Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wikipedia Scanner "offers users a searchable database that ties millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to organizations where those edits apparently originated, by cross-referencing the edits with data on who owns the associated block of internet IP addresses." (Of course, it only shows edits by users without accounts.)

Via Wired, who also have a page where you can vote on the most egregious wikipedia spin/fraud.


Anonymous said...

As WIkiscanner showed, Foxnews edits Wiki all the time. Having battled elements from Foxnews since I arrived on Wiki, this is no news to me. I'd also like to alert you and everyone who reads this to an ongoing effort to infiltrate information as we know it by the far right. Here's what I'm talking about:

Crockspot, a homophobic conservative nazi is being voted in as admin as I post this message. This provides the link to the page in question. Having this cockroach transform from an impotent bottom feeder into a person with power would seriously damage Wikipedia's reputation. Cockroachspot would go on a facist rampage and ethnic cleansing of anyone who doesn't distort information into his twisted Bush agenda POV. Go by and vote as soon as possible if you're a member. If not, registration takes about thirty seconds. If you care about not being misinformed every time you google anything having to do with politics-then don't just vote but email anyandeveryone you can. Trust me, your friends will show up by the dozens--and we only need a few dozen more to put the nail in his coffin.

Ben Yates said...

I'd oppose his adminship, but I think it's worth noting that there is a little ambiguity in his posts. It's very hard to parse humor in text, especially if you're watching a social group you're not familiar with.

I've been a member of the forums for a long time, and though they've softened in the last couple years, way back when, the shock-humor flowed furiously. I remember a long-running joke about a "rape van" -- nevermind that I was a protester at the March for Women's Lives (in D.C.) during the same period.

It was all in the name of pushing toward brave new comedy frontiers, and despite the lapses into puerility, a lot of it was far ahead of its time. Effectively, it was Borat-style humor 6 years before Borat.

Reading over his edits -- yes, there seems to be a core of real homophobia, and the casual use of "fag" stings. But listen: the polite respectful intellectual circles are a very small minority of the whole world. I live in a liberal college town, and I've sat in hip-hop circles where guys who knew I was bi -- friends of mine, who spend vast amounts of time thinking about how best to combat the dominant right-wing ideology in this country -- threw around the word "faggot" as a general-purpose insult and didn't even realize that it might piss me off.

(Worth noting: crockspot says his girlfriend is black and his best friend is gay.)

The way to fight this is not to act as though anyone who plays fast and loose with words that are taboo in polite circles is a nazi. Better to explain that whenever non-straight people hear the word "fag" they think of the people they've seen get beaten to a fucking pulp for being gay, or the people they've seen defriended, ostricized and humiliated in front of an entire high school with the tacit approval of administrators. Or the people who have endured the silent loss of their parents' respect and expectation that they've become morally lethargic. Millions of lives ruined or needlessly made miserable. Explain that the word "fag" makes gay people think of all of that -- explain the almost physical sensation the word produces in the listener. But don't assume that the people saying "fag" already understand that effect and intend it. Many of them don't.

(End rant.)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ben Yates said...

You're generalizing about wikipedia based on a single incident -- but wikipedia is incredibly huge; it has thousands and thousands of contributors and millions of articles. It's like deciding that San Francisco is a terrible place because you had one bad experience there.

From the SF Weekly web site said...

I edited this story and I can assure you that Mary did not get fired for this story or any other. Mary decided to leave the paper to take a job with a local documentary filmmaker. She gave her notice before the Wikipedia story was published. She disclosed to me early in the reporting process her sister's fights with Griot and her sister's role is mentioned high up in our story. Bottom line: We stand by the story.

Comment by Will Harper, Managing Editor, SF Weekly on Feb 26th, 2008, 13:55 pm