Dave Snowden

Wikipedia, don’t offend the master(s) of the universe

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I will confess to feeling slightly disappointed with Wikipedia today. We have one very good editor, who has done massive and detailed work over the years on various philosophy and history pages. Recently he has also been tackling pseudo-science pages such as that on NLP. He is also passionate about removing free propaganda for pederasts. He is a volatile, passionate and highly intelligent character, just the sort of person WIkipedia needs. However he has managed to offend a member of Arbcom (the masters of the universe in Wikipedia). Now the nature of the offense is minor compared with the sort of thing that editors dish out daily without punishment. However if you hit the inner circle (I almost said cabal then), you are treated differently. The editor has had several bans, reversed several times with protests by other editors and admins. However a couple of days ago Wales himself entered the fray and banned him, with a brutal notice. The ban is so total its difficult to track down the history unless you know your way around. Now this is near despotism, and disturbing. I doubt this time right will win out, and my previous optimism in this respect may prove to be misplaced.

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