Welcome to another of my “I told you they were dodgy” posts. This time, it’s not about Facebook or Google (which, finally, are receiving the coverage that should have been metered out years ago), but Wikipedia.
The latest is on a Wikipedia editor called ‘Philip Cross’, a story which Craig Murray has been following on his blog.
Start with this one, where Murray notes that Cross has not had a single day off from editing Wikipedia between August 29, 2013 and May 14, 2018, including Christmas Days.
And this one.
Both note that Cross edits Wikipedia entries on antiwar and antiestablishment figures, making them more negative and stripping away the positive, and concerns raised by other Wikipedia editors amount to naught. Cross is known to be against the UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and has devoted a lot of time to George Galloway’s page. However, he likes right-wing Times columnists Oliver Kamm and Melanie Phillips.
Matt Kennard Tweeted on May 12:
My wikipedia page is full of irrelevant and erroneous info but it is interesting that on the day I tweeted this https://t.co/fKTP7UYgft
'Phillip Cross' decided it was time to spend an hour editing my page https://t.co/OAUGGMfVfD
Probably just one of those freak coincidences ??
— Matt Kennard (@KennardMatt) May 12, 2018
while on May 21, Twitter user Leftworks said:
— leftworks (@leftworks1) May 21, 2018
In other words, suggesting that someone play by the rules on Wikipedia will get you threatened with a ban from Wikipedia.
Now you get the idea, you can check out Murray’s subsequent blog posts on the subject:
Whether you believe Philip Cross is one person or not, it highlights what I’ve said on this blog and formerly on Vox in the 2000s: that certain editors can scam their way to the top and not be questioned. I know first-hand that publicly criticizing Wikipedia could get me hate mail, as had happened last decade when I was subjected to days of email abuse from one senior editor based in Canada. That time I merely linked to a piece which talked about the dangers of Wikipedia and how some editors had scammed it—all that editor unwittingly did with her emails was confirm that position (no one says that all scammers are smart) and since then, observing Wikipedia has cemented it. Interestingly, both the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia’s remaining co-founder Jimmy Wales are quick to defend Cross, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that “he” is biased.
Facebook’s idea of using Wikipedia to combat “fake news” is about as moronic a decision one can make.
Now that there are voices adding to my own, and on far more serious matters than non-existent cars, I can only hope people will, at the least, treat Wikipedia with caution. If you choose to stop donating to them, I wouldn’t blame you.