As we know from the official website, Wikimania, the annual conference of Wikipedia editors, has 720 participants from 56 countries. But most of them do look like the guys in this photo by Wikimedia Israel.
What you learn from Wales himself and some former Wikipedian editors is that while there is a claim of 150,000 volunteers producing the millions of entries; while of these, 615 do 50% of the edits (!), in reality, only 15 people -- like a little Politburo -- are the arbitors for controversial pages. That's just horrible.
I complained about the original troll of my Wikipedia entry back in 2010, but then just ignored it. I don't think that many people really care about what is said about you on Wikipedia.
Then, as I saw more and more repeated vandalism and libelous claims being made on my ever-more elaborate Wikipedia entry, and then a swarm of Anonymous began to harass me and dox me in February when I criticized their vigilantism in Steubenville, I began to put objections on the "Talk" page.
Mind you, the vandalism done to me (and other individuals and organizations I know of) is only one reason for my major critique of Wikipedia -- as I've noted in my 21 Theses Against Wikipedia -- and in continued responses to Wikinistas trying to rebut my critique and why I've even suggested, despite my dislike of Google on many of the same grounds, that the best thing to fix the awfulness of Wikipedia might be for Google to take it over. We have to ask, indeed: where is the smartness going to come from for all the smart gadgets?
As you can see from the pulling back and forth of my entry by a large number of anonymous people, it's a field-day for Anonymous.
I decided to write and complain about this -- I thought, you never know, perhaps some grown-up could be found who would put an end to this nonsense.
Instead, I just got another kid, one of them, a former Googler and software developer. I publicized all this correspondence, as I think it's part of the large and necessary social task that many, many more people than me need to bring to Wikipedianism, especially as Wikipedia will increasingly be used as the "knowledge base" for all kinds of "smart" gadgets.
So here's the response I got to my latest complaint:
Dear Catherine Fitzpatrick,
Wikimedia Volunteer Response Team is committed to providing assistance with sensitive issues related to the biographical articles on Wikipedia. However, since you have decided that attacking the volunteer who has genuinely tried to help you is an appropriate reaction to the effort he has put into cleaning up the article about you, we no longer find ourselves in position to assist you any further. Since your concerns do not require privacy, as you have voluntarily published the
entire correspondence, you may bring up them publicly on Wikipedia, as described
Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization which employs people
with extremely diverse backgrounds. We have about 35 chapters around the world, all ran by local volunteers. Our projects exist in 350 languages and we have a language engineering department with resident linguist. We also have a dedicated program of the development of Wikimedia projects in Global South and a lot of events aimed at involving more women and improving Wikipedia coverage on topics related to feminism and women's history. I do not know how have you verified your assumptions about "white nerdy males" and "narrow-minded little coders", but they
certainly do not add you credibility when compared to reality.
Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/
Disclaimer: all mail to this address is answered by volunteers, and responses are not to be considered an official statement of the Wikimedia Foundation. For official correspondence, please contact the Wikimedia Foundation by certified mail at the address listed on https://www.wikimediafoundation.org/
Well, Victor, Global South program or no, we can't check your claims because you don't have transparency about yourselves at all!
And while you claim that these answers from volunteers "are not to be considered an official statement" from the Wikimedia Foundation, in fact, it seems as it is, as your answer has essentially conceded that tacitly.
You imagine that people to whom we are forced to appeal about grossly vandalized entries are somehow "helping" when they don't help, but take the side of their tribe, the geek vandals.
And you imagine that publicizing the lame answers of this volunteer -- in a much-needed transparency and accountability for your secret society -- is an "attack". It's not an attack, it's a mere publication of his geeky response -- obviously this material is tendentious and he can't grasp it. Without any "science," he linked to the completely biased piece on Woodbury banned from Second Life, as if this was the case for "many" educational projects, which he pluralized, and as if they weren't banned for cause.
And isn't it hilarious that on my say-so, he can decide that I don't have the largest artificially-intelligent chicken experiment in Second Life (I surely don't, but he has no way of knowing that), but on my say-so, he can't remove the entire ridiculous insanity of even tying my biography to Woodbury University, merely because I abuse-reported these griefers and documented their abusiveness against me in a virtual world.
And look, Victor, I'm come to this assumption about your white nerdy boy prevalency by reading about it on the Internet, looking around the room at Wikimania; by looking at the pictures of Wikipedia nerds when they are published, and just using plain common sense: most projects of this sort are run by nerdy little white guys -- and you're another one! A very good example is this article about how 13 percent of the articles about Egypt don't come from Egypt! (Remember Aaron Swartz's discussion about Wikipedia editing?)
What a creepy bunch, these Wikitarians! If you refuse to make an account and join their system -- I refuse -- then they expose your IP address -- even though the zillions of people who make edits are largely anonymous. On my entry, you can see there are those who make accounts, then vandalize my entry, then evidently delete their accounts -- which accounts for notices that there is "no such name" when you click on it. The person who started this digital form of harassment of me named "Jason OBrian" doesn't exist. Hah!
Then, if you publicize their tendentious correspondence, they decide then that they can "no longer help you". Of course, one doesn't need such "help" but indeed, I will continue filing complaints.
I'm looking around now to see if there is any group that has a concerted effort to try to gain accountability from the murky and cultic Wikipedia gang.
This site doesn't seem to be active anymore.
This website Wikipediocracy and forum appears to be active now for a year.