Article: ‘Wikipedia is worthless and damaging’
You only need to read a few climate entries on Wikipedia to know this Spiked Online article rings true
We have watched how people like Wikipedia climate fiddler William Connolley rides shotgun on just about any climate related article on that website. As of a year ago Mr. Connolley has edited 5428 Wikipedia articles, almost all on climate and his zealotry earned him a suspension and banning for certain types of articles. So, this Spiked-Online article, aptly titled, isn’t much of a surprise to WUWT readers.
Wikipedia: where truth dies online
Run by cliquish, censorious editors and open to pranks and vandalism, Wikipedia is worthless and damaging. 29 April 2014
A man knocks at your door. You answer and he tells you he is an encyclopaedia salesman.
‘I have the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedia the world has ever seen’, he says.
‘Tell me about it!’
‘It has more editors and more entries than any other encyclopaedia ever. Most of the contributors are anonymous and no entry is ever finished. It is constantly changing. Any entry may be different each time you go back to it. Celebrities and companies pay PR agencies to edit entries. Controversial topics are often the subject of edit wars that can go on for years and involve scores of editors. Pranksters and jokers may change entries and insert bogus facts. Whole entries about events that never happened may be created. Other entries will disappear without notice. Experts may be banned from editing subjects that they are leading authorities on, because they are cited as primary sources. University academics and teachers warn their students to exercise extreme caution when using it. Nothing in it can be relied on. You will never know whether anything you read in it is true or not. Are you interested?’
‘I’ll think about it’, you say, and close
the door. News that civil servants in Whitehall hacked the Wikipedia entry for the Hillsborough disaster and inserted gratuitous insults about the men and women who died in the worst football-ground disaster in British history was greeted with predictable anger last week. This anger was directed at the anonymous vandals who posted the edits, rather than the organisation and website that facilitated the defamation. But, it must be said, Wikipedia is not blameless in this. It allows misinformation to flourish and provides it with a cloak of respectability. It is under-resourced and is unable to police itself adequately.
Wikipedia was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger but was predated by an earlier Wales/Sanger project, Nupedia, also a free online encyclopaedia, but one that was written and peer-reviewed by experts. In its three-year life, Nupedia only produced 25 articles, with a further 74 in progress when it was shut down. The lesson learned from the Nupedia experiment was that this protracted process with meagre output would never produce a comprehensive and up-to-date online encyclopaedia. The experts and peer reviews would have to go.
Wikipedia has been a massive success but has always had immense flaws, the greatest one being that nothing it publishes can be trusted. This, you might think, is a pretty big flaw. There are over 21million editors with varying degrees of competence and honesty. Rogue editors abound and do not restrict themselves to supposedly controversial topics, as the recently discovered Hillsborough example demonstrates.
WUWT: Read the entire article at source: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/wikipedia-where-truth-dies-online/#.U1-aSqLqizd
See also WUWT -ARCHIVE: https://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/william-connolley/
Post by Dr. Tim Ball on March 19, 2016 at his blog
Crisis of Leadership.
EXTRACT: The problem is people are unable to determine what is true or accurate. Wikipedia is a good example.
It was a good idea that quickly became perverted. For example, in the climate debate, William Connelly, a strong proponent of global warming, used and abused Wikipedia. As one source wrote,
“William M. Connolley is a British Wikipedia editor known for his fanaticism in promoting the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and in censoring the views of critics and skeptics. He is the ringleader of the infamous global warming cabal at Wikipedia, a powerful pro-AGW group that has an iron grip on global warming-related articles. Any editors that attempt to introduce factual information that is against their point of view are ceaselessly harassed until they are forced to quit or are banned. Connolley–a Wikipedia editor since 2003–and the group enjoy tacit support from the Wikipedia hierarchy, who often turn a blind eye to the group’s misdeeds. Lawrence Solomon said that “Next to Al Gore, William Connolley may be the world’s most influential person in the global warming debate.”
Canadian journalist Lawrence Solomon first exposed Connolley in a National Post article. The resulting damage to information and reputations prevents natural leaders stepping forward.
Criticism of Wikipedia – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 2005 Nature study also gave two brief examples of challenges that Wikipedian science writers purportedly faced on Wikipedia. The first concerned the addition of a section on violence to the schizophrenia article, which exhibited the view of one of the article’s regular editors, neuropsychologist Vaughan Bell, that it was little more than a “rant” about the need to lock people up, and that editing it stimulated him to look up the literature on the topic.
Another dispute involved the climate researcher William Connolley, a Wikipedia editor who was opposed by others. The topic in this second dispute was the greenhouse effect, and The New Yorker reported that this dispute, which was far more protracted, had led to arbitration, which took three months to produce a decision. The outcome of arbitration, as reported by Nature, was a six-month parole for Connolley, during which he was restricted to undoing edits on articles once per day.