doke. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 01:56, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Famous Hoax

Question. There was a famous wikipedia hoax article about a fictitious war with Canada for Michigan’s upper peninsula. I don’t remember how I came across it. Can anyone direct me to that page?--Billwsu 03:05, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

See User:Hanger65/Upper Peninsula War. -- Satori Son 04:36, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
It's been deleted again and was last spotted in hiding here or here, not sure where else. I can't find it on at the moment. In any case, it appears to be a take-off on Toledo War, which is a real Wikipedia entry, but is surprisingly well-written for this particular genre. -- 21:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Porchesia (as a fictitious nation) is also a well-known WP hoax (Uncyclopedia has a page on The Porchesian Holocaust that got featured there). The original article, however, was a substub which had Porchess Island pretty much a "Lebanonese" (sic) overseas territory - it didn't read like fully-encyclopaediac content. -- 21:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Aggadah (Redirected from "Jewish mythology")

Wikipedia has articles about Roman mythology, Greek mythology, Hindu mythology, and even about Christian mythology. So the jews do not have their own mythology? The absurd things in which the non-atheist jews believe are not mythology, but the supreme truth that was revealed to them and only them by Yahwöh itself? Come on! Risvm teneatis, amici? Most sincerely, KSM-2501ZX. IP address:= 13:37, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Evidently, many people do not want to give to the jewish mythology its true name. So far, the average wikipediacs are not exceptions to the rule.
Signed: KSM-2501ZX, IP address:= 00:56, 2 July 2007 (UTC)


point: Wikipedia's open-collaborative nature is the cause why "it has steadily risen in popularity since its inception, and currently ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide, making it the largest encyclopedia ever compiled in human history and is still rapidly growing" (.../wiki/Wikipedia, Retrived 2007-06-23).
antagonist: Wikipedia's anonymity is the cause of:
1) criticisms questioning its reliability and ACCURACY: The truth of a piece of knowledge depends on its "correct" mapping with its referent (the entity of the real-world it reflects/maps). But subjectivity with which people perceive their surrounding world makes things difficult on to what is "correct". Then the "trusteness" on the author who says/writes something is a major FACTOR to what is "correct". Wikipedia has removed this factor and of course increased its criticisms!!!
2) wikipedia's trend to become a TOWER OF BABEL: What characterizes todays world knowledge is the MANY-TO-MANY relationships of concepts and terms (= concept designators). A concept is denoted with many terms and a term denotes many concepts. In this CONTEXT, if someone does not know, or misuse these relationships, he/she does not understand the meaning of a text/speech. The knowledge of the author help us to know (of course not always) the mapping of the terms he/she uses with the concepts he denotes. Wikipedia's anonymity increases the misunderstanding of its content.
Kaseluris, Nikos 10:40, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The article is too big

I think this article could afford to be split into several pages.

Right now it's crowded and poorly structured. It just runs together each point in a big list, without any attempt to discuss the common elements of the points under each major heading. I think that summarising each heading before going into the specifics, aside from being useful in itself, would set an agenda so as to maintain clarity of future edits.

It might also be useful to split the 'concept' section into 'concept' and 'content'. There seems to be a mix of theoretical and empirical criticism in there. --ToobMug 11:22, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

  • To say the least. It's a rather large, awkward, and disorganized collection of complaints. Some of the sections have more to do with self-criticism or former-contributor-criticism rather than what the world at large may say. See e.g. "Copyright issues". Some of the sections overlap greatly or are redundant. See e.g. "Usefulness as a reference" versus "Quality concerns". And I also don't know why we're rehashing the Essjay Controversy in such detail when it has its own article, and in any case this is an event and not itself a criticism - the actual criticism occurs at the end when someone refers to the event to make their half-hearted point. --Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 18:14, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
No doubt there's some redundancy in the article, but I think all the material is still interesting. We could try pruning stuff out, but the article would probably just build back up again. As for the Essjay section, the article Essjay controversy still hasn't reached stability, and there are rumblings on WikiEN-l about deleting it altogether. I'm a little antsy about reducing the Essjay section because it might eventually become the only extensive discussion in the article space about the incident. Casey Abell 13:55, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Interesting to Wikipedians, some of whom have standards of notability with regards to Wikipedia which are a bit off to say the least. For instance who has criticised Wikipedia over copyright? If the answer is nobody, then my feeling is that it is not pertinent at all, but at the very least, I would separate purely internal controversy from the other criticisms. As for Essjay, it'd still be available in the article history here to be revived if and when the main article gets nuked. --Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri 14:34, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I wouldn't argue for any immediate removal of content unless it was genuinely redundant. I just think it should be redistributed across several pages. I'm wary, however, that a hazard in doing this is that it gives each of those pages an excuse to reject specific items, and so criticisms wanting to be documented may find no page to live; and that will cause fights. Proper categorisation is important, but I don't have anything but a few vague ideas.
Perhaps an incremental approach could be taken, where this page is viewed as being uncategorised criticisms, and when it's agreed that there's enough of a theme between some of the items to warrant it, they can all move to their own page where the common elements can be discussed in more abstract terms. --ToobMug 17:13, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I strongly oppose any splitting, SqueakBox 22:50, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you going to discuss your reasons, or are you just sniping? Are you pro-appalling-mess, or do you think that it should all be stripped back and cleaned up in place? --ToobMug 21:58, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
This article will never be allowed to be split because the Wikipedian community is averse to criticism of Wikipedia and will work tirelessly to prevent any of it from spreading within Wikipedia itself. Don't waste any time arguing for a split. IT WON"T HAPPEN. --Fandyllic 6:35 PM PDT 21 Aug 2007
The mere fact that there's a main Essjay controversy article does suggest that creating separate articles is still very much possible. The problem here, I think, is the real dearth of reliable sources that make that a viable possibility for most sections. I do agree, though, that this article is getting really long and that it could use some pruning here and there. FWIW, J Readings 01:55, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

A split of the Fanatics and Special Interests section

Currently the section seems jumbled and confused. We have the history of the 3RR policy, we have a few sentences talking about liberal bias and then we have stuff about Wikipedia being the wild-west of encyclopedias and stuff about pro-pedophile activists....

How about we instead break it off to include a mini-section talking about the alleged liberal bias and the formation of Conservapedia (because all that could be expanded) and then we have some of the other stuff about the fanatics. Because, for one, I personally feel that we don't need to group liberal bias in with all this info on fanatics...But more than that it just seems jumbled. |3 E |_ |_ 0 VV E |) 21:59, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Tabloid & Trivia

I didn't know Wikipedia article itself was this controversial. LOL! I wanted to add the following comment: Though Wikipedia has emerged as the largest tabloid and trivia resource of the Web, its usefulness as a real encyclopaedia for serious topics is hollow. Where can I add it?Anwar 16:26, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

My suggestion would be your own user page. This article is already too bloody big, and in any case we shouldn't accept random, unattributed thoughts in any article. Their presence is one of the things that tabloidizes us and reduces our usefulness. Regards, --Hollow Man Dan (Abu-Fool Danyal ibn Amir al-Makhiri) 16:55, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
"entry on Coronation Street was twice as long as the article on Tony Blair.[12]"

In Wikipedias defence this could be down to the fact that Coronation Street has been running for a lot longer than Tony Blairs political carrear. Leaving more to write about 18:30, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Essjay section

It seems to me that the Essjay section deals too much with the details and timeline of the events of this incident, which is already covered in its own article. I think that the section should really should read more like one or two sentences on "what happened" (see how it is handled in the History of Wikipedia), and then start to get into the Criticism of Wikipedia. It is fine to criticize Jimbo's handling of it also, but that does not justify the five paragraphs of "event narrative" that are currently in that section.-- 01:07, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Was there anything else besides just referring the reader to the Essay controversy and a sentence or two that is needed to explain why it lead to criticism? Jimbo's reaction caused criticism also, but Sanger makes that clear. I guess my problem is that the Essjay section is disproportionately large, compared to the other sections. Really, the size of the section should be proportional to the Importance of the criticism and the whole Essjay incident did not really change much process-wise. A year from now, the bad press that it gardered will probably seem silly.-- 05:01, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Does anyone know if there is any change in policy or nothing has changed. Is there any references about the ending or outcome to the Essjay story.  Mr.Guru  talk  23:41, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo proposed verifying credentials, which became Wikipedia:Credentials which was rejected on March 15. Ryan Jordan has not shown back up in any account that he admits to. The Essjay fell silent and remains so. All it really did was get people thinking more along the lines that Wikipedia Watch paints the project (well, WW used to be a little more anti-teenager): as run by people who are simply splitting their time between here and, say, MySpace.-- 01:02, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

incomplete article

I do not see anything about cyberstalking on Wikipedia or the incivility allowed here. Stalking is routine and persistant. The incivility is massive. I don't see this ending any time soon. Therefore, this kind of behaviour is only further encouraged. The facts should be in this article.  Mr.Guru  talk  23:41, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

What happens do Wikipedia's editors has not yet become a source of news. If they need to spend a month in hospital detoxing from their wikiholism, that might garner some press. Perhaps all the stalking and incivility are viewed by the outside world as just a bunch of hot air in the same vein as, say, ten of Usenet incivility and stalking were. Oh, but the Usenet article is semi-protected, soo... Peace in Our Time!-- 01:22, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

What should drive sections

I add that the section about Essjay has returned. This article is not about specific criticisms of Wikipedia. It is about the qualities of Wikipedia, both the articles and the community. The Essjay incident is one incident and you do the reader a disservice by suggesting that this was the criticism. Essjay is gone. (Well, Jordan could be back with a new account, but you know what I mean.) The problem is that Wikipedia has some fraction them are teenagers (by that, I guess I really mean "people who are unlikely to have a college degree" or unlikely to honestly be able to call themselves a professional anything), the unemployed and fringe elements who inexperienced, marginally educated or have hidden agendas. You sometimes get articles that sound like they were the transcript of an Ophrah Winfrey show taken by an intoxicated clerk. The Essjay incident is not the general problem that results in criticism of Wikipedia — it is the lack of qualifications of many of its editors that preclude them from make higher quality contributions to articles about math, economics, science, engineering and those other things for which, say, Nobel prizes are given and for which encyclopedias build their reputation as credible sources of information. Nobel prize winners do not have time to edit Wikipedia, but some people with qualifications do. The criticism is that they are in the minority at Wikipedia.-- 00:13, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I guess what concerns me is that if you pretend that Essjay was the problem, then you delude yourself into thinking that the problem has been fixed because Essjay is gone. Most of the professional news writers who commented on the incident were guarded with their criticism and kept it constructive. I think that you should really capture that and not just a short inventory of the criticism that the Essjay incident garnered (the inventory really belongs on the "Essjay controversy" page anyway). I still think that it is best to have a section take deals in a unified manner with the concepts of no credentials, faked credentials and unverified credentials. It is too easy to fall into the trap of simply saying that the Essjay incident is what really happened. And trying to day that it was about Wikipedia:Honesty to the community is also flawed: it is too easy to just day that Essjay lied so off with his head. Also, it does seem that Essjay and also User:Zoe were extremely thin-skinned about disapproval from Jimbo. Once again, The New Yorker said it best, this time back in 1993: it published a comic back then with the caption "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." That truism is not going to change just because Essjay is no more. Here is a copy. The New York Times even ran a story about it in 2000: Cartoon Captures Spirit of the Internet. If you get a login challenge, then try this link. Granted, it is humor, but at least it is trying to say something larger (like all those professional writers in March were). Again, the Essjay incident is covered elsewhere. You should include criticism by subjects that are still true within Wikipedia's ongoing community. The facts of what happened in March now in the past. Get the big picture that is still relevant.-- 04:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

The restored Essjay section includes discussion of credentials and their place (or lack of it) on Wikipedia. What the restored section doesn't do – and shouldn't do – is engage in personal editorializing about "teenagers, the unemployed and fringe elements who inexperienced, marginally educated or have hidden agendas" and "articles that sound like they were the transcript of an Ophrah Winfrey show taken by an intoxicated clerk." The restored section is a balanced, thorough, neutrally written account of the incident and the effect it had on Wikipedia's reputation and practices. Casey Abell 12:45, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
A neutrally written account of the Essjay controvery is not a criticism and is redundant. This aricle is not the place for a mini Essjay article. This specific section should focus on the lack of credentials and effects and not Essjay. Thanks.  Mr.Guru  talk  20:29, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
We have also renamed the section to > lack of credential verification.  Mr.Guru  talk  21:05, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Who's the royal "we"? And since when do we (royal or otherwise) not strive for a "neutrally written account" of everything in Wikipedia? Anyway, I have reverted back to the more neutral treatment of the Essjay controversy. There's no need for charged, heavily POV language about "no credentials, faked credentials and unverified credentials." A straightforward, neutrally phrased discussion of the controversy and its effects on Wikipedia is preferable to editorializing about Essjay as a "basis for doubting [Wikipedia's] accuracy and credibility." Also, there's no excuse for omitting any mention of Jimbo's public apology to The New Yorker. Again, we should try to keep the section as NPOV as possible. Casey Abell 12:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Request for a link from this page

I operate a website called: IHateWikipediaDOTcom. It is a domain name I aquired a while back. My current feelings about WP are mixed, and my specific domain name may or may not be rellevant. My site and its related blog are active. If you compare my site to WikiTruthDOTinfo, I think you'll conclude in some ways, my site is more current. Check WikiTruth's history on its main page. Since WikiTruth has a link on the article page, it seems it could be argued that a link to my site could be. It's certainly possible I will be blogging on this request goes? I have varied opinions about Wikipedia, and share some of Wales free market ideas. Have a look at my pages, but more importantly, my blog to see my perspective. Nanabozho 20:21, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I really don't know how to interpret the lack of comments? Would actually adding the link lead to a discussion of it? I just don't have the experience to judge the situation here. Nanabozho 05:25, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

It would be better to wait for other people to recognize your weblog as noteworthy and add a link to it. Tom Harrison Talk 13:05, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

That wasn't the answer I wanted Tom, but I'll consider it and go with it for the moment. A couple of other points. I don't have a sense of how important an issue this is to the admins and the people interested in this article at Wikipedia? The second point is, where is Kelly Martin's blog? I might argue that while she is a whole other league than I, from our two sites, you'd get criticism that was usually current. Thanks for your thoughts, and did you check out my guide for Noobs (on the main site)? Read that and then tell me I don't deserve a link. Nanabozho 02:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Kelly Martin's blog is here. I don't think it has much value – it's mostly score-settling with various Wikipedia editors. But occasionally there's some interesting criticism of the project. The latest entry, for instance, discusses possible problems if Wikipedia ever accepts advertising. Casey Abell 12:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

My impression of her, is that of a former devotee. Her knowledge would surpass that of most of the critics. Nanabozho 02:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

"Errors of Emphasis"

I read a brief but interesting piece (Google cache [7]) that referred to "errors of emphasis," the idea that the size and number of articles in Wikipedia pertaining to certain pop culture and current subjects outweigh those of important historical facts:

While outright factual errors and ease of vandalism are the main raps against Wikipedia, dumb errors of emphasis are incredibly common. Major historical figures get a paragraph or two, while ephemeral TV shows and video games are subject to lengthy treatises. (This is why Wikipedia has 1.9 million articles and the Encyclopedia Brittanica has but 120,000.)

I note with amusement an entry on a Winnipegger whose main claim to fame was writing a Free Press editorial page column for a few years.

The piece is longer than the entry on John W. Dafoe, the Free Press’s editor from 1901 to 1944 and one of the most influential journalists Canada has produced.

Note that the overall tone of the article is positive and the writer ends by stating his intention to tackle the Dafoe article and improve it.

I guess I notice this most in the summaries of individual TV show episodes. Should this be added? A number of people have stated that the article is too long already. Blotto adrift 19:05, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Already covered in Systematic bias in coverage. You could add maybe a sentence or two from the article, with a footnote. Casey Abell 19:52, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Didn't catch that. I'm not sure if systemic bias is the phrase I would have used, which is probably why I didn't notice it while scanning headings.Blotto adrift 20:10, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


There seems to be a technical problem on this article. The whole last section is computerese. I'm not familiar enough with Wikipedia code to fix it myself.

Are your referring to this version of the article? There was a problem with the ref template that has since been fixed. Casey Abell 17:13, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Wiki Scanner and the SlimVirgin scandal

I noticed that neither piece is included in this article. These are the two most serious criticisms of Wikipedia in its history. Is there a particular reason why they are not included? 12:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Scanner gets a fairly extensive writeup in the section Exposure to political operatives and advocates, with cites from reliable sources. The "SlimVirgin scandal" was a supposed outing that hasn't been confirmed or even discussed in any reliable sources. The former was an inrteresting story but hardly one of the two most serious criticisms of WP in its history. The latter was a personal attack with no reliable sources to cite. Casey Abell 13:20, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Difficult to see what you mean by "no reliable sources". Obviously the front page of Slashdot is not a reliable source for outright facts ("SlimVirgin is a spy[1]") but I would think it's notable enough to include something like ("an article appearing on the front page of Slashdot said that SlimVirgin was a spy"). Eleland 17:43, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The ultimate source for the story was Ohmynews, a site not commonly regarded as reliable due to its lack of editorial control and self-publishing nature. WP:BLP considerations apply here. We can't just blandly report that allegations were made about a living person on Ohmynews. If reliable, independent sources investigate allegations about a living person published on Ohmynews and produce convincing evidence for them, then we can include such material in Wikipedia. Casey Abell 18:16, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Experts working full-time don’t have time to debate with amateurs

The quality problem with Wikipedia is not from vandals but from many amateurs who spend many hours each day following their watchlist for changes to their favorite contributions. Experts who work full-time in their fields don’t have the time to revert or even discuss ignorant edits. Does anyone have a solution for this problem? Dhammapal 03:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, its called Citizendium! C.m.jones 22:58, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
That is a failed project. Try Encarta or Encyclopedia Britannica instead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Biased - this is only about English media discussing the English Wikipedia

The article is a beautiful example of the very biases it talks about: Not only is it rather long, but simply not about Wikipedia per se. It only talks about how English media criticize the pecularities of the English Wikipedia... which are in part, but not in full similar to other Wikipedias. As it seems impossible that this article will become comprehensive any time soon, I suggest to change the title to something like Criticism of the English Wikipedia. --Ibn Battuta 10:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this particular problem is very widespread on the Wikipedia, mainly because the proportion of contributors who read other languages is quite small. This being said, I do not believe that a move is in order, rather, we should fix up this article by adding international perspective. You could also try {{Globalizecountry|English language}}; see Template:Globalize Eleland 11:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

"A minority of editors produce the majority of persistent content" section

The paper which is described in this section is certainly very interesting research, but I fail to see why its description is included here (and what it has to do with the heading "Systemic bias in coverage"). Such an uneven distribution is to be expected in almost all encyclopedias and other reference works - I don't think anybody would hold this against the Encyclopédie. I appreciate the work that VasileGaburici has put into summarizing this study, but unless someone explains convincingly how the study's findings consist criticism of Wikipedia, I am going to remove the section as off-topic for this article which has become excessively lengthy at 125,784 bytes. Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:39, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

The introductory part of the "systemic bias" section summarizes claims that can only hold true if a minority of editors can impose their views on the rest. Until the GROUP'07 paper, it was unclear whether Wikipedia, being an open system, is subjected to the editorial "bias" of small group as other encyclopedias are, such as the one that you mention. See, "the hive mind" section for critics that claimed that Wikipedia is "produced by the masses", thus a completely different beast. So, a paper (and I dare say the only paper so far) that determines some hard facts about persistent authorship of Wikipedia's content is quite relevant to several topics raised on this page, even if you do not find these findings surprising.
BTW, the paper also deals with vandalism as observed by users (unlike all other papers that only measured what was changed server-side). I was in the middle of summarizing its findings on that matter when I saw your post.
COI disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the authors, their institution, and I don't do research about Wikipedia on my day job. VasileGaburici (talk) 21:09, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Regarding page length: I think it's feasible to break the page in two: "criticism of Wikipedia's content" and "criticism of Wikipedia's community". If you think that page length is a problem, go ahead and split it, but I won't be doing that tonight . VasileGaburici (talk) 21:19, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
You were right that this section per se did not constitute criticism. I've moved it to (the new) Academic studies about Wikipedia article, and linked it from here because it provides some relevant background for the "systemic bias" debate. VasileGaburici (talk) 15:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Carl Hewitt

Should this article discuss the dispute between Wikipedia and artificial intelligence researcher Carl Hewitt? This article, in my view, describes the issues completely [8] ? (Note that the "Kowalski" quoted there is Robert Kowalski, one of the field's most important researchers.) Prof. Hewitt has begun a systematic critique of Wikipedia as which is worth reading: Corruption of Wikipedia.

Another academic/wikipedia dispute is with Paul Gann (to whom I am far more sympathetic), who has a paper criticizing Wikippedia. Hewitt quotes it above. The best line, which I think should be quoted in this article, is this:

Are these sources useful? ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 22:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I've added a summary of the Carl Hewitt article from The Observer to Reliability_of_Wikipedia#Scientific_disputes VasileGaburici (talk) 15:06, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Other means to reduce article length

  • The Essjay controversy is covered in a bit too much detail here, given that it has its own page. It needs to be reduced in length by summarizing the main issue instead of detailing the sequence of events. VasileGaburici (talk) 14:02, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I've replaced with links some sections and paragraphs that summarized peer-reviewed papers and did not really constitute criticism (unless you consider a statement of fact as such). The links point to various sections of the new page Academic studies about Wikipedia. VasileGaburici (talk) 14:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The the Neutral_point_of_view_and_conflicts_of_interest section could probably be further summarized given that it lists a series of incidents which are now also reproduced at Reliability of Wikipedia. These incidents are usually undisputed, only their interpretation is, i.e. critics use them as arguments for the impeding doom of Wikipedia, while Wikipedia "whitewashes" the gravity of those incidents. VasileGaburici (talk) 14:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Some sections that are probably marginal

I think the following sections/topics merit discussion on whether they deserve the coverage they get in this article. We could just move them to the "external links" section, without a full story. Feel free to add more to the list, but mention why they are marginal:

  • Prediction of failure due to marketers subversion. This based entirely on a law professor's blog posts that come close to "crystal ball" stuff. The only thing that made this story notable is that one newspaper thought his predictions are somehow relevant on technology matters. VasileGaburici (talk) 21:33, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Removed blog links, and demoted from section to paragraph. VasileGaburici (talk) 23:13, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The male domination section is sourced from (1) the critics wiki, (2) a Wikipeadia Singpost article which is mostly off-topic because it's addressing whether a female-only mailing list is appropriate, (3) an alternet post, which is more or less a blog. I think there is WP:UNDUE coverage in this matter. The section could be shortened. VasileGaburici (talk) 14:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Removed story sourced only from alternet. VasileGaburici (talk) 14:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup, copyedit

  1. The article is way too long.
  2. Too many cites - convert cites to normal prose.
    --Kozuch (talk) 12:46, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I think it's OK. Though generally an article can not be longer than 100KB, this is the exception. --RekishiEJ (talk) 12:55, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
"Too many cites" is a silly argument in a criticism article. The best way to reproduce criticism without distorting it one way or the other is to use quotes; this method avoids having edit wars around rephrasing. VasileGaburici (talk) 13:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Lots of citations are unencyclopedic. I agree it is hard to bring a NPOV article on this topic without lots of citations, but that is what editors should try to do.--Kozuch (talk) 14:56, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Disagreed. --RekishiEJ (talk) 15:33, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Too many direct quotes is not a valid argument, since using direct quotes can help readers directly know the external criticisms of Wikipedia. --RekishiEJ (talk) 15:57, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

It is essential to use lots of citations in a controversial article.----CharlesGillingham (talk) 09:22, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Might be essential (which I doubt though), but still is unencyclopedic.--Kozuch (talk) 14:49, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
"Unencyclopedic"? In Wikipedia, this term usually refers to the prose of the article, specifically to its tone or style. When it comes to sources, Wikipedia is most definitely different than other encyclopedias. Our sources play a much more important role than in a normal encyclopedia.
The authority of Wikipedia derives solely from the authority of its sources. Our editors (such as myself and you) have no authority on our own. The reader can't be expected to to trust us to tell the truth. The only thing that keeps Wikipedia honest is the citations. Everything that we write in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable source. Period. In an article like this one, every logical point should be attached to a footnote, so it is clear nothing has been inserted by an editor who doesn't use sources and is only sharing his own opinion. ---- CharlesGillingham (talk) 17:52, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
So Wikipedia is a conscience business. If a Wikipedian gives wrong data deliberately, others may be misled. Most readers don't verify the facts provided in articles, even if the references section has the sources. It is self-discipline and mutual understanding that keep Wikipedia works. Also, using many direct quotes is not bad; the article uses them to let readers know all the notable external criticisms of Wikipedia. --RekishiEJ (talk) 19:04, 19 September 2008 (UTC)


A prova da fraude, é que só existem criticas em inglês. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HO249 (talkcontribs) 00:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Anonymity and Conflict of Interest section

The contents of this section is common-sense, but it's unfortunately unsourced, so it's bordering WP:OR. This article is quite long already, and sometimes contentious, so I think we should only keep material that is easily verified. VasileGaburici (talk) 22:58, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, the source would be an enormous dump of talk pages, starting here, I suppose. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 00:38, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk pages do not meet WP:BURDEN. VG 03:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't think so. Anonymity effects some problems, so some Wikipedians support real name proposal. And conflict of interest is a problem, or else we don't need Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. The article is not controversial; it does reflect many notable internal and external criticisms and problems of Wikipedia. --RekishiEJ (talk) 18:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if you agree with the statement or not (I agree with it for instance). We cannot have it in the article just because WP:ILIKEIT, even by consensus. It needs to be WP:Verifiable. VG 16:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Obscene photographs

Wikipedia has too many obscene images on several articles. (talk) 19:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

This talk page is to discuss what (properly sourced) notable criticisms to add to the article, not to make your own criticism of Wikipedia. If you can suggest reliable sources that have criticized alleged obscenity or indecency of Wikipedia, then this might be able to be added. *Dan T.* (talk) 03:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Thought this was worth including but now I'm not so sure

During routine surfing about current political events I stumbled into Rush Limbaugh's occasional radio show references to Wikipedia, using transcripts from Limbaugh's website. Based on a dozen transcripts, I think it would be fair to say the following:

Since at least 2005, Rush Limbaugh has used Wikipedia as both a general references source (e.g. What is a "Magic Negro"? Who funds Press TV?) and as a source for biographical details about politicians and other people in the news. These references are sometimes accompanied by a caveat such as "if you can trust what's on Wikipedia". He has also used it to factcheck himself, asking his staff to verify his own statements.

Limbaugh has characterized Wikipedia as a "liberal" website.

I've attached the references and quotes I was going to use to justify this short paragraph, but after going to all the trouble to assemble this, I'm not sure if it belongs here, in Limbaugh's biography (perhaps under the section on his views, or in the virtual dustbin. So for now I only mention it here. (talk) 00:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC).

Raw data


First, your paragraph is a synthesis about Reliability of Wikipedia rather than any direct criticism Limbaugh has made, so it hardly belongs in this article. Second, your synthesis requires a heavy degree of interpretation of Limbaugh's actions (how do we know you haven't omitted all instances where he said Wikipedia is not reliable from you analysis?), so your paragraph has all the characteristics of original research. Feel free to add the fact that Limbaugh considers Wikipedia liberal, since that is attributable to him. VG 14:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

WikiScanner criticism

What's so great about Wikiscanner ? It only detects edits by IP's that can be traced. Nobody seriously interested in manipulating Wikipedia on behalf of lobby group, government or political ideology would be so clumsy not to create an account. Most likely hiding behind occassional constructive edits. It's obvious that anybody editing from IP is rather weak in the knowledge of Internet or manipulation and doesn't represent a serious threat to Wikipedia, but just 'clueless' supporter. Did CAMERA guys edit from IP's of their office ?--Molobo (talk) 15:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this would be better on the WikiScanner article since it is not part of Wikipedia itself. -- (talk) 18:05, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I trimmed the section to focus on Oliver Kamm's criticism, while still providing sufficient context. The WikiScanner story has been subjected to spin by both Wikipedia fans and critics, hence relevance to this article. Of course, this article should focus on the latter. VG 14:26, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

"Humorous criticism" (?)

The examples mentioned in that section seems more like "parody" than "criticism", i.e. the humorous effect of describing WP by overstatements in order to achieve a humorous effect. So in the parody, the gags is the main point, while in criticism qualities of the object is the main point. Or translated to English: parody need not necessarily have any criticising intention. Said User:Svinhund from Uncyclopedia, AKA Said: Rursus () 12:08, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. Wikiality definitely is criticism. VG 13:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


The following statement occurs in the text:

A related if somewhat ad hominem criticism is that many Wikipedia editors do not have degrees or other credentials generally recognized in academia.

With it is supplied a citation, with the following footnote:

Neither the citation, nor the footnote from the citation actually supports the claim made in the statement. Is there any source that makes such a claim and actually provides proof for it? Mindmatrix 13:12, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Corruption of Wikipedia

The following material was removed from the article:

In Corruption of Wikipedia, Professor Carl Hewitt wrote that
"Wikipedia gains its power by hosting a large amount of conventional information (prominently ranked by search engines) that is tightly controlled by censorship.
However, according to Paulo Correa, Alexandra Correa and Malgosia Askanas: "in Wikipedia, ultimate decisions about what constitutes 'encyclopedic fact' and what constitutes 'vandalism' devolve to a cadre of Internet bureaucrats with no other qualifications than their devotion to Wikipedianism... One of the main problems stems precisely from the fact that Wikipedia's de-facto arbiters of what constitutes 'science', 'information', 'fact', 'knowledge' - those who make it into the ranks of Wikipedia administrators, and who have the time and persistence to win any 'edit war' - are Internet technobureaucrats without any actual love of knowledge or any respect for those who spend their life fighting for it.".

Does this criticism have a place in the article?-- (talk) 05:04, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Come back with actual peer-reviewed citations supporting theses claims. For example, find a reliable source that claims WP is "tightly controlled by censorship". Knol is not an acceptable source, since each knol may reflect the opinions of the writer, and it is not peer-reviewed. (Leaving aside the fact that many knols are copies of WP articles, blog entries, etc.) Likewise, find reliable research showing that Wikipedians are a "cadre of Internet bureaucrats with no other qualifications than their devotion to Wikipedianism". This material clearly fails WP:NPOV. Mindmatrix 14:29, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The current quotations in Criticism of the content are not peer reviewed, namely:
  • McHenry, Robert (2005-12-14). "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia Blinks", TCS Daily.
  • Andrew Orlowski (2005-12-12). "Who's responsible for Wikipedia?". The Register.
As you probably know, scientific peer-reviewed publications traditionally do not publish this kind of criticism.
When a newspaper article picks up the story, it will be a secondary source; the primary source being the Knol.-- (talk) 14:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Hewitt is a respected critic. See Santa Clara University Ethics Center Symposium I copied the above from the log. Wikipedia must really hate Professor Hewitt's criticism since it works so hard to suppress it :-) -- (talk) 22:39, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a coherent strategist but many diverse people, and your link does not work. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that they meant to link to the web page for for panel discussion at The World that Wikipedia Made: The Ethics and Values of Public Knowledge or perhaps to the audio recording of the panelist presentations here.-- (talk) 01:25, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Giving more coverage to Wikipedias cultural bias

This entry does state that Wikipedia does have a bias to male editors, but I would have thought that a more obvious bias of the English Wikipedia is its cultural bias - I guess that the majority of its editors work within the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada or Australia. This seems to be to lead to biasses in topics covered (there is already a whole article on the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row, a topic unlikely to generate much interest outside my own country, the United Kingdom, but I am sure that there are topics in other parts of the world which get only scant mention or none - for example, only quite recently did Wikipedia have an article on the Japanese theologian Kosuke Koyama. About the only reference in the article as it currently stands is a mere four lines, on the "U.S.-centric bias" (yes,that is definitely there). However, there are parts of the world, such as Asia, South America or - perhaps especially - Africa, which are getting scant coverage. Did you know that if you look at the List of Wikipedias, a list of the different language editions of Wikipedia, the list is biassed towards English and the European languages, with Indian languages such as Punjabi or Gujarati being surpringly low down the list? One has to go as low as entry number 78 (which is Afrikaans) before the first African language, and in the whole of the Top 150 languages, there are a mere three African languages - Afrikaans, Yoruba and Amharic. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I apologise - I appreciate that I should have said "a mere four African languages" as I had forgotten that Swahili is actually the second most common African language. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:45, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I was the one who added the section about U.S.-centric bias. If you can find more references elaborating on that, nothing stops you from improving that section. VG 20:35, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for that comment - but please now see my correction - I spotted my own error myself (see above).ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:45, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Radio Four series "Iconoclasts"mentions this subject

The series on BBC Radio Four called "Iconoclasts", in the edition broadcast on November 5 and 8 2008, mentioned Wikipedia. Although its main theme was criticism of the Net in general rather than of Wikipedia per se (criticisms were also made of blogs and of sites such as My Space, YouTube or Facebook), criticisms of Wikipedia were discussed. The protagonist on the programme argued that it was difficult to check veracity of Wikipedia and also referred to coverage bias, mentioning that the entry on Star Wars was longer than that on Henry the Eighth; whereas a supporter claimed that inaccuracies on Wikipedia take, on average, four and a half minutes to get corrected. Anonymity on the Net was discussed. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The protagonist who was arguing that "The Internet is killing our culture was Andrew Keen. More information about the programme can be found on:

It is amusing that now, I took two days to correct my own error! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Please fact check the Wikipedia Quiz about Criticism of Wikipedia

Help us develop learning resources related to Wikipedia collaboratively. You may fact check the multiple choice questions related to Criticism of Wikipedia, Wikipedia reliability, Wikipedia policies, etc. How can it be simplified? Please suggest more questions. Especially, we are interested in examples of common misunderstandings about wikipedia, that may used as distraction in true/false multiple choice questions. Mange01 (talk) 11:31, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

My recent edits

Since I see the tag "controversial topic" on top of this talk page, here are the detailed explanations of my edits:

  1. [9] : (a) the section in question is about sexual content in general, rather than about porno only, and (b) the word Criticism is redundant
  2. [10]: I simplified the lead of the section by making it speak immediately to the point of its subject. If someone thinks that the deleted phrase has an important content, please put it somewhere else, since in this particular place is decreases the readability of the section, being rather off-topic (the topic being "credential verification"). Twri (talk) 18:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Scientific disputes

The following paragraph was deleted by User:Prolog

Wikipedia has been accused of taking sides in ongoing scientific debates. For example the Wikipedia Arbitrator Charles Matthews took the side of Robert Kowalski who was engaged in an academic dispute with Carl Hewitt concerning Logic Programming.[1] This escalated when in an article on Google Knol[2] Hewitt accused Matthews of instigating Observer journalist, Jenny Kleeman, to write an article[3] attacking him concerning the dispute with Kowalski and other Wikipedia issues. The Knol article goes on to claim that much of the unreliability of Wikipedia stems from its deviation from normal academic practice because it relies on censorship, banning, dishonoring expertise, and allowing administrators to remain anonymous.
  1. ^ Carl Hewitt (2009-1-13). "Middle History of Logic Programming". Knol. Google.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Carl Hewitt (2008-12-28). "Corruption of Wikipedia". Knol. Google.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Jenny Kleeman (2007-12-09). "Wikipedia ban for disruptive professor". The Observer.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Does anyone know why User:Prolog is vandalizing this page?-- (talk) 16:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Dunno, but I made the references visible.-- (talk) 16:47, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Evolution of bias

One thing I've often wondered about Wikipedia is that given its susceptibility to the personal bias of editors and the tyranny of the majority, is Wikipedia really a body of knowledge, or is it more "what most Wikipedia editors happen to think right now"? Sort of a variation on the theme that "history is written by the victors". In a perfect Wikipedia, an article would read virtually the same in any place at any time and irregardless of the editor. But that's not the case and likely won't be the case in years to come. Articles are edited today by editors A, B & C, while years from now editors D, E & F will be (sometimes unintentionally) injecting their own biases and the popular thinking of their time. Has anyone else thought on this and wondered if Wikipedia is really a body of knowledge... or is just an abstract of knowledge as seen through the prism of a majority of Wikipedia editors of a particular time? JBarta (talk) 04:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy Wales role section

I have a WP:BLP concern with regards to this section referencing the alleged "cult of personality" surrounding Jimbo. It feels a bit unbalanced under BLP. Is there not a Wikipedia policy/guideline/statement by Jimbo that specifically states that his opinions, etc. should not be treated as gospel? For the sake of balance, I think this should be referenced here (it's possible one of the cited sources also mentions this, but it should be made clearer). 23skidoo (talk) 14:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Nature reference needs to be corrected to Nature_(journal)

The section says "In December 2005 the journal Nature conducted a" and it should read "In December 2005 the journal Nature_(journal) conducted a"

Anyway...the reference is incorrect and I can't change it.Jlorz (talk) 20:40, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Anonymity of editors

The article says 'Since unregistered editors reveal their IP addresses, which can be used by admins to register complaints with Internet service providers or to put "range blocks" in place.' That sentence seems incomplete or just confused. Since unregistered editors do this which allows that... then what? (talk) 00:05, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Also the whole paragraph that sentence fall into seems to be unnecessary. The only part of it supported by a cited source is the mention that unregistered users can't create articles - which it then notes has nothing to do with the issue of users such as Griot (the example used in the article) not being identifiable people, which was the criticism being discussed. (talk) 00:19, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

In article in The Times of London

In the sentence "In article in The Times of London Jimmy Wales stood by the quality of the presentation in Wikipedia", I wouldn't be surprised if it's some sort of ghastly house style to refer to The Times as 'The Times of London', but I guess we could at least change the start of the sentence to "In an article...". (talk) 00:32, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Likewise in the sentence "In story covered by the BBC, former Novell chief scientist Jeffrey Merkey claimed that in exchange for a donation his Wikipedia entry was edited in his favor.", presumably that should be "In a story..."? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

De Facto Leader

Why in the devil does it say that Jimmy Wales is the de facto leader of Wikipedia 3 times? I think most readers of this page probably could care less from knowing that he is so much cooler than us "mere mortals", that it has to be mentioned 3 times.

it does not have to be mentioned quite as much because on the first time people see it they realise it is important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:48, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Unsupported and untrue claims about a living person

Okay, this article seems to be almost set up to be an in-progress EXAMPLE of all the things Wikipedia's critics say about it, and I'm really surprised that nobody pays enough attention to it to even comment after several days on obvious grammatical errors such as those I pointed out above "in article in Times" etc. let alone do anything about them. Let's try this one - the article claims that Judd Bagley is the CEO of This is not supported by the cited source. It is also untrue. It is also known by lots of people on this site to be untrue (and no I'm not saying it's defamatory to say someone is that. I know, giggle giggle.). Could someone see their way to fixing it? (talk) 21:58, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't Live Up To Its Own Ideals

One of the largest criticisms I've seen among some would-be contributors is how Jimmy Wales speaks quite eloquently about Wikipedia "breaking down the walls" and trying to be the "sum total of human knowledge", and yet the very existence of the notability guidelines intentionally puts up artificial "walls" and intentionally prevents some human knowledge from being included.

Granted, its ridiculous to think that Wikipedia can include every single datum in existence, but "notability" is an amazingly fluid concept. Some articles that deal with the leading subjects in very narrow areas have been deleted as "not notable enough", yet others that fit the same description (well know, but only to a small group) have been kept because of their very notability.

This is either the effect of an active lack of a single standard, or merely the side-effect of the editors personal prejudices. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Liberal Bias Section

Isn't the "Liberal Bias" section rather small? I think pretty much everyone recognizes that Wikipedia is laden with liberal bias. You'd think editors would gather more sources on this unless....oh wait..they're liberals. (talk) 04:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

You are 100% factually correct. Consensus <> Truth (talk) 15:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Tricky one - here the US-centric bias and "liberal bias" criticisms conflict: "political" neutrality from a US perspective would impose a Christian-conservative bias on a world-wide readership, and vice versa. The article is already too long, and doesn't need to get into this. --Wragge (talk) 14:30, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Universities to disallow Wikipedia as a source

I feel that the sentences "The use of Wikipedia is not accepted in many schools and universities in writing a formal paper. Several educational institutions have banned the use of Wikipedia as a primary source in the past while others have limited its use to only a pointer to external sources." are used to colorize the article in a way that is unfairly biased towards the use of traditional encyclopedias. While the statement is factually true, I cannot, at least personally, say that I have ever heard of any brand of encyclopedia every being allowed as a citable source on any academic paper (excluding ones on encyclopedias) throughout grade or university level schooling. I feel that something should be said to address this, if there's some consensus that this is true. Tiger of Doom (talk) 07:53, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Based on experience, I have to respectfully disagree. A high number of my high school teachers have allowed me to use and cite World Book for research information. And generally have not allowed me to use Wikipedia for anything other than links to other areas on the web. While I can accept the possibility my school could be an anomaly, it seems from the part of the article you just referenced others have had the same happen to them. - Sgore (talk) 22:02, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree to some extent with Sgore in that I have also experienced my share of university lecturers evincing an extraordinary degree of dislike towards Wikipedia dismissing it as even a starting point for further reference hunting. But I do also agree with Tiger of Doom in the fact that no university would allow any printed encyclopedia either to be cited as a source in an academic paper. It is simply sound academic practice not to cite secondary (or tertiary) sources as reference when there are perfectly good primary sources available. Ironically it would be difficult though to find any references for this (and by the way the reference for the sentence quoted by Tiger of Doom is highly dubious as it seems to be a blog that just represents the opinions of one person with no factual research behind that particular statement). --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:58, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Merge of Death by Wikipedia

I have merged Death by Wikipedia into this article per the AfD. Someone should take a look and do some copyediting and source-checking. Admiral Norton (talk) 22:45, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

This should be included

Certain interest groups, including established and admin users, are able to size control over some articles and suppress other outsider editors.--Seemsgranf (talk) 23:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

reference please Hadrian89 (talk) 23:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

List of wiki's attempting to address criticisms

I think this could eventually end up being its own page, but right now, i think stating acknowledging that other iterations of online encyclopedias with different rules are out there trying to remedy some of the criticisms out there.

-dont forget conservapedia (did I spell that right?)....regardless, its a site coutnering the confirmed systemic socialist-leaning bias of wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia Lack Of Grammar In Labels

The common label which begins with "This article does not cite any references or sources. ..." , should instead, state: "This article does not cite any references nor sources. ...."

I'd need to see a source for this statement. I believe nor is used only with neither; for example, This article cites neither references nor sources. Please correct me if I am wrong, and point me to a good grammar source that shows it. Yours sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 02:48, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Hello, "nor" is used to indicate 'an additional negative', and the popular teaching rhyme "either or, neither nor" is used to show this, but does not mean that the word 'nor' should only be used with 'neither'. I will search for a good (and authoritative) source online to show this. Thanks for your input. Callmeace2001 (talk) 03:44, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't know who started this topic, but this is not the place to do it (we are not discussing an improvement to the article in question). But, seeing as it has been started... 'or' is acceptable when linking a pair of words, be they adjectives, nouns or (I think) verbs (this article: is not accurate or reliable/does not cite references or sources/does not cite or provide). [11] Hadrian89 (talk) 04:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
You are correct, so I've moved the discussion to Wikipedia_talk:Template_messages/Cleanup#Nor_._._. in case anybody wants to belabor the issue over there. Your friend, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:39, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Use of newest news concerning fake death quote. Someone with more experience can edit this in for some section with the misinformation section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

another criticism not mentioned

In my opinion, and in that of many others, a large reason for Wikipedia's failure to be a source of credible information is its reliance on newspapers as 'credible sources'. It is now well known that newspapers dervie a lot of information from the blogosphere. In fact, a newspaper could get false information from wikipedia, and then wikipedia could then "use" the newspaper as a "credible source" perpetuating a falsehood. Sources such as the New York Times should be permanently banned from ever being cited as a basis for making information "credible". Furthermore, newspapers are inherently biased, and any wiki article that substantiates itself with a newspaper, therefore, is biased as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, and in that of many others, everything you said is false. So I guess we're tied until you find a source. Hadrian89 (talk) 23:24, 25 May 2009 (UTC) PS You can't use any newspaper, or you disprove your own point... H
Unsigned is just plain wrong. I have worked at many newspapers, large and small, and all reporters and editors strive for accuracy, and if any are misled by sources, then the Corrections column goes into action. Unsigned should take a journalism course or two before making such a silly statement. A friend to all (even to the benighted Unsigned), GeorgeLouis (talk) 00:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
For more from the same IP number, read Cheers! GeorgeLouis (talk) 00:39, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

User Name Censorship

If you have a problem with citing Wikipedia as a source for itself, or wish to hide it's own censorship of its user names allowed, please talk here before making a third revert in 24 hours. --Green021176 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC).

No, names are censored on certain criteria, which is applied globally to any registered username, not just those "critical" of WP. To choose a subset from those, and use it as "proof" that there's some conspiracy amongst Wikipedians, is simply cherry-picking to prove a non-existent point. There are many valid criticisms of WP - this isn't one of them.Mindmatrix 19:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, this is an article about notable criticism of Wikipedia, and is therefore not the place for you to be posting your personal criticisms. Note that all of the other criticisms featured are supported by reliable, independent sources. Dawn Bard (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
That anti-Wikipedia names are a subset of the banned names is a criticism, and citing log/discussion pages is valid as it's pure evidence that such action is taking place. It is reliable, and doesn't need to be independent if it's a self-contained problem. Not all sources on Wikipedia are external, and certainly not all are from high-brow news sources. --Green021176 (talk) 19:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The bigger problem is still that any criticism of those two username blocks is still original reasearch unless you find some outside sources that are notable, reliable, and independent. Dawn Bard (talk) 19:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

Most other articles start with the name of the article in bold, then define or expand on that subject. Even if slightly unwieldy, the sentence can be structured to fit with that layout. See Criticism of sport utility vehicles for the precedent. (talk) 09:28, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


Bloviation in this article. Look it up:

Sorry, I didn't sign this before. GeorgeLouis (talk) 04:52, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Why would I want to do that? If you can't be bothered to explain what your point is, I can't be bothered to find out. Richerman (talk) 12:11, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Good point. The article is overwritten, filled with self-important trivializing and ponderous opinions that mean very little. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 16:27, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


One of my major criticisms of Wikipedia is that it doesn't include a prominent disclaimer at the top of every page. It used to say "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but no longer. IMO it should an even stronger prominent disclaimer than that, indicating that the information may not be correct, and to check the sources. Far too many people I know are completely ignorant to the fact that anyone can change the information, and far too many people take the information that is presented at face value and as fact. Perhaps Jimmy Wales thinks that such a prominent disclaimer would undermine the encyclopaedia, and make the start of the articles look less aesthetic, however, such a change would make me much more inclined to recommend Wikipedia to others. As things stand, the lack of a clear disclaimer just makes me tell people to AVOID Wikipedia information whenever possible. Jonto (talk) 23:15, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Does Jimmy Wales even have a strong voice in the matter any more? You might want to raise the issue at one of the village pumps. I wouldn't object to the idea. Such a disclaimer certainly wouldn't hurt any one—at least no more than someone's ego. Let me know on my Talk page whether you pursue this any further. SharkD (talk) 02:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Mathematical accuracy and editing diffculties caused by coding problems

Many of the mathematical entries in Wikipedia lack the accuracy and the precision expected from any mathematical entry. The problem is compounded by the very poor interface with any TeX, Latex, TeXML code that often sacrifices readability in the HTML format[1]; however, this is mostly, or at least partially, restored in the PDF format which is also available at Wikipedia[2], but that is not available at many of the online "Free Encyclopedia"s. This serious TeX compatibility coding problem for mathematical entries needs to be adequately addressed by the Wikipedia's programing team as it does severly limit its contents especially in areas that require diagrams that can be very nicely built in Latex or TeX, etc, but are not available at Wikipedia through its very limiting mathematical interface. Another easy route for improving Wikipedia's mathematical problems is the importing of available entries from mathematically and physically oriented websites that do have acceptable Latex or TeX coding and HTML conversion ability such as PlanetMath or Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available [3]; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and[4] is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section [5]-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites[6][7][8] do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available [9]; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. Planetphysics/ where many such useful mathematical and mathematical physics entries are available; the existing exchange program between Wikipedia and is a first step in this direction, but so far only relatively few exchanges have taken place between the two Encyclopedia websites (less than 0.1 percent of the available entries) because of the coding conflict problem pointed out in this section-- a major Wikipedia limitation that needs to be addressed by Wikipedia programers as soon as possible. On the other hand, the PDF books sections of such websites do not suffer from this coding problem, and therefore the percentage exchanged of the GNUL, PDF formatted books is greater than 10 percent at present. - The WP-MATH project at Wikipedia can only address a small part of such coding issues because of the cumbersome and inherently limited/inflexible/difficult to use Wikipedi's coding for mathematical purposes. Last but not least, in the NVOP sense, Wikipedia does have superior graphics and color illustrations in comparison with other online, free Encyclopedia websites, especially on its WikiCommons; such illustrations greatly enhance the explanations, and also substantially facilitate the understanding of the entry contents, with the notable exception of the absence of mathematical diagram building capabilities that Wikipedia now sadly lacks, and that the Latex-based websites, archives, on-line mathematical and theoretical physics journals, and so on, do have right now, and that have had such capabilities for at least the last 10 years. Thus, in terms of the Latex/TeX mathematical encoding abilities, Wikipedia's capabilities for mathematics and theoretical physics are at least ten years out of date, which is a pity. + The WP-MATH project at Wikipedia can only address a small part of such coding issues because of the cumbersome and inherently limited/inflexible/difficult to use Wikipedi's coding for mathematical purposes. Last but not least, in the NVOP sense, Wikipedia does have superior graphics and color illustrations in comparison with other online, free Encyclopedia websites, especially on its WikiCommons; such illustrations greatly enhance the explanations, and also substantially facilitate the understanding of the entry contents, with the notable exception of the absence of mathematical diagram building capabilities that Wikipedia now sadly lacks, and that the Latex-based websites, archives, on-line mathematical and theoretical physics journals, and so on, do have right now, and that have had such capabilities for at least the last 10 years. Thus, in terms of the Latex/TeX mathematical encoding abilities, Wikipedia's capabilities for mathematics and theoretical physics are at least ten years out of date, which is a pity. .Bci2Nu 04:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC)(User:Bci2|Talk)Bci2Nu 04:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bci2 (talkcontribs) 04:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Isn't this article a POV fork?

This article is so harsh against Wikipedia, and it's not balanced at all with alternative, more positive, POVs. I was about to remove a recent edit which I though gave undue weight to a particular POV, but then I realized that there's only one POV in the article (which is, essentially, that Wikipedia sucks). It would be innacceptable if it was, say, about a company or a person, so I don't understand why it's fine in that case. In my opinion, we should perhaps merge it in Wikipedia, or maybe add positive criticisms to the article to balance the POV, what do you think? Laurent (talk) 19:23, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, I think that's the whole point of the article, since it is criticism of wikipedia. This would be merged with wikipedia, and the only reason it is not merged is due to the size. There are also other articles only with criticism, like Criticism of Microsoft, Criticism of Windows Vista, Criticism of Windows XP. As long as the criticism is valid and verifiable (and appropriate), then I think it should be included. I don't see the point of adding positive criticism just to "balance the POV"... Criticism articles/sections are usually about the bad things SF007 (talk) 19:39, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
If there is a response to the crfiticism (published somewhere), then it should be included here. GeorgeLouis (talk) 21:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
i agree... it seems to blatantly fail NPOV... perhaps a rename to "Reception of Wikipedia" or "Commentary on Wikipedia" would be better... (talk) 01:38, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Criticism can be adverse or positive. GeorgeLouis (talk) 03:07, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
so where is all the "positive criticism" then?? seems like an unbalanced article to me... (talk) 04:30, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Since it is criticism section, as long as "xxx said wikipedia is blah blah blah" is used instead of weasel words such as "it is generally believed that wikipedia suksz", it is not POV harsh agasint the wiki, it is merely stating that someone at sometime has criticised (fairly, or unfairly, constructively or not, none of our business, who cares) it. Yifanwang99 (talk) 17:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Could we split the article into two articles?

The article is getting rather large, and there is still the fact that it's called "criticism of" which narrows down its content in a non-neutral way. I see that there are two main sections in the article - "Criticism of the content" and "Criticism of the community" so, to make it more neutral, I would suggest splitting the article into Content of Wikipedia and Community of Wikipedia. That way, since the new titles would be less biased, we could 1) include the criticims and 2) expand the articles with more general and perhaps positive statements about the content and community of Wikipedia. Would anybody have any objection to this change? Laurent (talk) 12:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with a split. The title of this article is appropriate. There is another article called Reliability of Wikipedia. Both subjects are notable for their own article. We should not change the title of this article to split it into two articles. We could start a new article called "Criticism of Wikipedia community" but that would not change the content of this article. Another article could be "Flaws of Wikipedia". QuackGuru (talk) 19:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
QuackGuru, please could you explain why a "criticism of" article is necessary when we could easily have more neutral articles and titles? Wikipedia:Criticism states that "creating separate articles with the sole purpose of grouping the criticisms or to elaborate individual points of criticism on a certain topic would usually be considered a POV fork".
There is another article called Reliability of Wikipedia - "Reliability of Wikipedia" (like Content of Wikipedia and Community of Wikipedia) is an acceptable title as it allows creating a neutral article.
Both subjects are notable for their own article - the issue is not notability. Any criticism of a website or company can be said to be notable, but that doesn't mean we should have an article specifically about it.
Laurent (talk) 21:46, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
You suggestions are not titles describing a criticism. There is already an article like "Content of Wikipedia". It is the Wikipedia article. It does not make a difference to add "Content of" to this article to change it to "Content of Wikipedia" There is a section of the Wikipedia article about the community. "Community of Wikipedia" is not a specific about a criticism. "Flaws of Wikipedia" might work for a title change. There is nothing wrong with the the title of this article. There are other articles with similar titles to this article as explained before. QuackGuru (talk) 21:56, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
i agree with laurent1979... it would help the article maintain npov as well! (talk) 01:27, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The tag should be removed from the article as explained by the above comments of editors. QuackGuru (talk) 22:00, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The tag looks like a distraction. This is what the editor wants to do. References are being deleted over a period of time from this article needed for verification. QuackGuru (talk) 22:12, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I guess you didn't read my summary or the quote I've removed then. If you feel it should stay, please explain why but don't try to guess what "I'm trying to do". Laurent (talk) 22:19, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
This article is not going to split into two articles for no reason. This article is about criticism. The suggestions for a new title are not about criticism except for "Flaws of Wikipedia". If editors want to change the title then a title about criticism would replace the current title.
From the top of talk page. This is a controversial topic that may be under dispute. Please discuss substantial changes here before making them, making sure to supply full citations when adding information, and consider tagging or removing uncited/unciteable information. The controversial edits were not discusses or explained on this talk page. QuackGuru (talk) 01:35, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Look I'm just trying to improve the page. I've reviewed, verified and rewritten part of the text up to section "Neutral point of view and conflicts of interest". If I've accidentally deleted some valuable information, please let me know but don't make general statements. What controversial edits did I make?
Other users have expressed concerns as well and the page has been nominated for deletion six times - it means there are issues. Since the article is too big, I think splitting it into two neutral articles would help. It's still not clear why you want the article to be called "criticism of" when 1) it goes against Wikipedia's conventions, and 2) it's possible to find more appropriate neutral titles. Laurent (talk) 11:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Laurent, his arguments are valid and I don't need to repeat them. MaxPont (talk) 17:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no evidence that MaxPont agrees with Laurent and only came here because I am editing this article. See here. MaxPont thinks that an article on "Aspartame controversy" is appropriate. If editors want to split this article into two articles we can start another article called "Criticism of Wikipedia community" and possibly rename this article "Flaws of Wikipedia". QuackGuru (talk) 17:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I have a right to express my views regardless of Quackgurus objections. MaxPont (talk) 07:34, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I may be a bit late, but I think that the article should be merged. Besides, we could make this a page with the links to these two articles, and there we go!--Dullstar (talk) 06:30, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

There is no place to merge this notable topic. I could create "Criticism of Wikipedia community" if editors continue discussing a split. QuackGuru (talk) 06:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
you are again ignoring the input of other editors! i agree that a split would be a good idea and that the titles suggested by Laurent are better than what we have now (talk) 16:01, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
QuackGuru, I get the feeling that my request is not clear. A "Criticism of Wikipedia community" article would have the exact same problem as the current article. The issue is not just the size of the article but the fact that it uses a non-neutral title and gives a biased picture of Wikipedia (which is strange in an article that's supposed to discussed the neutrality of WP). So please let me ask again the same questions, and I hope you can answer as that would help us move the discussion forwards: why do you want to call the article "criticism of" when 1) it goes against Wikipedia's conventions, and 2) it's possible to find more appropriate neutral titles? Laurent (talk) 16:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
There are other articles such as Criticism of Microsoft, Criticism of Windows Vista, Criticism of Windows XP. There are numerous source that cover the topic of criticism of Wikipedia. If you change the title to something as Content of Wikipedia it would delete the article. If you think the article is bias because of the title you should AFD it. If editors want a split because the article is too long then the title "Criticism of Wikipedia community" would be most neutral. QuackGuru (talk) 19:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
othercrapexists, othercrapexists, othercrapexists... changing the title would NOT delete the article but it would ensure npov which neither the current title meets or ""Criticism of Wikipedia community"" meets (talk) 02:29, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


Sorry, we like it this way. You'll just have to deal with it. SharkD (talk) 06:41, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I added a {{reflist}} template after Bci2's post so that his inline citations would show up. EdJohnston (talk) 15:54, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Reference deleted needed to verfiy the text

This edit deleted a sentence but also deleted the reference needed to verify the previous sentence. QuackGuru (talk) 22:05, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

POV or Vandalism in this article?

In the section on systemic bias is this passage:

Cohen cites the examples of the Wikipedia entries on Maoism (which he implies is unfairly characterised as simply the use of violence to impose political ends) and Socrates who (on Wikipedia at least) is "Plato's teacher who left behind not very many writings". This last, to readers of the Times Higher Education at least, is patent nonsense, but illustrates the shallow knowledge base of editors who then proceed to make sweeping judgements.

The emboldened portion of the above passage is outside of quotes, so it appears to be an assertion of the article rather than Cohen. If so, it should be fixed. Nightscream (talk) 05:02, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Why isn't there more emphasis on the role of Jimmy Wales?

There's much that's succinctly put and dead-on in this article, but one of the concerns I have with Wikipedia that seems to get minor attention here is not only the level of "authority" it may have acquired whether deserving or not, but that the ultimate arbiter is one person. And the clandestine nature of this - it's not going to be clear to the casual user. This is only briefly hinted at in the article.

I wonder how many of those who have collectively donated a substantial amount of money are truly aware of some of the unsavory aspects of Wikipedia culture?Henrydeutschendorf (talk) 10:40, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Removed Ted Kennedy from "Death by Wikipedia" section

As the Senator is now truly dead, I removed his name from this list as someone who reads that info and then goes to look at his article may think that the mention of his death is vandalism, not the truth it now is. (talk) 05:27, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Eric Goldman

I looked this person up after reading this article about his criticism of Wikipedia: [12]. His name redirects here, but he isn't actually mentioned anywhere in the article - presumably the bit about him got removed? It looks to me as though his criticisms could be worth mentioning - does anyone want to add them to the article? If not, the redirect should probably be deleted, as it isn't very helpful at the moment. Robofish (talk) 12:38, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Random source

This link was randomly interspersed in one section which it was not relevant to, but it is relevant to the article and could be used in it, so I'm moving it here: --Cybercobra (talk) 10:55, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Criticism of Wikipedia which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RFC bot 10:30, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

New article

There is a new article called Sockpuppeting civil servant Wikifiddles himself. If editors want a Community of Wikipedia page I can start a Criticism of Wikipedia community. There are thousands of references. QuackGuru (talk) 20:46, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Using Cade Metz as a RS wrt Wikipedia is like using FOX News as a RS wrt the Democratic Party: they're often reliable, but they've got such a bias on this subject that it's not really a good source regardless. Sceptre (talk) 18:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Found this gem someone had posted in the Fort Hood shootings article talk. Far from any kind of reliable, notable or barely leveling above existence, but still amusing. For how strong his words are I figured he had to be a famous blogger of some sort, but a Google search gave John M. Charlton pretty high up, but that was just additional laughter. I was almost going to put a note about this on that talk page for a disambiguation/split but that was before it came quite evident it was just a nice joke and nothing more. A few quotes might fit into a humor section somewhere... daTheisen(talk) 22:23, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Quality of presentation?

No one seems to have noticed that presentation is not the same as style (or literacy), and that Jimmy Wales's defence of the level of discourse on Wikipedia bears no relation to either. This entire section is consequently in need of a major re-edit. Any suggestions?BlackMarlin (talk) 12:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was nothing. Good ideas maybe, but there's no consensus to tie their creation to the deletion of content here. It might be better to try creating such articles separately, then wait to see what happens in the afds. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 06:05, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I suggest splitting this article into two new ones for the following reasons:

  1. The current title is not neutral and is generally not acceptable per Wikipedia:Criticism.
  2. Right now, whenever something bad is said about Wikipedia, it's added to the article even when similar criticisms are already in the article. Using two neutral titles will encourage the articles to develop in a more constructive way.
  3. The article is getting too big and would benefit from being splitted.
  4. The two new articles can be easily integrated into the current Wikipedia article as main articles for Wikipedia#Coverage of topics and Wikipedia#Community.
  5. Nothing will be lost in the move. The articles will start as mostly negative views on the topics but, again, will have a chance to develop into more useful and neutral articles.

Laurent (talk) 10:20, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose It seems quite self-referencing and indulgent to have an article titled "Community of Wikipedia". It also does't reflect the contect, which is purely about criticism of the community. The same could be said of the "Content of Wikipedia" title you're suggesting. (talk) 20:46, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't have a view on wheter or not it should be moved but I don't think the proposed target is appropiate. For me an artice titled Content of Wikipedia implies the article is about the types of article we cover ect. It Cleary does not match what in the text and the only way it will would be a complete rewrite making it a completly different article. If we do change the title is should be something more like Views of Wikipedia or Commentary on Wikipedia since that would better match the artice's text. Once again no opinion if a change is need but I am against the current proposed title.-- (talk) 02:38, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose Wikipedia has been critiqued for various reasons, from content accuracy, bias to community culture, therefore the name "Criticism of Wikipedia" should be kept.--RekishiEJ (talk) 00:28, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose-- I admit the article is getting really bit at this point, but the names to split don't fit at all. The whole purpose of this article is criticism. The move names are entirely bland and honestly they're so generic I'm surprised they don't have articles. If they were "Criticism of Wikipedia Content" and Community, repost, but we'd still need this as a Criticism of Wikipedia disambiguation to direct people either way... which is kind of silly, but the size of this article is starting to get quite big. daTheisen(talk) 22:15, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support in principle. This falls into the very common "criticism is always bad" trap. I think a split to "Content of Wikipedia" and "Wikipedia community" would work better than this article, as then we'll have two neutral well-written articles, other than one lopsided article. Sceptre (talk) 00:18, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Wikipedia moderators are under heavy influence of Islamophobia and Antiislamism. On 29 and 30 November 2009 an anonymous editor tried to contribute on Minaret controversy in Switzerland and Persecution of Muslims articles regrding the Swiss referendum, November 2009 which resulted in the banning the construction of minarets in Switzerland. There were only four minarets in the country at the time of the vote. But a gang of editors and moderators systematically blanked the content provided by the editor even though all the materials were referenced. They even didn't let a hyperlink to Persecution of Muslims in the See Also section of the article titled Minaret controversy in Switzerland. After long arguments on terminology, anonymous editor gave up due to unability of confronting systemating pressure. Eventually all the articles cleaned from any words connoting persecution of Muslims.

-- (talk) 19:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

this not a "talk page" issue. unfortunately this is wikipedia. -- (talk) 19:13, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

This article is on third party coverage of criticism of Wikipedia. It isn't the place to dump your personal disgruntlements with the project. Use WP:VP for that. --dab (𒁳) 17:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Removal of image

I had removed File:Size of English Wikipedia broken down.png but it was put back. As a WP article it should only include notable information. The image is not notable as far as I can tell. I like the image but it is not a true depiction of WP. Until the image becomes a notable topic it should not be included. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 23:19, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Non-english versions

Could the criticism of non-english versions of wikipedia be added?--Ssola (talk) 22:13, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Insofar as its citable, I can't see why not. - Jmabel | Talk 01:38, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Intro rewrite

By virtue of the amazing editing process here (which ironically only goes to support the contents of this very article), the intro is now down to two sentences. Ridiculous for an article of this length. Pcap ping 05:46, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

It's not all that surprising that this article's intro may be sub-par. Why? Articles on, for example, ancient Greek art, American Civil War history, or Japanese animation are topics that have devoted enthusiasts and tons of primary and secondary sources. An article on criticism of wikipedia is a text that doesn't have many real-world analogues and is of necessity very ad hoc in reasoning and sources and doesn't have a "fan base". -- (talk) 16:25, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Pharmaceutical compagnies precedent

There is an article here on the alleged attempt by pharmaceutical compagnies to manipulate wikipedia by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, it is probably worth adding the info into this entry. If no one takes the task, I gladly will. -RobertMel (talk) 18:30, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Andy Schlafly and Conservapedia

Hi. I changed the wording of this line in the "liberal bias" section:

The belief in a liberal bias at Wikipedia led to the creation of Conservapedia.


Andrew Schlafly's belief in a liberal bias at Wikipedia led to the creation of Conservapedia.

But my change was undone by an admin and I'm not sure why. The 2nd version is more accurate, because it was Schlafly in specific who created Conservapedia after he accused Wikipedia of having a liberal bias. The 1st version is much more vague and implies that it is a "generally accepted belief" that Wikipedia has a "liberal bias". Does anyone else have an opinion? Thanks.--Louprothero88 (talk) 21:02, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, I prefer your wording as well. It was apparently User:MBK004 who reverted it, but there is no explanation in the edit summary. Most likely the revert was just a mistake, if the user does not object within the next couple of days you can safely reinsert your edit. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:18, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreeing as well, though the wikilink to Schlafly can be dropped since it just redirects to Conservapedia. I have notified MBK004 of this thread. Prolog (talk) 21:37, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, I was reverting lots of vandalism at the time and thought someone had just inserted someone's name for fun. That being said, since it is a redirect, it can be safely dropped or turn the redirect into a stub. -MBK004 04:08, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Done thanks.--Louprothero88 (talk) 05:24, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

A vandal's view of Wikipedia's reliability

This is not necessarily related to the content of this page but perhaps someone may appreciate this: I recently CSDd a page for a fictitious religion named Kishanism and in searching for any evidence to support the existence of it found that the apparent author had written the following on a Facebook page[13]:

...That's not true at all. Wikipedia used to be like that when it first came out. Now its quite strict and information can always be challenged in Wikipedia for historical accuracy. People almost always provide references at the end of of a Wiki article as well. To show you how efficient they are, I tried adding a new religion into wiki called Kishanism; it lasted 30 minutes before it was removed by a Wiki administrator.

--Supertouch (talk) 23:16, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of Wikipedia or of the Wikimedia Foundation?

The two do not equate. __meco (talk) 19:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

If this relates to Larry Sanger's criticism, there is no direct overlap between the two. Mike Godwin pointed out: "The Wikimedia Foundation does not originate or develop Wikipedia content or Wikimedia Commons content. This was true in Sanger's day as well as is in the present day."--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:40, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Sanger's criticism is of the Wikimedia Foundation. As I could gather from perusing the article just now, this is the only instance of criticism not directed at Wikipedia itself. Should we rename the article or how should we deal with this? I'm not saying it isn't relevant to this article, or at least to some mention somewhere. However, we must deal with this non-overlap somehow. __meco (talk) 19:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Sanger's decision to report the Wikimedia Foundation to the FBI leads to a problem for this article. While I do not like to be pedantic, the Wikimedia Foundation is not responsible for Wikipedia or Commons content, or decisions relating to it. Other thoughts welcome here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:11, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
ROFL. That's really reaching, folks. Try reading the bottom of EVERY PAGE on Wikipedia: "Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization." !!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
That's referring to the word "Wikipedia". DS (talk) 03:54, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo on pornography

Jimbo Wales has offered his views on the recent brouhaha over "pornographic content".[14] FWIW, I agree that pornographic images that are unlikely to be context specific in Wikipedia articles are less than ideal for Commons and may cause unnecessary trouble.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

More coverage of the story from FOX News here: [15] which includes the somewhat predictable "A child doing homework research on the educational website could easily stumble upon pornographic photos". FOX also claims the story as an exclusive, although other outlets have covered it. There has never been any secret that there are images with adult content on Commons, and it may now be time to consider whether some of the images are worth the hassle if they are not being used in Wikipedia articles.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:49, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
This talk page is for improvements to this article. Please don't clutter it with your opinions about Wikipedia. Go to WP:VPP or WP:VPR for that. There are multiple threads there about this issue. Pcap ping 03:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

No mention of the pedophile problem on Wikipedia?

There should be a mention of pedophiles operating on Wikipedia, and that Wikipedia has come under criticism for this. You might also mention my criticism (and report to the FBI) of Commons for its realistic depictions of child molestation. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:17, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Sources?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:23, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Larry Sanger!- Wolfkeeper 18:48, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Surely source-loving Wikipedians can find many sources that Wikipedia has come under attack for harboring pedophiles in its midst. If you think you can't, you're not even trying. You can start by searching here:

And of course, let's not forget:

In articles about Wikipedia, direct links to history pages on Wikipedia are fine.

The Criticism of Wikipedia page is one of Wikipedia's saving graces. It has always implied that you have some humility and realism about the limitations and problems of the project. But if you leave out your well-known wikipedophile problem, you're engaging in a whitewash. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:05, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

I have tried to find a range of independent and reliable sources (ie not personal blogs and people with an obvious axe to grind such as the folk at Encyclopedia Dramatica). Incidentally, the infobox image in the ED article Wikipedophile makes the one in Virgin Killer look mild. The implication that Wikipedia acts in bad faith by turning a blind eye to material that would violate the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act is absurd and would require the most rigorous of sourcing. See also Jimbo's views in WP:NSFW.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:34, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
The point is that Wikipedia is criticized for turning a blind eye to pedophiles in its midst. Things like blogs, Mashable, even ValleyWag are adequate to establish that. Another good source would be Another, of course, is W*k*p*d** R*v**w :-).
The ultimate justice of the criticism hardly needs to be established in a catalog of criticisms. After all, there are many criticisms on this page that many Wikipedians reject as unjust. All that needs to be established is that the criticism is real. --Larry Sanger (talk) 03:54, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Then again, the Wikipedia isn't a news outlet, and it's more of a news thing at the moment, albeit not a very significant one right now (none of the major news services have picked it up). The world doesn't seem to have made up its mind how significant this criticism is yet.- Wolfkeeper 04:25, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There is a difference between criticism in the blogs and criticism in the mainstream media (New York Times, CNN, BBC etc). The Seigenthaler and Essjay controversy both picked up substantial mainstream media coverage, which is why they are discussed in the article. The claim of Wikipedia "harboring pedophiles in its midst" (Larry Sanger's exact words) is hard to source in the mainstream media. Have pedophiles ever accessed Wikipedia, or uploaded material that would cause a 2257 violation? Maybe, but with millions of people accessing the site on an open wiki basis, this is inevitable. Specific criticism would have to be directed at Wikipedia's failure to respond to incidents of this kind. It is hard to find sourcing from the mainstream media at the moment, which leads to an issue with giving self-published online sources undue weight.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:25, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
This is, of course, a silly game, but I'll try one more time. I wasn't talking about my FBI report, mainly. I was talking about the problem, which you all know very well and are pretending not to know about, that Wikipedia has come under repeated criticism since 2007 or so (at least) for the fact that pedophiles have been deeply influential in the writing of your pedophilia-related articles.
To establish this, no citation from "mainstream media" is necessary, of course. But I don't doubt that one could find a number of mentions in the mainstream media of this problem. --Larry Sanger (talk) 04:08, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I just did a very brief search, and couldn't find anything (except virgin killers, which is already in the article). If you know of any reliable sources, you will need to produce them.- Wolfkeeper 04:39, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Can I nominate as a reliable source the Guardian column I did a while back, "Sting in the Scorpions tale is the exposure of Wiki's weakness". Yes, I know there's already a reference about "Virgin Killer", but my column used that controversy as a jumping-off point to explore deeper Wikipedia issues. I think it's the most nuanced short examination - "Wikipedia trades off quality control for greater production. That same design flaw is manifested in extremely weak and failure-prone mechanisms for determining the boundary between provocative and profane." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:31, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The controversial 1976 album cover of Virgin Killer has never been ruled illegal in any country, so it is not a "pedophile controversy". As for the main issue, the requirement for inclusion is verifiability, not truth. Recently the Roman Catholic Church has faced widespread negative media coverage over alleged cover-ups of pedophile priests. This is easy to source in the mainstream media, eg here. By contrast, most of the claims of Wikipedia turning a blind eye to pedophiles seem to come from personal websites and blogs written by people with questionable WP:NPOV about Wikipedia. Unless some mainstream media coverage can be found with specific allegations, this is unlikely to be mentioned in the article.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't think "not a "pedophile controversy"" follows from "never been ruled illegal". I would say that the action of the Internet Watch Foundation was serious enough quasi-official determination to qualify the matter as a controversy. I don't claim that Wikipedia turns a blind eye to pedophiles - quite the opposite, I cite examples where things were done. But I do make a case that there is an intrinsic structural problem: "Arguably the major influence keeping things from getting out of hand is top-down directives and administrative patrolling that stamps out the sleazier elements - often, per above, very much against the "anyone can edit" ideal. This will not be mentioned in presentations about the wonders of web collaboration." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:54, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
In an open wiki, it is impossible to give a 100% guarantee that people will not upload vandalism, copyright violations or pedophile material. Wikipedia editors are always on the lookout for this, although in my experience the first two problems are far more common than the third. In my personal experience, I have never come across any material that would have caused grave and immediate concern. Unlike Seigenthaler or Essjay, there has never been a major incident on Wikipedia where pedophile material went unnoticed for a long period of time. This shows either good luck, reasonably good monitoring, or an exaggeration of the problem. Purely on technical grounds, uploading pedophile material to Wikipedia would be a stupid thing to do, since the IP address would be traced and the person probably caught (see here for a similar case involving YouTube).--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:29, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Seth Finkelstein's article seems to be more of a condemnation of wiki quality control than an accusation of pedophilia acting here.14:02, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Fine, but Larry Sanger's initial claim of Wikipedia "harboring pedophiles in its midst" failed to stick. Wikipedia articles can have many faults (poor sourcing etc), but allowing pedophiles to operate is not one of the common criticisms.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:18, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It isn't just my claim, of course. I'm simply repeating a very common claim, as you (if you know much about Wikipedia, which I'm starting to doubt) know. And whether the claim "sticks" in your opinion is completely beside the point. The question is whether Wikipedia has been significantly criticized for being a little too welcome pedophiles. Answer: yes, of course; everybody knows about this line of attack who has followed public controversy about Wikipedia in the last few years. The fact that you aren't convinced that the attack is just makes no difference. If you're cataloging criticisms, you're still missing one. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but with verifiability over truth? What major RS says this?- Wolfkeeper 19:14, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) I would say that cases such as "Jimbo deleted the images, noting, 'pedophilic sexualization of a community mascot? No." indicate the existence of a problem. Whether it's been kept in check (and will remain so) is a different argument. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:48, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy is clear: any material that triggers a 2257 record keeping requirement will be removed. This is not a problem for the site, merely a statement of policy. If someone tries uploading material of this kind (which Wikipedia cannot prevent), that is their problem. Criticism of Wikipedia should be based on failure to respond, not on what other people do. So far, no-one in this debate has produced reliable sourcing that this is a common problem for the site. This does not mean that it has never happened, but it would need sourcing to avoid problems with WP:UNDUE.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:17, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Err, Wikipedia has many policies which are, let us say charitably, aspirational. My favorite is WP:BLP, particularly "Remove immediately any contentious material about a living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced". We know how well that works. And all sorts of denial games can be played - it's statistically small, it's fixed now, it wasn't really libel since a court never ruled on it, and nobody has proved, proved, proved, it enough. I think my column gives enough evidence to warrant mention of the issue. Otherwise, I believe we've entered goalpost-moving land, where no practical evidence will be accepted due to strategies like the above. If a court needs to convict Wikimedia of trafficking in obscene child-porn, that would make arguing about a line or two in a long article rather trivial (i.e., if in order to convince you that there should be a mention in an article, I'd have to assemble a case where Wikimedia would be convicted - because otherwise a court hasn't ruled, remember? - that would raise the bar so high as to make it absurd to be arguing about a mention in the article). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
There have been far more bitter debates on Wikipedia about whether to allow images like, which has its own article and has picked up considerable media coverage. Let's be clear here: I am not saying that no-one has ever attempted to upload child pornography to Wikipedia. On a day-to-day basis, vandalism, BLP violations and copyright violation are all far bigger problems. For this article to mention the "pedophile problem" would require some reliable sourcing to establish how common/notable it is. This is why the article does not mention it at the moment.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe I just supplied reliable sourcing for it being a notable problem. If, with the recent _Register_ article, that's not good enough, I think the bar is being raised into logical-paradox standards (again, were one to assemble the requisite evidence to the imposed legal qualifications, then matters would be far beyond this article) . -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 08:08, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
An opinion piece like yours is not a reliable source for this, however the Register article seems to be so. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:25, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it doesn't matter if it is an opinion piece. The fact is that Seth Finkelstein is a fairly prominent commentator on Internet trends and policy, and his column advanced a criticism of Wikipedia that does not occur in the criticism of Wikipedia article. There is no need to establish that his criticisms have a terribly huge amount of merit. Similarly, the mere existence of and in particular this page can be taken as broad supporting evidence that there has been a significant amount of criticism of Wikipedia for harboring pedophiles. The page doesn't have to establish that there is merit to the charge, only that the charge exists and that it is made seriously and with some at least small amount of evidence. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:32, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
There's extensive research in the column, it's not empty bloviation. For the amount of work I put into it, and the attacks I got - and get - from it all - I don't think it's correct to dismiss it as a mere "opinion piece" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 08:37, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
There has been a debate about whether Japanese-style images of young girls (Hentai) are a form of child pornography. Images of this kind are common on the Japanese language Internet, and have also appeared in the West. Take a look at the main image in the Encyclopedia Dramatica article Wikipedophile for an egregious example. Is this illegal? I am not a lawyer, as the saying goes. In the Register article (which is a reliable source) Larry Sanger says "the images did not contain actual people." And he acknowledges that in publicly explaining his report to the FBI, his use of the term child pornography "may have been misleading." The Register story could be used in the article. Also, could Larry Sanger clarify which images on Wikipedia/Commons that he believed to be child porn?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:40, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, per the article, as almost everyone not steeped in the legal theory does, Sanger confused laws like 18 USC 2252 with those like 18 USC §1466A(2)(A). However, this common confusion does not invalidate his broader points. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 09:01, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Seth, I made no such confusion. I cited the correct statute to the FBI, and never mentioned the other, inapplicable statute. The only thing that I said that was confusing to people was to describe these drawn/illustrated depictions of child sexual abuse as "child pornography." And that is not even wrong--it is merely confusing, because some people (especially people who are on the defensive and grasping for replies) will insist that "child pornography" is absolutely restricted to photographs of real children. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
It's beyond my skills to make any comments on the legal issues, but we need links to the specific images that were reported to the FBI.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:24, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
You'd have to ask Sanger for that information - and some of the images may have been deleted now -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 09:35, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It would probably have been better to raise the issue directly with Wikipedia in the first place. The whole Virgin Killer brouhaha could have been avoided if the Internet Watch Foundation had done this. Wikipedia does not want illegal content, but sometimes has to balance the likelihood of causing offence against academic and encyclopedic value, in line with WP:NOTCENSORED.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

IP addresses

Wikipedia could be censored in other ways. QuackGuru (talk) 15:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The edit above was removed because it used a WP:SPS. Here is what it says: "Since WikiPedia allows pedophiles to edit WikiPedia pages and view the IP addresses of children freely, we recommend that you use filtering software to block WikiPedia from access in your household or school." This is technically inept, because it is unlikely that an IP address on its own will identify any person, let alone a child. Children using sites like MySpace, Facebook and Wikipedia are advised not to give any details online that could be used to identify them. Look at the edit history of a Wikipedia article. Does the IP address tell you that the edit was made by a 15-year-old in Pittsburgh? Get real.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:02, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Just to prove a point, here is the IP address from which I am editing Wikipedia at the moment: Here is what a WHOIS search has to say about it: [16]. Nothing much to fap over, is there? A pity that some people talk complete bollocks on the Internet, though.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:23, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
You were caught using a blatant hoax as a source, so you should be offering an explanation and an apology, and not reverting the rubbish back in. The organization behind the press release does not exist. The distributor of the "press release", POE News, does not qualify either. Also, a press release from even an existing and notable organization should not be used as a source for wild claims like that. Prolog (talk) 17:40, 17 April 2010 (UTC)


It's irresponsible and obscures to not include a sentence on the matter. I've added a, I hope, very neutral one. (talk) 10:47, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Debating the images in Lolicon is probably beyond the scope of this article. What is clear is that Larry Sanger accepted that the images he reported to the FBI did not constitute child pornography under US law, and it would be misleading to give an impression that they were part of a "pedophile problem" on Wikipedia, to use his own words. Wikipedia is aware of the potential for lolicon images to cause offence, but is not censored. Unless a specific lolicon image on Wikipedia was shown to be in breach of State of Florida law, it would be wrong to mention this as a "criticism of Wikipedia".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:09, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I've had a change of heart and added this with clear wording. It is worth pointing out that as with Virgin Killer, the claim that Wikipedia knowingly allowed illegal content to be used on the site was disproved.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:33, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I said no such thing, of course. The wording (which I just changed, using an IP address) was not just misleading but ridiculously misleading. It made me sound as if I admitted that I was mistaken in reporting the Wikimedia Foundation for a particular statutory violation. That is, of course, wrong. I merely clarified that the images were drawings and so, according to some definitions, not strictly speaking "child porn." But some people are of course totally willing to call drawings of child abuse child porn; I am. Also, not all graphic drawings of child abuse count as "lolicon," since they are not Japanese manga-style, and "lolicon" was not the main focus of my complaint in any case.
What I was always perfectly clear about, in any case, was that the page violates 18 U.S.C. §1466A, "Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children."
Yes, but if that is the case, it is a matter for the FBI. You are not a lawyer, as you yourself admitted.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:35, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, I never, ever mentioned the WikiPedia article lolicon, and gave the FBI links to only two pages: the Wikimedia Commons page about pedophilia, and the one about lolicon. Shortly after I reported the one about lolicon, by the way, the most egregiously obscene image on that page was removed. --Larry Sanger (talk) 17:48, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, let's try and get this right. Which specific images on Commons did you object to? This is unclear. Also, it has to be borne in mind that the images were not illegal under US law. This is why IANAL is used to prefix comments in this area.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:04, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, do try to get it right. Anything I might tell you here, regarding particular images, would not be citable according to WP's own rules. And you're of course mistaken that the images in question are "not illegal under U.S. law." Finally, I don't see why you keep bringing that up, because it is totally irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that Wikimedia has been criticized quite publicly for violating the law against depictions of child sexual abuse. This page isn't a catalog only of those criticisms that have merit, but of all prominent criticisms, period. Whether the charge has any merits is up for the FBI, courts, and the general public to decide. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:19, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
At the moment, there are seven images in the Commons category Lolicon [17] and 28 in the category Pedophilia.[18] I can't comment on whether one of the Lolicon images was removed, but this has happened before, see WP:NSFW. Wikipedia may remove images if they are particularly likely to cause offence without imparting encyclopedic value (the ongoing debate over is the classic here.) What is clear is that none of the images was illegal under US law, and no proof of bad faith was established. It is not as if Commons is a big secret, because anyone with access to the Internet can look at any of the images freely. Of the images in the category Pedophilia, could you select one as an example that you considered to be egregious?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:30, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be confused. I'm not arguing with you, nor do I care to convince you, about the merits of my public charges. So I am not going to answer your question. (If you're a journalist, by all means email me and follow the ordinary journalistic protocols.) It is not your job, in writing an article about the topic criticisms of Wikipedia, to establish the merits of the charges. Or do you only intend to allow criticisms that you personally agree with? --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:38, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a journalist, or a paid member of the Wikipedia staff. What puzzles me is how to turn some rather average pieces of Japanese Internet art and old engravings into a full blown "pedophile problem". I looked at all the material on Commons, and could not find anything to hit the roof over. There is far worse stuff out there.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:47, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to edit this section of the article any more today, as it could be seen as WP:3RR. What I would point out is that Larry Sanger has expressed a personal opinion to which he is entitled. Had anyone else written to the FBI criticising material on Commons, it would probably have failed WP:SPS and WP:UNDUE. Let's not go to town over what was a fairly minor incident based on one story in The Register.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:35, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
If all the images that I saw are still there (I don't know if they are--I don't want to check, the page makes me sick), and you actually clicked through to them (didn't just look at the thumbnails), and you still think that it's nothing "to hit the roof over," this says more about you than anything. If you're confessing that realistic depictions of child abuse don't bother you, I feel sorry for you. But that is all, once again, completely beside the point. The point is that Wikimedia has been criticized fairly loudly and publicly for hosting such (arguably illegal) depictions. I'm glad that that is now in the article. As for the stuff regarding pedophiles in your midst, again, the site has come under significant criticism for this back in 2008, and if after looking diligently you can't find the usable evidence of that, that must be because you have misunderstood WP's policy regarding sourcing. If you will never link to a blog or "independent" website, for example, even in order to establish that Wikipedia has been criticized for something, then you might well have trouble finding enough evidence. The mainstream media have not discovered Wikipedia's pedophile problem yet. Should be interesting to see what happens when they do. In the meantime, here are a few links you can have fun with: [19] [20] [21] [22] that's just a few, there's more where that came from --Larry Sanger (talk) 19:40, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia never gives a 100% promise that its content will not offend, and there have been numerous debates over this in the past. Taking offence can be a subjective matter, De gustibus non est disputandum and all that. Having been around on the Internet for a while, my threshold for hitting the roof is probably higher than some people's, but I would never justify illegal material. I agree that the debate about Lolicon is notable, because it is a borderline area for Wikipedia and has proved controversial in the past. However, unless Wikipedia was shown to be in breach of US law, criticism would always come back to matters of good taste.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:50, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Mainstream press coverage

"The mainstream media have not discovered Wikipedia's pedophile problem yet."

The quote is from Larry Sanger's post made a few minutes ago. Isn't this exactly the contentious point on which the issue of inclusion of Sanger's accusations hinges, at least according to the precedence from numerous inclusion controversies in other articles? __meco (talk) 20:10, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Sanger's criticism runs into the issue of lacking significant coverage in reliable secondary sources. The story in The Register is OK, but it has not set the world alight. I am concerned about the potential for WP:UNDUE here, since the material he complained about has not been found to be illegal under US law, and a range of outlets including television and newspapers have not picked up on this story. This is not Seigenthaler or Essjay by any means.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:39, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, once some mainstream sources such as the BBC or the NYT choose to quote Dr Sanger on this point, we will include it in the article. However, blog posts and letter-writing campaigns by ex-employees are not useful sources for articles, since they usually gain little attention and the authors have an obvious axe to grind. Tim Vickers (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I will again note my earlier column in the Guardian discusses these matters (pre-Sanger) "Sting in the Scorpions tale is the exposure of Wiki's weakness". While both sides here of course feel strongly, I do think dismissing my column is more a matter of the defensive tail wagging the policy dog. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:16, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've read your column, and this is an excellent general discussion of the problem of determining if sexual content is "provocative or profane" in the loose community that runs Wikipedia. However, since this story doesn't accuse Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation of deliberately hosting images of paedophilia, and actually notes an instance where these were summarily deleted in an example of "top-down directives and administrative patrolling that stamps out the sleazier elements", I don't see how we could use it to support Sanger's argument that Wikimedia Foundation knowingly and deliberately distributes child pornography. This would be akin to using a report about somebody being arrested for drugs trafficking in NYC to support the argument that the NYPD tolerate the drug trade. Tim Vickers (talk) 18:18, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment on "excellent general discussion". I think it's fine if Sanger and I have slightly different views on an overall problem. That is, to use your analogy, just speaking hypothetically, different writers about a drug trafficking problem might say that the authorities are overwhelmed, versus the authorities are corrupt, but both might agree that there is a significant drug trafficking problem. In this hypothetical case, it would be incorrect to try to play them off each other for the idea that there is not a significant problem. I believe Wikipedia in specific, and other Wikimedia projects, do have a real problem here - it's not as bad as the most extreme tabloid reports would portray it, but it's also more than many, let us say, devoted Wikipedians, will admit. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 10:33, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the problem of defining "obscenity" in a website that is accessible world-wide is one of the many challenges that Wikipedia faces, and one that has no simple answers under our editing model. I think most people will agree with you on that. However, I think you have more than "slightly different views"! It is one thing to make thoughtful and constructive criticisms of how we make decisions about this issue, but quite another to say as Sanger did that we are deliberately trying to be a kiddie porn depositary. These are two very different issues and I wouldn't do your writing the disservice of including it in the same category as Sanger's. One of the reasons that his letter is so bad is that it mixes these ludicrously over-the-top accusations with a very nasty personal smear and an oddly self-promotional blurb. It is like a mix between a CV and a poison pen letter. He lost what little respect I had for him by trying to promote himself and his website using these gutter tactics. This bizarre and unpleasant mix is probably also one reason why the mainstream media has ignored this "story" completely. Tim Vickers (talk) 18:12, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Purely as a matter of interest, I would like to ask Seth Finkelstein if he was wildly offended or thought that any of the images that Larry Sanger reported to the FBI were likely to be illegal. They are in the Commons category Lolicon [23] and Pedophilia.[24], and were not found to be illegal under US law, as has been stated repeatedly. Bear in mind that when pedophiles have been convicted, they were sometimes found with thousands of photos and videos showing the abuse of real children. When they can distribute material like this via password protected torrents, why would they be uploading a few engravings and Japanese cartoon illustrations to Wikimedia Commons where everyone can see them?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:52, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe Larry Sanger has never made public the exact image links for what he reported to the FBI, and I haven't asked him for that information. Some of it may have been oversighted by now, so going to the category pages is not disproof. And I'm sure not going to ask the Wikimedia Foundation! Note, while I'm not a lawyer, I'm familiar with the law in this area, having been an expert witness (not defendant :-)) in a court case involving obscenity law and the Internet. For the last part, analyzing the psychology and motivations of the people involved is above my pay grade. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:17, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
The Commons categories Pedophilia and Lolicon come from the full text of Larry Sanger's letter on H-Net.[25] Even if some of the images were oversighted (and there is no proof of this at the moment), it does not alter the fact the the FBI found none of them illegal. It seems that all of the images complained about were either old engravings or Japanese Internet cartoons. While some people may find these images tasteless, offensive etc, using them to whip up criticism of Wikipedia is disingenuous and possibly WP:COI. If Wikipedia removed content every time someone said "I find this offensive", many areas of the site would have problems. Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy is another regular source for complaints of this kind.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:29, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Sigh. We've gone over these points above. It's simply going to be frustrating to go over them yet again. :-( -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 13:24, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
This issue is on Fox News at Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI. It should be contrasted with this BBC News story today: NSPCC says 2m child abuse images circulated on internet.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:04, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Fox News is a mainstream source. BBC News does not cover this story. I thought Wikipedia was not concensored. QuackGuru (talk) 17:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
We went through all this before. The images that Larry Sanger complained about may have been considered tasteless, offensive etc, but none was found illegal. People should not regard their own personal opinions as professional legal advice. The article needs to reflect this, or it simply becomes POV axe grinding rather than criticism.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
We do regard the opinion of Fox News as a mainstream source. The article needs to reflect this. Where in Fox News does it support your position. Please make a specific proposal using only relevant sources that discuss Wikipedia's pedophile controversy. QuackGuru (talk) 18:08, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The POV problem is exactly why I reverted the addition. Regardless of Fox News' status as a reliable source, most of what you added was just repeating a blogger. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Fox News thinks it was noteworthy. QuackGuru (talk) 18:23, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The FOX News source largely repeats material from the original article in The Register. There is already a paragraph about this issue with thorough sourcing, so it has not been swept under the carpet and forgotten about.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:16, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
It has been swept under the rug. You have not made a specific proposal. The parts about cartoons that did show a young child about to perform oral sex on an udult man was swept under. Fox News explained things differently. QuackGuru (talk) 18:23, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
It still seems to me that it's a minority point of view and mainly relates to Wikimedia, not the Wikipedia itself. But if another major news source picks it up we probably should add a sentence or so somewhere. To be honest, a lot of newspapers mainly read each other, so that's probably going to happen. We'll see how they interpret it though.- Wolfkeeper 18:38, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The FOX News source is mainstream media. So that makes your argument irrelevant. QuackGuru (talk) 18:42, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The FOX News source also mentions old faithfuls like this 2003 edit by Erik Möller. This is arguably more important than its rehash of the now stale story in The Register.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia's pedophile controversy can't be a stale story when it has been recently covered by the mainstream media. QuackGuru (talk) 18:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
The article includes links to The Register story and the full text of Larry Sanger's letter to the FBI. One of the problems with the FOX story is that it spends a lot of its time rehashing the opinions of a personal blog, which were shown to have no legal validity anyway. WP:UNDUE and WP:SPS come into play here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
“Wikipedia’s continued interest in child sexual exploitation is troubling not only because the site hosts some questionable images, but because it can easily serve as a gateway to other sites containing child pornography," Marsh told
The opinions of FOX News is reliable and Marsh told Fox News according to FOX. WP:V comes into play here. QuackGuru (talk) 19:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
True, but there's also NPOV. Right now we have no known breech of the law, and the Wikipedia is being criticised literally a hundred times a day on lots of different things anyway. Compared to the 'Virgin killer' episode this isn't even worth a sentence yet. The other thing is, we're NOTNEWS, we don't really know what this criticism is worth yet.- Wolfkeeper 19:34, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
FOX News seems to have had a trawl around bloggers known to have axes to grind, such as the ChildLaw Blog. Marsh's claim that Wikipedia "can easily serve as a gateway to other sites containing child pornography" is frankly weird, and he should have been challenged on what he meant by this.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:18, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
He meant somebody could stick a dodgy link in the middle of a page, and that would not be noticed at all (ahem) and would instantly corrupt millions (ahem- in his dreams, he's obviously never seen the hit counts on most articles!!!)- Wolfkeeper 19:34, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Neither Seth Finkelstein nor Cade Metz is a neutral source in respect of Wikipedia, both have a long-standing agenda against the project. Guy (Help!) 01:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Now, now - I submit to you that on the topic of Criticism of Wikipedia especially, it's quite likely that good material is written by people, well, critical of Wikipedia. Note I didn't say that everything written by people critical of Wikipedia is necessarily good material! However, I would contend that some issues - perhaps particularly uncomfortable issues for Wikipedia supporters - are only going to be examined in detail by those who have studied Wikipedia and are not boosters of it. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:06, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
If Wikipedians would better listen and heed criticism from outside observers, a lot of issues could be taken care of before they explode into embarrasing press episodes like this one. Based on my own experience, burying one's head in the sand or trying to cover things up only temporarily conceals the issue. Sooner or later it will explode into public view. Cla68 (talk) 04:54, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
By the way, I think participants at Wikipedia Review warned between two and three years ago that there were too many sexually-natured images in Commons of questionable educational value. Someone should have taken action on this then. Cla68 (talk) 05:38, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Without discussion or consensus an editor rewrote almost the entire text. This was not neutral in tone and was biasely written against a specific editor named Larry Sanger. See WP:NPOV and WP:BLP. I tried to fix the mess. QuackGuru (talk) 17:11, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

BRD cycle. Everything in that rewrite was sourced to secondary sources, so BLP is not implicated. This version relies on self-published sources like Sanger's website and his letter as published on a webforum. You can't use those sources to write about anything other than Larry Sanger. The other problem is that it relies on The Register for legal conclusions instead of a mainstream press source; even Fox News would be better. I take your NPOV point, but what, in your opinion, need be done besides replacing "claim" with "say"?--Chaser (talk) 17:37, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
It was a BLP violation and not neutrally written. Sanger later clarified but you added a description that he later said "may have been misleading." That was misleading. Editors agreed to keep The Register. The legal conclusions text is sourced in accordance with V. If there is a problem with including a refeence that does not mean you should rewrite eveything. QuackGuru (talk) 18:04, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I modified the section on federal obscenity law in two ways. First, I simplified the reference to 1466A to make it more reader-friendly. Second, I removed the reference to the reporting requirement. It's not notable because it was only reported in The Register--it's not necessary to include every detail that they publish. Second, it's unimportant because Sanger already "reported" to the FBI. That's what started the whole mess.--Chaser (talk) 20:17, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Point 1: This U.S. law explicitly states: "It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist."[86]
Point 2: There was additional clarification that "Federal law (18 USC 2258A) also says that if an electronic service provider is made aware of child pornography on its servers, it must report it to the CyberTipline operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)."[86]
What you reverted out of the article again did not summarise the source. Point one says it is not required for the images to be of actual children. Point two says electronic service provider when made aware of child pornography on its servers, it must report it. Both of these points are notable. You tried to summarise the first point but it does not match what was previously in the article. QuackGuru (talk) 22:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you please identify how I varied point one? What information was lost or changed with the revision.--Chaser (talk) 01:27, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Original wording. This U.S. law explicitly states: "It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist."[86]
Modified wording. That law bans photographic child pornography and cartoon images and drawings of children that are obscene under American law.[86]
Point one says it is not required for the images to be of actual children. QuackGuru (talk) 03:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
That's implicit in the modified text and the idea of drawings or cartoon images. Anyway, my big concern is clarity.--Chaser (talk) 23:18, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  • This is rather amusing. Every single time I can recall any pro-paedophilia activity being brought to the attention of the arbitration committee, foundation or admins, the result has been a speedy ban and removal of content. The continued pretence that Wikipedia is somehow soft on paedophilia is a fiction, the longevity of it is a tribute to the determination of our detractors. It might, however, be a valid criticism of Commons. Guy (Help!) 01:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The press conflates the two. Verifiability, not truth.--Chaser (talk) 04:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)