The Wikipedia Review: A forum for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia
Wikipedia Review Op-Ed Pages

Welcome, Guest! ( Log In | Register )

> Help

This subforum is for critical evaluation of Wikipedia articles. However, to reduce topic-bloat, please make note of exceptionally poor stubs, lists, and other less attention-worthy material in the Miscellaneous Grab Bag thread. Also, please be aware that agents of the Wikimedia Foundation might use your evaluations to improve the articles in question.

Useful Links: Featured Article CandidatesFeatured Article ReviewArticles for DeletionDeletion Review

2 Pages V  1 2 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Choose Your Own Adventure of CYOA History, If you choose to ignore the published sources, turn to Page 23
milowent
post Sun 30th January 2011, 5:51am
Post #1


Junior Member
**

Group: Contributors
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed 12th May 2010, 12:55am
Member No.: 20,085

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



Image

For a few weeks now, the Choose Your Own Adventure article, about the best-selling children's book series from the 80s/90s, has been stubbed down to a paragraph and put under WP:OFFICE.

Though we're not told, the problem appears to be a dispute over who should get credit for the series. Until about Oct 2010, the article credited Edward Packard as the creator of the series and concept. News reports from the the early 80s are pretty clear on that (1)(2). But some small amount of credit also belonged to R.A. Montgomery, owner of the small press that first published Packard's works, helped get it to the big league Bantam, and subsequently authored many titles.

Bantam let the series go out of print around 2000, and Montomery and his wife bought the trademark rights, founded "ChooseCo" and started reprinting the books. But only the ones they had rights too, i.e., mostly Montgomery's, and certainly not Packard's volumes. (The reprints are renumbered to help mask the missing volumes, I suppose.)

Back in October (and perhaps before?), the CYOA article was edited to credit Montgomery as the creator of the series, and among other things, replace the image of the 1st and perhaps most popular book in the series (The Cave of Time) with a cover image of reprint "The Abominable Snowman" (the new #1, #13 in the original series). I and a few editors happened to notice, rolled it back and added a few sources (such as the AP and NYTimes articles cited above) to show Packard was the original creator. We disregarded the press-release fodder pieces from the reprint announcements.

Then came the stubbing and WP:OFFICE stamp, which has lasted for a few weeks now. When I expressed irriation at this, Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation came by to admonish me.

There's little doubt Montgomery and/or his wife is behind this. They appear to have a history. In 2007, Chooseco sued Chrysler over an ad that had the tagline "Choose Your Adventure"--claiming it to be too similar to their trademark, and that the ad campaign too specifically focused on the age range of young men who had grown up reading the books. In the same vein, an August 2009 piece by Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic referenced the series in its title and included the comment "With apologies to Edward Packard and Bantam Books", which was apparently later updated to include a mention of Montgomery and Chooseco.

Editor Kaldari, also a wikimedia employee, has apparently now been tasked with helping recraft the article. So far, they've added two cites, one of which is a dead link article about the ChooseCo reprint introduction, and the 2nd a piece of crap in the "school library journal" that refers to Montgomery as the creator the series, just copying some press release no doubt. E.g., it claims that Chooseco's editors "editors went through the original series and “cherry picked” bestselling titles, books particularly beloved by readers, and staff favorites," instead of admitting that they "cherrypicked" the books they had rights to, and have no chance to get Packard's, whose volumes are often credited as the best. Packard, on his part, is republishing his titles as e-books under the "U-Ventures" tag.

I've never run into WP:OFFICE before, so I have no idea what triggers it, or how this will turn out. How many articles can you find that get slanted one way or another without such a drastic move being made, and then you see it morph towards the "wrong version".

This post has been edited by milowent: Sun 30th January 2011, 5:57am
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Silver seren
post Sun 30th January 2011, 6:50am
Post #2


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu 30th Dec 2010, 2:09pm
Member No.: 36,940

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



I've run into WP:OFFICE one time before, which then caused me to look into other cases where it had been implemented.

As such, I have yet to find a case where the Wikimedia Office actually did something right.

The State of Wikipedia video says that the Wikimedia Foundation has no interaction with Wikipedia itself or how it is working. Maybe they should actually follow that line of BS? Oh wait, it's BS, I forgot.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
EricBarbour
post Sun 30th January 2011, 9:03am
Post #3


blah
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 5,919
Joined: Mon 25th Feb 2008, 2:31am
Member No.: 5,066

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



It's most likely that the WMF got a very serious lawsuit from one of the commercial parties involved.
Seren is right---they have never, ever handled these disputes with any degree of competence.

Their natural tendency in the past has been to hush everything up and try to ignore the problem away.....

Since Godwin is history, they are probably still trying to find a permanent replacement, and so
Beaudette is taking on this "dirty work" until they get someone who can mollify the angry law firm.

Remember the National Portrait Gallery flap?
Remember Ron Livingston?
Remember the time Moeller was desysopped?
Jack Thompson, anyone?
Or Skutt?

(I could do this all night.) All hushed up, all "eventually" "disappeared". Far as we know. yecch.gif

This post has been edited by EricBarbour: Sun 30th January 2011, 9:04am
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Sun 30th January 2011, 1:01pm
Post #4


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



Interesting how the Wikimedia Foundation adopts a CYOA (Cover Your Own Ass) policy toward anyone willing to throw what appears to be a serious legal challenge their way, no matter how flimsy said challenge actually is.

If this escalates, I would predict that Jimbo will arrive on the scene soon, counseling "everyone" to just "relax" and "remember" that this matter doesn't need to be ironed out "today, or this week, or even this month". That's his technique for shutting down an article long enough that you Wikipediots will move on to another scandal-du-jour... and hopefully one that doesn't have an outside legal threat looming over the 149 New Montgomery Street money trove.

I encourage, for maximum drama, that you fighters for the truth (the actual truth, not the wikified truth) keep badgering at this article until it reads at least 2x more emphatically in favor of Packard and in deprecation of Montgomery. Let me know if you need an Examiner.com news article to help with your sourcing. I could reach out to Packard for some juicy quotes. Examiner news articles are de facto "reliable sources", based on the many hundreds of links to Examiner pages from Wikipedia main space articles.

This post has been edited by thekohser: Sun 30th January 2011, 1:26pm
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Sun 30th January 2011, 1:05pm
Post #5


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



Note, also... Beaudette does seem to be imagining himself as the new Mike Godwin, at least on these "WP:OFFICE" content matters.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Sun 30th January 2011, 1:15pm
Post #6


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



Here's one that took 23 months of patiently waiting for the Wikimedia Foundation to get its act together.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
tarantino
post Sun 30th January 2011, 9:22pm
Post #7


the Dude abides
******

Group: Regulars
Posts: 1,440
Joined: Mon 30th Jul 2007, 11:41pm
Member No.: 2,143



Beaudette has begun a collection of DMCA takedown requests. There is only three in it so far.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Category:DMCA
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
milowent
post Mon 31st January 2011, 6:29am
Post #8


Junior Member
**

Group: Contributors
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed 12th May 2010, 12:55am
Member No.: 20,085

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(thekohser @ Sun 30th January 2011, 2:01pm) *

I encourage, for maximum drama, that you fighters for the truth (the actual truth, not the wikified truth) keep badgering at this article until it reads at least 2x more emphatically in favor of Packard and in deprecation of Montgomery. Let me know if you need an Examiner.com news article to help with your sourcing. I could reach out to Packard for some juicy quotes. Examiner news articles are de facto "reliable sources", based on the many hundreds of links to Examiner pages from Wikipedia main space articles.


lol. i have emailed packard, doubt he'll respond, you can find him at http://www.edwardpackard.com/

i had assumed examiner.com was blacklisted, i guess its not. for a short period of time it used to come up high in google news results, I believe, then i realized it was just a blogging platform parading around like an independent alt. weekly website.

getting some quotes about montgomery "choosing" his 25 years-younger 2nd wife would be amusing though.

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Mon 31st January 2011, 11:32am
Post #9


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



QUOTE(milowent @ Mon 31st January 2011, 1:29am) *

i had assumed examiner.com was blacklisted, i guess its not. for a short period of time it used to come up high in google news results, I believe, then i realized it was just a blogging platform parading around like an independent alt. weekly website.


Yes, because (as we've seen) the mainstream media online is so much more investigative and hard-hitting than your average blogger. The mainstream online media would never just regurgitate the PR pablum handed it by various organizations who want to appear newsworthy.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
EricBarbour
post Mon 31st January 2011, 10:10pm
Post #10


blah
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 5,919
Joined: Mon 25th Feb 2008, 2:31am
Member No.: 5,066

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 31st January 2011, 3:32am) *
Yes, because (as we've seen) the mainstream media online is so much more investigative and hard-hitting than your average blogger. The mainstream online media would never just regurgitate the PR pablum handed it by various organizations who want to appear newsworthy.

happy.gif

Apparently, 60 Minutes now considers Julian Assange to be a journalist.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Kelly Martin
post Mon 31st January 2011, 10:31pm
Post #11


Bring back the guttersnipes!
********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 3,270
Joined: Sun 22nd Jun 2008, 4:41am
From: EN61bw
Member No.: 6,696



QUOTE(milowent @ Sat 29th January 2011, 11:51pm) *
I've never run into WP:OFFICE before, so I have no idea what triggers it, or how this will turn out. How many articles can you find that get slanted one way or another without such a drastic move being made, and then you see it morph towards the "wrong version".
WP:OFFICE is used whenever the Foundation is threatened with legal process and wants to draw as much attention as possible to it without actually saying "We've been threatened with a lawsuit". If they don't want to draw attention to it, they have other ways to deal with it; WP:OFFICE is specifically a red flag being waved over the town square at high noon.

At least it was; Baudette may well be too stupid to have figured this out yet (he is, as we have noted before, quite the silly little chicken). Certainly most of the stuff I did when I was working with Brad was subject to the same degree of protection as an "office action" would have been, but very little of it was labeled as "WP:OFFICE".
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Doc glasgow
post Mon 31st January 2011, 10:46pm
Post #12


Wikipedia:The Sump of All Human Knowledge
******

Group: Regulars
Posts: 1,138
Joined: Sat 1st Apr 2006, 10:39pm
From: at home
Member No.: 90

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 31st January 2011, 10:31pm) *

QUOTE(milowent @ Sat 29th January 2011, 11:51pm) *
I've never run into WP:OFFICE before, so I have no idea what triggers it, or how this will turn out. How many articles can you find that get slanted one way or another without such a drastic move being made, and then you see it morph towards the "wrong version".
WP:OFFICE is used whenever the Foundation is threatened with legal process and wants to draw as much attention as possible to it without actually saying "We've been threatened with a lawsuit". If they don't want to draw attention to it, they have other ways to deal with it; WP:OFFICE is specifically a red flag being waved over the town square at high noon.

At least it was; Baudette may well be too stupid to have figured this out yet (he is, as we have noted before, quite the silly little chicken). Certainly most of the stuff I did when I was working with Brad was subject to the same degree of protection as an "office action" would have been, but very little of it was labeled as "WP:OFFICE".


Yes, the normal way in the past was a confidential e-mail from Brad/Danny/Jimbo etc to the OTRS mailing list. Then someone simply dealt with it quietly, muttering something about OTRS if absolutely necessary. Any regular editor stumbling in after that got a flattering e-mail inviting them to join the conspiracy of silence, and was expected to be suitably sycophantic and complicit (unless, of course, it was Erik grandstanding).
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Cla68
post Mon 31st January 2011, 11:38pm
Post #13


Postmaster
*******

Group: Regulars
Posts: 1,763
Joined: Fri 18th Apr 2008, 5:53pm
Member No.: 5,761

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



I looked in Infotrac, found a few sources, and was going to go edit the article because I don't like officious bullying. I discovered, however, that WP:OFFICE evidently means the article is locked-down indefinitely. The article's editors probably already know of this source:

- Bosman, Julie. "Children's Series Updated." New York Times 26 July 2010: B4(L)

It's a good source because it briefly explains that Packard was one of the original book authors, but Montgomery now owns the trademark.


- "'Choose Your Own Adventure' Gets An iMakeover." Talk of the Nation 16 Aug. 2010

This is an interview with Packard. There are more, but I don't have time to list them all right now.

There appear to be plenty of sources to add text to the article to show the real story of what happened with ownership of those books' trademark. The fact that the Foundation simply deleted all the content and locked the article down makes them look like utter buffoons.

This post has been edited by Cla68: Mon 31st January 2011, 11:42pm
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Silver seren
post Mon 31st January 2011, 11:58pm
Post #14


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu 30th Dec 2010, 2:09pm
Member No.: 36,940

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



I left a message on Kaldari's talk page two days ago, directing him to the CYOA talk page section I made. But I guess he hasn't been around since then, since he's made no edits in the interim. I guess i'll wait until he does start editing again and, if he ignores my message, i'll keep bugging him. OFFICE actions are the one thing that I will tenaciously stick to trying to fix until the Foundation realizes its being idiotic.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Silver seren
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:13pm
Post #15


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu 30th Dec 2010, 2:09pm
Member No.: 36,940

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



For some reason, I feel as if I don't trust FloNight's response. Hmm...I wonder why...
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:23pm
Post #16


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



QUOTE(Silver seren @ Wed 2nd February 2011, 12:13pm) *

For some reason, I feel as if I don't trust FloNight's response. Hmm...I wonder why...


I often wonder why some people leave comments like this on public message boards, expecting/assuming that everyone else will know exactly what they're talking about and where to go to learn more.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Silver seren
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:38pm
Post #17


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu 30th Dec 2010, 2:09pm
Member No.: 36,940

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



The talk page, where this has been going on the entire time. I didn't think it was that much of a mental leap after the previous comment I had made about leaving a section on the talk page.

Talk:Choose Your Own Adventure (T-H-L-K-D).
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Gruntled
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:43pm
Post #18


Quite an unusual member
***

Group: On Vacation
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue 2nd Feb 2010, 12:23pm
Member No.: 16,954



QUOTE(Silver seren @ Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:38pm) *

The talk page, where this has been going on the entire time. I didn't think it was that much of a mental leap after the previous comment I had made about leaving a section on the talk page.

Talk:Choose Your Own Adventure (T-H-L-K-D).

You know what your problem is, Mr Seren? You go around assuming everyone is as clever as you are. Whereas of course nobody else is.

Incidentally, today's the anniversary of my joining, so cake for everyone and a girl in a bikini for Horsey.


This post has been edited by Gruntled: Wed 2nd February 2011, 5:48pm
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 6:53pm
Post #19


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



QUOTE(Gruntled @ Wed 2nd February 2011, 12:43pm) *

Incidentally, today's the anniversary of my joining, so cake for everyone and a girl in a bikini for Horsey.

Dang, I missed my anniversary yesterday!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
thekohser
post Wed 2nd February 2011, 7:42pm
Post #20


Member
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 10,274
Joined: Thu 1st Feb 2007, 10:21pm
Member No.: 911



I find this phrasing from FloNight absolutely amusing:

QUOTE
Patience please as we work to find sources that will make the article accurately reflect...


In other words, the Foundation and FloNight have a particular POV that they want to express, but now they just need to hunt and dig for sources that will portray that predetermined perspective.

It is too amusing.

Is lady FloNight's technique the sort of work the Foundation is hoping to garner from the forthcoming flood of female manipulators?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

2 Pages V  1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

-   Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th 4 14, 12:38am