[Taxacom] Wikipedia rewrites

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Fri Feb 6 00:05:13 CST 2009

From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu>
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 7:19 PM
>Paul van Rijckevorsel's comment:

> "When it comes to Wikipedia, anything goes. There are no guarantees of any
> kind, whatsoever."
> is NOT an accurate portrayal of the situation! There ARE rules, there
> ARE ways to enforce them, and there ARE guarantees; however, you must
> take an active role in the process. It's generally a matter of being
> polite but insistent: you first raise your objection on the article's
> talk page. That makes it a matter of public record. If that does not
> generate a satisfactory response, you take it to that editor's
> personal talk page, and inform them exactly which Wikipedia rule(s)
> they are guilty of violating. That's like handing someone a summons;
> they can't pretend not to have received the warning. If that fails,
> then you take the complaint to an administrator and tell the
> administrator "I notified them that they had violated the rules, and
> they have been unresponsive, could you please help?". Sure, that may
> be a lot of effort, but if by doing so you actually improve
> Wikipedia, then it's a real contribution.

That sounds remarkably like a lawyer defending a system of law:
"In the US there is no crime because we have such a great system of  a law
and justice, which is especially present in force in the big cities." or
perhaps "There is a great system to watch and regulate the financial markets
in the US: thus they are guaranteed to operate smoothly and to facilitate
the economy." Or "We live in great world, that appreciates and values our
heritage of biodiversity, makes sure none of it is seriously is threatened
(let alone, gets lost) and funds any well-written proposal by taxonomists to
study it".

Pursuing "justice" at Wikipedia not only requires a great commitment of 
resources, even assuming that "administrators" are willing to look at the 
facts, but there is also the basic set-up of Wikipedia which operates under 
GFDL. This means that any edit is not only public, but also a legal 
transaction, with all that entails. There are severe legal and moral 
restrictions to the Wikipedia process.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list