Relaxing in Puerto Rico
This week, the Signpost jumped over the ocean to chat with the Puerto Rico WikiProject. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, having been under that country's control since it was relinquished by Spain at the end of the Spanish–American War. We talked with Tony the Marine.
- What motivated you to join WikiProject Puerto Rico? Have you lived on the island group? Do you contribute to articles about any other Caribbean islands?
- Tony the Marine: My son, Antonio, Jr. who is a long time contributor, and the desire to share my knowledge freely with others. I have written many articles about people born in other countries and about historic structures in the United States and elsewhere.
- Have you contributed to any of the project's Featured or Good Articles? What challenges do editors face when improving articles about Puerto Rico to FA or GA status?
- Tony: I have five featured articles and 21 good articles under my belt. One of the challenges is dealing with the exaggerated scrutiny which the articles are put under by people who have no knowledge or know little about Puerto Rico and it's people. I no longer nominate the articles which I have written for any of the so-called status'. I know that my articles are good by the positive feedback that I receive.
- Do Wikipedia's articles experience any neutrality issues relating to Puerto Rico's status as an unincorporated territory of the United States? How well does Wikipedia cover attempts to gain statehood or independence?
- Tony: There are many people who edit Wikipedia and who attempt to promote their political ideas by making biased edits to the different political related articles. This includes Puerto Ricans and non-Puerto Ricans who believe that Puerto Rico should be a state of the United States, an independent nation or that it should remain with the its' current political status of "Commonwealth". Wikipedia per se, does nothing to keep the articles from becoming politically biased. It is the Puerto Rican community in Wikipedia who try their best in making sure that these articles remain unbiased and neutral.
- Do some cities receive greater attention than others? Is the main island better covered than the smaller ones? What can be done to improve articles about neglected regions of Puerto Rico?
- Tony: The larger cities do receive greater attention than the smaller ones and that is because, as expected, these cities have had a greater impact on the historical, cultural, economic and political structures of the island. There is always room for improvement in both. This also applies to the regions in Puerto Rico. Just because the main island receives more coverage than the smaller islands, which make up Puerto Rico as a whole, can not say that they have been neglected. That is not the case at all. For example, it would be ridiculous to compare an article about the history of the United States with that of one about the history of Alcatraz island.
- What are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
- Tony: One of the main focuses of the project should be to attract new contributors. New contributors can help by writing new articles about the island and/or by improving those which are currently already posted. If they wish to have their work noticed by others, I suggest that they write about subjects that most people do not know about, subjects that for unknown reasons have been omitted from our history books and have fallen into the cracks of history only to be forgotten. New contributors are always welcomed as long as they are honest, unbiased and do not push or promote their political agendas. They must follow the policy established by Wikipedia and provide reliable verifiable sources.
- Anything else you'd like to add?
- Tony: One of the problems which the members of the Puerto Rican community has faced is that there some editors who are prejudiced against Puerto Ricans. They try to destroy the work of our community by pushing an Anti-Puerto Rican, Anti-Hispanic or pro-American point of view. There are others (non-Puerto Ricans) who have dedicated themselves to harassing and witch hunting respected contributors and editors because of their dedication to the subject which they love and know about, Puerto Rico. Thereby, with their actions discouraging the continued participation in the project. As far as I know, Wikipedia has done nothing or very little to discourage this type of situation. Something has to be done to keep this from happening.
Until next week, check out our previous reports in the archive.