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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)
Florian Cramer on Thu, 2 Oct 2003 20:19:05 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)

----- Forwarded message from anonymous <anon {AT} fyi.net> -----

From: anonymous <anon {AT} fyi.net>
Reply-To: anon {AT} fyi.net
To: Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: [carpe.com {AT} gmx.de: Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)]
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Dear Florian,  

Not surprsingly, I disagree strongly w/ the responding 
person's take on this.  
However, this isn't important enough to me 
for me to spend any further time on it 
so this may be my last word on the subject.  
Feel free to also forward this if so inclined.
> While the alterations made are surely a matter of opinion or
> perspective: 

As are the original comments re JHU.  
The difference, perhaps, is that the original comments 
POSE as 'objectivity'. 

> If someone 'messes' with 'my' wiki in a similar way I'd
> also re-edit it.  

On the other hand, the potential strength of Wikipedia 
is its openness.  The question is:  
Are the entries made by anyone who wishes to 
or are they kept to one viewpoint only?  
It's not just an issue of re-editing, 
it's an issue of completely removing content 
that the "re-editor" presumably found objectionable 
to their skew.  
The "anon" changes didn't REMOVE any of the text 
that they were responding to.  
They simply responded to it in a way intended to 
to give a more well-rounded view of JHU 
& by using a language unacceptable to 
the pseudo-objectivity of the puff piece.  
Note that the commentator quoted above 
encloses the words 'messes' & 'my' in apostrophes 
- presumably w/ the intent of questioning those 2 concepts.  
That's precisely the issue here.  
Wikipedia entries don't BELONG to anyone.  
Alterations to entries are not "messing" w/ them, 
they are legitimate partakings in the entry process.   
Any entries I might make to Wikipedia 
ARE open to the revisions of others 
- even if I disagree w/ them. 
> Specially the remark, that this was done within less than 30 minutes
> points more to the activity of a WikiGardener than to one of a person
> from the said instituion.
> You would not EARNESTLY (pardon me for shouting) believe, that a PR
> person from Johns Hopkins has nothing else to do than monitor a
> WikiPage several times an hour (even if by a script or
> changedetection.com or the likes) and re-edit it if necessary?

That's a good point.  The person may not be specifically 
employed by JHU.  However, they have a strong vested interest 
of some sort for making sure ONE opinion dominates 
on the subject w/in the Wikipedia context.  
> Before anyone indulges in paranoia they should just check the obvious:
> Someone writing about JHU every day would rather not want the stuff
> from the fyi-guy in there.

I find the above to be contradictory.  
The point is exactly that 
"Someone writing about JHU every day would rather not want the stuff 
from the fyi-guy in there." 
SO, why is that paranoid?  
If Wikipedia is to be open to anyone's participation 
why is the opinion of the JHU person 
more important than the "fyi-guy"'s?  
Because the "JHU person" represents an "elite institution" 
& the "fyi-guy" is speaking from the perspective 
of the impoverished community that JHU occupies 
such a privileged position w/in?
> IMO this quick re-edit is proof that the wiki-system (or: wikipedia)
> works: Any nonsense will quickly be removed ;)

Why is it nonsense?  
The point is that the JHU puff piece 
IS the nonsense 
& if it's not removed 
why shd any commentary about it be?

----- End forwarded message -----

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