Something monumentally offensive has happened this week on Wikipedia, and the powers that be are trying to sweep it under the rug. All Wikipedia critics should take this excellent opportunity to write letters to the Editors of their local and regional newspapers, and to contact their elected officials. The public opinion of Wikipedia can and should be changed by these six simple points:
1. Wikipedia is the world’s largest encyclopedia. It is managed by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and its mission is to provide free and open dissemination of knowledge to the world, in many languages.
2. Both the WMF and the for-profit enterprise Wikia, Inc. have personnel who serve on the Boards of both organizations. Wikia, Inc. — a company financed with $14 million in venture capital — is mentioned in WMF Form 990 documents filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that maintain there are no conflicts of interest in the cross-management of the two organizations.
3. However, it was revealed this week that Wikia, Inc. was hosting a secret mailing list comprised exclusively of hand-picked Wikipedia administrators and certain representatives of the Foundation, including Wikipedia co-founder himself, Jimmy Wales.
4. This mailing list’s secret activity centered on discussion of the identities and even IP addresses of various “questionable” contributors to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, in order to build “wiki sleuthing” cases against said contributors. This past week, the list’s spurious findings prompted the indefinite blocking of a long-standing valuable contributor to Wikipedia’s pages. When evidence of this list was exposed by a whistle-blower (one also having a long record of writing “featured articles” on Wikipedia), that evidence was repeatedly suppressed or erased by a senior staff member of the WMF. Days later, the cited ownership of the secret list was even altered, to protect the guilty party.
5. Instead of thanking the whistle-blower, Jimmy Wales replied to him with this shocking remark, “…your behavior in terms of trolling and carrying on the way you do is unacceptable. You know this. And you will either change it or be banned from Wikipedia. You have caused too much harm to justify us putting up with this kind of behavior much longer.”
6. No wonder the Wikimedia Foundation is falling far short of its fundraising objectives this year. Its management is too infiltrated with bankrupt ethics, which thoughtful people of conscience wouldn’t dream of supporting financially.
For those of you who may need a little “boost” in helping to get the campaign out there:
Here are two “Letters to the Editor” tools based on your ZIP code, where you can send one letter to numerous newspapers in your area:
And a finder and e-mail form (based on your ZIP code) to write your US Senators, US Representative, and State elected officials is right here.
If you wish to file a complaint with the IRS, that’s a little more challenging, but the appropriate form may be completed at this site. One might choose from “False documents” (for the incorrectly completed Form 990) and/or “Public corruption” (for using private donations to fund a secret mailing list on a conflicted for-profit website). But the point is, Wikia, Inc. is enabling certain members of the Wikipedia community and one (or more) principals of the Wikimedia Foundation to literally spy on editors they find suspicious (and, as this week proved, often based on preposterously misguided evidence).
Keep in mind, we are not attempting to bring about an immediate injunction against the WMF or the collapse of Wikipedia, and that’s why I’m not recommending that one attorney or one particular tax auditor be contacted. Rather, we are trying to change the hearts and minds of the general public. Regular people need to start seeing the corrupt management of Wikipedia and start asking their own questions. It will only take a seed of doubt to get people talking about what happened this week at Wikipedia, the world’s most irresponsible encyclopedia. Everything else will fall into place once that is achieved.