Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why I hate Wikipedia

I have ranted about Wikipedia going from a worthwhile, exciting example of how to harness collective intelligence to a micro-managed fiefdom who's ruling class does not tolerate any dissent. The main issue is their "notable" clause, instructing editors to delete stuff that is not notable. Rather than repeat the danger this poses to the internet, I will repeat one of the comments left on my previous post on the subject:

So - it looks very serious.
there are people who are deleting things and there is no due process.

This is not the best way to run a rational institution.

It might seem silly to demand a chance for informational accuracy in this particular world, but perhaps it might be time to attempt to take this to a higher administrative power within the Wikipedia hierarchy?

The entire concept of notability is antithetical to the functioning of the internet.

who cares about Phlostigen, i mean really who really knows what a gluon is, and i have never even herd of an ibex, they must be radically unimportant.

My personal complaint is the deletion of underground music outfit from Australia named "go genre everything".

The entry was online for years and years, passing test of citeability and wikification, being written by people who were only just familiar with computer literacy.

Suddenly it is Deleted in a moment of A7 swift deletion fervour.

The question of Notability is the one i really wish to raise.

I have seen people noted on wikipedia as trivial.

I have never met a trivial human being in my entire life.

Individuals may have an enormous effect on the environment, but I suspect that if it is looked into , it is not so much the effect of individuals which create massive change, but the so called trivial people who do all the grunt work to make it happen.

By what criteria are we needing to define one person as more important than another. if the article is too long say make it shorter. if the article is badly written, get it written better, but why, does not everybody in the entire world have a wikipedia page detailing their biography?

It must be a hardware issue.

That would explain why so many of the "trivial" people as has been mentioned above have been deleted, in favour of important things such as the A7 motorway.

Please contact Wikipedia and continue to encourage non biased detailed encyclopedic information pertinent to all existing things!

I have to totally agree. A band I play Bass for (Stress Factor 9) was deleted, so was Randy Rampage's homepage (founder of DOA and lead singer of Stress Factor 9). Randy was the goddamn founding member of DOA, a band cited as a major influence by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Some pointy haired nitwit editor has unilaterally deleted this, assuming no one is interested.

The main point of why this type of action is dangerous, is that you delete truth and promote lies (my entries on ebXML were deleted and I was banned for vandalism for stating the truth while the ebXML entry in Wikipedia was full of errors). When you try to control the uncontrollable, the result always sucks.

Wikipedia needs to wake up and realize it is hovering on the brink of relevancy before it is laughed away as the sham it is becoming.


  1. I agree... wikipedia takes sources that are not actually true and is posted as "truth" when in fact it is total slander sometimes. They did this with the definition of Scientology which is completely altered truth.

  2. Interesting Paradox:

  3. best ever... for a moment in time, Benjamin Franklin's page on wikipedia listed his favorite movie as "hustle and flow".

    wikipedia itself is already "un-notable" fellas. internet relevancy can be found in your google search ranking.

  4. Wikipedia must need the space for the literally hundreds of pages detailing minor characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons.

    As glib as that sounds, it is also 10000% true.

    The real problem is simply that Wikipedia is NOT an encyclopedia, it is a GAME, that "Wikipedians" play for the payoff of social status amongst other Wikipedians.

    (Or at least, that's how it appears to me. I know that several articles I wrote were deleted, and the Wikipedian who deleted them was "rewarded" by other wikipedians for their valiant efforts. I believe the "reward" was a picture of a starfish.)

    One way to gain social status is to contribute articles or repair vandalism, but a far simpler way is to mark articles as "not notable" and get them "speedy deleted."

    (Strangely, Wikipedia has no way that an author can be notified that their article has been marked for deletion. Why not? I suspect because it's not needed by Wikipedians, who spend hours every day tending to their pet projects.)

    Also, when I say "not an encyclopedia," I mean that literally. One of the hallmarks of encyclopedias is that they have subject-experts editing articles, and Wikipedia actively drives away experts -- after all, that would piss off their "community" of non-experts. Why would a Wikipedian write an article if it were subject to the absolute control of an editor? There would be no payoff.

    (When I say "wikipedia drives away experts," I also mean that quite literally. I won't recount the stories now; I believe you can find some pretty easily via google.)

    Of course, the irony is that Wikipedia, which was built by the unselfish contributions of "drive by" people, has effectively built a wall around itself wherein any "drive by" contribution is, at best, "edited" beyond recognition, and, far more likely, is deleted.

    But when you get right down to it, there are two major problems with wikipedia that are much more important than any others:

    1) Google returns Wikipedia entries in the top 10 of almost any query, so many people assume that Wikipedia is, in fact, a valuable reference, and

    2) Wikipedia has no credible competition. I have heard there are other competing "wiki-based encyclopedias," but, first of all, very few people know what they are, and second, Google pretty much does not return their entries. (I tried once, looking up a handful of seemingly common encyclopedia entries, and could not find ANY results within the top 500 results.)


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