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Michael Moore on Wikipedia

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Michael Moore, creator of the documentary “Sicko” that criticises the US health system, has now targetted Ted Frank, who is a lawyer who has defended Merck in cases involving Vioxx, who were adversely affected by the movie and is hyper-critical of Michael Moore. Wikipedia’s response has been to label Michael Moore’s web site as an attack site, to delete all references to it, and to go out of their way to protect and support Ted Frank (Wikipedia user THF), including suggestions that he was “outed”, even though he originally called himself TedFrank on Wikipedia, only recently changed it to THF, and is a public figure with a Wikipedia article written about him.

The situation was first raised by Wikipedia Review member SenseMaker in his post titled “ Attack Site?“, which in turn was followed up by new Wikipedia Review member Msharma’s post: “Moore at AN/I” and finally a post by Wikipedia Review member Infoboy: “User:THF/[[Ted Frank]]“.

Relevant links:

Conflict of interest:

In defiance of Wikipedia’s rule about Conflict of Interest, Ted Frank (THF) has edited the article “Sicko“, a movie which has a significant relationship to his professional life, on no less than 96 occasions, which is more edits that he has made to any other article! He’s also made 209 edits to the Sicko article talk page. It would seem that not only is Ted Frank breaking Wikipedia’s rule on Conflict of Interest, but he is also breaking their rule about ownership of an article!


This comes in the wake of the exposure of the Wikipedia scanner, in which it was revealed that many companies had been manipulating articles to their own benefit. This has included the revelation that the Australian Federal Government had been editing its own articles, and on top of that had also been involved in flagrant vandalism on Wikipedia, a case so significant that it threatens to cost the government the entire election.

Given the obvious breaches of all of Wikipedia’s rules, we have to ask ourselves why isn’t Wikipedia doing more to try to stop it? But it seems that their common reaction to Ted Frank’s abuses is to protect him. After all, he is being threatened with law suits, and that is against Wikipedia’s rule on No Legal Threats.

But what does the rest of the world think about people gaming the system for personal wealth?


Written by blissyu2

August 24th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Articles, Critics, Editors

3 Responses to 'Michael Moore on Wikipedia'

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  1. If you include all of Ted Franks proxy edits - words that encourage other users (like Noroton) to alter the Sicko page - then there are scores more.

    Ted Frank is also in the process of writting an attack piece on Sicko for wider publication. He openly said so on the Sicko talk page.

    I’ve not seen anything like this on Wikipedia before. And it’s so blatant, too.


    25 Aug 07 at 8:19 am

  2. I didn’t do an in-depth study in to what his 96 edits to “Sicko” were, nor what his 209 article talk messages on “Sicko” said, nor what his various project talk messages, in such sections as “Conflict of Interest Noticeboard” said. It could well be that there is much more to find in this one. As for finding his proxy edits, that’s a bit of a tough one, as you then have to link that back to him in a definitive way.


    25 Aug 07 at 3:32 pm

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