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The Internet

Visualizing the Wikipedia Power Struggle 174

todd450 pointed us to a nifty visualization of Wikipedia and controversial articles in it. The image started with a network of 650,000 articles color coded to indicate activity. The original image is apparently 5' square, but the sample image they have is still pretty neat.
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Visualizing the Wikipedia Power Struggle

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  • hmmmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:38AM (#19207903)
    So here's a site discussing the Wikipedia edit war. Slashdot has tried to remain a neutral power in the war. A link is posted to the slashdot front page and the server is destroyed. Slashdot has been drawn into the war! A sword-day, a red day, ere the Sun server reboots!
  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:39AM (#19207909)
    is how many false charges of "sockpuppet" or "troll" are put in by the abusive administrators that run the place.

    Whoops. Did I say something less then complimentary about the quantum fucking encyclopedia [penny-arcade.com], where info may or may not be correct based on which second of the day it is, and where you can be assured that the moment someone tries to fix it, they'll be beat down by an army of socially inept retards [artsjournal.com] who have nothing better to do than accumulate hundreds/thousands of edits per day in hopes that they, too, can become administrators and ban anyone they disagree with?
  • by Lockejaw ( 955650 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:45AM (#19207971)
    It probably looks something like this [wikipedia.org].
  • by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:07AM (#19208181)
    I began editing on Wikipedia in 2003 and used it a lot for a while until over time I began realizing that the problems with it were not going to go away, but seemed to be getting worse, so now I do not edit it any more.

    One thing I learned is there are two sides of Wikipedia. In the upper right hand corner of the main page you can see what are called the "master categories". The categories such as Mathematics and Science highlight what is best about Wikipedia. The categories such as History and Society highlight what is worst about Wikipedia. You do not really have big battles over articles like "Pythagorean theorem", and they usually do a good job of explaining what that is. On the other hand, if you look at the top of an article like "Palestine" you will see that it is semi-protected, meaning new users can not edit the article. You can also see eight pages of discussion which really doesn't get anywhere. The article is garbage. The Wikipedia cabal likes to say things like cooler heads eventually prevail on such articles, but that is just a lot of bullshit. The cabal itself can often be the problem - if you look at the article's originator, it is Ed Poor, who has not only an admin but a bureaucrat at Wikipedia. He is also a Moonie, with some very strange beliefs, not only religious, which I could care less about, but politically. It's typical Wikipedia that he would create the article, and more so that he has held such high level positions.

    Actually I antagonize in using the Wikipedia cabal phrase as these people are so paranoid they have replied to messages like this on Slashdot in the past with stuff like "AHA! YOU SAID CABAL! YOU ARE ONE OF 'THEM'! AN ENEMY! ONLY ENEMIES OF WIKIPEDIA USE THAT PHRASE". Or maybe I could say Wikipediareview.com has some good criticisms of Wikipedia, since they're fanatical about that site to where you are not allowed to mention it on the "Criticism of Wikipedia" article.

    I spent a bit of time on Wikipedia and used to care more about this due to that time spent etc. Nowadays I just contribute to other wikis I like which I feel are more balanced. I should note that Jimbo Wales ran the Ayn Rand mailing list for years, has said "[F. A.] Hayek's work...is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project.", and I can give dozens of more examples of where Wales's somewhat far out political biases lay. This political bias starts at the top and works its way down, as one can see with his appointment of people who did not make the cut electorally such as JayJG to Arbcom.

    My advice to people is to patronize other wikis - the concept of a wiki encyclopedia is a great idea, but their political views are so far out, that it fragmenting is a certainty.

  • Re:hmmmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lilomar ( 1072448 ) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:18AM (#19208311) Homepage

    A site discussing the Wikipedia edit war.
    Slashdot has tried to remain a neutral power.

    A link is posted to the front page!
    The server is destroyed!
    Slashdot has been drawn to war!

    A sword-day;
    A red day;
    Ere the Sun server reboots!
    Sorry, it sounded so poetic, I had to reformat it. (note that, unlike my other posts, this one doesn't belong to me, I blatantly stole it from jollyreaper. So it doesn't enter the PD until he releases it, or for 70 years after his death.)
  • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:54AM (#19208701) Homepage
    Mentioning Wikipedia Review is not, on it's own, terribly crazy. It's just the context you choose.

    For example, Wikipediareview has made a policy of harassing editors and admins, the users coordinated attacks where they call people at their houses late at night and call their employers to complain about them to get them fired. Do you support that? Since you're probably not going to respond to this, it's probably fruitless to ask, but you opened the door with your line of comment. You REALLY want to use Wikipedia Review as a reference?

    So mentioning that site to bolster your viewpoint (presumably, you're an editor who disagreed with a decision that applied to you, as in perhaps you tried to use Wikipedia as a MySpace site, or were pushing a point of view in contravention of the site policies, or were upset when the article your wrote about your math teacher was deleted as 'non-notable') is similar to starting a conversation with "Now, the Nazi medical experiments were terrible, but we _did_ learn some useful things from them..." (howdy Godwinists!)

    So, your credibility is basically shot. The cabal reference underscores it. I'm an admin there, and we can't even agree on what to order for our pizzas, much less plot to push some sort of wacky political agenda.

    Your bozo bit has been set, good day.
  • by pretygrrl ( 465212 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:02AM (#19208789) Journal
    MOD UP THE PARENT. Nothing evenn remotely flamebait about it.
    How ironic that he totally saw it coming, criticizing wiki.

    that site has gone beyond annoying, beyond misleading, its actually dangerous. Wiki is at the top of just about every google search. The entire storehouse of human knowledge (i.e. the internet) is being hijacked by a media company (google) via the mindless peddling of "consensus" that is wikipedia.
    there can be no popular consensus for topics that require a lifetime's study. there is no easy substitute for study. all opinions are not created equal.
    amazing, that what, 6 years into wikipedia's existence, that is actually considered a "flamebait" thing to say.

    both of the links in the comment are really intelligent.
  • by mpe ( 36238 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:45AM (#19209315)
    Wiki died the day that intrest groups found it and realized they could sway public opinion by marginalizing a site which supposedly has accurate information.

    The problem with interest groups is not only do they typically have a lot of time and resources they also tend to have a strong tendency to monopolise the issue in question. Sometimes to the point where they appear incapable of actually rationally defending their position, whilst having almost stereotypical strawmen and ad hominum responses. (Zionists and Feminists must qualify as "textbook examples"...)
  • Very Leftist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @12:25PM (#19209757)
    Personally, I'm not really "right" or "left." I just want to live my life as free as possible from government control -- the control constantly sought by both the left and right. I get called a leftist by those on the right, and a rightist by those on the left, so I guess that puts me in the middle somewhere.

    Given that, I do see a serious ideological left bent in Wikipedia. I've tried to put hard facts (well-cited, thank you) to give a counter to obviously left-biased articles (or articles where the viewpoint is used to justify government intrusion), only to have them removed or edited to oblivion. It's often a hard fight to keep such facts in Wikipedia. Anti-American sentiment is definitely there, with wild, unsubstantiated rumors that keep popping up again after they're killed, and the editors will not keep them out. In that case the only recourse is to post the facts in opposition to the rumors (and hope they survive), but such things should not have to be done.

    Yes, I abhor the pathetic conservapedia even more. Wikipedia's slant is more of an accident, a result of the populace and to some extent those Wales put in charge. But conservapedia was conceived as biased.
  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @12:47PM (#19209959)

    You ought to read this great blog by a former wikipedia admin [livejournal.com]. He details the powers a wikipedia admin gets and the methods by which admins connected to partisan debates, or just assholes who managed to get an admin bit, abuse people.

    They get to be as abusive as they want language-wise, and if anyone chides them on it, the other admin-cultists will back them up.

    They get to block anyone, for any reason, at any time, and the "procedures" wikipedia has for an appeal are a joke.

    They can block someone indefinitely, lock down the user page and talk page so that filing for an appeal can't even be done, and just walk away. The appeals email list is locked down and non-archived, so nobody can see what they're doing (not that they ever did anything but rubber-stamp abuse by admins anyways).

    Wikipedia's admin-cultists exist by trying to control the debate. They control who can speak, and when. They control whether or not a source or fact can even be mentioned in an article. They extend this behavior to mailing lists, to IRC channels; in short, if an admin decides you ought to be "banned", even if the admin is just doing it because they disagree with something that you posted that meets all the other sourcing/NPOV criteria, they WILL do it and they WILL get away with it.

    I'm gonna quote him here because he said it better than anyone:

    Interestingly enough, the BITE policy has a telling statement: nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility or elitism.

    Why is this interesting? Because this is precisely the goal of the abusive administrators. They want, no, need, to drive away anyone new who disagrees with them, because if they did not, then ultimately they bear the risk of enough new users coming in to overturn their bogus "consensus" on the articles they control.
  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @02:37PM (#19211459)
    From the Top 20 Most Hotly Revised Articles (in the article):

    1. Jesus
    4. Nintendo revolution
    10. Playstation 3

    So Sony Playstations and Nintendo systems inspire almost as much evangelism as Jesus? Seems to me that both atheists and Christians ought to have a problem with that false idol worshipping.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!