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Wikipedia Moderators Make Hitler Look Like a Hobbyist

Wikipedia Sucks! Wikipedia Is Run By Morons and Here’s Why

Wikipedia sucks. Why do I say this?  Obviously I’ve just had yet another bad experience with the self-professed Gods who “manage” the encyclopaedia.  But before I bore you with the Data as a Service controversy (ooh, that sounds exciting, doesn’t it!?), let’s take a look at just why Wikipedia sucks quite so badly.

Who wants to be a Wikipedia moderator?  Why would you want to do it?  How would you find the time?  Why would you be bothered?  Here are the reasons:

1) You want to contribute something of value to the human race: knowledge.  A noble thought.  But why not just contribute in the normal way?  Because you are a prolific contributor and want to feel a little important.

2) You have a burning hatred of “spammers” and pranksters who leave their trail of junk contributions and links wherever they go.  You fight the good fight and think of yourself as a crusader against spam.  And you have the badges on your profile page to prove it.

3) You have acres of spare time and don’t know what to do with it.  You may be old or unemployed and debating on forums does not carry the import or weight of helping to manage the most used encyclopeadia in the world.

4) You have a personal agenda to follow and you need the power to carry it through.  Knowledge is power and you have the keys.

wikipedia message 4

Now, let’s take a pinch of all these attributes and mix them together. What do we end up with?  I’ll tell you what.  A trumped-up & twisted little troll so filled with their own self-importance they are about to explode.

The two breeds of Wikipedia Moderators
In general, though, there are two types of wikipedia moderator.

Wikipedia Moderator #1: the instigator with a vested interest
This is maybe the most dangerous breed.  They have established a small reputation and perhaps following on Wikipedia through their collection of at best pedestrian and at worst moronic contributions.  For whatever reason they have staked out a claim on a small patch of Wikipedia and see it as “theirs”.  They were there first.  Their material should stay.  They’ve seen off countless spammers and weak revisions and are invincible.

wikipedia sucks message 5

These moderators will pounce on any revisions you make and systematically delete them.  They may even try and delete whole articles you’ve written.

Wikipedia Moderator #2: the spam-hater with the itchy mouse finger
Although the instigators are prettty depressing, I think it’s actually these people that are the worst.  These moderators cycle through the whole of Wikipedia looking for things to delete.  Because they spend their time cycling through all the articles nominated for deletion, they don’t really have any specialism (other than being a “crusader”, with “left-wing” views so potent they actually make Hitler look like a hobbyist)

These jumped-up jobsworths who were misinformed about their lineage can’t comprehend what they’re reading 99% of the time and are happy to just keep clicking away.  Delete-delete-delete.  They’re doing everyone a service, after all.  Where would Wikipedia be without them?  It would be a seething link farm filled with “original research” and garbage.  Every time something is deleted, the moderator has brought some good back to the world.  The criterion for deletion is simple: if it’s been nominated, rip it out.

Why the two breeds are bad for anyone with anything to say
These two types of moderator work together.  Step one: the instigator with the vested interest notices you and starts causing problems.  Once the instigator has nominated something for deletion, or you’ve got into an argument with him about something that’s already been deleted, like some evil genie in a bottle, the spam-hater with the itchy trigger finger pops up.  If something’s been nominated for deletion, “click” goes the spam-hater, and it’s gone.  They don’t think twice.  They are crusaders, after all.

You can’t Complain about Wikipedia Moderators
Wikipedia is “not a democracy” and there’s no higher order to complain to when things go wrong – just a seething collective of no-hopers who have formed alliances and like nothing more than slapping these laughable phallic symbols all over the place:

wikipedia sucks message 2

That’s right.  You want to play by the rules and you’ve done your research.  Your revisions are accurate and you have the links to prove it; your article was neutral and you want to argue your case; you’ve done your research and you actually followed Wikipedia policy.  The trouble is, all of these policies are open to considerable interpretation. and there are so many rules and guidelines that there will always be something to throw at you.  Remember, it’s not about debate.  The decision has been made.
If you’re not interested in SOA and cloud computing skip to the end now and feel free to vent by leaving a comment.

Wikipedia is essentially the biggest committee in the world
Wikipedia is a big committee.  And committees are crap.  Everyone knows that.  There are 1,614 admins on the English Wikipedia at the time of writing which is both a massive amount of people to be generating red tape and also a bizarrely miniscule number of people when you consider the millions of pages Wikipedia contains.  So we’re really talking about the cream: the most mean-spririted, petty people on the planet.

My problem:

The reason I’ve written this is because I am increasingly frustrated by Wikipedia moderators’ attitude to new material.  I have created informative Service-Oriented Architecture diagrams and had them removed by someone who has staked out their turf on the area.  This is one of the diagrams they have created in its place:

Moronic

Moronic

Fire the cannons!  Make that man a university professor!  Give him a medal – it’s truly an unbelievable achievement how such sophisticated concepts can be boiled down into such a pappy slush of watered-down sophomoric garbage!

I also worked on a company profile on Wikipedia which has been taken down, despite its being neutral and citing references.  It is clear that no matter what you do, if it has the smell of the corporate about it, Wikipedians will hunt you down and delete everything you’ve ever done.

The worst thing, though, is the deletion of my article explaining data as a service.  According to the overzealous morons who got the article deleted (while I was asleep, and in the space of 24 hours) “Data as a service does not exist”.

Er… WHAT?!  Who are these people?!  Are they living on an alternate plane of reality?  Or maybe I am.  Er… no, a quick Google search confirms that this is a term that does indeed exist.

Let’s hunt down and destroy Wikipedia Moderators
I would like to hear of anyone and everyone’s bad experiences of Wikipedia.  Perhaps we should all band together and form our own collective of Anti-Wikipedians.  Any Wikipedia moderators with an axe to grind can go elsewhere.  I have a rigid set of rules and guidelines in place and what that boils down to is I don’t like Wikipedians and I will delete your comment and glue my own banners all over your smug, self-regarding faces.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jim Williams

Jim Williams is an ex-journalist and professional PR. He is interested in Web 2.0, the latest marketing trends, web services, SaaS and SOA.

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Most Recent Comments
Jon Awbrey 12/18/09 04:02:00 PM EST

Re: "I would like to hear of anyone and everyone’s bad experiences of Wikipedia."

You will find a treasure-house chock full of horror stories — if you like that sort of thing — at The Wikipedia Review.

Jim Williams 07/30/09 04:59:00 AM EDT

@nzc:
At least I made a cogent argument. "Some of it is lies and the rest exaggerations and blind assumptions"

Whereas your comment is just directionless invective.

If you can't see that a lot of this is a *little* bit tongue-in-cheek ("Let’s hunt down and destroy Wikipedia Moderators") you need to get a grip, dude.

Is it better to whine pitifully (with hopefully a few thoughtful points and laughs tossed in) or to whine pitifully about someone whining pitifully?

That was a rhetorical question...

nzc 07/28/09 12:10:00 PM EDT

based on one read of your article, based on the fact that some of it is lies and the rest exaggerations and blind assumptions, and based on how militant you are toward people who don't think exactly like you, i can definitively say that you're MUCH more similar to Hitler than anyone at wikipedia.
if this his how upset u get when someone doesn't accept a shitty article u submit to their site, i'd hate to see your reaction when someone ACTUALLY wrongs you. I mean, these people are providing a free service; most of the info on wikipedia is very accurate; this much is true. And what do you do for the world?
find something better to report on besides your own pitiful whining :)

Jim Williams 07/28/09 08:05:00 AM EDT

That's me!
Maybe I suck too :(

samj 07/28/09 06:14:00 AM EDT

Oh I know you... you're the "Postcode Anywhere" guy[1]. So let me get this straight... you stuff wikipedia with spam and original research... get called on it by multiple editors & administrators... then write a "wikipedia sucks" article?

Class act.

Sam

1. Postcade Anywhere - See link
2. The Web Service - See link

Mr WebService 07/27/09 04:23:00 PM EDT

I went to this page and expected to see your grinning face there too, Sam, I was disappointed... ;)

In point of fact I did wrote this blog post over a year a ago, it's only just been picked up by sys-con.

If it's a "placeholder" I guess you should probably delete the image altogether (last time I looked it was still on your user page)... I hesitate to use the word "embarrassing" because that would be unsportsmanly :)

Now, wouldn't it be sheer nerve to eradicate the entry for "data as a service," claiming it is a "nelogism," only to self-pen an article on Wikipedia about some so-called "intercloud" guff? Now *that* would be bare-faced cheek.

Smells like *someone* works for Cisco...

samj 07/27/09 01:05:00 PM EDT

Jim,

I'm bemused by your passion about the placeholder image I created what... a year ago now... when I wrote the cloud computing article. I haven't looked at it recently but I imagine your SOA diagram either had licensing problems, was original research, advertising or some combination.

FWIW the Data as a service article was deleted some time ago as blatant advertising (apparently it met criteria for speedy deletion G11).

Better luck next time eh,

Sam

voceman 07/22/09 06:20:00 PM EDT

This question about Wikipedia as some sort of democracy where truth lives and can be enhanced or improved is a myth. I suspect your analysis here is pretty close to the truth most everywhere on Wikipedia. At least there is a lot of great information, but it takes too much work to verify that it really is the best and accurate information--which users would rarely consider. If there is almost any controversy it will almost not be accurately seen. Your points are interesting because you would think this could hardly be controversial. I don't see how to drive out the moderators. This is just what you get. Xerox PARC has a great project that reveals much of the editing going on at Wikipedia -- see here --definitely worth a look.

Jim Williams 07/17/09 06:36:08 AM EDT

-Exactly where was this article that was deleted?

-This article on DaaS hasn't existed since October 2008.

That was indeed the article in question. I can understand someone wanting to clean it up, but deleting it altogether is pretty moronic.

xeno 07/16/09 02:43:00 PM EDT

Exactly where was this article that was deleted?

This article on DaaS hasn't existed since October 2008.

lilz 07/16/09 01:09:18 AM EDT

"You can’t Complain about Wikipedia Moderators"... Well, I thought you had done some research before publishing your story because what you say is wrong. Many administrators (moderators if you want) got desysopped (de-admined) by the Arbitration Committee (http://www.tiny.cc/arbcom) or Jimmy Wales (the founder) (http://www.tiny.cc/yes759). Now, I know you don't like committees but I am sure they won't turn a blind eye on administrators violating the site policies