Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dastardly vicious attack by Nihiltres (aka "Alex") on Yahoo! Answers

Almost as often as people ask in the Men's Health category of Yahoo! Answers whether their member is big enough, in the Wikipedia category people keep asking if Wikipedia is reliable or accurate. Each time that question comes up, Nihiltres is ready with his multiple Yahoo! accounts to respond that yes, Wikipedia is 99% reliable. Several different people have been trying to educate those who read Yahoo! Answers that in fact Wikipedia is 0% reliable. What's the reaction of Nihiltres?

Waaah! Waaah! Not fair! How dare they! Waaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Here's me playing the world's smallest violin.

So, as "Alex," he posted the question "Why is the wikipedia section on Yahoo answers only answered by people who hate wikipedia?" yesterday. Then, today, as Nihiltres (we're getting to the dastardly part now), posted an answer saying that there are three reasons people contribute to Yahoo! Answers; the first is altruistic, the second is balancing, and the third is to push a point of view. And that the third reason is the reason why the "Wikipedia haters" keep answering questions in the Wikipedia category, according to Nihiltres. (It couldn't possibly be altruistic to want to keep other people from feeding themselves false information from Wikipedia.)

Here's the dastardly part: Nihiltres says that "Gregory Kohs earlier admitted privately to me that he had used multiple accounts to cheat on Yahoo! Answers, and there's nothing stopping this from happening again, assuming it isn't already." Oooh, what a bastard!

The feint is hardly original. Robert, an answerer who spoke up two hours after the dastardly attack, pointed it out: "Of course Gregory Kohs admitted that to you privately, and not publicly, where others can scrutinize for themselves the exact wording of the admission. That's a play straight out of the Wikipedia secret manual. I bet you also have server logs to prove Greg's misdeeds, but out of privacy concerns, you can't show them to us."

Meanwhile, Nihiltres logged out his main account, got back in his car, drove to another WiFi hotspot, and logged in Alex, who then promptly chose the answer from Nihiltres as Best Answer. Supposedly because "it was ballenced [sic] and well reasoned." Please! Even Gregory's answer was more balanced, and Greg is the guy who still can't let it go that Wikipedia rejected his article about Arch Coal.

In the big picture of things, it doesn't really matter if I'm wrong about Alex being a sockpuppet of Nihiltres on Yahoo! Answers. The fact remains that thousands of people are still blissfully ignorant of Wikipedia's awfulness, and all the efforts of college professors, late-night comedians and "haters" on the blogosphere are still failing to wake the ignorant up to the truth: Wikipedia sucks; it's not worthy of use for any purpose whatsoever.

Dastardly as the actions of Nihiltres were today, since they took place outside of Wikipedia, they don't qualify him as a brutal Wikipedia warrior of the week.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Warrior of the week: Arcadian

In November 2007, Picaroon blocked Arcadian, then reversed that decision the next minute. The block was supposedly for vandalism, the unblock for "so sorry." But neither Arcadian nor Picaroon is sorry. The reason is that Picaroon is really a sockpuppet of Arcadian. Picaroon, supposedly disappointed with the state of Wikipedia (though there really are people very disappointed in Wikipedia), hasn't edited since March 2008. But Arcadian continues his relentless war, with Picaroon remaining a secret weapon ready and waiting for the most opportune deployment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Veropedia: still watching

Just for the sake of the blip on the radar screen: I'm still watching the Veropedia website. It still says "The original version of Veropedia has been taken down for now while we work on a new Veropedia. This new Veropedia will have a superior method of handling articles and introduces an improved interface."

For what it's worth (not much), Wikipedia says that in the original version of Veropedia, "Veropedia editors chose Wikipedia articles that met the site's reliability standards; information was then scraped, or chosen by an automatic process, and thereafter a stable version of the article was posted on Veropedia." If that's true, Veropedia editors must've soon realized that very little information was actually coming through the process.

The reason for the failure of the original version of Veropedia is that Wikipedia is worthless. The only thing worth taking from Wikipedia is its stated ideal. Nothing else.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brutal warrior of the week: Michael Snow

Michael Snow double majored in history and political science at college. Well, at least that's what his user page says. The whole Essjay scandal showed that you can't trust claims of having degrees made by Wikipedia users. Oh, and by the way, Michael Snow was involved in the whole Essjay business.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The myth of Wikipedia's paid fact-checkers

For some reason, people believe that the Wikimedia Foundation pays people to fact-check Wikipedia's articles. Nothing could be further from the truth! No one gets paid to review Wikipedia's articles for factual accuracy. The WP:CITEWIKI page says "you should ... independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information." This means that the responsibility for checking facts on Wikipedia rests solely with you! The following sentence from the can-clinking appeal for donations from Jimbo Wales is quite telling: Wikipedia is "a community creation, entirely written and funded by people like you." There is no money whatsoever alloted to experts to write articles, nor is there money alloted to pay fact-checkers. As long as Wikipedia gets a lot more money in donations than it really needs to keep running, factual accuracy will never be a concern for them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vicious warrior of the week: FCYTravis

It seems extremely well-fitting that a Wikipedia administrator should be a diaper fetishist. FCYTravis maintained extensive online journals and forums devoted to his diaper fetish, and apparently still lives with his parents. Supposedly he's on "wikibreak and will be back on Wikipedia when the community wises up." You might say that he hasn't edited Wikipedia since July. That's true, at least for the FCYTravis account.

Isn't it interesting that FCYTravis was blocked by User:Nandesuka, then unblocked by Redwolf24, and then again by Nandesuka? Wikipediot admins and their block wars!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now Wikipedia lies even in its pledge drive

These days there's something else at the top of Wikipedia articles for lazy college students to ignore: quotes of letters from recent donors hoping to encourage others to donate to Wikipedia. A lot of those messages are predictably hagiographic but can't really be faulted as lies.

But today I saw one that is just way too much of a whopper to swallow. Supposedly William Knecht donated $50 to Wikipedia, saying that "As a professional scientist, Wikipedia is my go-to source for ideas and concepts new to me. Donate for this? You bet!"

A scientist for whom Wikipedia is a go-to source? Given the high regard professional scientists have for scientific journals with their peer review rigmarole, I seriously doubt any professional scientist would be willing to admit to making Wikipedia their "go-to source," much less donating money to it. Come up with more believable lies, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Warrior of the week: Mike Godwin

This week's featured wiki-warrior is one of the Wikimedia Foundation's legal eagles. His sharp legal mind has battled the idea that the lead of the Wikipedia article on Roman Polanski should say anything about accusations of child molestation against him. But I suppose anyone who believes in "innocent until proven guilty" would come to the same conclusion.

What should be troubling about Mike Godwin is the way he defends Wikipedia's lawlessness. Look him up on Wikitruth. Truly horrifying stuff.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Warrior of the week: ClockworkLunch

For a self-declared ex-editor, User:ClockworkLunch stills edits Wikipedia quite often. Granted that his most recent edit is from October of this year, but the last edit to his talk page, the one where he declares himself an "ex-editor," is from July of this year. So forgive me if I have a little difficulty believing he's really an ex-editor. If he makes no further edits by April 2010 I'll believe him then.