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> The new Hasbara-esque scandal (but worse)
yow
post Wed 23rd April 2008, 6:52am
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From Electronic Intifada

A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.

A series of emails by members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), provided to The Electronic Intifada (EI), indicate the group is engaged in what one activist termed a "war" on Wikipedia.

A 13 March action alert signed by Gilead Ini, a "Senior Research Analyst" at CAMERA, calls for "volunteers who can work as 'editors' to ensure" that Israel-related articles on Wikipedia are "free of bias and error, and include necessary facts and context." However, subsequent communications indicate that the group not only wanted to keep the effort secret from the media, the public, and Wikipedia administrators, but that the material they intended to introduce included discredited claims that could smear Palestinians and Muslims and conceal Israel's true history.


AND MUCH MORE.
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Saltimbanco
post Fri 25th April 2008, 1:58am
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Who watches the watchmen?
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So we now have the Hasbara Fellowships, the JayJG "Watch my back" mailing list, and finally the CAMERA conspiracy, all groups of individuals with a distinctly pro-Israeli perspective on Middle Eastern affairs who have colluded off-Wiki to influence Wikipedia articles of interest to them.

What measures could Wikipedia possibly take to provide some level of assurance that their articles on the Middle East have not been compromised? I mean, I look at a lot of them, and it's obvious that they have been compromised, but how can this be undone and how can future Zionist efforts to control Wikipedia be kept from succeeding? I don't think it can be done within the current framework of Wikipedia, short of launching a long series of pogroms. I expect that this will get the usual, "Move along; nothing to see here; we blocked three people and the problem is contained" treatment, but I think we all know that will be a joke. If Wikipedia wanted to deserve to be considered a reliable source for information on the Middle East or on any other contentious issue, what could it do?
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Proabivouac
post Fri 25th April 2008, 2:21am
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QUOTE(Saltimbanco @ Fri 25th April 2008, 1:58am) *

If Wikipedia wanted to deserve to be considered a reliable source for information on the Middle East or on any other contentious issue, what could it do?

Under the current structure, probably nothing. Even if you got rid of all the "Zionists," what would you have left? A core of sincerely neutral non-POV-pushing contributors? The ones who brought us "Israeli Apartheid?"

The current system is actually dependent upon a relatively equal number of POV-pushers from each side, and is even then completely dysfunctional.

Zeq's e-mails are actually pretty insightful - for example, his point that creating an article with a certain title is very difficult to stop under the current system, because deletion debates default to keep. Articles about "terms", in particular, are nearly always "coatrack"-type excuses for biased content, and should probably be banned altogether.

Point by point, what Zeq proposed is exactly what people are doing already.

Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt there is one person in this space who can look us in the eye and say they haven't solicited assistance through e-mail at one point or another, if not on a regular basis. The game is to accuse others (usually correctly) of doing it while hiding it and denying it ourselves. This has been going on for as long as I remember. The reasons are first, that reverts are limited per editor, not per team, and second, that "consensus" is nothing but numbers.

QUOTE(Saltimbanco @ Fri 25th April 2008, 2:03am) *

Or could some modification of the Wiki way accomplish it?

You'd need some reasonably moderate people with a strong sense of how encyclopedia articles should be written who are empowered to override "consensus;" i.e. senior editors/content administrators. That brings its own problems, naturally, but at least we'd know who to blame for them, and have a specific action to remedy the situation - replacing them.

This post has been edited by Proabivouac: Fri 25th April 2008, 2:17am
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Tarc
post Mon 28th April 2008, 3:00pm
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QUOTE(Proabivouac @ Thu 24th April 2008, 10:21pm) *
Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt there is one person in this space who can look us in the eye and say they haven't solicited assistance through e-mail at one point or another, if not on a regular basis. The game is to accuse others (usually correctly) of doing it while hiding it and denying it ourselves. This has been going on for as long as I remember. The reasons are first, that reverts are limited per editor, not per team, and second, that "consensus" is nothing but numbers.


Ahh yes, the "everyone else must be doing it" excuse. Classy.

For the record, I haven't. Ever.
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Saltimbanco
post Mon 28th April 2008, 3:20pm
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QUOTE(Tarc @ Mon 28th April 2008, 11:00am) *

QUOTE(Proabivouac @ Thu 24th April 2008, 10:21pm) *
Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt there is one person in this space who can look us in the eye and say they haven't solicited assistance through e-mail at one point or another, if not on a regular basis. The game is to accuse others (usually correctly) of doing it while hiding it and denying it ourselves. This has been going on for as long as I remember. The reasons are first, that reverts are limited per editor, not per team, and second, that "consensus" is nothing but numbers.


Ahh yes, the "everyone else must be doing it" excuse. Classy.

For the record, I haven't. Ever.

Nor have I.

JayJG's done it to me, though.
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Posts in this topic
yow   The new Hasbara-esque scandal (but worse)   Wed 23rd April 2008, 6:52am
the fieryangel   Interesting : So, how many administrators are i...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 8:08am
Somey   More discussion on this subject is taking place in...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 8:34am
Eleland   They blocked User:Zeq for a year, though... ironi...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 9:19am
Disillusioned Lackey   action to pretty much everything. They blocked Us...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 10:27am
Merzbow   As of yet nobody has been able to produce a shred ...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 9:07am
jorge   As of yet nobody has been able to produce a shred...   Wed 23rd April 2008, 9:37am
Tarc   As of yet nobody has been able to produce a shred...   Thu 24th April 2008, 9:30pm
Milton Roe   [quote name='Merzbow' post='95510' date='Wed 23rd...   Thu 24th April 2008, 10:12pm
Milton Roe   If Wikipedia wanted to deserve to be considered a...   Fri 25th April 2008, 2:00am
Saltimbanco   Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt...   Fri 25th April 2008, 3:40am
Tarc   Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt ...   Mon 28th April 2008, 3:00pm
Saltimbanco   Re Jayjg's "watch my back," I doubt...   Mon 28th April 2008, 3:20pm
Saltimbanco   What would it have to become, though? I mean, is i...   Fri 25th April 2008, 2:03am
Milton Roe   What would it have to become, though? I mean, is ...   Fri 25th April 2008, 3:26am
guy   What would it have to become, though? I mean, is ...   Fri 25th April 2008, 8:05am
jorge   There are those who doubt the impartiality of Bri...   Fri 25th April 2008, 9:17am
Moulton   There are those who doubt the impartiality of Brit...   Fri 25th April 2008, 9:58am
Saltimbanco   There are those who doubt the impartiality of Br...   Fri 25th April 2008, 12:18pm
guy   [quote name='guy' post='96178' date='Fri 25th Apr...   Fri 25th April 2008, 12:22pm
Saltimbanco   [quote name='guy' post='96178' date='Fri 25th Ap...   Fri 25th April 2008, 2:50pm
Lar   [quote name='guy' post='96178' date='Fri 25th Apr...   Fri 25th April 2008, 1:51pm


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