Wikipedia is a website that purports itself to be an encyclopaedia for dissemination of information. It proclaims itself to be “the sum of all knowledge”.
However, depending on topic, the information on Wikipedia can be inaccurate, misleading, fabricated and forged, especially on controversial topics. According to New York Post article written by Steve Cuozzo entitled ‘Don’t trust anything on Wikipedia’ the site is misleading. He writes “It’s no secret Wikipedia’s often bonkers. Teachers warn students, and editors warn reporters. Even so, the myth endures that it’s a viable research tool that “usually” gets it right, even if a touch of skepticism occasionally comes in handy.” As per the Canadian website Global Research Wikipedia is clearly a biased propaganda. The site quotes “Wikipedia articles are more propaganda than they are historical accounts. And, often, their cited sources are misleading, or even false”.
In other words...it skinks
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Wikipedia has several questionable and counter-productive policies in place that appear to contradict with their alleged mission and/or designed to mislead users.
- Encyclopædic dementia
Wikipedia has several criteria for speedy deletion.
If any of those criteria are met, any Wikipedia administrator (also known as “sysop”) is allowed to erase the article right away, as opposed to the one-week grace period of an article ordinarily nominated for deletion, usually because of being out-of-scope for Wikipedia. This 7-day grace period can be used by editors of alternative wikis of whose scope the article is within, to import (rescue) the article to the knowledge pool of the more fitting alternative wiki.
Although some of the criteria for speedy deletion are reasonable (e.g. for spam prevention and personal safety), others can do more damage than good and lead to the unreasonable loss of knowledge, works and contributions into oblivion.
Although administrators have the option to decide against a deletion despite of given criteria, that only ever happens rarely.
WP:G13 – Deletion after six months of inactivity
The speedy deletion policy “WP:G13” states that any article in the
Draft: name space that has not been edited during the last six months is eligible for deletion, regardless of its contents.
This rule has been criticized for potentially leading to the loss of legitimate knowledge.
WP:G5 - Delete articles by users evading a block, no matter the content
On Wikipedia, whose fingers pressed the buttons on a keyboard apparently matters more than actual content useful to the target audience, i.e. readers and visitors.
Speedy deletion criterion G5 technically is an argumentum ad hominem, stating that any content, including legitimate articles, correct redirects and useful templates, that is suspected to have been created by someone who is deemed previously been suspended[note 1], is eligible for deletion.
Even though one of the proclaimed purposes of this rule is “maximizing the quality of the encyclopedia”, this deletion criterion contradictively affects pages of any high encyclopædic quality.
This bindingly also applies to content deemed to be added on behalf of any individual blocked on Wikipedia, known as proxy-editing or meat-puppetry, which anyone can potentially be accused of.
Accordingly, an honest block notice would look like this:
Not only is this criterion at odds with Wikipedia's proclaimed goals, irrespective to its slogans, and withholding constructive content from readers unthankful, but editors with destructive intentions may weaponize deletionism by invoking reverse psychology, by deliberately exposing themselves as sanction evader after instating legitimate content, discouraging other, especially longer-term editors who have a greater reputation at risk if suspected to be evading a block, from re-instating it.
Vulnerable to impersonation
Because sanctions on Wikipedia apply to identities rather than accounts, an impersonation attacker might be able to cause the identity of a target to get sanctioned. This vulnerability is like a cheat in a video game.
Blessing in disguise?
On the other hand, these deletionist and criticism-terminating rules might as well be a blessing in disguise for encouraging people to search for alternative websites that could have rescued those articles prior to deletion, do not suppress legitimate criticism and, and do not dispose of knowledge for absurd reasons contrary to their advertised purposes[note 2], such as inclusionist EverybodyWiki, which has a bot importing endangered articles.
The IAR trap
The Wikipedia policy “Ignore All Rules” states that if a rule prevents a user from improving Wikipedia, the user can feel free to ignore it.
This misleading rule logically implies includingly that a user is allowed to circumvent an account suspension instead of going through a mentally draining block appeal process before being able to improve Wikipedia again.
In reality, a user misled into circumventing a block will get blocked again, lose talk page access for mild criticism, and receive an additional punishment of having all their content erased, regardless of contentual legitimacy.
Administrative sanctions against editors are not punitive, and imposed solely to prevent harm to the encyclopedia.
The block quicksand
Appealing blocks on the Internet is generally difficult because many moderators and administrators on the Internet experience a hit of dopamine from blocking, but not when unblocking a user. Confirmation bias, emotional investment and social pressure among moderators and administrators contributes to this difficulty.
On Wikipedia, the discretion of a single administrator is enough to block a user, even if every other administrator reviewing the user decided not to block.
Even though a fine-printed Wikipedia policy claims that blocks are only used as a last resort for persistent problems with users, users have been blocked for writing reasonable criticism fully in accordance with policy. Such administrative behaviour discourages users from taking blocks seriously.
Events and incidents
This section documents historical events and incidents on Wikipedia.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.
Bbb23 CheckUser revocation
On June 18th 2020, the administrator Bbb23 lost his CheckUser privileges for abusive conduct and using the Check User tool in a fishing manner, shortly after which he retired from editing and administering.
Bbb23, who has an abysmal history of handling criticism, has been having CheckUser privileges since 2015 and plain administrator privileges since 2012.
- On many online platforms and communities, “block evasion” is a common false accusation made by site moderation and administration to get rid of users who mildly and reasonably criticized their actions.
- Wikipedia describes itself as “the sum of all knowledge” with the goal of “building a world where every single human being can contribute to the sum of all knowledge”, in contrary to their deletionist actions that speak louder than words.
- "Everything to Know On How to Approved Wikipedia Page Create?". gkpmaker.com. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
- The alleged purpose of Wikipedia
- Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion
- Criticism of deletionism on Wikipedia by DeletionPedia.org
- Wikipedia criteria for speedy deletion: G13
- Essay: The case against G13 (archived version)
- Wikipedia criterion for speedy (instant) deletion: G5
- Wikipedia banning policy § Evasion and enforcement: “Wikipedia's approach to enforcing bans balances a number of competing concerns: • Maximizing the quality of the encyclopedia.[…]”
- Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion§G5. Creations by banned or blocked users: “This criterion applies regardless of the quality of the page in question”
- The alleged Ignore all rules policy
- Behavioural policy “Assume good faith” on Wikipedia
- Wikipedia: Sanctions against editors should not be punitive
- Wikipedia banning policy section: Bans apply to all editing, good or bad (“Editors are site-banned only as a last resort, usually for extreme or very persistent problems that have not been resolved by lesser sanctions and that often resulted in considerable disruption or stress to other editors.”)
- User Aron Manning immediately blocked by infamous administrator Bbb23 after writing one paragraph of reasonable criticism on his user discussion page
- Wikipedia policy on administrative accountability (“Administrators are accountable for their actions involving administrator tools, as unexplained administrator actions can demoralize other editors who lack such tools. Subject only to the bounds of civility, avoiding personal attacks, and reasonable good faith, editors are free to question or to criticize administrator actions. Administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrative actions[…]”)