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Visualizing the Wikipedia Power Struggle

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the ban-everything-and-let-wales-sort-em-out dept.

The Internet 174

todd450 pointed us to a nifty visualization of Wikipedia and controversial articles in it. The image started with a network of 650,000 articles color coded to indicate activity. The original image is apparently 5' square, but the sample image they have is still pretty neat.

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"Steal"? (4, Informative)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207779)

This word is not the word you think it is.

[John]

Re:"Steal"? (1)

Kream (78601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207797)

This *has* to be purposeful. The letters are quite far away. Or he's using Voice to Text software.

Re:"Steal"? (1)

Brummund (447393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207873)

So true! It is not theft or stealing, it is copyright infringement!

Re:"Steal"? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207889)

It should read, "...but the sample image they have is copyright infringe pretty neat."

Re:"Steal"? (1, Offtopic)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207953)

It's an ingenious ruse to make the defintion of "steal" include so many different things like steal, pirate, still and so on, noone will have any idea what the RIAA/MPAA is talking about. My hat off to you, good sir.

Re:"Steal"? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208039)

Be sure to tag this one "steal" ok? I like how everyone tags the misspelled/misused words.

Nice editing (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207787)

The original image is apparently 5' square, but the sample image they have is steal pretty neat.
It's still pretty colorful.

Re:Nice editing (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207853)

Not anymore, the link being already slashdoted.

Another one bites the dust... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207815)

Yet another site goes down within minutes of being mentioned on /. -- gotta love it!

Re:Another one bites the dust... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207859)

Have you been stealing their bandwidth?

Re:Another one bites the dust... (1)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207895)

Perhaps we can visualize the power struggle between Wikipedia and the Slashdot stampede?

Re:Another one bites the dust... (2, Interesting)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207971)

It probably looks something like this [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Another one bites the dust... (1)

Eagleartoo (849045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208313)

It's a good thing servers can't scream . . . that would be a frightening thing.

Re:Another one bites the dust... (1)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207913)

Yet another site goes down within minutes of being mentioned on /. -- gotta love it!
Well, I RTFA before the server crumbled (yes I'm new here), and I have to laugh that their server couldn't handle it, because at the bottom of the article are links to submit the story to Digg, Del.icio.us, Simpy, /., Technorati, and Reddit. They HAD to know this was coming.

Yeeha! (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207817)


but the sample image they have is steal pretty neat.When did Speedy Gonzales get a job at OSTG?

Mirror of Sorts (4, Informative)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207845)

I am not sure if this is where the article originates from (or vice versa), but here is another example of visualizing Wikipedia:

http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/visual/projects/ chromogram.html [ibm.com]

Yet another example (3, Informative)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208223)

http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_4/spoerr i/index.html [firstmonday.org]

This one is less pretty with colours, but way more informative...

Re:Yet another example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208795)

Oh fuck... I thought I was the only one with the Jenna Jameson fetiche =op

Re:Mirror of Sorts (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209449)

I am not sure if this is where the article originates from (or vice versa), but here is another example of visualizing Wikipedia:

http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/visual/projects/ [ibm.com] chromogram.html [ibm.com]
Anyone else look at the images here and get the impression that these users are in need of some serious defragmentation?

LOL! (3, Funny)

Kream (78601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207849)

/windowslivewritervisualizingthepowerstruggleinwik ipedia-f7c7wikivisenlargesection44.jpg

Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.abeautifulwww.com Port 80

Re:LOL! (2, Funny)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208193)

Yee-hah! We've got ourselves an old-fashioned slashdotting. I ain't see one of those in nigh-on thirty stories.

It's okay CmdrTaco... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207851)

... you're steal beautiful.

Today on /. (3, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207871)

We axe y we dont juzt speel foneticly!

Re:Today on /. (0, Offtopic)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207959)

Because some people pronounce "ask" as "aks", defeating the whole purpose.

Re:Today on /. (1)

jae471 (1102461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208691)

Although in the year 3000, everyone will just say aks, and assume that ask is a archaic pronunciation.

Re:Today on /. (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209433)

Bite my shiny metal ass!

mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208587)

unfunny, offtopic, uninformed

A nice visualization of this article (0, Redundant)

theantipop (803016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207899)

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Wow... (3, Insightful)

Adam Zweimiller (710977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207901)

So not only is the submitter shamelessly plugging his own site, but it:

A) Crashes before there are 9 comments and B) Doesn't know how to spell "still" Glad to see slashdot's standards are still so high, CmdrTaco. Thanks.

hmmmmm (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207903)

So here's a site discussing the Wikipedia edit war. Slashdot has tried to remain a neutral power in the war. A link is posted to the slashdot front page and the server is destroyed. Slashdot has been drawn into the war! A sword-day, a red day, ere the Sun server reboots!

Re:hmmmmm (2, Interesting)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208311)

A site discussing the Wikipedia edit war.
Slashdot has tried to remain a neutral power.

A link is posted to the front page!
The server is destroyed!
Slashdot has been drawn to war!

A sword-day;
A red day;
Ere the Sun server reboots!
Sorry, it sounded so poetic, I had to reformat it. (note that, unlike my other posts, this one doesn't belong to me, I blatantly stole it from jollyreaper. So it doesn't enter the PD until he releases it, or for 70 years after his death.)

Re:hmmmmm (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209189)

Never thought of it that way. If I were to describe the wiki war in poetic form, it would have to be a limerick.

Once on the old wikipedia
a great war was fought over ideas
mass edits were followed
with articles harrowed
And the results were diarrhea

The Slashdotted Article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207907)

[abeautifulwww.com] A new visualization Bruce Herr and I recently completed is being featured in this weeks New Scientist Magazine (thearticle [newscientist.com] is free online, minus the viz). They did a good job jazzing up the language used to describe the vizpower struggle, bubbling mass, blitzed articlesbut they also dumbed down the technical accomplishments. I guess not everyone gets as excited about algorithms as I do.Before I talk anymore about the viz, though, let me mention its appearing at the NetSci 2007 Conference [indiana.edu] this week, and hopefully a varient will appear at Wikimania [wikimedia.org] later this summer as well. The viz is a huge 5 feet by 5 feet when printed, and I only include a low res, smaller version here. At some point high qualityart prints of it will appear at SciMaps [scimaps.org] for sale to fund further visualization research.

[abeautifulwww.com] Now for the good stuff. Much like my visualization of the netflix prize competition data [abeautifulwww.com] , we began this piece byrepresenting the dataas a network. In this case the nodes in the network are wikipedia articles and theedges are thelinks between articles. We then (with some help from our friends at Sandia) used an algorithm to lay out all 650,000nodes (wikipedia articles) that had at least one link in such a way that similar articles are near one another. These are the yellow dots,which when viewed at low res give a yellow tint tothe whole picture.

The sizes of the nodes (circles, dots, whatever you want to call them), are based on a model of revision activity. So large circles indicate that an article might be controversial, or the subject of lots of vandalism, or just a topic whose content frequently changes. We labeled only the largest nodes, to keep it readable. Thereis an interactive version of this in the works based on the google maps platform which will change the labels and pictures used as the user zooms in or out. Stay tuned for that.

The image used for each tilewas selected automatically, simply by using the first imagein the most linked to article among all the articles inthat tile.We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the images that appeared.

Our hope for this visualization approach, which we continue to improve on,is that it could be updated in real time to give a macro sense of what is happeing in Wikipedia. I personally hope that some variation of it will end up in high schools as a teaching tool and for generating discussions.

Now all they need to visualize (3, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207909)

is how many false charges of "sockpuppet" or "troll" are put in by the abusive administrators that run the place.

Whoops. Did I say something less then complimentary about the quantum fucking encyclopedia [penny-arcade.com] , where info may or may not be correct based on which second of the day it is, and where you can be assured that the moment someone tries to fix it, they'll be beat down by an army of socially inept retards [artsjournal.com] who have nothing better to do than accumulate hundreds/thousands of edits per day in hopes that they, too, can become administrators and ban anyone they disagree with?

just like your link (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207993)

I too have given up in helping Wikipedia through creating new articles or editting obviously bad ones. It just doesn't matter. If not for the idiots in some areas its the political slant in others that is just mind boggling. Wiki died the day that intrest groups found it and realized they could sway public opinion by marginalizing a site which supposedly has accurate information.

Re:just like your link (1)

syrion (744778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208355)

No, it died from the beginning. It was a flawed premise.

Re:just like your link (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208761)

Wiki died the day that intrest groups found it and realized they could sway public opinion by marginalizing a site which supposedly has accurate information.

Yeah, but it's still useful for finding out who this guy is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CmdrTaco [wikipedia.org] . I don't pay attention and when a name actually pops up repeatedly, I like to know who the person is supposed to be. Take this person: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton [wikipedia.org] I could tell you vaguely that she the first lady married to Bill Clinton. I can't say that I've cared or kept up with her career though when her name keeps popping up on the news and such wikipedia is a handy quick reference.

I don't really use wikipedia for the hard science info. I just use it to find out who these pop culture people actually are and why I keep hearing their name in the news. After getting an idea of who they are, I can go back to ignoring them again.

Re:just like your link (3, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209315)

Wiki died the day that intrest groups found it and realized they could sway public opinion by marginalizing a site which supposedly has accurate information.

The problem with interest groups is not only do they typically have a lot of time and resources they also tend to have a strong tendency to monopolise the issue in question. Sometimes to the point where they appear incapable of actually rationally defending their position, whilst having almost stereotypical strawmen and ad hominum responses. (Zionists and Feminists must qualify as "textbook examples"...)

Re:just like your link (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210377)

The biggest problem is that Wikipedia tries to work by consensus, something which leads to no consensus at all. There are supposed to be guidelines, but the guidelines basically say "have an edit war, a pointless debate and then let the mods enforce their will".

Wikipedia IS a democracy. It claims not to be, but since consensus is impossible on the internet, it is. Just like real life politics, there are factions, groups, leaders people rally behind.

What Wikipedia needs is respected, academic moderators, chosen for their impartiallity, just like a print encyclopedia. Drop the democratic process. A sort of half way house between Citizendium and what Wikipedia is now.

Re:Now all they need to visualize (2, Insightful)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208267)

Being an idiot on 400 subjects has to count for something.

I edit one page of the wiki and no more very occasionally. Since any moron can write what they like there super but if any moron who is a 'super-moron' on 400 topics just shows that being 'responsible' is a strange state of mind.

70%"Flamebait"?They're deadly afraid of the truth! (2, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208611)

So, at least 3 Wikipedia admin-cultists got mod points today so far. How many more will it be?

Re:70%"Flamebait"?They're deadly afraid of the tru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19210805)

Wikipedia ceased to be relevant the day they began restricting anonymous participation in the name of better quality.

Slashdot, too, for that matter.

Re:Now all they need to visualize (2, Interesting)

pretygrrl (465212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208789)

MOD UP THE PARENT. Nothing evenn remotely flamebait about it.
How ironic that he totally saw it coming, criticizing wiki.

that site has gone beyond annoying, beyond misleading, its actually dangerous. Wiki is at the top of just about every google search. The entire storehouse of human knowledge (i.e. the internet) is being hijacked by a media company (google) via the mindless peddling of "consensus" that is wikipedia.
there can be no popular consensus for topics that require a lifetime's study. there is no easy substitute for study. all opinions are not created equal.
amazing, that what, 6 years into wikipedia's existence, that is actually considered a "flamebait" thing to say.

both of the links in the comment are really intelligent.

Wiki trolls are still at it! (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209627)

Wiki trolls are still at it - now "40% flamebait, 20% troll"

Slashdot's got an infestation of wikipedia cultists trying to hide their project's flaws, we shouldn't let them get away with it.

Re:Now all they need to visualize (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209943)

that site has gone beyond annoying, beyond misleading, its actually dangerous. Wiki is at the top of just about every google search. The entire storehouse of human knowledge (i.e. the internet) is being hijacked by a media company (google) via the mindless peddling of "consensus" that is wikipedia.


(1) The internet is not the "entire storehouse of human knowledge", much as Google states that becoming that is their corporate mission. Lots of human knowledge is offline-only, and lots of the internet is not used for anything related to knowledge.

(2) The fact that Wikipedia is a popular source of information on the internet, so much so that it is at the top of many Google searches, does not mean that it is "hijacking" anything, or even that its most people's main source of online information. Google searches aren't the only way people get information on the net. Most people probably get most of their online information from a set of sites that are specific to the kind of information they are usually interested in.

(3) You present no coherent reason to think that Wikipedia is dangerous.

(3)See Also (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210059)

See Also: Essjay, who claimed to be a multiple-doctorate, used that as reason to make the wikipedia article on Catholicism into one of the worst pieces of derogatory shit he could, banned those who tried to counter his lies, and then got found out: turns out that he's a 24 year old dropout with delusions of grandeur and a major hatred for Catholics.

Cleaning up his slander and nastiness will take years - but the Wikicultists are already working on getting him re-adminned under a pseudonym.

See Also: John Siegenthaler and damage done to him.

Wikipedia cultists would have it that everyone who they come up with an excuse to write a biography page on, is personally responsible for sitting around watching it for vandalism and slander - except they're not allowed to edit it themselves, or request that it be permanently deleted and have that request definitively honored and respected as policy.

Re:(3)See Also (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210363)

See Also: Essjay, who claimed to be a multiple-doctorate, used that as reason to make the wikipedia article on Catholicism into one of the worst pieces of derogatory shit he could, banned those who tried to counter his lies, and then got found out: turns out that he's a 24 year old dropout with delusions of grandeur and a major hatred for Catholics.


And, so what?

Cleaning up his slander and nastiness will take years - but the Wikicultists are already working on getting him re-adminned under a pseudonym.


Yes, and that's a problem for the utility of Wikipedia (how big is debatable). But how is it dangerous.

See Also: John Siegenthaler and damage done to him.


What damage? Yes, a defamatory article was up for a few months, and removed. I don't see any evidence substantial damage was done, though of course there was understandable and justified offense taken.

Wikipedia cultists would have it that everyone who they come up with an excuse to write a biography page on, is personally responsible for sitting around watching it for vandalism and slander - except they're not allowed to edit it themselves, or request that it be permanently deleted and have that request definitively honored and respected as policy.


Yeah, and so? The first amendment means that everyone is responsible for watching for slander against themselves in any medium, and generally people who don't own the source from which such slander is published don't have the right to edit it themselves, or anything like the policy you suggest. They have the right to complain, of course, and the publisher will engage in editorial review and decide what changes or corrections are appropriate. And they can take action for slander if they are unsatisified.

(And, yeah, it may be hard to do that on the internet in general, given the widespread anonymity. This isn't special to Wikipedia, though.)

Wikiphobes seem to be just as bad as they accuse wikicultists of being.

Re:(3)See Also (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210435)

Hmmmm.

You don't find hatred and slander of a religion dangerous?

You don't find people being slandered, which could easily cause them to lose jobs or worse, to be dangerous?

The first amendment does NOT give someone the right to slander or libel. And "editorial review" on Wikipedia is a joke.

"The publisher will engage in editorial review and decide what changes or corrections are appropriate" - and you say this of Wikipedia, where the entire structure is designed to hide those responsible and throw up byzantine mazes of "policy" that, if you actually navigate through, you can be banned for "wikilawyering" and "legal threats"???

And you REALLY think this isn't dangerous? Seriously - whatever the hell you're smoking, share, you stingy bastard.

Re:Now all they need to visualize (1)

pretygrrl (465212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210771)

dragonwriter:
quote:(1) "The internet is not the "entire storehouse of human knowledge"
response: are you sure about that? Certainly, just because its online, doesn't mean its "knowledge", not as in useful knowledge. but if its NOT online, i would argue that it isn't, actually, knowledge. true, patented/copyrighted information may be protected, but for scholarly/academic purposes, that stuff very much IS online. See jstor, for example, which is the nyu library reference engine for a huge number of scholarly/academic periodicals and publications.

quote: (2) Most people probably get most of their online information from a set of sites that are specific to the kind of information they are usually interested in.
response: most people probably? based on what? how do you know? assuming that google indexing does work as described, the top hit is the one most frequently selected by most searchers, no? so "most people" probably ARE going to wiki, and stopping there, because "most people" aren't in the habit of extensively researching information citing different sources. Exhibit A: most people don't go to graduate school, where one would acquire that kind of habit.

and finally. why is wikipedia dangerous? because its wrong, admittedly anti-expert and pro-mob. Science is not democratic. Mathematics doesn't happen by consensus. All opinions are not created equal, which is precisely CONTRARY to wiki is by intent, design, execution, etc.
examples of wiki policies that are dangerous include the "no credentials" proposal and the "conflict of interest" catchall where published scientists are prevented from quoting their own work. So ... let's see. An expert is someone conducting original research within a field. I.e. finding out new stuff that hasn't been published elsewhere. And what does wiki say? "no we don't want your expert opinion based on original research you conducted. we would rather have some random crap that some 17-year-old who thinks an INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT equates to KNOWLEDGE OF IT.
that's dangerous.
because its dangerous to make stuff up and call it an encyclopedia.

Unavailable... Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207923)

Only 12 comments posted and image is already unavailable... Slashdot just won that power struggle.

Similar effort (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207965)

Last year, I did a similar indepth analysis of Wikipedia, generating a map describing the major components of the project with their interlinks:

http://www.hallert.net/images/mapofwikipedia.GIF [hallert.net]

Re:Similar effort (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209241)

Then Wikipedia changed their slogan to "Gotta catch 'em all".

Re:Similar effort (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209535)

Yeah,that map is right.For comparison article on Mudkip and Cytoplasm.

Heh (1)

jfade (1096961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207985)

In the style of Homestar Runner... 503'D!! I wonder how long it'll take for this to get tagged "slashdotted"

Interesting, but not too helpful (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208009)

The visualization technique was intersting, but I found it easier to understand just by reading a simple list of the most vandalized topics. Jesus, Hitler, Britney Spears, Bush, Global Warming, etc... most anything to do with religon or politics.

Which category? (1)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208713)

Which of those two categories is Britney Spears in?

Rgds

Damon

Visualising the Wikipedia power strugles (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208119)

Topic: "Visualizing the Wikipedia power struggles"

Page, visualizing the power struggle: "Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later."

R.I.P. Wikipedia lost the power struggle...

The two sides of Wikipedia (3, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208181)

I began editing on Wikipedia in 2003 and used it a lot for a while until over time I began realizing that the problems with it were not going to go away, but seemed to be getting worse, so now I do not edit it any more.

One thing I learned is there are two sides of Wikipedia. In the upper right hand corner of the main page you can see what are called the "master categories". The categories such as Mathematics and Science highlight what is best about Wikipedia. The categories such as History and Society highlight what is worst about Wikipedia. You do not really have big battles over articles like "Pythagorean theorem", and they usually do a good job of explaining what that is. On the other hand, if you look at the top of an article like "Palestine" you will see that it is semi-protected, meaning new users can not edit the article. You can also see eight pages of discussion which really doesn't get anywhere. The article is garbage. The Wikipedia cabal likes to say things like cooler heads eventually prevail on such articles, but that is just a lot of bullshit. The cabal itself can often be the problem - if you look at the article's originator, it is Ed Poor, who has not only an admin but a bureaucrat at Wikipedia. He is also a Moonie, with some very strange beliefs, not only religious, which I could care less about, but politically. It's typical Wikipedia that he would create the article, and more so that he has held such high level positions.

Actually I antagonize in using the Wikipedia cabal phrase as these people are so paranoid they have replied to messages like this on Slashdot in the past with stuff like "AHA! YOU SAID CABAL! YOU ARE ONE OF 'THEM'! AN ENEMY! ONLY ENEMIES OF WIKIPEDIA USE THAT PHRASE". Or maybe I could say Wikipediareview.com has some good criticisms of Wikipedia, since they're fanatical about that site to where you are not allowed to mention it on the "Criticism of Wikipedia" article.

I spent a bit of time on Wikipedia and used to care more about this due to that time spent etc. Nowadays I just contribute to other wikis I like which I feel are more balanced. I should note that Jimbo Wales ran the Ayn Rand mailing list for years, has said "[F. A.] Hayek's work...is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project.", and I can give dozens of more examples of where Wales's somewhat far out political biases lay. This political bias starts at the top and works its way down, as one can see with his appointment of people who did not make the cut electorally such as JayJG to Arbcom.

My advice to people is to patronize other wikis - the concept of a wiki encyclopedia is a great idea, but their political views are so far out, that it fragmenting is a certainty.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208441)

those are very good criticisms and probably entirely valid. i have some questions though. when you pick up the new york times and read an article by reporter x, does reporter x cite his or her sources? if reporter x gets the facts wrong, how do you find out about it? will the story have changed when you pick up the paper in a week? how do you know how many people have edited the story? how do you even know how many people had input into the reporter's final work? did you notice that in your lengthy and valid critique you were able to tell us about the originators of certain articles, their inherent biases and other things? you also mentioned several pages of discussion. is there any way to find out what gets discussed when an article gets published at cnn.com?

as i said, your criticisms are valid, but contained in the criticism are good arguments as to why wikipedia is possibly the best source of information we have commonly available. when you buy an encyclopaedia you have no idea at all about the processes and biases that lead to the weight of paper you hold in your hand. with wikipedia at least you have some idea of how the content is created. it's funny that people treat wikipedia with the skepticism they should view all media with.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209919)

I think wikipedia has absolutely blew away every existing encyclopedias ever existed out there. I really hate the idea of oversourcing, as some subjects are so blatantly obvious to even bother referencing. I appreciate all articles but there comes a point when it is obvious the root of all problem is "Vandalism"!!!

Someone pull the plug on IP editing. They should be required to setup with a legit email and at least a 3 day wait. Users who trash articles with BS comments should have their account deleted right away and make them start over.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209933)

You can make an educated guess at all of those things based on your prior knowledge of the biases of the New York Times, and thus, you have a pretty good sense what shade of light in which to read the article.

Now tell me, how are you supposed to know the bias of any given article at Wikipedia? By reading the oft-censored talk pages? By presuming rabid Objectivism? By presuming a rabid Islamist, rabid Zionist, or rabid pro-Palestinian viewpoint? By presuming the viewpoint of one doing their damnedest to present an "objective" take in the face of all human experience telling us that's an ever more miserable goal? Seriously, how?

Cowardly Wikitroll Chairboy won't respond. (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210147)

He's gone back to abusing people on Wikipedia.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208631)

"[F. A.] Hayek's work...is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project.
I would not label the work of nobel prize winner FA Hayek as being a "far out political bias". Especially as opposed to Keynesian econ. I can understand some of your points, but using them to express your own political opinions doesn't do much to add to your arguments.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

br00tus (528477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210443)

Hayek did not win the Nobel Prize as there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in Economics. Hayek won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (5, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208701)

Mentioning Wikipedia Review is not, on it's own, terribly crazy. It's just the context you choose.

For example, Wikipediareview has made a policy of harassing editors and admins, the users coordinated attacks where they call people at their houses late at night and call their employers to complain about them to get them fired. Do you support that? Since you're probably not going to respond to this, it's probably fruitless to ask, but you opened the door with your line of comment. You REALLY want to use Wikipedia Review as a reference?

So mentioning that site to bolster your viewpoint (presumably, you're an editor who disagreed with a decision that applied to you, as in perhaps you tried to use Wikipedia as a MySpace site, or were pushing a point of view in contravention of the site policies, or were upset when the article your wrote about your math teacher was deleted as 'non-notable') is similar to starting a conversation with "Now, the Nazi medical experiments were terrible, but we _did_ learn some useful things from them..." (howdy Godwinists!)

So, your credibility is basically shot. The cabal reference underscores it. I'm an admin there, and we can't even agree on what to order for our pizzas, much less plot to push some sort of wacky political agenda.

Your bozo bit has been set, good day.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208951)

I'm not a Wikipedia editor, or the guy who wrote the grandparent comment, or in any other way connected with this discussion, but your comment comes off as really smarmy and unpleasant. Assuming that because this guy is critical of the big W that '(presumably, you're an editor who disagreed with a decision that applied to you, as in perhaps you tried to use Wikipedia as a MySpace site, or were pushing a point of view in contravention of the site policies, or were upset when the article your wrote about your math teacher was deleted as 'non-notable')' is very childish and indicative that you really are unwilling to listen to dissenting viewpoints, which is sort of the foundation of any collaborative endeavor.

Additionally, sad as it seems to say, yes, we did learn some valuable things from those medical experiments. While they were disgusting and reprehensible ( particularly, to my mind, the high altitude work done at Dachau ), it does make sense to use the data rather than expose another round of subjects to less intense but still stressful and dangerous experiments provided the methodology employed was sound.

Not to get too deeply into the debate as to whether using that research to save lives helps to inject their loss to society with some essence of hope, the fact is that the truth is the truth regardless of which mouth it comes from. If this site, whatever it is, is saying true, uncomplimentary things about Wikipedia, they are still true, even if the participants should be laboring under restraining orders for harassing Wikipedia staff members.

You said that mentioning Wikipedia Review was not inherently bad in and of itself, but then went on to say that referencing it to support a viewpoint was - what else should the grandparent mention it for? As part of a delicious ham sandwich? Can you give an example of a mentioning context that you would find acceptable?

Good day to you sir.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209325)

Nah, I don't waste time on ACs. Call me elitist, call me 'Marie Antoinette with a mustache', but AC posts really don't matter, and nobody takes them seriously.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209855)

Fine, then pretend I said it. (I didn't, but you Wikipedia apologists are so insufferably slippery to pin down in argument; anyone with legitimate criticisms of the project, like the AC above, seem constantly to be brushed off on irrelevant grounds, and it makes me sick.)

So, let's pretend I wrote the above, because I'm more than willing to sign my name to it as though I had. What say you then?

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210109)

...AC posts really don't matter, and nobody takes them seriously.

Nobody? Believe it or not, some of evaluate arguments based on their content rather than the person who makes them. But that's just us elitists interested in finding the truth rather than 'winning' arguments. Bah, philosophers and scientists with their silly 'truth' and 'logic'. Who needs it?

Remember the Wikipedia code (-1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210289)

Chairboy is under the impression that, as a Wikipedia administrator, he has complete control. Sadly for him, Slashdot - while infested with wikipedia trolls who occasionally get a mod point or three - is not Wikipedia. Chairboy cannot ban anyone here.

It is all too telling that Chairboy wants to say "oh you're just an AC, go away"; the fundamental philosophy of a wikipedia administrator whenever they disagree with someone is "oh, you're just a (anon IP, troll, etc), BAN".

Don't abuse your position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209805)

"For example, Wikipediareview has made a policy of harassing editors and admins, the users coordinated attacks where they call people at their houses late at night and call their employers to complain about them to get them fired. Do you support that?"

If they use their position to censor speech unnecessarily, then yes I totally support that.

I once made an edit to an article that essentially used the phrase "some professionals" or somesuch. The point was that it was not clear as to how many "some" was, and I said so in talk. After hearing nothing, I removed the sentence, partially because it was too indefinite, and partly because it disagreed with a cited reference later in the article.

This was an article that is VERY closely watched by its partisans. Virtually every edit results in a protracted fight, and mine was no different. After repeated attempts to find a compromise (by me, the partisans wanted nothing to do with any changes) it became clear that accuracy was less important than POV pushing. This was exacerbated by an editor that was overzealous and, frankly, rude, who charged vandalism after my FIRST edit. Every good faith attempt to make the statement more accurate was also charged as vandalism.

In short, I was shouted down by people who were wrong, assisted by and editor who was wrong, for no reason other than I was making tracks in their sandbox.

I find this behavior to be par for the course at Wikipedia, where people claim articles as their personal "turf" and defend their contributions at the expense of clarity and accuracy.

After my experience, I would very much like to see some real world consequences for the people involved, as there are no real controls on Wikipedia. If you don't like being held accountable FOR REAL (as opposed to the stated but totally fake accountability Wiki claims) then stop abusing your position.

Re:Don't abuse your position (2, Insightful)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210339)

If they use their position to censor speech unnecessarily, then yes I totally support that.

So, you support real-life criminal harassment over silly crap that happens on a volunteer-run free website? Wow.

You really need to get a sense of perspective, dude.

Oh Look! Let's deconstruct the wikitroll. (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209873)

Wikitroll clue #1: "your bozo bit has been set." Common phrasing used by admins who are targeting someone (via watch-list and frequent refreshing of their contribution list) for harassment.

Wikitroll clue #2: admits he's an admin-cultist... er cabalist.

Wikitroll clue #3: doesn't ask why the person has an issue, just assumes what it was and drops in a strawman "presumably", and skips over the amazing number of reasons someone could have a problem on wikipedia that have nothing to do with "site policy" and everything to do with abuse by the administrators...

Wikitroll confirmed. Chairboy would be a part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208711)

Isn't it highly disingenuous of you to note that the Palestine article is semi protected? or the one on the recent Iraq war (I don't know if it is, but I'm guessing that it is), or other war hot topics. I mean, people die everyday, no two countries can agree on what to do , wars are waged upon this subject, Wikipedia cannot solve problems that the whole world cannot, or don't want to solve. We have a proverb here: "the best is the enemy of the good", ie: be realist.

Palestine (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208787)

The Palestine [wikipedia.org] article doesn't seem like garbage to me. It is probably too long, and seem like an example of why a "hide references" would be good.

The article about the Danisg Muhammad Cartppms [wikipedia.org] was also surprisingly good while the event was current. Actually one of the best descriptions of the case you could fidn anywhere on the net at the time.

I agree that the talk pages are often horrible, but surprisingly often that horror doesn't reflect on the main articles.

Maybe you simply are more optimistic than me, I keep getting surprised of how good many articles are. I don't notice the bad articles so much, as that is pretty much my default expectation. It took me ages before I started using (and contributing) to Wikipedia, I was so certain the concept couldn't possible work.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

dotmaudot (243236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208811)

You do not really have big battles over articles like "Pythagorean theorem"
Funny you say this, since in Italian Wikipedia it gets modified (for the worse) twice a month :-)

Conservapedia- A trustworthy alternative (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208853)

Have you considered contributing your time to Conservapedia [conservapedia.com] ? I've found that it's a much more trustworthy source than the liberal internationalist Wikipedia. Just look at how the article on Homosexuality opens:

Homosexuality is sexual activity between members of the same sex.
Sexual relations between two men is condemned in both Old and New Testaments. It is forbidden directly four times in the Bible.

Doesn't that sound better than Wikipedia?

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208999)

Yeah, Jayjg is a nutcase, who reverts everything he can get away with.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209149)

Speaking as a budding social scientist (grad student), I can reaffirm this whole-heartedly. The social science content on Wikipedia hardly deserves the name - people are unable to distinguish between treating politics as a disinterested academic and as an idealistic partisan. Really, the same is true of anybody who I try to explain my career choice too, but I digress...

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209165)

Have you ever been to a soccer match? There's 11 guys on each team that desperately wants everything to be a call in their favor, and one referee that's supposed to be neutral. He gets hounded about 98% of the time. At times you'd think he was dumb, deaf, blind, bought and that his walking dog needs glasses from the sound of it.

Now imagine a match where the fans could overturn the referee's decision. Repeatedly, both sides. "Free kick for the red team" "No, free kick for the blue team" "No, free kick for the red team". Every so often a guy would run around and show all the players the red card, and you'd have to undo it.

You get the pleasure of being called partial by morons who are so far from being level it's a wonder they don't tip over. And you sure don't get paid for it, or have any league that'll slap the worst personal attacks. You've got zero authority except temporarily locking edits which is like getting between two NFL teams waiting for the play signal again.

That pretty much sums up the fun of trying to get a neutral and balanced article on a controversial topic in Wikipedia. I understand perfectly those who give up. I use Wikipedia for quick "what is that?" and simple facts. If I want to form an opinion on something, I'm not looking to wikipedia for a balanced view...

As Penn & Teller would say... (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209959)

"Bullshit!"

You ought to read this great blog by a former wikipedia admin [livejournal.com] . He details the powers a wikipedia admin gets and the methods by which admins connected to partisan debates, or just assholes who managed to get an admin bit, abuse people.

They get to be as abusive as they want language-wise, and if anyone chides them on it, the other admin-cultists will back them up.

They get to block anyone, for any reason, at any time, and the "procedures" wikipedia has for an appeal are a joke.

They can block someone indefinitely, lock down the user page and talk page so that filing for an appeal can't even be done, and just walk away. The appeals email list is locked down and non-archived, so nobody can see what they're doing (not that they ever did anything but rubber-stamp abuse by admins anyways).

Wikipedia's admin-cultists exist by trying to control the debate. They control who can speak, and when. They control whether or not a source or fact can even be mentioned in an article. They extend this behavior to mailing lists, to IRC channels; in short, if an admin decides you ought to be "banned", even if the admin is just doing it because they disagree with something that you posted that meets all the other sourcing/NPOV criteria, they WILL do it and they WILL get away with it.

I'm gonna quote him here because he said it better than anyone:

Interestingly enough, the BITE policy has a telling statement: nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility or elitism.

Why is this interesting? Because this is precisely the goal of the abusive administrators. They want, no, need, to drive away anyone new who disagrees with them, because if they did not, then ultimately they bear the risk of enough new users coming in to overturn their bogus "consensus" on the articles they control.

Re:The two sides of Wikipedia (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210931)

That pretty much sums up the fun of trying to get a neutral and balanced article on a controversial topic in Wikipedia.
It's unfair to complain that Wikipedia fails to make Israelis and Palestinians see eye to eye. Nothing has been able to do that. Maybe Wikipedia should move towards an adversarial system for controversial topics, where each side has a fixed number of words to state their case.

What source would you consult for a balanced view of the Palestine issue?

Discourse and propaganda (1)

phunctor (964194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209483)

"I should note that Jimbo Wales ran the Ayn Rand mailing list for years, has said "[F. A.] Hayek's work...is central to my own thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project.", and I can give dozens of more examples of where Wales's somewhat far out political biases lay."

LOL if you think Hayek is far out you've been living in a very special [1] world. Others [2] evidently disagree with you, oracular tone or not.

[1] http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind 0411b&L=ads-l&P=3513 [linguistlist.org]
[2] nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/19 74/press.html

--
phunctor
"Useful idiots - gotta love 'em!" V.I Ulianov.

What's worse? (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210793)

Good point. I've been with Wikipedia for a while too, although I started to work on Citizendium last year and have moved many of my articles there (I wish they'd get their Wikimedia link working). Luckily, my work isn't very controversial, so I've not suffered as much from the problem you describe. Instead, my main gripes are Wikipedia's default permit policy towards editing, and it's refusal to acknowledge expert opinion. For example, most of the vandalism that occurs could easily be avoided if accounts were required for editors and people were made to wait a while (a day?) before they could start using their new account. The second problem isn't as easy to solve, but it's sometimes sad to see how ignorance and stupidity can win the day with nothing more than a majority vote.

I got the page to load (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208203)

I got the page to load and all I saw was a badly formatted page with ads before the actual content while content doesn't really seem worth anything. It had lots of dots on pictures representing articles. I couldn't really tell how much an editing war was happening, not anymore then simply seeing a list of recent edits for those pages. Were the pages selected on the fly (I'd take a closer look at the fucking article except its as slow as pushing out a large turd)? If not, how is it anymore "neat" or informative then simply looking at those pages?

Re:I got the page to load (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208227)

I forgot to add: It seems like a rather blatant and obvious plug to me in order to try to generate some revenue. Thanks CmdrTaco!

Steal pretty neat (2, Funny)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208305)

Despite the power struggles, Slashdot and Wikipedia are steal pretty cool websites. You can still content from them and put it up on your own blog.

"Citation Police" can be annoying (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208835)

Rather than outright deletion, Wikipedia should allow "unofficial" opinions to exist somewhere. The "citation police" sometimes get carried away.

It's Like Modern Art in a Way (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208851)

Well, that does a pretty good job of describing power struggles at Wikipedia after all. It's kind of like modern art in a way...

Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.abeautifulwww.com Port 80

One small .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208869)

gramatical mistake for mankind. And a thousand hall monitors jump to correct it.

Very Leftist (3, Interesting)

Quila (201335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209757)

Personally, I'm not really "right" or "left." I just want to live my life as free as possible from government control -- the control constantly sought by both the left and right. I get called a leftist by those on the right, and a rightist by those on the left, so I guess that puts me in the middle somewhere.

Given that, I do see a serious ideological left bent in Wikipedia. I've tried to put hard facts (well-cited, thank you) to give a counter to obviously left-biased articles (or articles where the viewpoint is used to justify government intrusion), only to have them removed or edited to oblivion. It's often a hard fight to keep such facts in Wikipedia. Anti-American sentiment is definitely there, with wild, unsubstantiated rumors that keep popping up again after they're killed, and the editors will not keep them out. In that case the only recourse is to post the facts in opposition to the rumors (and hope they survive), but such things should not have to be done.

Yes, I abhor the pathetic conservapedia even more. Wikipedia's slant is more of an accident, a result of the populace and to some extent those Wales put in charge. But conservapedia was conceived as biased.

Re:Very Leftist (2, Funny)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209831)

You sir are at least a libertarian.

Have you thought about becoming a Libertarian? http://lp.org/ [lp.org]

Re:Very Leftist (3, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210189)

I considered it, but some things still rubbed me wrong. What I can't do is get into either of the main parties.

Democrat: Out of your bedroom and into your business.
Republican: Out of your business and into your bedroom.

But there's been some crossover, each inheriting the worst traits of the other.

Re:Very Leftist (1)

ultramk (470198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210625)

Well, that's the problem, isn't it? Reality has a strong liberal bias.

Visualization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19210401)

If the authors regard their work as a "visualization technique" and if they furthremore view it as "research", then I think it is valid to remark that it always saddens me a little to see "visualizations" that do not seem to provide any additional information apart from providing "nice pictures" (which is, of course, completely subjective). (Information) visualization is about providing clarity by representing something in a visual way; it is not about plotting as many images as possible on a piece of paper / part of the screen with no clear goal in mind as far as clarification by means of visual representation is concerned. This is, IMO, therefore not an example of (information) visualization, but an example - a nice one IMO - of computer generated art.
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