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 “MichaelMoore.com: 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]]“.
- WP:AN/I#Attack site
- WP:AN/I#Michael Moore
- WP:AN/I#User Noroton still removing many links to MichaelMoore.com
- WP:AN/I#Dear Mr. Moore, doesn’t Wikipedia look stupid?
- WP:AN/I#Official that www.MichaelMoore.com is an attack website? Because it is being removed again by the Anti-Moore patrol (link might move later)
- WP:AN/I#MichaelMoore.com - hypocrisy? (link might move later)
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?