Wikipedia Corruption Discovered: Should Search Engines Respond?

Dec 7, 2007 • 7:08 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under Other Search Topics

The Register reports about some corruption that was discovered within Wikipedia: the existence of a secret mailing list that cracks down on users why may be threats to Wikipedia administrators' power. The article goes into depth about what ensued, what happened, the reaction, and the community is pretty shocked.

Can Wikipedia still be considered a trusted source by search engines with this information known? Well, most people say that there are always flaws in these sources, but the data is still more relevant than other search terms.

The real story here seems to be the paranoia and the heavy handed treatment of dissent by the Admin group. It comes down to control. I don't think Jimbo wants to lose that.

Users will still be in control to keep the results relevant.

Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.

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12/07/2007 05:07 pm

"[...] to Wikipedia administrators' power" above really shows you just how much the Register has warped this idea and used misleading language in this story - that group had nothing to do with articles or other content. There exist many groups which are anti-Wikipedia - these sites have been known to vandalize Wikipedia, create multiple sockpuppets (multiple accounts claiming to be different people, used for disruption), and even outing of the real-life identities of Wikipedians, of whom many would prefer to remain pseudonymous. Those actions are simply unacceptable, and it's rather a matter of being able to have a private discussion about who might be one of these attackers than some evil thing like keeping some sort of control. I'm a Wikipedian, and I don't want my identity leaked or to be harassed. Obviously these people should be banned, but if we discuss it in front of them, it doesn't work, they can just fight it and lie and keep harassing us. Would you tolerate such nonsense? Unless you do, I don't think it's fair to criticize Wikipedians for having a few private groups to help get rid of some persistent and wily trolls. This particular incident was really only a problem because it was a clear false positive and the reasoning behind it was shallow... and the administrator involved has been admonished by the Arbitration Committee (think Wikipedia court) for the mistake. So what?


12/07/2007 05:58 pm

Users are welcome to discuss this issue at also, this is a forum that is much maligned by the Wikipedia admin community for allowing free speech on Wikipedia issues, but a large amount of Wikipedia users and administrators use it nonetheless.

Luke Nichols

12/10/2007 08:41 am

I don't even use wikipedia any longer, nor have I in a long time. When I personally added an extended entry on Arielle Kebbel, someone came right behind me and deleted it. It was a total waste of time. So, if I need information, I just "google" what I need. Wikipedia seems like a disinformation vehicle for the DOD, with, I hear many entries being added on by the NSA, and other "Alphabet Agencies."


12/10/2007 07:54 pm

I don't use Wikipedia any longer either. It turned into such a SPAM magnet it became difficult to figure out what was real and what was just advertising. I've been told they're cleaning it up but they still have a long way to go. It will take a lot before I use it again.


07/02/2009 04:56 pm

What I can say in my experience with Wikipedia and one of our artists is that when someone posted this artist's bio on Wikipedia, it became a nightmare. The so-called editors never bothered checking facts and accuracy and even posted comments that became a liability to the artist and the label. The editors lacked total knowledge of the subject's popularity due to what it seemed a total lack of knowledge of the music genre the artist works in. The artist was obviously important enough to have joined celebrities like Kevin Bacon and Jessica Alba lending his name to their efforts in supporting a well known charity, had won several awards and topped music charts. Obviously, none of this was 'important enough' for the Wikipedia editors who fought to delete the article by posting one ignorant comment after another. Based on the discussions that ensued, these people were simply childish, ignorant and obviously had no life. Beyond this, the comments seemed also personal rather than objective. Note that none of us at the label even wanted our artist on Wikipedia. We just got caught in the middle and eventually, by complaining to Wikimedia corporate (and threaten with a lawsuit) did they remove all discussion which, they agreed, was libelous. Personally, I used to have a high opinion of Wikipedia until that sad encounter. Since then I have checked many discussions behind articles only to have those nauseating old memories return. The idiotic, ignorant editor's behavior seems to be rampant at Wikipedia.

kingsley orumah

08/30/2009 06:22 pm

i have a book coming out soon on corruption titled "corruption act-a deadly cause".

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