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> Muhammad_al-Durrah & WP:OWN, Slim & Jayjg tag-team again
gomi
post Thu 5th April 2007, 5:29pm
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The article on Muhammad al-Durrah may turn out to be another good example of the methods by which Slim, Jayjg, and their like control parts of Wikipedia.

To refresh your memory, al-Durrah was the little boy who was (allegedly) shot by Israeli Defense Forces in 2000, and caught on film by a French cameraman, prompting an international outcry. Given this is Middle-Eastern politics, the predictable outcome is that there is controversy and wrangling on every aspect of the poor child's apparent demise. Was he shot by the Israelis, the Palestinians, or is he still alive somewhere? Was the whole thing staged? Sigh.

Now that Slim and Jayjg have completed their ownership of Pallywood (which accuses Palestinians of staging events for the international media), this is the next step down the slime-covered slope.

Intelligent minds can and do certainly disagree about almost every aspect of Israeli/Palestinian politics. But what Wikipedia has become is a mouthpiece for zealous campaigners from and for every possible point of view, and articles like this one, which should be two paragraphs long, become larded with page after page of theory, accusation, counter-accusation, innuendo, and utter baloney -- all carefully sourced, of course, to various equally zealous websites, newsrags, and other printed diatribes. Can anyone seriously imagine that this is "encyclopedic" treatment?


AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!
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Jonny Cache
post Thu 5th April 2007, 5:36pm
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QUOTE(gomi @ Thu 5th April 2007, 1:29pm) *

The article on Muhammad al-Durrah may turn out to be another good example of the methods by which Slim, Jayjg, and their like control parts of Wikipedia.

Turn refresh your memory, al-Durrah was the little boy who was (allegedly) shot by Israeli Defense Forces in 2000, and caught on film by a French cameraman, prompting an international outcry. Given this is Middle-Eastern politics, the predictable outcome is that there is controversy and wrangling on every aspect of the poor child's apparent demise. Was he shot by the Israelis, the Palestinians, or is he still alive somewhere? Was the whole thing staged? Sigh.

Now that Slim and Jayjg have completed their ownership of Pallywood (which accuses Palestinians of staging events for the international media), this is the next step down the slime-covered slope.

Intelligent minds can and do certainly disagree about almost every aspect of Israeli/Palestinian politics. But what Wikipedia has become is a mouthpiece for zealous campaigners from and for every possible point of view, and articles like this one, which should be two paragraphs long, become larded with page after page of theory, accusation, counter-accusation, innuendo, and utter baloney -- all carefully sourced, of course, to various equally zealous websites, newsrags, and other printed diatribes. Can anyone seriously imagine that this is "encyclopedic" treatment?


AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

Back in the Real World — you remember? — they call these things Editorials.

That level of honesty about one's POV is a thing wholly unknown in Wikipedia.

Jonny cool.gif
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Somey
post Fri 13th April 2007, 5:57am
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This has gotten a bit more interesting, actually. It seems Slimmy & Co. were almost using User:KazakhPol as some sort of stalking horse.

On the talk page, Slimmy insists that she's a "neutral editor," which is always dubious coming from almost anyone on WP, but especially... well, never mind that! In effect, she's trying to ensure that the article "steers a middle course between the Pallywood theories... and the initial reports" of the incident. Obviously, anyone not viewing the situation from a strong pro-Israeli POV would think it rather unlikely that photographers would really have to stage a little boy's death for propaganda purposes in the middle of a war zone, particularly given how many people there are with video cameras these days, and how many children were, in fact, actually getting shot at. But the article now gives far more credence to the idea that this poor boy's death was staged than it would if the "conspiracy" involved, say, the CIA, the Bush Administration, ad nauseum.

Until recently, KazakhPol was concerned almost entirely with Muslims in Kazakhstan, not Palestine, but then he got involved in this article. (Slimmy can't even spell Kazakhstan, apparently - I guess she's never seen the Borat movie?)

But since KazakhPol is just so stridently anti-Muslim, Slimmy practically went after him with a blowtorch a few days ago, essentially accusing him of irrational anti-Muslim extremism. Presumably she just doesn't want interference from people who lack her sense of subtlety and cleverness! Fair enough, but this is the sort of thing she can point to later and say, "of course I'm neutral on Middle-East-related issues!" - when in fact, she really isn't. No doubt she'll read this and think, "I just can't win with these WR people," and of course, she probably can't. (Slimmy, please don't miss this one though, in case you haven't seen it already! smile.gif )

Anyway, earlier today, KazakhPol got yet another 24-hour block from El_C for personal attacks and edit-warring.

Ka-Ching!
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anon1234
post Fri 13th April 2007, 6:16am
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Interesting. This episode illustrates a lot of things that go consistently wrong on Wikipedia.

I notice that Jayjg appears to be purposely trolling User:KazakhPol following the methods I outlined in that essay of mine. Specifically, Jayjg was reverting any change that KazakhPol tried, no matter how minor. To further troll KazakhPol, Jayjg was using misleading edit summaries, such as "tidy" when he was actually reverting to SlimVirgin's version of the article. KazakhPol is the type that can be trolled, and thus he responded and external admins were brought in to ban him since his credibility had already been undermined. Absolutely hilarious and quite effective.

The dynamic appears to be that Jayjg is the one who is aggressively trolling while SlimVirgin is the one who writes the article and pretends that Jayjg isn't explicitly trolling KazakhPol. One could say that Jayjg is running interference for SlimVirgin. I guess this arrangement serves both of their purposes.

Wikipedia is fundamentally broken when it comes to controversial topics that attract editors with major POVs. It's so typical of Wikipedia in these subject areas that I don't even bother to bring it up on this board, this type of misbehavior and dysfunction is the rule rather than the exception.

The truth of the matter is that neither SlimVirgin, Jayjg or KazakhPol should be the one writing the definite article on the subject. Additionally, the fact that SlimVirgin and Jayjg had to engage in wiki-combat with KazakhPol in order to gain control of the article is ridiculously unbelievable when you think about it and indicates strongly that the current Wikipedia model is broken and a farce.
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Somey
post Fri 13th April 2007, 6:34am
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And just for a little extra context, all of this is going on whilst everyone's attention is diverted to the "Attack sites" policy-proposal controversy... The perfect time for a little extra rule-bending! laugh.gif

Another thing Slimmy did was to protect the "Neoconservatism" article, citing an "edit war," immediately after Jayjg removed a section entitled "Neoconservatism, American Jews, and 'Dual Loyalty.'" Needless to say, this section suggested that some Jewish neocons in the United States might have certain ulterior motives for being neocons.

I suspect they felt that was rather "unhelpful," to say the least...
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mephistophilis
post Fri 13th April 2007, 11:37am
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It is quite easy for SV to take the 'middle way' on this one. On the one hand you have the original report that the boy was killed by the Israelis, on the other you have the 'Pallywood' claim that the boy isn't dead at all. Hey, let's just split the difference, the Palestinians killed him - funnily enough I think that's the Israeli government position.

This article, as well as ones like Pallywood are an interesting illustration of how the internet allows fringe theories or terminology to proliferate. Google will give you thousands of hits for "Pallywood" but it has barely been mentioned in mainstream media. Yet, because a large proportion of editors in this field are, shall we say, somewhat right of center when it comes to Israel they can't understand how extreme their views are because all the blogs they read completely agree with their worldview.

Of course, Pallywood makes a nice contrast with the Allegations of Israeli Apartheid article where SV and JayJG were quite insistent that these 'offensive' accusations must be backed up with at least academic research, google hits obviously told us nothing in this case. Coroebus has an interesting summary of JayJG's comments on this article here but it doesn't seem to have made any difference to the usual crowd of pro-Israeli wiki editors.

Israel appears to be something of a wikipedia weakspot - there is a preponderence of pro-Israeli editors and extreme pro-Israeli editors, which is counteracted by a smaller number of pro-Palestinian editors, with extreme pro-Palestinian editors mostly getting banned within weeks. I'm not entirely sure if this represents a demographic difference or is the inevitable steady state that must result when two irreconcilable views clash (with the winning group essentially being the one that got entrenched in wikipedia first).

These articles, including things like Slim's own New antisemitism, represent the fairly new phenomenon of synthetic articles designed to advance some political agenda - they would never exist in a real encyclopedia because they are opinion pieces, editorials, which is why they are so controversial, their entire structure seeks to make some partisan point precluding any NPOV wording.
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Poetlister
post Fri 13th April 2007, 11:58am
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And there's amplification because people who don't feel strongly on the subject (but want to advance in Wikipedia) suck up to the powerful.
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mephistophilis
post Fri 13th April 2007, 12:14pm
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I also think that the mildy pro-Palestinian editors are just put off by the amount of edit warring that goes on in these articles - and if you're only mildly pro-Israeli you're not going to spend your time fighting against both sides to make the articles less insane and more nuanced - so essentially only those who feel particularly strongly will go to the bother - leading to these ridiculous X but Y, however Z articles made up of massive blockquotes.
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mephistophilis
post Fri 13th April 2007, 12:32pm
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Amusingly the ban threats are already out in this article. Liftarn compares relying on Richard Landes (see Pallywood) to relying on David Irving and Robert Faurisson as sources for an article on the Holocaust (because they are conspiracy theorists). Violation of BLP apparently.


(as an aside, note how Jaakobou refuses to accept the BBC or the Guardian as reliable sources!)
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anon1234
post Fri 13th April 2007, 8:14pm
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It appears to be a public relations war. I guess this is where the allegations arise that Jayjg is paid to edit Wikipedia, because all he seems to do is fight this battle.

Jaakobou appears to be semi-literate* and an edit warrior, whom one would guess would be quickly banned if he wasn't on the side of Jayjg and SlimVirgin. But it appears that he serves a useful purpose in taking up the time and energy of opponents who have to deal with his banality??? I would recommend that someone involved start an User Conduct RFC on Jaakobou, it is the appropriate first step in dealing with an low quality editor such as him. If you present the evidence appropriately, it is unlikely many will stick up for Jaakobou based on purely ideological alliances because Jaakobou appears to be an all-round absolutely horrible editor.

* In all fairness, I suspect English is not Jaakobou's first language.
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