The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Specific discussion about Wikimedia editors and editing of Wikimedia project pages.
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The Devil's Advocate
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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 am

Flip Flopped wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:04 pm
I know TDAdvocate is not unsupportive of Trump and probably supports him
Heh.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Flip Flopped » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:42 pm

The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 am
Flip Flopped wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:04 pm
I know TDAdvocate is not unsupportive of Trump and probably supports him
Heh.
Okay, so you seem to indicate that you are not a Trump supporter. I am not a Trump supporter, but as a political realist there are very few people I am willing to shun and none unless I can see for myself whatever it is they are being shunned for.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Kingsindian » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:50 am

Proabivouac wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:14 am
Not all of us are liberals. I agree with your implicit suggestion that TDA's apparent political leanings are the underlying reason that he was banned from Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy alike. The same was true of Ottava Rima, who was fiercely critical of Wiki administrators but also opposed things like abortion, which was too much for WIkipediocrats to stomach.

One of the most crippling ongoing problems with Wikipedia criticism has been that the sociopolitical obsessions of the critics are basically the same as those of Wikipedians, moving them to excommunicate precisely the people who would otherwise be most likely to take a pitchfork to Wikipedia. Wikipedia's positions on the hot-button "culture war" issues are probably its biggest vulnerability, but when push comes to shove the WPO crowd stands with Wikipedia. They are then in a certain way like socialist-leaning Democrats, in the minority and unwilling to jump the fence, thus can be safely ignored.

To be fair, I don't disagree with everything Wikipedia stands for, either, or I would never have contributed to begin with. But I'm not a computer programmer and I'm not nearly as committed to the ideology as they are.

I will guess that an exception was made for HK because he opposed the same particular people and most likely provided funding. The former became less relevant with time. For all we know, the latter dried up and that was the real cause for his removal.
I think there is something to what you say here. I have made somewhat similar points elsewhere.

I tend to agree that the "culture war" issues are one major vulnerability of Wikipedia. I see this as just a continuation of the tactics used against the media. For instance, Accuracy in Media in the US has been going after "liberal bias" in the media for almost 50 years now. The same techniques can be (and have been) used against Wikipedia, because it relies so heavily on the media. Wikipedia provides an endless supply of outrage porn.

Another notesworthy aspect here is that if you look at forks or competitors to Wikipedia, you find a disproportionate amount of them on the right. Conservapedia is the most well-known. There are also Metapedia and Infogalactic. Just like the right wing in the US set up their own parallel media, I expect that there might be potential for setting up parallel Wikipedia-like structures.

About other aspects, I am not in agreement. The problems with Wikipedia (and the media generally) are not exclusively or even primarily partisan. Even left-vs-right does not really capture the issues. There's a split in the media between the neoliberal and the social-democratic left (and farther left), for example. The latter tends to be not well-funded, unlike the right wing media, so it's much less known.

The "culture war" stuff can obscure many of the real issues, and can even polarize responses, so that people who don't generally like one side or the other, still feel forced to take sides. This is not healthy. It happened with Gamergate and is typical in many political areas. Speaking for myself, I would not want a world where the only two options are Wikipedia boosterism and Breitbart.

I do not know what "when push comes to shove, the WPO crowd stands with Wikipedia" means. Can you elaborate?

About Ottava Rima, I do not know much about him. He was never on WO, and the public threads on him don't mention much about his politics. I doubt it was much of a factor.

As far as I understand, Hersch just became busy with their private life and didn't have time for WO. Hersch did have weird political views (I don't understand LaRouchites at all) and many people argued with them. That's about it.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Proabivouac » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:25 pm

Kingsindian wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:50 am
About Ottava Rima, I do not know much about him. He was never on WO, and the public threads on him don't mention much about his politics. I doubt it was much of a factor.
It was the only factor. On old WR, Somey and his gang used to ridicule him for this: he'd stated that photographs of naked children were inherently sexualized, which they twisted into suggesting that he was a pedophile. With wikipedia administrators and arbitrators there will be all kinds of hand-wringing about whether we are saying the right things or just saying too much, but with conservative catholics it's bombs away.

What I never understood about Ottava was his compulsive need to help Wikipedia for free and his willingness to compromise to get back on board. These traits are indeed comtemptible.
Last edited by Proabivouac on Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:48 pm

Kingsindian won't fully acknowledge the political factor here just like he won't fully acknowledge it regarding Wikipedia. He can't exactly dismiss it when they have a containment thread for Breitbart coverage filled with overtly political rants, but he also can't admit the extent of it. What is true about the statement that Wikipedia's problems aren't exclusively partisan is due to the fact most of Wikipedia's content is not inherently related to partisan politics. Anyone discussing Wikipedia, however, can't credibly criticize the site without talking about how editorial bias influences content. Not all of the time is that bias of a partisan political nature, because it is not always on articles where that is relevant. However, it is always a factor on political articles and when partisan political bias is a factor it is usually left-wing bias and not right-wing bias that is winning the day on account of the site's political demographics favoring the left. Unsurprisingly, Wikipediocracy reflects the community from which its members are mainly drawn.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Flip Flopped » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:51 pm

Proabivouac wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:25 pm
Kingsindian wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:50 am
About Ottava Rima, I do not know much about him. He was never on WO, and the public threads on him don't mention much about his politics. I doubt it was much of a factor.
It was the only factor. On old WR, Somey and his gang used to ridicule him for this: he'd stated that photographs of naked children were inherently sexualized, which they twisted into suggesting that he was a pedophile. With wikipedia administrators and arbitrators there will be all kinds of hand-wringing about whether we are saying the right things or just saying too much, but with conservative catholics it's bombs away.

What I never understood about Ottava was his compulsive need to help Wikipedia for free and his willingness to compromise to get back on board. These traits are indeed comtemptible.
Ottava was on WO. I think his account there was "Rathel." He was banned very quickly for nothing other than being Ottava Rima.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Proabivouac » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:18 pm

Flip Flopped wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:51 pm
Ottava was on WO. I think his account there was "Rathel." He was banned very quickly for nothing other than being Ottava Rima.
To quote HK's memorable paraphrase of Kris Kristofferson: "Consensus is another word for no one left to ban." Wikipedia is palpably diminished but still years from burning through their whole stash. Wikipediocracy proved to be the even better example. The list of the banned is substantially longer than that of active participants. This can be partly attributed to inviting Wikipedia administrators such as SB Johnny (who hated Ottava) into positions of authority, whereupon they unsurprisingly move to ban the same people they did on Wikipedia, but a good deal of it is just their own constrictive worldviews, fragile egos and vindictive and petty natures.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by Kingsindian » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:21 am

The Devil's Advocate wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:48 pm
Kingsindian won't fully acknowledge the political factor here just like he won't fully acknowledge it regarding Wikipedia. He can't exactly dismiss it when they have a containment thread for Breitbart coverage filled with overtly political rants, but he also can't admit the extent of it. What is true about the statement that Wikipedia's problems aren't exclusively partisan is due to the fact most of Wikipedia's content is not inherently related to partisan politics. Anyone discussing Wikipedia, however, can't credibly criticize the site without talking about how editorial bias influences content. Not all of the time is that bias of a partisan political nature, because it is not always on articles where that is relevant. However, it is always a factor on political articles and when partisan political bias is a factor it is usually left-wing bias and not right-wing bias that is winning the day on account of the site's political demographics favoring the left. Unsurprisingly, Wikipediocracy reflects the community from which its members are mainly drawn.
Shorn of all the verbiage, what you are saying is that WP has a left-wing bias because there are more left-wingers on Wikipedia. And that political bias affects political articles. Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.

I so "fail to acknowledge" this problem to such an extent that I literally wrote this in my blog post.
...they find that both Republicans and Democrats are represented well on Wikipedia, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by some amount. This pattern is typical of many fields like journalism and academia.
Notice that your argument is the exact argument given by the Lightbreathers of the world: Wikipedia is sexist because there are many more men than women on WP. Or Fae: Wikipedia is homophobic, because <fill in the blank>. Any criticism must be sexist or homophobic by definition. All "identity warriors" are fundamentally alike. And yes, you are an identity warrior, just as Lightbreather is. Political identity is an identity like many others and is heritable to a significant extent (see this and this). Breitbart just happens to cater to one kind of identity politics.

I am not unsympathetic to these issues: indeed I have talked about both of these things many times before. Where I differ with people like you is in the following:
  1. Human beings have many identities, and depending on circumstances, one or the other can come to the fore.
  2. Identities are complex: Sashi was not banned on Wikipedia because they were not left-wing; if anything they were banned because they were too left-wing (Jill Stein vs. Hillary Clinton).
  3. I believe in notions like truth and justice. I think human beings can overcome their biases, and are not doomed to be imprisoned by our identities.
I fully expect this post to have zero effect on anything you say about me. I eagerly await your Breitbart articles on how the 10 to 1 (that's probably an understatement) ratio of Israelis to Arabs on Wikipedia skews the content.

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Re: The Devil's Advocate was mentioned in BuzzFeed

Post by The Devil's Advocate » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:26 am

Kingsindian wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:21 am
Shorn of all the verbiage, what you are saying is that WP has a left-wing bias because there are more left-wingers on Wikipedia. And that political bias affects political articles. Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.

I so "fail to acknowledge" this problem to such an extent that I literally wrote this in my blog post.
...they find that both Republicans and Democrats are represented well on Wikipedia, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by some amount. This pattern is typical of many fields like journalism and academia.
Notice that your argument is the exact argument given by the Lightbreathers of the world: Wikipedia is sexist because there are many more men than women on WP. Or Fae: Wikipedia is homophobic, because <fill in the blank>. Any criticism must be sexist or homophobic by definition. All "identity warriors" are fundamentally alike. And yes, you are an identity warrior, just as Lightbreather is. Political identity is an identity like many others and is heritable to a significant extent (see this and this). Breitbart just happens to cater to one kind of identity politics.

I am not unsympathetic to these issues: indeed I have talked about both of these things many times before. Where I differ with people like you is in the following:
  1. Human beings have many identities, and depending on circumstances, one or the other can come to the fore.
  2. Identities are complex: Sashi was not banned on Wikipedia because they were not left-wing; if anything they were banned because they were too left-wing (Jill Stein vs. Hillary Clinton).
  3. I believe in notions like truth and justice. I think human beings can overcome their biases, and are not doomed to be imprisoned by our identities.
I fully expect this post to have zero effect on anything you say about me. I eagerly await your Breitbart articles on how the 10 to 1 (that's probably an understatement) ratio of Israelis to Arabs on Wikipedia skews the content.
You are right this won't have an effect on what I say about you, because it really doesn't say anything. It is full of platitudes, accusations, and invalid comparisons. Anyone can stipulate that an issue exists, but if that person never really tries to address it and spends more time arguing against it being an issue, then it is safe to say that person is really in favor of what the issue represents. Nothing of what you said is going to be persuasive because it is largely indistinguishable from the defenses uttered by countless Wikipedians accused of bias. Unfortunately, one consequence of bias is a failure to realize it is bias. Giving you some credit, you do at least allow for some effect of political bias, which is more than what some of your peers would allow.

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Capitals00: who dat?

Post by sashi » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:32 pm

Kingsindian wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:21 am
Sashi was not banned on Wikipedia because he was not left-wing;

true
if anything he was banned because he was too left-wing (Jill Stein vs. Hillary Clinton).
I don't think this is true: the group of editors who got me banned was primarily concerned with me pointing out that Sagecandor's spamming was out of contol. Perhaps they were worried too about the Minassian story, which had only recently surfaced because Auggie posted the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 990 when it appeared).

I remember Capitals00, for example, was very interested in the sentence I would receive, and very uninterested in whether I was guilty of anything...

I wonder what their spin on the world is.

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