Wikipedia Admins Abuse

* Part 2 post: Wiki Founder’s Comments on Wiki admins (features a reply from Jimmy Wales; Wikipedia Founder).

I’ve noticed that a lot of Wiki admins are very rude and aggressive towards contributors who do not have “admin status” on Wikipedia. My tolerance level is quite low when it comes to ignorance and arrogance, so here’s a rant backed up by reliable sources.

Ego-tripping admins can proceed to delete additions or entire pages for a whole range of excuses. Such reasons given include…

* “Article is nothing but a collection of external link spam.”

* “A collection of external links per WP:NOT.”

Why should a page be deleted because of external links, which are deduced as “spam,” just because they are “external links”? Pages get deleted because of external links that people do find useful. I know because I have edited some dragon pages a few years ago. I added a few links, which point to specific and related pages on my dragon website, which is a dragon information resource site. I also pointed to some other pages on other dragon websites, which were well-written and well-researched. My links were always removed, because the websites were “dragon fansites,” and not by scholars/etc.

Never mind the references and what-not that were included on my and the other dragon websites. All of that didn’t matter because “the links were not reliable sources.” Admins who aren’t experts on the subject have more “power” than people who actually have done real research on the subject (backed up with proper citations, etc.), but who don’t have the shiny “Wiki Admin” status.

Wikipedia’s notability/verifiability/self-published sources guidelines are something I find very irksome (and the words “presumed to” hints at a “lame excuse” alert).

Point #1: “A topic is presumed to merit an article if it meets the general notability guidelines below and is not excluded by WP:NOT. A topic can also be considered notable if it meets the criteria outlined in any of the subject-specific guidelines listed in the box on the right.” — Wikipedia:Notability

Point #2: “Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media, such as books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs, Internet forum postings, and tweets, are largely not acceptable as sources.” — Wikipedia:Verifiability; Self-published Sources

Interesting Point #1: Isn’t Wikipedia based on the model of self-publishing? Why is an admin granted power? Why are the opinions that they impose upon others more “credible,” when there is no definite way to prove that the admins  are credible sources themselves (and yes, according to Wiki’s own guidelines!)?

Interesting Point #2: An indie band or indie writer (anyone/anything independent) could achieve immense success, and contribute immensely valuable and innovative products to society, yet never be considered “notable” enough, because they haven’t been “extensively covered” by the mainstream media. Why should an immensely popular/influential, widely-read and highly-regarded blogger have less power/credibility today, as compared to a journalist who graduated from (insert elitist big name school), and is now working for (insert big name news company / keep in mind that newspapers are going out of business too)?

An indie band/writer could sell a million copies, and still not be on Wiki, and be regarded as “not notable,” as compared to a mainstream band or writer who sold 2,000 copies. In the latter’s case, what matters is that “he/she/they were published!” or “picked up by a major label!” and were therefore “verified by an “authority source!” Which brings us back to the whole bureaucratic sh*t.

With regards to artistes, the Wiki admins consider notable people to be people that have been either picked up by a major recording label, or publishing house (with regards to musicians, and writers). If you’re not known by the masses, you can’t cut it on Wikipedia. It is completely and conveniently swept under the carpet that the very concept and model of Wikipedia is based on self-publishing. Hypocritical, no?

I have seen Wiki admins suggest to non-admins to “lobby for consensus,” if they want to make suggestions to the existing rules of the site. That’s not going to work when the majority of the admins are not open to change anyway (which would stop them from their power-tripping).

There are many people who have experienced similar distasteful outcomes with self-righteous, ego-maniacal “Wikipedia Admins” (like that means anything in the real world — as in, do Wikipedian “awards” and “badges” translate into any honors on a resume?). Here are a few enlightening comments below (some of the external links on the pages below might have content/images NSFW):

In other words, here are some examples of the fine opinions/media coverage Wiki has been generating for itself.

The People’s Communist Republic of Wikipedia,” commonly shortened to simply Wikipedia, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game in which participants play editors of a hypothetical online encyclopedia. — Bureaucratic F*ck, 10 November 2010

Albert Einstein could come back from the dead and post a few paragraphs about particle physics — and it would be deleted by a bunch of college kids and other losers who have a lot of time on their hands who have finally managed to grasp what they imagine is power — an “admin” on wiki or whatever their power titles are.  Things will change soon enough, professional editing is coming. — user comment, 6 September 2009

Wikipedia is bullshit. It’s run by a ring of self indulging zealots worldwide (who knows how they even got their power to begin with). True, it’s the “encyclopedia” (in quotes due to laughability of wikipedia) that “everyone can edit” — but not everyone can contribute to equally. Trust me, if your edits don’t satisfy the moderators and their extremely pedantic and overall worthless personas, they will be removed within minutes. Oh, and fuck all of the wiki fanbois who will constantly link you to wiki articles as if they have more value than graffiti on a derelict building. The world’s becoming full of idiots and wikipedia has become a hub for these narcissistic fucks they call administrators. — user comment, 3 November 2009

I think Wikipedia was/is a great concept — but what’s going on with (a lot of) the admins is abuse of power. Isn’t the concept of “Wikipedia Admins” a little hypocritical too, if this is supposed to be an open-concept kind of encyclopedia which “anyone can edit”?

Admins can and should be around to delete obvious, blatant spam, and information that is inaccurate. But to have admins serving their own interests at the expense of others = abuse of power.

Which = a serious loss of credibility for Wikipedia (in this particular case).

Interesting Point #3Elonka Dunin, one of the “Top 200″ editors of Wikipedia, has been editing her own Wikipedia page (history log).

With regards to Wiki’s policy on “NOTABILITY” (I put “notability” in caps because it’s something the Wiki Admins seem to get very defensive about) — isn’t it against the Wiki guidelines to “self-promote”? If self-published media, such as books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs, Internet forum postings, and tweets, are largely not acceptable as sources — why is Ms. Elonka Dunin’s personal website allowed to be used as an autobiographical reference source on her page? Why has this not been deleted, when other external links on other pages have been, because they pointed to “self-published media”?

Message to Jimmy Wales/Wikipedia founder –

“WHAT’S GOING ON WITH WIKIPEDIA?”

Is this what Wikipedia was meant to be? I don’t think so.

Then again, I’m not a Wiki admin with some weird agenda or insecurity complex to feed.

* * *

External Links / More Info:

Wikipedia doesn’t need your money – so why does it keep pestering you? (The Register UK)

Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia (Salon.com)

Wikipedia’s Sexism Toward Female Novelists (NY Times)

Wikipedia Admins (Part 2, blog post) (features a reply from Jimmy Wales; Wikipedia Founder) (Jess C Scott)

WikiLinks: Wiki’s Internal Politics (JCS / jessINK)

JCS: Wikipedia (history of Jess’s Wikipedia page)

A Note To Wiki’s Admin Bullies  (JCS / jessINK)

How Wikipedia Should Be Used / Suggestions for Improvement  (JCS / jessINK)

About Jess C Scott

Author/Artist/Non-Conformist @ www.jessINK.com View all posts by Jess C Scott

11 responses to “Wikipedia Admins Abuse

  • Pete

    Wikipedia would be flooded with spam by companies looking to self-promote if not for the regulations. I agree that they’re overbearing and the admins could be more polite, but the alternative is yet another pointless website. Good on Wikipedia for trying to be credible.

  • deathgleaner

    Thank you so much for mentioning one, no TWO, of my posts! I’m glad you’re helping me spread the word.

    PS: The name is deathgleaner, not Death Gleaner *hint hint* edit post *hint hint*

    • Jess C Scott

      @ deathgleaner: ok, just updated ^^ — i’ll link to your “part 2″ post if i have a “part 2″ post in future too. i sent a summary of this blog post to Mr. Jimmy Wales (Wiki founder), and his reply to one of the points was (exact words): “I have no opinion about the notability of Elonka Dunin.” his reply seemed to give me the exact, same runaround as the Wiki admins do when people question their moves/motives (monkey see, monkey do).

      that’s a really sycophantic/spineless/no-backbone kind of answer (“no opinion” is an okay answer if the query is obviously a stupid one — but i don’t think the points brought up were invalid). Wikipedia takes the ideology of neutrality to a whole new (twisted and misguided) level, lol.

      @ Pete: glad you enjoyed the read — i look forward to reading more of the Wiki founder’s views/opinions (i sent him a summary of this blog post, with the subject line: “Query: What’s Going On With Wikipedia?”).

      he gave me the runaround with “what i seem to have overlooked,” so i gave him the runaround right back with the other side of things he seems to be overlooking. i don’t think i’m going to get any more replies though. but i might still put the correspondence up online, because it is an accurate reflection of the Wiki guidelines which the over-zealous admins so closely (and anal-retentively) adhere to.

  • Xen

    My experience with wikipedia is that if the admins, and the majority of other editors working on an article have something against the topic then they will be vigilant and even abusive towards you. Even to the point of looking up your personal information and using other information they’ve found on the net against you. Yep, Wikipedia sucks.

    • Jess C Scott

      Hi Xen,

      I know! It’s a great pity that members of the public are largely unaware of how the admins operate (I presume that many Wiki visitors read the articles, without editing any of the content). The vast majority of admins I’ve seen tend to be that way (vigilant + abusive) — those that aren’t are either “quieter” on Wikipedia, or less active on the website.

      More people will be aware of the Wiki admins’ various shenanigans, in time — hopefully ^^.

  • pigeonshouse

    A page I had created about a Guardian columnist was deleted by a passive aggressive admin Toddst1 because I made a comment about how self-important he was. He then started stalking me round wikipedia. I asked other admins for help but they stuck up for him obviously.

    • Jess C Scott

      Sorry to hear about your experience — I have heard similar stories on various different forum posts and/or blog comments.

      It is an interesting component of Wikipedia that is not obvious to most visitors, since it’s a behind-the-scenes admin thing.

  • Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia Admins | Jess C Scott :: Author, Non-conformist, Artist

    […] * Part 2 post: Wiki Founder’s Comments on Wiki admins (features a reply from Jimmy Wales; Wikipedia Founder). […]

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