Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, May 17, 2008

You don't fuck with wikinews

Score one for information wants to be free.

Basically, the foundation swatted down Wikinews' editorial independence, killing a story about a foundation bigwig's attitudes toward porn. (This isn't going to endear them to the press.)

(Update: It may be more complex than that. Here's the wikinews discussion; decide for yourself.)

You haven't heard of Wikinews, but they take themselves seriously -- they've interviewed heads of state, etc. Godwin should have known better.

That said, I don't want to take too much joy in wikinews's oldstyle prickliness, just because it sort of sucks to have this kind of infighting between wikiorgans. To be honest, I miss Jimmy having a bigger role; he'd have been able to smooth this over.

(Is the foundation trying to push erik out quietly? I'd sort of hoped they were. If they're not...seriously, guys. Your loyalty is admirable as a personal trait. But erik — forget what I think about him — is a millstone around the foundation's neck. His presence makes it a million times harder to address ways to make wikipedia kid-friendly, ways to get it in classrooms, etc. To address anything, really. Wikipedia runs on good vibes. They're its fuel. That's why Jimmy has been an effective leader, and why Moller throws a spanner in the works.)


Anonymous said...

According to the deletion log the news was deleted by an Wikinews admin. Is there any hint of WMF involvement?

Scarian said...

I agree that Jimbo would be a stronger leader in these "troubled" times.

Gregory Kohs said...

Is the Wikimedia support community paralyzed by the notion that the Foundation's leadership must be limited EITHER to Moeller OR Wales? Has anyone considered that NEITHER of them are appropriately talented professionals with experience building information communities?

Not to mention, Sue "Spider Hands" Gardner isn't exactly a paragon of truth-over-loyalty: "Jimmy has never done anything wrong..."


Ben Yates said...

Sue's a professional. She was running effective PR when she said that.

I wasn't suggesting that Jimmy be "the leader", just that I missed his talents. How does he not have experience building information communities? That's his biggest strength. (And of course, Erik was never a community leader, just a bureaucratic one.)

Anonymous: I've added a link to the wikinews discussion. The foundation didn't push the button from on high, but they did encourage deletion.

chriswaterguy said...

Disturbing - I'd like to see a more hands off approach, with the board having no more role in stories about itself than about any other stories.

This is a critical issue in the integrity and reputation of Wikinews.