Wikipedia, censorship and bad PR.

I quite like Wikipedia. I like it as a quick reference guide for everything that you’ve never heard of and quickly want to know what it’s about. Never as an in depth research tool, but for a quick and dirty glance it’s great. The problem is Wikipedia’s powerstructure and its habit to silence dissenters. Even I, a very infrequent contributor had content erased from my own user talk page by one of the administrators during the controversy about academic impostor essjay. And I mean, really: how threatening am I to wikipedia’s elite that I have to be silenced?

Now another controversy: a Wikipedia administrator named ‘Durova’ had to resign because of heavyhandedness during denying another user access to Wikipedia. This happens dozens of times every day, but Durova’s downfall was the ingrained paranoia that haunts wikipedia’s elite: defending herself she apparently referred to discussions held in an off-site mailing list of high level admins (which were promptly leaked) destined to defend Wikipedia from ‘cyberstalking’. So she had to go. Fine and dandy. Nevertheless, every time another Wikipedia scandal breaks out, it’s ruling clique has more egg on their faces.

If Wikipedia wants to continue to inspire its members to be meticulous encyclopedians and uphold the spirit of open access to a vast amount of useful knowledge, the bureacrats at its top have to stop resembling a Kafkaesque nightmare.

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