Fri 27th August 2010, 6:55pm
QUOTE(Doc glasgow @ Fri 27th August 2010, 2:32pm)
Messing with an infobox style is hardly the same as inserting falsehoods into a BLP.
Sounds terrible, doesn't it? But ... depends on the "falsehood." Also depends on whether or not it's a BLP, actually.
It was a test of how quickly false information would be found, it ran for a very short time, compared to how long false information frequently stands up. The overall effect was positive, in fact, or neutral, and if there was any real damage (highly unlikely that even one single person was "deceived,") it was nothing compared to the flood of crap coming in every day.
But we hear this mantra over and over. "Inserted falsehoods in BLPs." Actually, he didn't. And anyone who thinks he did is completely nuts and didn't pay attention to what actually happened.
The same testing could have been done but less efficiently and less accurately, without his participation. His participation guaranteed that any possible damage was highly transient. In other words, he improved the situation, he didn't make it worse.
But Wikipedia has long been overwhelmed by Must Follow The Rules types, even when there are no rules. (MZM did not break rules, apparently, but only "expectations." I.e., "He should have known better." Which is a catch-all for "I and my friends don't like it." But, of course, lots of people didn't like it, based on wildly inaccurate descriptions of what happened that circulated in the usual places, where nothing is ever examined closely, unless if someone does, in which case that person gets dinged for writing a tome. Nobody likes to read these complicated descriptions of actual reality. It's much easier to just scream "How horrible! Inserted false information into BLPs!"
Like, biography of woman who was active, was it around 1930?, then an addition of a link to her recently winning a beauty contest or something like that. Person with same name, of course.
This kind of crap gets inserted all the time, except it isn't so obvious. And that's what was being shown, the effect of a lack of any serious review process, with sensible fact-checking, and only dependence on RCP, which is lousy at this kind of thing. An RCPer would look at that diff and say, hey, sourced, harmless at worst, and give it a pass. And no responsibility. Nobody keeps track of what was looked at, and what wasn't. And what was actually checked and what was merely glanced at.