Difference between revisions of "Talk:Examples of Bias in Wikipedia"

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--[[User:BenjaminS|Ben]] 22:49, 7 January 2007 (EST)
 
--[[User:BenjaminS|Ben]] 22:49, 7 January 2007 (EST)
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:'''Reply:''' It is enough to observe that Wikipedia has no policy against gossip, other than a general (and relatively new but unenforced) policy against unverified claims.  Gossip is welcomed by Wikipedia and, as with the National Enquirer, helps boost popularity with the general public.
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: In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seigenthaler_Sr._Wikipedia_biography_controversy
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: it was a hoax that created a backlash against Wikipedia.  But perhaps the real problem was how Wikipedia welcomes gossip.--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 23:14, 7 January 2007 (EST)

Revision as of 23:14, 7 January 2007

I think that we should call the page "Wikipedia."

Tim,

Thanks for your suggestion, but I'm inclined to disagree. "Wackypedia" conveys an important and valid point that merely calling it "Wikipedia" would not. --Aschlafly 22:54, 21 December 2006 (EST)

Man oh man! We are really beating Wikipedia up! Will N.

  • Indeed. Dpbsmith 11:35, 6 January 2007 (EST)

Out of idle curiosity, is the important and valid point: "wikipedia is wacky"?

Ben

The point here is that if we want to be a credible website we should call things by their proper names. If you want to make the point that Wikipedia is waky or biased or whatever, do it in the body of the article. I think that if Wikipedia had an article on Conservapedia, but called it Conservastupidia, you would not like it, and would probably include it in your list of Wikipedia bias. --TimSvendsen 11:56, 6 January 2007 (EST)


I TOTALLY agree with Tim,

REPLYOK, Tim, you win. Go ahead and erase the "Wackypedia" references as you like.--Aschlafly 15:23, 6 January 2007 (EST)

Gossip and vulgarity

The article states "Gossip and vulgarity are pervasive on Wikipedia."

I just tried an experiment. I clicked Wikipedia's "random article" link twenty times. I did not encounter any pages that I would describe as containing either gossip or vulgarity. I would be curious if others would try the same experiment and report their results. If you find one and are comfortable identifying which page contains the "gossip or vulgarity" do so, but of course do not if you think that the degree of vulgarity violates Conservapedia's standards.

Wikipedia's biographies, particularly of living people in the public eye, are more likely to contain unflattering material than some other sources. For example, the article on NPR news correspondent Nina Totenberg, mentions a plagiarism incident. Such biographies are usually subject to editing by many editors, and material of this sort doesn't usually stay very long unless a source is cited; in this case, a Wall Street Journal article. Dpbsmith 17:29, 7 January 2007 (EST)

Reply For starters, Wikipedia has no policy against gossip. That isn't just a matter of "editing by many editors." Gossip is not educational, and is often anti-intellectual. Look at 100 entries in the Encyclopedia Britannica and you're unlikely to see any gossip. Look at ten substantive entries in Wikipedia (other than the silly music/Hollywood/political stuff) and you're likely to see many instances of gossip. Also, I've noticed vulgar entries in Wikipedia that would never be found in a real encyclopedia, but it would violate the policy of Conservapedia to post examples here and they are not worth looking for.
Let's take your Nina Totenberg example. Here are the first five sentences:
Sentence one: Totenberg attended Boston University, and is the daughter of violinist Roman Totenberg, who is professor emeritus at Boston University and also teaches at the Longy School of Music.
Comment: why this detail about her father??? That's gossipy. The entry is about Totenberg, not her father.
Sentence two: Totenberg is the widow of the late former Sen. Floyd Haskell (D-Colo), whom she married in 1979.
Comment: That fact does not define Totenberg, and should not be the second sentence. Again, this is leading with gossip.
Sentences three and four: She married H. David Reines, a trauma physician, in 2000. On their honeymoon, he treated her for severe injuries after she was hit by a boat propeller while swimming.
Comment: This is really silly gossip at this point.
Sentence five: Totenberg began her career with the National Observer, from which she was fired for plagiarism in 1972.
Comment: That was over 30 years ago, and it exaggerates an incident concerning a couple of paragraphs. This is gossip.
One of the reasons people like Wikipedia is because it is so gossipy, without yet having the stigma of the National Enquirer. The same people would blush at the suggestion of reading the National Enquirer, which has higher standards than Wikipedia.
Disclosure: Totenberg interviewed me once on NPR. --Aschlafly 20:39, 7 January 2007 (EST)
Six degrees of separation: Nina Totenberg was a high school classmate of mine. (I knew her about well enough to say hi to her in the hallway).
The policy relating to gossip is the "verifiability policy." Gossip may be included in Wikipedia if (and only if) it has been previously published by a reliable source. Dpbsmith 21:03, 7 January 2007 (EST)


That's interesting concerning your connection to Nina Totenberg!
Gossip may well be verifiability. I don't think it is unreliability of information that makes it gossip. The National Enquirer is reviewed each week prior to publication by high-powered attorneys, but it is still rightly scorned. So why isn't Wikipedia treated in the same light? It should be.
The Totenberg entry says, "She married H. David Reines, a trauma physician, in 2000. On their honeymoon, he treated her for severe injuries after she was hit by a boat propeller while swimming." Since medical records are considered highly confidential, I'm skeptical that claim is verifiable. I clicked the "reference" for it on Wikipedia and it is a "Site Error." There are many such "references" on Wikipedia. --Aschlafly 21:24, 7 January 2007 (EST)

Comment: Is the Totenberg entry the best example of wikipedia's gossip and vulgarity? The example above is only borderline gossip-ish. The other examples of "gossip" you gave are relevant biography information. I can see why you find "gossip" prevelant throughout wikipedia.

--Ben 22:49, 7 January 2007 (EST)


Reply: It is enough to observe that Wikipedia has no policy against gossip, other than a general (and relatively new but unenforced) policy against unverified claims. Gossip is welcomed by Wikipedia and, as with the National Enquirer, helps boost popularity with the general public.
In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seigenthaler_Sr._Wikipedia_biography_controversy
it was a hoax that created a backlash against Wikipedia. But perhaps the real problem was how Wikipedia welcomes gossip.--Aschlafly 23:14, 7 January 2007 (EST)