Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This week's brutal warrior: Aarktica

Have you ever wondered why it is that almost anyone can edit your user page? I didn't wonder that until recently because the few times I edited Wikipedia, I didn't get a user name. I guess I assumed that if I got a user name, only I would be able to edit my user page; those who wanted to communicate with me would be able to utilize my user talk page for that purpose. But, as was recently pointed out to me, anyone can edit your user page.

That is, of course, unless you are a powerful brutal warrior on Wikipedia. Then you can 'protect' your own user page. And in fact, Aarktica, this week's brutal warrior, has done precisely that, and he even had the boldness to use his main account to do that instead of one of his sock admins. Aarktica protected the User:Aarktica page on December 11, 2007. There haven't been any further edits to that page since then.

As you probably know, Jimbo Wales has his own Wikipedia user page. Anyone can edit it! In fact, it was edited at least fifty times in the past month, and Jimbo Wales hasn't edited it himself since April 19! The page has been protected from time to time, but always with expiry times: most recently, Jehochman protected the page on Sunday with an expiration of September 6. If you have an established Wikipedia user name (that is, more than a month old), try this today: not logged in, go to Jimbo Wales' user page. You can't edit it. Log in. You can edit his page! Come September 7, you can edit his page without logging in.

So why does Aarktica merit eternal protection for his user page but not the founder of Wikipedia? Because Aarktica is a brutal warrior, and more than that, one with a very brittle ego. Say what you will about Jimbo Wales. He's not afraid of people saying bad things about him. But with Aarktica, it sets him crying like a little girl. And it angers him to new heights of destructiveness.

No comments:

Post a Comment