In online communities, years ago, we used to use the politically incorrect term “Forum or Admin Nazi” to denote a forum moderator that deletes content due to either a) a rigid interpretation of the rules or b) makes up the rules as they go along. An example of a) would be deleting an otherwise valid posting because the member wrote “and then to sum it all up, crashed my frickin‘ car” (cussing around the filter) in a non- accusatory way. Some “Grammar Nazis” would delete or reprimand for using TY or Thnx instead of Thank You. You get the idea.
So my biggest problem with Wikipedia is not that there are no editors or that the members of the community aren’t vigilant enough and allow incorrect content through. It’s that it’s been infested with over zealous pedants that play power-trippy games. When you hand over the moderation of a community to the community and have no checks and balances in place, this sort of behaviour is predictable and expected.
In the case of Corey Worthington Delaney, the party boy from Melbourne, his page has been deleted from Wikipedia. Now I’m not going into the whys and wherefores of the (im) morality of the press interviewing and displaying an underage child to the world, the storm in a teacup vs pivotal moment in Australia’s Social Media awakening and so on.
“Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid and editors should remember their ethical obligations when writing about children, even if the press do not.”
But I would like to point out that the vote to delete was mostly by a bunch of non-Australians who hadn’t heard of the story. If it didn’t happen in the U.S. of A it ain’t important. And the couple of Australians that did vote for it were either a) the usual suspects such as admins looking to play out power games or, to put it more graciously, short sighted individuals that take the letter of the law or b) some guy that didn’t get invited to the party.
- Keep From the Notability Policy – A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. Therefore, with the sources from News.com.au, Reuters, CNN, BBC and the Guardian, I think we can presume that topic in question is notable. As an editor has noted above, he made world headlines, therefore that also established notability, but contry to editors next sentance (no offence intended) Notability is not temporary. Regarding the suggestion of recentism, I respectfully suggest the edits concerned with this have a re-read of Recentism#Debate_over_recentism where it basically says that the article should be left to develop for a while. It also goes onto explain some good reasons why recentism isn’t as bad a some people may think (As long as there are sources to back to the claims made in the article). I don’t think a nomination of an article after 35 minutes that so clearly passes WP:N is the correct move, but as the article author (full disclosure etc) I suppose my opinion may be biased in this area, but think about it won’t you? Fosnez (talk) 10:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
- Comment: Just over two years ago, an Australian made world headlines when he was feared missing during Hurricane Katrina. He was eventually located serving time in a jail someplace in Louisiana for public drunkenness . Another notable Aussie idiot / legend? Possibly… Worthy of an article in Wikipedia? No. — Longhairtalk 10:44, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
- Comment was the “Aussie idiot” covered by the likes of News.com.au, Reuters, CNN, BBC and the Guardian? I think not. A similar controversy existed over another one of my articles, Chris_Crocker_(Internet_celebrity), that is similar to this. The AfD was closed with no concencus, but with the number of sources on the article now it is clearly notable and would be kept if AfDed again (IMHO). I appeal to readers of the AfD to consider if 35 minutes is an acceptable time for an article to be allowed to grow – heck, I am the only non-spammy contributer to the article at this time. Leave it for a month and see how it is after that. I have added some content to the article refering to the posibility that this event may cause a change in some laws/policies in Victoria, and it would be important for Wikipedia to capture the context of the driving forces behind these changes. Fosnez (talk) 10:58, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
And I would particularly like to point out that there is a subgroup community (usually called a swarm) who troll articles for deletion. Unfortunately in these cases, it’s been the Admins citing “storm in a teacup” and “un notable” without waiting to see if it was indeed so. One pointer to “notableness” is whether mainstream media picked up on the discussion. Note in the above discussion the links to News.com.au, Reuters, CNN, BBC and the Guardian.
Feel free to comment on Corey Delaney’s deletion from wikipedia here on News.com.
So the problem with wikipedia is not that there is incorrect information on there, it’s that the wrong people get in power, play fiefdoms and screw with legitimate members. If you ever wonder why wiki/wikia using this community moderation system come in well under the 1% of people willing to create/edit a page, it’s because those Admin Zealots make the barrier to entry too darn high and uncomfortable!
I also think that Jimmy Wales took a wrong turn when he didn’t stick up for the guy who pretended to be a professor on Wikipedia. I mean, if a Citizen Expert has enough knowledge to fool the professionals, who’s to say he isn’t an expert? Wikipedia should be about levelling the playing field, not creating pseudo structures of what is ‘acceptable’ scholarship and what is not.
And thus the early experimentation into collaborative knowledge management plays out. *shrugs* I wasn’t convinced that wiki in it’s present form would be successful but I do think we will see this community start to die soon (next year or so), if it isn’t already. I know that I’m able to identify a police state online and move away. I don’t think I’m the only one…