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Comment: Re:Jeffrey Vernon Merkey: Whackaloon (Score 1) 274

by petrofsky (#22725792) Attached to: "DonorGate" Is Latest Scandal To Hit Wikipedia

SirFozzie: "[Jeff Merkey is] nuttier then a fruitcake"

Nyet: "According to the WP:Cabal, only anti-Merkey SPAs feel this way :)"

SirFozzie: "Oh, a lot of people feel the same way."

Whatever you want to call the collection of forces that determines Wikipedia content (the "WP:Cabal", the "wisdom of crowds", cosmic background radiation, whatever), the bottom line is that the Wikipedia article on Jeff Merkey, despite being over 1,000 words long, fails to inform the reader of the one fact about Merkey that is most important to know, which is that you shouldn't believe a word he says.

Here's what I wrote about that failure last year on the Talk page for the Merkey article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Jeff_V._Merkey&oldid=145259751&diff=145526635

Will Beback wrote on WP:ANI that "the subject is clearly litigious and we should note that fact in the article". I agree. I would say that the subject is, just as clearly, someone who makes a prodigious amount of extraordinary and false statements, and that any article about him should note that fact too. There's a good reliable source for that fact: Judge Anthony Schofield's finding that Merkey "deliberately describes his own separate reality." ( Novell v. Timpanogas Research Group, 46 USPQ.2d 1197, 1204 (Utah 1998)). Some people seem to think that that ruling is a primary source, but it is clearly a secondary source: it was written by a neutral party (the judge) after considering extensive writings, evidence, and argument from all sides (which he enumerates at the start of the ruling) and analyzing the credibility of those various sources. Does anyone seriously think that judges are not at least as competent, neutral, and careful in their evaluations as are journalists, who are routinely relied on by Wikipedia as secondary sources?
... Al Petrofsky 21:36, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

These were the three responses:

Al Petrofsky, this biography will definitely not characterize its living subject as "someone who makes a prodigious amount of extraordinary and false statements." Proabivouac 22:01, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Will's comment is fair while Proabivouac is correct that we have to take great care of living people who are subject to a bio here, see WP:BLP. This is simple respect for people's privacy, SqueakBox 22:05, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I was asked to comment here. Just glancing at the suggestions posted above, they seem to include violations of BLP, NOR, COI, and UNDUE (and the shorter version currently on the page may also be a violation, depending on how it's sourced). Specifically (1) it would be best if people involved in the case didn't edit the article, per COI; (2) we shouldn't use self-published material as a source, per BLP; (3) we shouldn't use primary-source material, including trial documents, that secondary sources haven't commented on, per BLP and NOR; (4) we shouldn't highlight the case more than reliable, mainstream, secondary sources have highlighted it, per UNDUE. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 00:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

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