Wikipedia's destiny

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/22/06, Ben Emmel <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I hold the opinion that any article on this man is not going to be NPOV,
> since the only reason he is popular is because Peppers is unfortuantely
> stricken with a condition that makes him look funny. Our editorial standards
> should be such that we don't have to stoop to have an article designed to
> inflicy more problems on the article subject.

You're either misunderstanding NPOV or have very low standards for
Wikipedia authors. If we can have basically NPOV articles on abortion,
Hitler and terrorism, I don't think an NPOV article on Brian Peppers
is beyond us.

I'm not even sure what the POV is that you're alleging that our
article would have.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Phil Boswell
In reply to this post by Mark
"Delirium" <[hidden email]> wrote in
message news:[hidden email]...
> Joshua Griisser wrote:
>
>>I'm almost speechless with rage at Jimbo's unilateral deletion of the
>>encyclopedia article [[Brian Peppers]] - not to mention his locking (via
>>[[User:Danny]] and [[WP:OFFICE]]) of [[Harry Reid]] for *five days*.
> I'm very confused by this one.  I wrote a one-sentence, factual,
> verifiable, referenced stub reading something like the following (from
> memory):
[snip]
> I fail to see how this could possibly be legally problematic.  What's
> more, deleting it from the encyclopedia reduces our coverage of internet
> culture, which is currently an active area of academic research.

At this stage, I think the legal angle pales into insignificance next to the
FireStorm this article has generated on Wikipedia.

My impression is that this is a particularly egregious example of the
poisonous atmosphere in the Deletion-related arenas abut which Jimbo has
previously commented.

> There are some books on internet fads currently in press, scheduled to
> appear within the next year.  If one of them mentions Brian Peppers,
> will we still prohibit an article in Wikipedia about it?

Well, there is a deadline. Whether a proper article or a troll-piece hits
the presses first will be interesting...
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Mark
In reply to this post by Ben Emmel
Ben Emmel wrote:

>No, I do agree that it's not a open-and-shut decision. But like Jimbo said,
>if we still care about this article in a year, then we can argue then. It's
>a pretty good way to find out notability. My logic goes like this: a person
>with a disability is not inherently notable, a sex offender is not
>inherently notable, so a combination of the two is only barely notable.
>Given that we should have high editorial standards, I think our Brian
>Peppers slips beneath our bar.
>
>If I was him, or a member of his family, I certainly wouldn't want it up
>there.
>  
>
Nobody is arguing that having a disability or being a sex offender is
inherently notable.  The article is not even primarily about the person,
but about the internet fad the person has caused, which *is* a notable
sociological phenomenon.

Whether someone wants an article or not does and should not have any
relevant whatsoever.  [[en:Star Wars kid]], another internet fad,
doesn't want an article either, but there you have one.  Brian Peppers
is a less well-known internet fad, but still certainly at the level
where he would warrant inclusion in any more than cursary treatment of
the subject.

Since I hope Wikipedia will become, in the long term, a compendium of
all human knowledge, I think it sad that an unexplained decision to
unilaterally remove content has poked holes in its coverage of internet
culture, an important area of current sociological research at which
Wikipedia ought naturally to excel.

-Mark

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/22/06, Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Ben Emmel wrote:
> Whether someone wants an article or not does and should not have any
> relevant whatsoever.  [[en:Star Wars kid]], another internet fad,
> doesn't want an article either, but there you have one.  Brian Peppers
> is a less well-known internet fad, but still certainly at the level
> where he would warrant inclusion in any more than cursary treatment of
> the subject.

Just on the notability thing, I wonder if BP will really stack up well
on the "ten years from now" test. Sure, he's interesting *now*, but in
2016?

On the treatment of deformities as WP articles, see [[Joseph
Merrick]]. There's someone who didn't seem to achieve anything notable
that wasn't directly related to his deformity.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Mark
Steve Bennett wrote:

>Just on the notability thing, I wonder if BP will really stack up well
>on the "ten years from now" test. Sure, he's interesting *now*, but in
>2016?
>  
>
Depends on who you are, and what you consider "interesting".  If the
year is 2016 and you're researching internet culture of the first decade
of the 21st century, I'd imagine you might find it interesting.

Wikipedia already has plenty of uninteresting-to-me bits of pop-culture
trivia from previous decades, but they may well be of interest to people
who research or otherwise have an interest in such things.  I haven't
heard of most of the television shows on [[List of television shows
canceled after one episode]], for example, and don't really care to, but
I'm glad we cover them, and in fact it would be nice if fewer of them
were red links.

-Mark

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

Sue Reed
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Burling
I really don't know what to think about the Brian Peppers article, so
I'm not going to comment on that one.

However, I do think the Harry Reid issue raises an interesting question.
If Wikipedia is going to be a trusted source of information, there seems
to me that there is a need for us to vet "living people" articles in a
way that allows those people to respond to criticisms. We criticized
Congressional staffers who "anonymously" edited articles both of the
people that they were working for and of the opposition. In this
instance, with Harry Reid's staff, they are making a very open request
to Jimbo and the others in WP:OFFICE to identify things that they
disagree with in the article about Reid.

I don't know how Wikipedia is going to handle this as it continues to
become a more widely read source of information. People, especially
politicians, are going to want to be able to have a voice in that
information. How do we balance that with NPOV? On the Abramoff / Reid
situation, I don't think you'll be able to reach NPOV. Folks on the
right and possibly centrists are going to point to certain facts and say
that it shows Reid is connected to the lobbying scandal and that he's a
hypocrite for saying he's not. Folks on the left are going to call it a
giant smear campaign by the right to try and downplay their culpability.
Has any news outlet reached consensus on this one?

Sue Anne
[[User:Sreed1234]]
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Travis Mason-Bushman
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Burling
On 2/21/06 10:41 PM, "Geoff Burling" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If the findings of
> the court were accurate, then he knew what he was doing: coercing
> another person to being groped.

I really didn't want to fuel this fire, but here goes. So, what? Lots of
people are convicted of groping other people every day in the United States.
Does that means] that every person who's ever been convicted of a minor sex
offense should have their biography on Wikipedia simply because we can print
what the government said about them? Is this Wikisexoffenderregistry?

The fact is that the quantity of verifiable attention paid to this person
outside YTMND and other such joke forums is so infinitesmally small as to be
practically equivalent to zero. As has been endlessly pointed out, there are
no verifiable, NPOV recountings of this person's life. We have no
information about his crime, we have no information about his life, we have
no information about him period. The only source that can be cited is
Snopes, and while Snopes might be a great source for urban legends like the
rocket car dude, it's of questionable value when talking about a
[[WP:BLP|living person]].

Basically, all that we can can verifiably write about Mr. Peppers is that he
exists, that he was convicted of committing some unknown minor sex offense
and that his photo was mocked by Internet dimwits. That doesn't add up to
Wikipedia material in my book.

-FCYTravis


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

geni
In reply to this post by Sue Reed
On 2/22/06, Sue Anne Reed <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I really don't know what to think about the Brian Peppers article, so
> I'm not going to comment on that one.
>
> However, I do think the Harry Reid issue raises an interesting question.
> If Wikipedia is going to be a trusted source of information, there seems
> to me that there is a need for us to vet "living people" articles in a
> way that allows those people to respond to criticisms. We criticized
> Congressional staffers who "anonymously" edited articles both of the
> people that they were working for and of the opposition. In this
> instance, with Harry Reid's staff, they are making a very open request
> to Jimbo and the others in WP:OFFICE to identify things that they
> disagree with in the article about Reid.
>

Most people would just use the talk page.

> I don't know how Wikipedia is going to handle this as it continues to
> become a more widely read source of information. People, especially
> politicians, are going to want to be able to have a voice in that
> information. How do we balance that with NPOV? On the Abramoff / Reid
> situation, I don't think you'll be able to reach NPOV. Folks on the
> right and possibly centrists are going to point to certain facts and say
> that it shows Reid is connected to the lobbying scandal and that he's a
> hypocrite for saying he's not. Folks on the left are going to call it a
> giant smear campaign by the right to try and downplay their culpability.
> Has any news outlet reached consensus on this one?
>
> Sue Anne
> [[User:Sreed1234]]
> [hidden email]

What about those of use who have never herd of Harry Reid?


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Mark Gallagher-5
In reply to this post by Mark

G'day Mark,

> Since I hope Wikipedia will become, in the long term, a compendium of
> all human knowledge, I think it sad that an unexplained decision to
> unilaterally remove content has poked holes in its coverage of internet
> culture, an important area of current sociological research at which
> Wikipedia ought naturally to excel.

Fear not, my good man!  I'm sure the denizens of Encyclopedia Dramatica
are more than ready to step up to the plate and document the phenomenon
of Mr Peppers' deformity; if anything, their coverage will be more
complete, and feature more swearing and callous mockery.  As such, they
can do a much better job of recording Internet culture than we'll *ever* do.


--
Mark Gallagher
"What?  I can't hear you, I've got a banana on my head!"
- Danger Mouse


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Phil Boswell
In reply to this post by Travis Mason-Bushman
"Travis Mason-Bushman" <[hidden email]>
wrote in message news:C0217631.AA21%[hidden email]...
[snip]
> Basically, all that we can can verifiably write about Mr. Peppers is that
> he
> exists, that he was convicted of committing some unknown minor sex offense
> and that his photo was mocked by Internet dimwits. That doesn't add up to
> Wikipedia material in my book.

But don't you see that what you have written there is the essence of what
the article **should** say? It should be expanded a bit, but you've
summarised it nicely.

If Wikipedia is to become the best repository of organised knowledge on the
Internet, then if we **don't** mention something for which people are likely
to search, we're going to look stupid.

If, on the other hand, we can authoritatively say "this guy was the victim
of a prank meme, no more to see here", then people can be satisfied that
they understand what is happening.

HTH HAND
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

Sue Reed
In reply to this post by geni


geni wrote:
> Most people would just use the talk page.

That's great for Wikipedians, but a nuance that we can't expect the now
almost 72,000 living people (and growing) to be nuanced in Wikipedia and
how it all works.

>
> What about those of use who have never herd of Harry Reid?

[[Insert your current prime minister, head of Parliament, leader of the
opposition political party, sovereign, etc. here]] and the same
questions are still valid.

Sue Anne
[[User:Sreed1234]]
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

geni
On 2/22/06, Sue Anne Reed <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> geni wrote:
> > Most people would just use the talk page.
>
> That's great for Wikipedians, but a nuance that we can't expect the now
> almost 72,000 living people (and growing) to be nuanced in Wikipedia and
> how it all works.
>

Click the edit button. If they are emailing us we can give
instructions on how to click the edit button if required.

> >
> > What about those of use who have never herd of Harry Reid?
>
> [[Insert your current prime minister, head of Parliament, leader of the
> opposition political party, sovereign, etc. here]] and the same
> questions are still valid.
>

Not really. [[David Cameron]] appears to be an acceptable article.

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Travis Mason-Bushman
In reply to this post by Phil Boswell
On 2/22/06 2:26 AM, "Phil Boswell" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But don't you see that what you have written there is the essence of what
> the article **should** say? It should be expanded a bit, but you've
> summarised it nicely.

A compromise was proposed that I - and a few others - could have lived with
- a protected redirect to a short paragraph on [[Internet phenomenon]] or
[[List of YTMND fads]], which simply states he was some guy who got
convicted of a minor sex crime and had his picture turned into an Internet
meme.

No, that was not good enough for the article's proponents - we had to have
his complete life story (such as it is) and picture for all to see. The
proposal was rejected.

So, now we have nothing for a year.

-FCYTravis


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Keith Old
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Burling
On 2/22/06, Geoff Burling <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Just a number of observations on this topic.
>
> 1. If a person is a topic of sufficient attention, for whatever
> reason, Wikipedia should have an article on that person.
>
> 2. I thought Delerium's stub was quite accurate & NPOV.
>
> 3. The edit history of this article had 675 edits -- including
> Delerium's. Sheesh.
>
> 4. I am reminded of a strategy I mentioned in another thread --
>
>         a. Silently acquiese to opponent's edits; after all, there's
>         many other articles in need of attention.
>         b. Wait x number of weeks.
>         c. Revert opponent's edits while carefully leaving any later
>         contributions intact.
>         d. Repeat steps 2 & 3 as often as needed.
>
> and of the variations other people mentioned.
>
> 5. When I hear that this person's family is concerned about the
> article, are they more worried about the picture of his appearance, or
> that he was declared guilty in a court of law for a sex crime --
> specifically on the charge of "Gross Sexual Imposition" & an attempt
> to do the same?
>
>
> 6. And just what is "Gross Sexual Imposition"? For the curious, I
> found a definition at
> http://www.ag.state.oh.us/le/training/pubs/cert/unit2-2C_rev0506.pdf --
> which defines it as involuntary sexual groping, with the usual
> conditions that apply to a definition of rape: use or threat of use
> of force, whether the parties involved are married[*], whether the
> victim was capable of consenting to this act, & if the victim was
> less than 13 years of age. FWIW, when I Googled for the specific
> part of the Ohio Revised Code that he was convicted under, I found a
> hit that explains this is one crime that explicitly cannot be expunged
> from his record.
>
> 7. Looking at this guy's picture & considering the crime he was
> convicted of, I have to wonder if this wasn't some mean-spirited
> practical joke gone badly wrong, & for which he is being mangled by the
> gears of justice. (Of course this kind of thing happens -- & not only
> in the US: I remember reading about a case in the UK where a pair of
> homeless bums were arrested & convicted of being notorious IRA
> bombers, despite the fact both were obviously incapable of holding a
> normal job or even attempting to apply for one, let alone managing such
> a demanding chore as making & setting these complicated devices.)
>
> 8. Again, FWIW I went to school with a guy with a similar deformity
> similar this one. He exhibited normal intelligence. If the findings of
> the court were accurate, then he knew what he was doing: coercing
> another person to being groped.
>
> 9. Are we more worried about providing verifiable information in
> Wikipedia, or if people are going to object to the nature of our
> information? After all, are we going to back off from stating that
> Vice-President Cheney shot Whittington in the face with a shotgun, &
> that Whittington later apologized to Cheny & his family for the
> accident?
>
> Geoff
>
> [*] I am not expressing an opinion on this clause of the relevant
> section of the Ohio Revised Code. I am merely reporting what it says.
>
> _______________________________________________
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>

The question is do we have articles on every person convicted of such an
offence in Ohio or elsewhere. The answer is we don't nor do we have articles
on the vast majority of them. The reason that we have an article on Peppers
is that he is disabled and that some people have decided to single him out
on a couple of websites. That doesn't excuse his behaviour but it doesn't
justify an article.

 Should we have? In my view, no we shouldn't unless there is strong public
interest in the case as reflected in multiple verifiable sources. All we
have for Peppers is the reference from Snopes so the verifiability is shaky.

There is clear interest in the Cheney case reflected in thousands of
reliable sources in existence. This is not the case in the Peppers case. In
my view, it doesn't even warrant a minor mention in Internet culture.

Regards


Keith Old

Keith Old
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Travis Mason-Bushman
On 2/22/06, Travis Mason-Bushman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Basically, all that we can can verifiably write about Mr. Peppers is that he
> exists, that he was convicted of committing some unknown minor sex offense
> and that his photo was mocked by Internet dimwits. That doesn't add up to
> Wikipedia material in my book.

I see we have still made little progress in deciding why exactly we
want to have rules on notability, or what notability means in the
Wikipedia context. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I do note that
many others seem to have very different views on why certain subjects
should or should not feature in Wikipedia.

For what it's worth, I feel we should begin by posing ourselves the
question: How likely is it that someone will come to Wikipedia looking
for information on this topic. On Peppers, I would say "fairly
likely".

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

geni
On 2/22/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:
> For what it's worth, I feel we should begin by posing ourselves the
> question: How likely is it that someone will come to Wikipedia looking
> for information on this topic. On Peppers, I would say "fairly
> likely".
>
> Steve

Judging by the last stats we have it is a near certianty. Goatse is
probably one of our most popular articles.

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Mark Gallagher-5
Mark Gallagher wrote:

> G'day Mark,
>
>
>>Since I hope Wikipedia will become, in the long term, a compendium of
>>all human knowledge, I think it sad that an unexplained decision to
>>unilaterally remove content has poked holes in its coverage of internet
>>culture, an important area of current sociological research at which
>>Wikipedia ought naturally to excel.
>
>
> Fear not, my good man!  I'm sure the denizens of Encyclopedia Dramatica
> are more than ready to step up to the plate and document the phenomenon
> of Mr Peppers' deformity; if anything, their coverage will be more
> complete, and feature more swearing and callous mockery.  As such, they
> can do a much better job of recording Internet culture than we'll *ever* do.
>
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who endores /that/ trollpit can go
*directly* to Hell.

--
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Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
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Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Mark Gallagher-5
Mark Gallagher wrote:

> G'day Mark,
>
>
>>Since I hope Wikipedia will become, in the long term, a compendium of
>>all human knowledge, I think it sad that an unexplained decision to
>>unilaterally remove content has poked holes in its coverage of internet
>>culture, an important area of current sociological research at which
>>Wikipedia ought naturally to excel.
>
>
> Fear not, my good man!  I'm sure the denizens of Encyclopedia Dramatica
> are more than ready to step up to the plate and document the phenomenon
> of Mr Peppers' deformity; if anything, their coverage will be more
> complete, and feature more swearing and callous mockery.  As such, they
> can do a much better job of recording Internet culture than we'll *ever* do.
>
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who endorses /that/ trollpit can go
*directly* to Hell.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Sue Reed
On 2/22/06, Sue Anne Reed <[hidden email]> wrote:
> However, I do think the Harry Reid issue raises an interesting question.
> If Wikipedia is going to be a trusted source of information, there seems
> to me that there is a need for us to vet "living people" articles in a
> way that allows those people to respond to criticisms. We criticized
> Congressional staffers who "anonymously" edited articles both of the
> people that they were working for and of the opposition. In this
> instance, with Harry Reid's staff, they are making a very open request
> to Jimbo and the others in WP:OFFICE to identify things that they
> disagree with in the article about Reid.

This happens all the time, doesn't it? People contact the help desk,
editors are alerted, and whatever changes are made as we see fit.
Usually the problem is a lack of attention to the article causing a
distortion as a function of the few editors who've worked on it.

The basic approach of "drastic changes to placate complainant first,
ask questions later" seems quite reasonable. Has it been abused?

>
> I don't know how Wikipedia is going to handle this as it continues to
> become a more widely read source of information. People, especially
> politicians, are going to want to be able to have a voice in that
> information. How do we balance that with NPOV? On the Abramoff / Reid
> situation, I don't think you'll be able to reach NPOV. Folks on the
> right and possibly centrists are going to point to certain facts and say
> that it shows Reid is connected to the lobbying scandal and that he's a
> hypocrite for saying he's not. Folks on the left are going to call it a
> giant smear campaign by the right to try and downplay their culpability.

Wikipedia doesn't try and be the One True Voice Of Reason - it simply
includes the relevant viewpoints in seemingly fair proportions. So
there would be no reason not to include accusations from both 'the
right' and 'the left'. It's up to news organizations how they choose
to use them.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Keith Old
On 2/22/06, Keith Old <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The question is do we have articles on every person convicted of such an
> offence in Ohio or elsewhere. The answer is we don't nor do we have articles
> on the vast majority of them. The reason that we have an article on Peppers
> is that he is disabled and that some people have decided to single him out
> on a couple of websites. That doesn't excuse his behaviour but it doesn't
> justify an article.

The fact that we're even having this discussion should point out that
Peppers is "not just another disabled groper". He's not notable
because he's disabled, and he's not notable because of this offence.
He's notable (to whatever extent) because people circulate his photo
around and talk about him. In much the same way as that baseballer who
lost the world series by letting a ball go through his legs is notable
- not as a great baseballer, but because of the enormous publicity
surrounding that event.

Of course, if people really don't talk about Peppers that much, then
there's no reason to create an article here just to titillate a few
teenagers.

Steve
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