WikiTruth a Hoax, Banned and Deleted from Wikipedia!

Categories: Wikipedia
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Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: May 1, 2006

WikiTruth.info is a site that was started by 12 Wikipedia Administrators that “left” Wikipedia after years of contribution due unbearable “bureaucratic warfare” and especially after seeing an increase in active censorship taking place at Wikipedia.org at an alarming rate. WikiTruth.info does not only describe internal workings at Wikipedia from an insider perspective, but also published several of the Articles that were “deleted” at Wikipedia on their Website. Reported by The Guardian on 4/13/2006.

The Story was “dugg” to the homepage of digg.com on 4/16/2006. The resulting crash of the Wikitruth.info Website was caused by the sudden traffic onslaught and not as bad tounges speculated by some angry “Jimbo Wales” loyal Wikipedians that disapprove the content of the Wikitruth site.

It also started some controversy at SlashDot on 4/16/2006 with over 500 comments by Slashdot’s Readers.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales claimed less than 2 weeks ago about the protest site: “It’s a hoax,” Wales said of Wikitruth. “There’s no evidence at all that there are any Wikipedia administrators associated with it.Reported 4/17/2006 by TechWeb.com

In the same Article did he state: “It’s almost certainly people who have been banned by Wikipedia,Wales said.

The news were picked up by Newspapers and Magazines around the world. The renowned german magazin ““Der Spiegel” reported about Wikitruth and Jim Wales statement on 4/18/2006. See the Post in the middle of the Page with the Headline: “Jimmy Wales: WikiTruth nur ein Hoax”

Now it seems are not just “people” getting banned from Wikipedia, but even links to WikiTruth.info from within Wikipedia itself. Not just Articles, but Article Talk Pages, User Pages and User Talk Pages as well.
I was updating my “Wiki Links” Section last week, which included a link to WikiTruth.info and was surprised to get the following Message.



Okay, Wikipedia blocks users that spam or just perform repeated acts of vandalism usually after 3 clear warnings. In cases of severe forms of SPAM (see WP:SPAM), like Spam-Bots hitting the Wikipedia Site or websites links being added to one or more articles by different users over a period of time, links that violate the External Links Guidelines another solution is available. You just need to get a sysop on the meta-wiki to add a site-wide text filter for the url and add the url to the Wikipedia site-wide spam blacklist.

Well, I did go check and Voila, there it is:

wikitruth\.info #per recommendation of B. Patrick, the Foundation’s attorney.

Here again as Screenshot:



Added to the black list on 4/26/2006. Here is a screenshot of the black list page history.
(which is also Interesting reading material all by itself)



Parallel to the Articles and all that was the fight going on within Wikipedia about the fate of the Wikipedia.Info Article. The Wikitruth Article was permanently deleted (after over a day of back and forth).



On 4/16/2006 already and the Editor who created it banned. Since this was not agreed upon by several editors (see delete/undelete log), a vote was started to decide if the Article should be kept or not. Vote! Articles for deletion: Wikitruth. The Vote ended on 4/20/2006 with the “offical” result: no consensus.

No Counts? That’s unusual, why was that “forgotten”?
Well, I started counting myself (feel free to do the same).

Votes to keep the Article or to merge the content of the Article to the Article “criticism of Wikipedia” and redirect to it.
61 Keep or Keep/Merge
9 Strong Keep where 2 where a bit unusual (Adamantine Keep and *Strong Keep)
7 Weak Keep
31 Merge, Redirect

Votes to delete the Article or Most of it before redirecting to “criticism of Wikipedia
25 Delete or Redirect
2 Strong Delete
3 just Redirect (no content merged) or at least partial merge and then redirect.

I don’t know where “Mailer Diablo” learned his Algebra.
I look at the Votes and it looks pretty “consensus” to me.
A presidential election has never been as “consensus” as this.

Did I miss maybe something? I am not a Wikipedia Veteran, but maybe some votes count only half or a quarter and others double and triple. Well, my count is based on the assumption that every Editor or Admin has ONE Vote and each vote is counted as ONE. Please let me know if I am wrong with that.

Conclusion
Now what does all that mean? It does not look like a “Hoax” to me at all anymore, but serious trouble.
I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, but something does not add up here. I guess there will be more to come.
Wikipedia Admins and Staff Members already did some silent moves. What’s next?

Update 05/01/2006 1:30 am (PST)
The Ban of Wiktruth.info was just removed per Jimbo’s request, only a short time after this article was posted.

See site-wide spam blacklist and History.

Here is the screen shot:



You might also find this special Talk Page rather interesting.
I just got an email that told me about it. Check it out.

The Wikitruth.info Article is also back. Look at the change history of the Article. It looks like a Wikipedianic Battlefield.

End Update 05/01/2006

3 Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    You asked whether you “missed something” about the vote count on the WikiTruth article… you did. First of all, AfD discussions aren’t votes, and it is not customary to post an official tally. People make points about whether an article should or should not be kept, and poor argument is usually ignored. So in that sense (loosely interpreted), yes, votes do count for different amounts. Also, 77 keep, 34 merge, and 27 delete is, in Wikipedia terms, accurately described as “no consensus.” This does not mean “I couldn’t tell who got more votes”; that’s not how the AfD process works. “no consensus means that the views of the opposing parties were irreconcilable and, in this, case, the numbers of individuals arguing on both sides were not insignificant. When it’s working well, Wikipedia seeks to reach outcomes that everyone or nearly everyone can agree are good. When this process fails, and consensus over The Right Decision cannot be reached, it’s listed as “no consensus.” Hope that cleared this up for you.

  2. It is sad that you posted anonymously. There is no reason too. I am always for open discussions.

    The described process has IMO a major flaw. Somebody has to determine what is significant and what is not and at the end determine if a consensus was reached or not. This independent mediator is another Wikipedian who can certainly not be 100% neutral (okay, he is only human and that alone makes it impossible to be 100% neutral, make it 90%).

    This has the effect that although a third party that looks at the voting data sees a clear end result that might differ from the result determined by the mediator.

    In other words, if the mediator has a strong opinion about a subject himself, he might lean towards the opinion he favors personally, regardless of the overwhelming votes that oppose it.

    This leaves a lot of room for deception in a vote.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m afraid after looking at the facts, I have to assume that the more honest party is the one that isn’t:
    Creating spam accounts.
    Violating policies they agreed to when creating those accounts.
    Using shock “tabloid” style tactics to promote themselves.
    Preventing the same kind of anonymous contribution on their own wiki that they are demanding from the folks they are attacking.
    Claiming to hold a grudge.
    Preventing their “opponent” from posting dignified, yet detracting, information on their own wiki.
    Dedicated to nothing but the destruction of another web site.
    Promoting and linking to web sites and practices that are clearly wrong, disgusting, and in most places illegal (see removed links in Wikipedia revision of “Wikitruth” article.)

    I’m afraid that Wikitruth holds very little credibility for me for these reasons.

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