William Connolley, now “climate topic banned” at Wikipedia

http://himaarmenia.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/wikipedia-logo.jpg?w=157&h=189Bishop Hill had the news first, which is fitting since Mr. Connolley is based in Britain.

In a vote of 7-0, The most prolific climate revisionist editor ever at Wikipedia, with over 5400 article revisions has been banned from making any edits about climate related articles for six months.

Here’s the details at Wikipedia. After that time, he can reapply, per the Wikipedia rules seen here in remedy 3

This is of course just a shot across the bow, and there are easy ways to circumvent such a ban, but it is finally a factual realization by Wikipedia that the sort of gatekeeping and revisioning wars in the climate change information business are being recognized and dealt with.

Personally, I’m encouraged by some of the recent changes brought to my attention by Peter Tillman, an editor who left a comment here.

Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better.

156 thoughts on “William Connolley, now “climate topic banned” at Wikipedia

  1. The whole problem is getting someone in that “field of expertise”.
    Same problem with peer review.
    By the time they have “expertise”, they have an opinion.
    Anyone with “expertise” is going to be hard pressed to pass something that makes them look wrong.

  2. Well, they’ve put new sanctions in place in the CC topic area and banned basically every skeptic.

    Several key AGW members were ignored and if anyone jumps in I expect they will be banned using the same tactics WMC’s group has always used (revert, bait and then whine to admins).

    Do those of us who submitted evidence against WMC in this case get special WUWT medals? ;)

    REPLY: I wish I had them to pass out, but with budget cuts…oh, wait, I have no budget. – Anthony

  3. For six months? The issue goes back to the late 1960s. How about banning him for six years or even sixty years?

    REPLY: Wikipedia was formally launched on 15 January 2001, how about we limit the scope to the venue? – Anthony

  4. He’ll probably re-register himself as Conal M Williams or some such. Like dog’s doings on your shoes, the smell will hang around and just won’t go away

  5. OT, sorry, but too good to pass up: Friday Funny material for you Anthony

    From the LA Times: UFO’s descend upon Manhattan. “…believers cite a September 13 press release for the book Challenges of Change by retired NORAD officer Stanley A. Fulham, which predicted a fleet of UFOs would descend upon Earth’s major cities on Wednesday, October 13.
    Fulham stated the extraterrestrials would neither land nor make any communication with Earth on Wednesday. But their presence would be “the first in a series intended to avert a planetary catastrophe resulting from increasing levels of carbon-dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere dangerously approaching a ‘critical mass.’ [...] They are aware from eons of experience with other planets in similar conditions their sudden intervention would cause fear and panic.”

    He asserts their contact with Earth is part of their process of leading mankind into accepting the “alien reality and technologies for the removal of poisonous gases from the earth’s atmosphere in 2015, if not sooner.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/wpix-ufo-sighting,0,2283967.story

  6. P.F. says:
    October 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    “For six months? The issue goes back to the late 1960s. How about banning him for six years or even sixty years?”

    No, it is technically indefinite, but we can all appeal after 6 months.

  7. Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Atmosphere

    The present level is higher than at any time during the last 800 thousand years,[3] and likely higher than in the past 20 million years.[4]

    References:
    3. “Deep ice tells long climate story”. BBC News. 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
    4. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis

    Anyone who wants to correct that, especially with it citing such illustrious unquestionable peer-reviewed references as the BBC, feel free to try. We’ll see how long it’ll stick “now that Connolley is gone.”

  8. A very wise but inevitable decision. This man was giving Wikipedia a bad name, a very bad name.
    I wish the Wikipedia’s DMU and management all the success of the world with their project.

  9. 007 says:
    October 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    It should be noted that this 7-0 vote is against a co-founder of RealClimate. Speaks volumes.

    I wonder what happened to make these 7 change their minds? This is not the first time Connelley has been called up and they gave him a slap on the wrist before.

  10. One suspects that Stoat and RC will be deadly silent on this issue and “moderating” any posters that dare mention the ban.

    Problem is that he can easily start editing under another name, from another IP, another email address, and through various “sock puppets.” The ban is a symbolic gesture as best, but I applaud it as thus. His edits were indiscriminate and in many cases poorly argued. That Wiki let it go for so long despite his obvious PoV bias beggars belief.

  11. Good news that Wikipedias finally actually noticed.
    That should inconvinience him for several minutes until he activates his sockpuppets.

  12. Hopefully this will not turn into a case of “better the devil you know…” although it is difficult to imagine someone being more biased than Mr WC.

  13. I say leave him there…. all these guys including Romm, Hansen, Tamino, Pachauri, Nature (climate science), APS et al (climate science), are the skeptics allies/best friend, due to their inherent capacity to do things that eventually bring them and the whole scam down.

  14. The Wikipedia Paradox

    1. At the time that you are looking at a page how do you determine it’s level of accuracy?

    2. How do you determine if a page is “good editor” corrected or “bad editor” inaccurate?

    3. Who decides who a “good editor” is? How are their qualifications determined?

    4. What is the time frame for a “good editor” to correct a page and how is this time frame determined?

    5. If more then one “good editor” wants to make completely different changes to a page who wins? Could it be the last one who edited it? But which is the truth?

    6. If more then one person is “watching” a topic for changes and they both want to make completely different changes to a page who wins? Could it be the last one who edited it? But which is the truth?

    7. Are there more expert or non-expert people with Internet connections on a certain subject that can edit that subject’s Wikipedia page?

    8. With no value assigned to level of expertise for editors per Wikipedia page how is the accuracy of the edits determined?

    9. How is a “neutral point of view” determined on Wikipedia pages and who makes this decision? Could it be the person who edited it last? How is this a “neutral point of view”?

    10. If Wikipedia is so accurate then why would anyone ever need to make corrections to it?

  15. Personally I disagree, with the removal of the ban.

    I was once an avid supporter of group networking to solve issues, but the behaviors of collective disinformation and defamation, have caused serious injury.

    There has been no apologia (yes that is what I wrote) it was not a single issue of conflict it was a series of issues that would have made middle age inquisitors proud.

    As a brand new voluntary project in information management, the story of the behaviors in Climate needed to be observed and reported as factual and not as partisan player.

    Pinning a tail one one malicious donkey and calling that a fix, is not rigorous librarianship.

    How many people defamed? How many careers destroyed? And the defence of the failed philosophical position of the precautionary principle?

    Encyclopedia are to report accurately even in conflict.

    Me I will continue to avoid like the plague, this discredited project. It was joined at the hip top the last witchhunt instead of historically recording the conflict. A pox on it’s ignoble house.

    Librarians in society have significant duties of care to make sure books are not burned and knowledge destroyed. To report outcomes and discussions and debates.

  16. 007 says:
    October 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Yesh Double O sheven. It doush shpeak volumesh. What wil Connolly do in hish shpare time now?

  17. I agree that this is somewhat of an admission by Wikipedia that there has been bias by WMC regarding the topic of Climate Change. I suspect that other members of his “team” will continue Connolley’s effort, but now it will not be as easy to hide.

  18. The wikipedia pages on Global Warming and Climate Change need to be completely re-written to include both sides of the data. (ie:unadjusted for example?). Hope somebody herein can do this….

  19. Just some details about ban:
    3.2.1) Editors topic banned under this decision may apply to have the topic ban lifted or modified after demonstrating their commitment to the goals of Wikipedia and their ability to work constructively with other editors. The Committee will consider each request individually, but will look favorably on participation in the featured content process, including both production of any type of featured content, as well as constructive participation in featured content candidacies and reviews. Applications will be considered no earlier than six months after the close of this case, and additional reviews will be done, unless the Committee directs otherwise in individual instances, no more frequently than every three months thereafter.
    source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Climate_change/Proposed_decision#Climate_Change_topic_bans

  20. Beware! Watch for this decision to be amended and reduced in a few weeks when they think no one is looking. Folks need to mark the calender to follow the status of this guy. He’ll be back at it in a jiffy. Keep your eye on this.

  21. Good riddance!

    For a fine example of his abusive behavior, see the talk pages of William Gray’s biography page.

    Much of his behavior was in direct contradiction of Wiki policy and all intended to forward his own opinions, at the expense of the reputations of others.

  22. Poptech says:
    October 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm
    Editing Wikipedia is largely a waste of time because it is flawed by design and nothing more than truth based on who edits last.
    ====

    Hmmm … sounds very much like the much vaunted IPCC “expert review” process.

    The climate change game … Monopoly: the IPCC version

  23. The emails were the not the worst thing in science history. (Let’s all face it bastardry occurs in academe’ all the time, no one actually got put on the rack or had hot pokers placed in places not suitable).

    Wikipedia had become an information resource.

    Until they recognise and address their librarianship issues they cannot be supported let alone be recommended.

    I used to be a high risk reconstruction manager, the important trick is to get the client recognising real issues not emotions. My job was to sit down with technically savvy intelligent business people in all kinds of Industries and technologies, get them to concentrate on the real issues not personal or inter personal issues.

    Wiki has not recognised issues let alone tried to address to address them.

    To be fair, this blog has better standards of librarianship. Than Wiki.

    I said a pox on their ignoble house and I meant it.

    Snip if you wish.

  24. How can somebody make that many edits and not be a professional propagandist? I encountered the same thing on digg and reddit. You guys think you are winning because you talk to people who are enlightened and have at least a passing understanding of science. The AGW people have an army of propagandists. Most people never heard of “climategate”! I use Wikipedia allot; but, never as a the only source and I am aware of their bias.

  25. I suggest they just ban the topic. Period.

    The mess that’s been created is irreversible, in my opinion. Because as

    trbixler says:
    October 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm
    Not to state the obvious but who will unwind the thousands of biased edits?

  26. Awesome.

    Reminds me of the second time the Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed. There’s me, scrolls in hand wondering who could remember the last 4,000 years of collected knowledge – plus that awkward bit about Atlantis, and the true but hard to believe chunk on Alien visitors being the root of all religions.
    Needn’t have worried, the dark ages reset human kind from slowly evolving to stalled, and then the renaisance went and wrecked it all….bloody enlightenment.
    Now we have WreckMePedia, which is kind of like the dark ages …but darker….Darker Ages,…perhaps with a hint of red and green…

  27. There was a problem with William Connolley. I made an edit about a week ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_warming#Increased_freshwater_flow (I rarely edit in this area). And right away he’s on the talk page putting his two cents in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Effects_of_global_warming#Increased_runoff_etc It’s not that he’s wrong; it’s like he’s hovering over everyone. That what WP:OWN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles is about. I don’t think him being gone for a while is going to change much; we’re still not going to allow poorly sourced biased information, but maybe you can accept this as evidence that we are trying to provide a fair statement of generally accepted knowledge in this area.

  28. Very late this ban, the man was practically given a monopoly on advertising his views on a public medium, were they sleeping?. This William Connolley was a big smudge on Wikipedia; keep him off.

  29. After reading the whole thing, those guys were pretty lenient on him. As many times as he’s been the subject of disciplinary consideration, I would have leaned towards site banning him indefinitely, as he’s demonstrated a certain amount of zealotry, to put it mildly.

  30. In all seriousness though…

    How many Stubs,
    could a warmista Mug,
    if a warmista,
    could Mug Stubs?

    Now we know.

    All of them.

  31. Poptech says:

    Well, paraphrasing… “I don’t think so highly of Wikipedia”
    ——–
    Fair enough, but perhaps you expect too much of it.
    Treating any single source as an infallible oracle is unwise in a library, too.
    I find Wiki a good first stop because it provides a host of potential search words, including names in the bibliographies, on a great breadth of topics.

  32. There was a guy who did a series of tests with Wikipedia and wrote about his experiences – I remember he had one entry deleted within 60 seconds. Perhaps he can try again and report back.

    As a canary perhaps someone could re-update the Hal Lewis entry and see what happens. One comment I read said that Wikipedia had a particularly good article on the Roman Warm Period which was removed [and still is]. Perhaps this could be reinstated as a test.

    One possibility would be to organise a war with Wikipedia. Volunteers could agree to look after one or more entries and re-instate them if they are changed in an irrational way. If there were thousands of such volunteers then perhaps it would overwhelm them.

    Perhaps Wikipedia could be persuaded to allow dual entries – skeptical and warmist – then users could check out both and form their own opinion. In effect to acknowledge there is [heated] dispute.

  33. REPLY: I wish I had them to pass out, but with budget cuts…oh, wait, I have no budget. – Anthony

    Aw, Anthony, at least bestow TheGoodLocust the “Order of the Purple Smiley”.

  34. The Wikipedia Methane entry

    Previous version:

    Methane in the atmosphere is a relatively potent greenhouse gas.

    Connolley’s change:

    Methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas.

    His reason:

    (Minor fiddle: ” in the atmosphere” isn’t needed, and is sort-of wrong: its a GHG whereever it is.)

    LIQUID methane is a GHG?
    FROZEN methane is a GHG?
    Methane in water is a GHG?
    And of course what is gurgling in my intestines that I want to release in his general direction is CERTAINLY a GHG!

    Will someone who actually knows science please correct his scientifically-ignorant errors?

  35. Oliver Ramsay,

    No, I actually understand how it works and I think it is flawed by design. No site is more widely used as a “reliable” source of knowledge that allows any drug user who has had a lobotomy to edit it. Every computer illiterate user on the Internet references it as “fact” and none have any remote comprehension how it works. Wikipedia has done more to spread worldwide ignorance than anything in history.

  36. I like Wikipedia. Before it came about, you had to buy a set of CDs from either Encyclopedia Brittanica or Encarta at an eye-watering price, which meant you weren’t getting the latest info on a fast moving subject.

    There was an attempt to have an encyclopedia that only got contributions from well known scientists within a given field, but that didn’t work either, and would have been subject to the same problems as Wikipedia anyway, the inbuilt bias of the author.

    I also like the fact that you can download the raw files that underlie the whole project, and put it in your own format, if you wish. And they are trying hard to get citations for any statements that are made.

    Unfortunately, it’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. By making it open access, you can get the latest most up to date info on a given subject, but it also allows the propagandists to keep their point of view to the forefront on controversial subjects.

    They should be using the fact that there are edit wars on a subject as a clue to the fact that the subject is controversial, and mark that subject as such. They should then give both sides space that cannot be edited by the other side, to put their point of view across.

    It would then be up to the proponents on each side to put their best case forward, and for people visiting it to make up their own minds. It’s still not perfect, because in something like global warming, most of the money for research is on one side.

    I’d hate to see Wikipedia fail, because the alternative is to go to Bing or Google, and parse through a mountain of crap before one finds the information that they need.

  37. Even though they banned him for six months and others thought sixty years was appropriate, Anthony had a problem with that- but I remind you that many judges sentence people for 360 years for some horrible crimes. The venue there obviously is out of synch but I see nothing wrong with 60 years here.

  38. I’d hate to see Wikipedia fail, because the alternative is to go to Bing or Google, and parse through a mountain of crap before one finds the information that they need.

    That is what you do with Wikipedia. So what is the difference?

  39. Bulldust says:
    October 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm
    … as such * … dang it is first thing Friday morning. The beers haven’t kicked in yet >.>

    Beer? More than just a breakfast drink….

  40. Double O sheven’s post above has put me in a shilly mood sho here’sh Shcotland’s ‘William’ Connolly. He’sh a much shmarter pershon than the English one – they can keep him. Here’sh a random shample.

    You folksh accrossh the pond know all about Billy Connolly but here’sh shome more Shcottich humour you may not know about – Chewin’ The Fat on Jamesh Bond.

  41. I like Wikipedia too.

    One reason I like it, is that I realise that most book encyclopedias are no better written. They are definitely less thoroughly checked. Experiments have confirmed this — book encyclopedias contain as many errors.

    Librarians in society have significant duties of care to make sure books are not burned and knowledge destroyed. To report outcomes and discussions and debates.

    Yeah, like most encyclopedias actively record dissent! In fact Wikipedia is unusual in that you can actually see what the source of disputed facts are.

    There was no golden era in which encyclopedias could be relied on. There never will be. Always check facts. That includes paper sources.

  42. I wonder how many topics on Global Warming, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Climate Change, Global Climate Disruption, Climate Money Laundering Wiki will have to control..?

  43. Ha! Six months? How kind-hearted and commiserating are destroyers of culture, science, and education toward their own.

    I complained once about Connolley publishing my private email on his Wikipedia talk page, and… his fellow admin (don’t even remember his moniker now, some wannabe lawyer) banned me from editing forever.

    Why ask scoundrels to be just? Why expect fraudsters to have honor?
    Ignore them, and they will pass into oblivion.

  44. Considering the historical bias of wikipedia this could be a significant step. Do I consider them a reliable source? heck no! But what really is after all?

    From politics to specs for older models of cars and trucks they are full of errors – some innocent and some not. But as the reader it’s still your responsibility to judge the source for yourself no matter what the source may be and no matter how much you want to believe in it.

    One of the things that is frustrating about orthodox alarmists is their argument of trusting the consensus. On the one hand they seem content to admit their own ignorance of the science in a bid to pass responsibility to some one else – the “experts”. But by placing trust in some one else you have made a decision just as potentially dangerous and still bear the responsibility for your choice.

    The idea of due dilligence seems to be dying.

  45. Poptech says:
    “No, I actually understand how it works and I think it is flawed by design. No site is more widely used as a “reliable” source of knowledge that allows any drug user who has had a lobotomy to edit it. Every computer illiterate user on the Internet references it as “fact” and none have any remote comprehension how it works. Wikipedia has done more to spread worldwide ignorance than anything in history.”
    ————–

    Your opinion is extravagantly expressed and loses some credibility as a consequence.
    Are you suggesting that some alternative would ensure that “every computer-illiterate user” would be transformed into a well-informed, thinking repository of the Truth?

  46. One reason I like it, is that I realise that most book encyclopedias are no better written. They are definitely less thoroughly checked. Experiments have confirmed this — book encyclopedias contain as many errors.
    This is total nonsense and anyone who believes it has no remote understanding of how Wikipedia works.

    Fatally Flawed: Refuting the recent study on encyclopedic accuracy by the journal Nature (PDF) (Britannica)

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people believe this misinformation about the alleged accuracy of Wikipedia.

  47. Are you suggesting that some alternative would ensure that “every computer-illiterate user” would be transformed into a well-informed, thinking repository of the Truth?</blockquote
    I am stating as fact that it is impossible to trust a single word on Wikipedia without verifying it from a reputable third party source every time you look at it.

    Computer illiteracy is why people blindly trust it.

  48. Are you suggesting that some alternative would ensure that “every computer-illiterate user” would be transformed into a well-informed, thinking repository of the Truth?

    I am stating as fact that it is impossible to trust a single word on Wikipedia without verifying it from a reputable third party source every time you look at it.

    Computer illiteracy is why people blindly trust it.

  49. Mooloo.

    In all due respect. Technology of any sort is not stationary. However in this thread the discussion is on the blatant misuse of a construct that is trying to be both a library (as in index cards to sources) and as a first source encyclopedia.

    ActuallyI can go to any reputable Encyclopedia or Library and read on Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Gallilleo, Copernicus, George Washington, Malcom X, Rome and Carthage, with Carthage actually attempted to be totally censored out of existence physically. I can read on issues of dissent over millenia. History is not banned from Encyclopedias or libraries for that matter. Wiki are the ones to claim to real time and accuracy.

    Books go out of date. Bloody dictionaries are revised and revised. Encyclopedia’s similarly.

    I don’t use wikipedia. They allowed the medium to be politicised and bastardised. They can have all the noble goals they want but unless they actually do some due bloody diligence as part of what they actually do and not censorship and defamation, then they are not a resource worth spit. Their job is not to defame people on their backgrounds nor remove any reference to serious works published in science journals.

    You like it, cool, it’s your bandwidth. On the subject of Climate Change they are less than prestigious, which then taints the whole organization and it’s work.

    At least to me anyway. Flame off.

  50. “Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better.”

    I think not. The concept of wikipedia works only if politics doesn’t exist. There’s a saying in business that if one person is responsible for a decision, you have a decision maker. If two people share the responsibility, you have… politics. Abuse of Wikipedia is rampant and climate is not the only place where it happens. There’s at least two other topics besides climate that I have a general interest in, and hijacking by politics is rampant on Wikipedia for both of them.

    Someone pointed out that the traditional paper based encyclopedias had lots of errors in them too. True. But with a fundamental difference. Britannica and others charged money for their product, and their market share and profitability was based in part on the quality of their information. The damage to them of allowing the kind of abuse that Connolley is becoming famous for would hurt revenue and profits. Their errors were just that, errors. Not deliberate acts of misinformation driven by a political agenda. Not to mention that being published on an annual basis in hard copy, it wasn’t possible for them to edit history out of existance.

    I don’t see a return the the leather bound books that are stacked up in my basement, but crowd sourced information is as suspect as the peer review process and needs to be rethought in light of current technology and the “information” age.

  51. Why some people hate other human beings so much as to blame them so vehimently for the climate of the earth is beyond me. They want us humans to take the blame for everything under the sun. Some of those warmists are such vile scum for their irrational hatred of humans, and for their ulterior motives to enrich themselves by taxing the hell out of us for something that is not our fault.

    Thank God for Climategate and the people who put the information out. It looks like it’s over for the real scum of the Earth, the eugenicist human haters.

  52. @ Capn Jack Walker October 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    How many people defamed? How many careers destroyed?

    How many people misled?

    I have to say, not much stuns me anymore, but this did. Regardless of whether WC can get around it, it sends a message. To both sides, surely, but to THAT side, specifically? If ANYONE had predicted this a year ago… we’d have said he was nuts.

    HAIL CLIMATEGATE!

    It truly started the collapse of a house of cards. A slow one, yes. But, folks, the tide keeps turning. Yes it does.

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Great comments, everyone! But no overreacting on our part. Recognition of justice, finally some justice.

    For me this is the best moment since Climategate and its immediate aftermath.

  53. @ Stephan October 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    The wikipedia pages on Global Warming and Climate Change need to be completely re-written to include both sides of the data. (ie:unadjusted for example?). Hope somebody herein can do this….

    Hear! Hear!

    With the numbers visiting here, this is the biggest voice on our side, with all due kudos to CA. And at CA, Steve M insists his thing is not climatology.

    So who better than some here? Perhaps a committee, Anthony? (Too formal? I have 100% expectation we would do it fairly.) With consideration of the points made by Capn Jack Walker (to include a record of the conflict)?

    …I am thinking that would be a really big job…

  54. I just asked me eldest boy if he used it. No conversation, no coaching, we have a rule in this house adults are inconvenient necessities barely tolerated.

    Now a brief background, I have four children, he is very net savvy but as a student he does sport for a living.

    His answer was, “any clown can post and edit it, it’s not a good resource”.

    So I guess that is the opinion of the net savvy younger generation and their teachers..

    Don’t matter what I say, they trashed their own brand.

  55. “My instincts impel me to say that I would, if possible, prefer a more carefully tailored, nuanced sanction or set of sanctions that could preserve the value of William M. Connolley’s editing”

    Bang head on table time!

  56. Hahaha! Anyone want to go into his Wikipedia page and edit it now? He can’t go in and revise it (theoretically…)

  57. The only thing that Wikipedia has banned is an ego. It´s quite easy to come back and edit using a different name and/or a different IP. Nothing has happened here.

  58. The tax payers maybe sad that he’s not sitting on Wiki all day at there expense, oh wait I’m one of them tax payers, hey Connelley get back and do some real work instead of gate keeping your religion.

  59. I like Wikipedia now (they are usually wonderful on pure math topics), but this is an early version of the concept. Wikipedia is flawed, but the evolutionary process is underway. Something better than Wikipedia may come out next but this cannot happen without the current lessons learned.

  60. Who is paying WMC? He’s not doing this in his free time and he’s not alone. There’s a team and funding behind him. My guess would be one of the environmental ‘charities’ so expect the team to reappear in some other guise.

    Wikipedia has reached what I call the churn point. Open access allowed it to get up and running very quickly but now the [communist] model is working against it. I think the missing ingredient is ownership. There is a real limit to how far lack of ownership can take you because it has side effects including:

    1. Orphaned pages. Why bother keeping topics up to date when anybody can come along and replace what you have written. I see lots of topics which are now out of date.
    2. Respect for other people. Most decent people work on the assumption that someone owns the page in spite of what Wikipedia says. Who asked me to edit someone else’s work? Nobody – so most people don’t.
    3. Lack of expertise. Some topics are very detailed and are obviously written by an expert but most are not. For example, take a look at ‘English cuisine’. The author is clearly not a chef or food writer. I’ve got a 500 page book on the subject. Any modern chef wouldn’t be seen dead cooking the dishes shown and it’s not the kind of food I eat now. They are all from the past.
    4. Undefined audience. Take a topic like foot. Is it about human feet, animal feet or furniture feet? Is it intended for patients, athletes, doctors, surgeons, biologists, evolutionists or furniture makers? There’ll be lots of books aimed at each audience but there is no single expert on all feet.
    5. Some topics are inherently controversial. Try Arab–Israeli conflict. It all depends on where you it. What’s there can only be one opinion.

  61. Who is paying WMC? He’s not doing this in his free time and he’s not alone. There’s a team and funding behind him. My guess would be one of the environmental ‘charities’ so expect the team to reappear in some other guise.

    Wikipedia has reached what I call the churn point. Open access allowed it to get up and running very quickly but now the [communist] model is working against it. I think the missing ingredient is ownership. There is a real limit to how far lack of ownership can take you because it has side effects including:

    1. Orphaned pages. Why bother keeping topics up to date when anybody can come along and replace what you have written. I see lots of topics which are now out of date.
    2. Respect for other people. Most decent people work on the assumption that someone owns the page in spite of what Wikipedia says. Who asked me to edit someone else’s work? Nobody – so most people don’t.
    3. Lack of expertise. Some topics are very detailed and are obviously written by an expert but most are not. For example, take a look at ‘English cuisine’. The author is clearly not a chef or food writer. I’ve got a 500 page book on the subject. Any modern chef wouldn’t be seen dead cooking the dishes shown and it’s not the kind of food I eat now. They are all from the past.
    4. Undefined audience. Take a topic like foot. Is it about human feet, animal feet or furniture feet? Is it intended for patients, athletes, doctors, surgeons, biologists, evolutionists or furniture makers? There’ll be lots of books aimed at each audience but there is no single expert on all things feety.
    5. Some topics are inherently controversial. Try Arab–Israeli conflict. It all depends on where you it. What’s there can only ever be one opinion.

  62. Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better.

    My attitude has been that “they need people of different views who respect each other because the reader soon gets put off a one-sided biased article.”

    The truth is that Silly Billy has done more than anyone else to turn readers and editors off climate articles by indulging in bullyboy tactics to force through clear and blatant propaganda.

    As I said many times: “the fact that the global temperature has stopped going up is undeniable … what is arguable is the cause and future trend, but the fact there has been a pause is not only scientifically interesting, it has had huge ramifications in the political arena for global warmers.” Everyone who has read anything on climate knows about the recent pause and the fact wikipedia failed to mention, let alone discuss this obvious fact proves it isn’t being honest with the result people do not trust anything that is written in the article … and that mistrust spreads to other articles”.

    Indeed, I knew that whilst it was very tempting to try and force them to accept edits, all I was doing was putting a sugar coating more acceptable to sceptics on a blatant piece of warmist propaganda.

    AND WHY ON EARTH SHOULD ANYONE TRY TO MAKE BLATANT WARMIST PROPAGANDA MORE ACCEPTABLE?

  63. A ruthless political activist is a political activist. In any organisation, if you take a decision that that is what they are, they should be banned for life.

    Will the magnificent 7 now revisit and change the 5,400+ edits made by this gentleman? If they do, I might take notice, if not… yawn.

    All the best.

  64. In the blogosphere where Wikepedia exists, it is well known that they have been a running joke for a long time. I guess they are just getting tired of being called out all the time in the blogosphere.

    This Wiki topic seems to be in some error and should be re-edited as well.

    Reliability of Wikipedia
    “The reliability of Wikipedia, compared to both other encyclopedias and more specialized sources, is assessed in several ways, including statistically, by comparative review, analysis of the historical patterns, and strengths and weaknesses inherent in the editing process unique to Wikipedia.

    Because Wikipedia is open to anonymous and collaborative editing, assessments of its reliability usually include examinations of how quickly false or misleading information is removed. An early study conducted by IBM researchers in 2003—two years following Wikipedia’s establishment—found that “vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly — so quickly that most users will never see its effects”[1] and concluded that Wikipedia had “surprisingly effective self-healing capabilities”.[2]

    A notable early study in the journal Nature suggested that in 2005, Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of “serious errors”.[3] This study was disputed by Encyclopædia Britannica.[4]

    By 2010 reviewers in medical and scientific fields such as toxicology, cancer research and drug information reviewing Wikipedia against professional and peer reviewed sources found that Wikipedia’s depth and coverage were of a very high standard, often comparable in coverage to physician databases and considerably better than well known reputable national media outlets. Wikipedia articles were cited as references in journals (614 cites in 2009) and as evidence in trademark and higher court rulings. However, omissions and readability sometimes remained an issue – the former at times due to public relations removal of adverse product information and a considerable concern for fields such as medicine.

    A common view as of 2010 in fields from medicine to technology and a range of social-cultural topics, is that Wikipedia is a valuable research resource and starting point for information and major news events, and articles in many areas are routinely accurate and informative (Military History topics being assessed as “spot on”), but users should take care – as with all general reference works – to check their facts and be aware that mistakes and omissions do occur.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

  65. I have two daughters at University. I warned them both about the dangers inherent in relying on Wikipedia for any sort of quote and advised them to avoid it.
    Both daughters have been told repeatedly by staff of their respective educational institutions that any mention or quote from Wikipedia is strictly forbidden on the grounds that the Wiki is not intellectually nor factually correct in far too many fields.
    That is how institutions of higher learning regard the Wiki in England; it is to be avoided and ignored.

  66. Thegoodlocust makes a good point – you lose 1 warmist but several realists – there must be lots of vacancies for people to help Pete Tillman.

    I am amazed at how much time and effort must have been put into the whole process – you have to feel that most of the people involved are doing it for the right reason but as with so many good will enterprises there are a lways a few who take advantage.

    It will be intersting to see if the problem goes away or if someone else just steps up and continues to censor any reasonable alternative points to the warmist’s flawed arguments.

  67. anticlimactic says: “Perhaps Wikipedia could be persuaded to allow dual entries – skeptical and warmist – then users could check out both and form their own opinion. In effect to acknowledge there is [heated] dispute.

    I think that has got to be the solution. It not only that they “hog the article”, they also “hog the agenda” by e.g. defining “global warming” as a “science” and using this to prevent any references or material from anyone who isn’t part of the same group of scientists and their underlings/cronies who edit wikipedia.

    The simple truth is that global warming is political article, and predominantly the sceptical interpretation and evidential base is found in political references and not the (POV) science journals.

    And it is also notable the way there is no articles on climate prediction … for obvious reasons because climate predictions have been so totally abysmal and any historical analysis shows a range of climate predictions from sooth sayers in the ancient world to camp century cycles and predicted cooling to global warming … all sharing very much in common.

    So, this would have to be much more than “global warming (scientific article only allowing Mann and cronies as a source)” The pro (experts) and the con (… oops we’ve defined it so that there is no reliable source to back up any of your claims).

    It would have to be:

    Global warming (politics and science),
    climate science (real science … but who am I kidding!),
    Climate predictions (science … but not as the “scientists” want it),
    21st century cooling (the impact of the cooling on world perception, its affects on public opinion, climate actions etc.).
    Climategate (as most other language articles call it!)

    ACTION PLAN TO CHANGE WIKIPEDIA

    1. Remove Silly Billy (done)
    2. Get enough people to assert the view on the article that global warming is a political issue and therefore political comment is as valid as “scientific” comment.
    3. Having undermined their main defence that only “their” (i.e. the “scientists and underlings who edit wikipedia) views (aka science papers) are allowed, proceed to include a range of diverse views on the issue and make it an interesting read covering the whole subject in depth.

  68. “Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better. ”

    Some fields of my interests are worked out really well on Wikipedia and it can be a really rich source of information. Especially as people with much interest but a different view can normally give input too as long as there input applies to the rules.

    Sadly the model didn’t work up till now for the Climate subject. It must be possible to give every lemma more objectivity. That said the amount of (funding for) science behind climate change has long ago reached a “tipping point”

  69. CYA at the Wreckepedia. Now it’s up to the gang of William to continue his tireless work – Brigade Harvester Boris and Stefan Schmidt or Schultz or something like that. Go, boys, rewrite history!

  70. “Fred Bauder says:
    October 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    There was a problem with William Connolley.
    [..]
    It’s not that he’s wrong; it’s like he’s hovering over everyone. That what WP:OWN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles is about.”

    There was a lot more than one problem with Connolley. How about Wikipedia:Civility? How about NPOV? Wikipedia:Disruptive editing? Wikipedia:Etiquette? Wikipedia:Assume good faith? Wikipedia:Conflict of interest? The problems have manifested themselves not once, or a few times, but thousands of times. And he certainly is wrong a lot. He just doesn’t like to admit it.

    “I don’t think him being gone for a while is going to change much; we’re still not going to allow poorly sourced biased information,”

    I don’t think it is going to change much either. At least we can agree on that. Connolley regularly sourced material from the blog he himself was a cofounder of. For some reason that was accepted. Alarmist material can be sourced from biased editorials, while well researched news articles are not sufficient to justify inclusion of opposing views.

    “but maybe you can accept this as evidence that we are trying to provide a fair statement of generally accepted knowledge in this area.”

    The evidence is that you are trying very hard NOT to provide a fair statement on generally accepted knowledge. Connolley (and some of his pals) has been allowed to break Wikipedia rules on a daily basis for years, while there is zero tolerance for anyone remotely critical of the alarmist POV.

  71. REVISED ACTION PLAN TO CHANGE WIKIPEDIA

    The main aim of the plan would be to rename the present article called “global warming” to something like “global warming science”, create a complimentary “global warming politics” and then to create a new article over-arching article called “global warming” which by linking to both articles, gives equal credence to the idea that the political dimension is as notable as the “scientific”. However given the huge wars over something as simple as “climategate” I know this is quite a tall order. So the strategy would not (initially) be to change the present global warming article but to create a rival and better article focussing soley on the politics.

    Here is how I suggest doing this:

    1. Get together a group of people with experience/willingness to learn and rewrite the article: “global warming controversy” so as to be able to rename it “global warming politics”. This would have to be a mainly pro-warming article, but by treating the politics and political action in a serious scholarly way WITHOUT BIAS … (i.e. pro warming bias) it would be very difficult for the warmists resist.

    2. Having asserted there is a serious political dimension to global warming, … the aim is now to demote the present “global warming” page to something like “global warming science”. One simple way to do this is to create a page called “global warming”, with links to the various articles on global warming.

    3. At some point it might be worth arguing the present “global warming” article should be renamed “climate change” or “climate chaos” or whatever – this has been many times before, but like judo, the art is to apply pressure in the opposite way you intend to throw, so that by resisting they push the way you intend them to go.

    Now for tactics
    As a very experienced, organised and professionally financed group the warmists are virtually invulnerable to a frontal attack by keen individuals here. They have every current article on the subject monitored 24/7/365, so any change to current articles immediately brings out the brainless soldier ants whose aim is to mindlessly revert any changes anyone “not of the tribe” makes.

    So, the initial assault has to be on a range of new articles, ideally small articles each with a “climate politics” theme … and to avoid detection written by new recruits in a largely pro-warming way – avoiding any of the obvious search words that they will be using to try to catch new articles.

    Eventually, there should be enough undetected articles on the general theme to propose an “amalgamation” of articles to create a single article on the politics.

    And of course, the most important thing is to spread as much misinformation as possible, and to continue the frontal attack so that they don’t spot that we are mining the defences from behind … or perhaps it’s all a double bluff and the real attack is at the front door.

    … our greatest asset is their paranoia!

  72. When I first came here, I was learning, learning, learning, following clues everywhere. That energy was steadily replaced with the desire to CLARIFY, CONDENSE, and PASS ON what I’d learned. Hence my Primer etc (click my name).

    I’ve long hoped that WUWT itself would evolve in a similar way. What has actually happened is that many other blogs have started up, with some that concentrate the facts like Alan Cheetham’s website. But mostly the punchy facts are still widely scattered.

    Because Wikipedia has (correctly IMHO, for its purposes) set up the rule “NOR”, No Original Research, controversial subjects get heavily skewed. Catch-22 dictates that since the hoi polloi rely on Wikipedia, it’s the skewed funding/MSM that gets the research… the peer-reviews… the quotes in “acceptable” journals… that WP senior admin like Fred Bauder probably believe are neutral…

    I reasoned that, as other controversial topics have done, the only way through was to start our own wiki. I’ll come back to that later because therein lies an ongoing story.

    For now, I’d like to suggest that Anthony runs a “hot” Wikipedia climate article once a week, for folk here to crowdsource rewrite suggestions, and for those who choose, to edit them into place. This would also be an interesting “learning curve” for both us and WP, since I see many here are unfamiliar with WP and what people here could do. We could start with the article on “An Inconvenient Truth” which seriously downplays all suggestions that it is a serial fabrication from beginning to end.

    Even if this proves unfruitful, it might still stimulate enough energy here, and develop enough expertise here, for us to start our own wiki. And that’s what I’m still working on.

  73. AloanG says:
    October 15, 2010 at 12:29 am
    Who is paying WMC?
    I was recently asked to donate to Comic Relief, where supposedly all funds go to good causes. Before contributing I researched on google and was amazed to discover that a very large sum had been passed over to a carbon related research body.
    Since when were charities permitted political agendas?
    Needless to say I witheld my money.

  74. I always thought that the argument for Wiki came from “the Wisdom of Crowds” – a concept that makes eminent sense.

    Of course for the “Wisdom of Crowds” to hold you need to avoid a dominance or over influence from “experts”. The Wiki crowd seem to be ignorant of this fact. It needs experts among a much larger, diverse and independent group of contributors.

  75. The damage William has inflicted on wiki remains. Is Hal Lewis page back to normal? it looks very cut down compared to Hans Bethe’s page.

  76. Lucy Skywalker says:
    October 15, 2010 at 2:09 am

    “For now, I’d like to suggest that Anthony runs a “hot” Wikipedia climate article once a week, for folk here to crowdsource rewrite suggestions, and for those who choose, to edit them into place.”

    If this was done then they’d quickly protect the article for a week/month/whatever.

    Personally, I think the WUWT community could write up their own articles, applying wikipedia’s rules properly, and then keep them in the sidebar for people to keep up to date and so people can use them as resources to modify the wikipedia articles.

    Once a month or week, as you suggest, a post could be made to point to the current WUWT project.

    I think the WUWT articles would be so much better in comparison that it’d embarrass some of the wikipedians who’ve kept the climate change articles in such a tragic state.

    Another nice thing about it is that it would be a good way to teach WUWTers how to use wikipedia and what the rules are there. This would prevent a lot of frustration and quick bans I think.

  77. wee, don´t know if this was already posted…haven´t found anything here coming close.

    William M. Connolley is now also registered as WMC:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:WMC

    This must happened within last 2 days, I think.

    citing WMC “But thanks: User:WMC now created. And isn’t swapping between accounts a pain? I can’t see how these socks manage it William M. Connolley (talk) 18:59, 13 October 2010 (UTC)”

  78. Sorry to be totally negative but as wikipedia can be perverted to such an extent it is worthless as a source of authoritative information. I sometimes use it for ‘triangulation’ i.e. when it I want to cross reference a couple of reputable sources but otherwise…it’s far too fluffy. As someone above said good idea…pity about the execution.

  79. Oddly enough Mr.Connolley’s Wiki entry carries no mention of the ban.
    Is there who might be able to correct this?

  80. Someone pointed out that the traditional paper based encyclopedias had lots of errors in them too. True.

    This is misinformation. The errors that traditional encyclopedias had were mild and few dealing more with grammatical issues than factual.

    Comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles
    (Reference Services Review, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp. 7-22)
    – Lucy Holman Rector

    “The study did reveal inaccuracies in eight of the nine entries and exposed major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia articles. Overall, Wikipedia’s accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within the other sources. This study does support the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources. Furthermore, the research found at least five unattributed direct quotations and verbatim text from other sources with no citations.”

  81. WP is worthless for anything other than basic facts.

    The real news here is that it has been proven in a “court of law” (ie a group of people have looked at the evidence and acted) that Connolley, a founder of Real Climate, a site that habitually hacks out any comment they disagree with, has been found out. He has been altering facts, truths in some cases to fit his own agenda.

    That destroys trust that any right minded person should have in him or anything he has touched.

    This in the same week the BBC has decided it needs to be more balanced in its climate reporting, an admission of guilt.

    This in the same week Schmidt et al release such a blatantly political “its the C02 stupid” paper that it’s becoming laughable.

    This in the week we see a respected US Physicist resign and for his former organisation to be unable to fully defend their position.

    Oh and don’t forget it was this week Franny and company showed their double standards while presiding over the utter flop of the global day of action.

    The wheels are coming off. Now watch as the negative AMO, PDO and La Nina push the wreck of the road…..

  82. Lucy, I am hesitant to criticise

    This is not Kindergarten. A debate society perhaps.

    The point is one of salience to topic not censorship or vogue. The weight of the opinion cannot silence by numbers.

    Wikipedia is political and hence not a source.

    He was either sacked or timed out on criteria either science or vogue. That states to publication not punishment, if they cannot or will not good order conduct than the entire organisation is dismissed from teaching and learning as a source.

    It does not matter, the wikipedia is dismissed as political and dis reputable in teaching and learning.

    Your field of science is not the issue. The project failed in teaching and learning.

    Resource users students and teachers agreed. 4 years back. Before Climategate.

    The word it’s dumb and bad.

  83. Anyway, I would like an opinion.

    How does someone tell thousands and thousands of Volunteers the project failed?

    Guess it’s up to me, Teaching and Learning institutes have blackballed Wiki.

    They said can’t be trusted as a resource. Long before Climategate.

  84. Well, I was “debating” Mr. Connolley way back before the Web existed on Usenet. Some of you might be interested:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/32rcd5b

    Of course, although there were ways to “censor” Usenet (i.e., rougue cancels), you pretty much had to live with the fact that you either had to deal with people who disagreed with you, or ignore them.

  85. ‘Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better.’

    I love the idea of what wikipedia says they want to be, but sadly that’s just not the case as long as they can’t be neutral and objective. Who’d want to donate time, energy and resources to anything that turns into, by extremists and their fundamentalist behavior, biased information?

  86. At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPOV Wikipedia spells out its claimed “Neutral Point of View” policy, starting with this abstract:

    Neutral point of view (NPOV) is a fundamental Wikimedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. This means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors.

    [I am not addressing here the overall issue of accuracy on Wikipedia.]

    Obviously, Connolley and Kim Dabelstein Petersen abused this policy and it took a long time to address it properly.

    Personally, I see no reason why Wikipedia can’t classify some issues as “controversial issues” and have a policy on those. That policy could include separate sections for those conflicting sides, plus a neutral part where facts are stipulated – accepted without contest – by both sides. That policy should also include some kind of bold notice at the top of that page, declaring the issue to be a Controversial Issue (in BOLD) and including a disclaimer of any assurance of accuracy – due to bias – for anyone reading the articles, and that this notice is necessary due to the real histories of such issues on Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia could state that they WANT factual information edited in, but that there are factions working against their desires. It would in fact, be a disclaimer and acknowledgment of the limitations of an open-edited online encyclopedia.

    That would present the entire article as one on which what is included cannot necessarily be trusted, in spite of Wikipedia’s normal NPOV policy. This would be stating what is actually already true and give them a way to caution people.

  87. Poptech says:
    October 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm
    I am stating as fact that it is impossible to trust a single word on Wikipedia without verifying it from a reputable third party source every time you look at it.

    I agree, unfortunately, because I also agree that the concept of Wikipedia seems great.

    A user does not know whether only minutes before they view an article someone has inserted/edited it with bad information. They would then repeat that incorrect info, not knowing that only an hour later the article was corrected.

    It might be a simple thing, like a person’s birthplace, but the fact that facts can be changed as easily as they can on Wikipedia makes it a dubious resource.

  88. Over 5000 changes, what a busy fellow. And he did all that with or without pay? Either way its a hell of a way to make your view relevant. And not a good one.

    Me, I use Wiki to see if an old movie star is still alive or dead, I like those old black and white British and continental movies where every scene photographed is a work of art. Great photography. And the actors, totally professional. Most likely the result of talent, hard careful work and it is their own. Something this Wiki active fellow should notice.

  89. Whether Wikipedia is a worthy project or not is not at issue. What is at issue is whether skeptical views get aired and heard. In the case of Mr Connelly, his blatant removal of reference to a fact – that Hal Lewis did in fact publish a letter of resignation in which he made condemnatory remarks regarding AGW – and that Wikipedia was able to process the resulting debate and handle it by publicly curtailing Mr Connelly; demonstrates that the skeptical view is now firmly a part of the dialogue of scientific debate surrounding all matters of global climate. This is yet another example where the debate has permanently changed for the better. This is another win for the pursuit of science, knowledge and truth.

  90. Fred Bauder says:
    October 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    “I don’t think him being gone for a while is going to change much; we’re still not going to allow poorly sourced biased information, but maybe you can accept this as evidence that we are trying to provide a fair statement of generally accepted knowledge in this area.”

    Thanks for letting us know, Fred. It’s very valuable to be sure Wikipedia will carry on being a biased and unreliable source of information on global warming, and, by inference, a number of other controversial issues in which those who disagree will be misrepresented and vilified.

    You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

  91. @ Poptech October 15, 2010 at 5:10 am:

    This is misinformation. The errors that traditional encyclopedias had were mild and few dealing more with grammatical issues than factual.

    Comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles

    (Reference Services Review, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp. 7-22)
    – Lucy Holman Rector

    “The study did reveal inaccuracies in eight of the nine entries and exposed major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia articles. Overall, Wikipedia’s accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95-96 percent accuracy within the other sources. This study does support the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources. Furthermore, the research found at least five unattributed direct quotations and verbatim text from other sources with no citations.”

    Poptech – (Note: I am pretty neutral about Wikpedia.)

    Several brief points. . .

    I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from that paper. Especially since it concludes with this:

    Although generalizations cannot be made from this paper alone, the paper provides empirical data to support concerns regarding the accuracy and authoritativeness of Wikipedia.

    Sample size: It is also only based on eight articles. Given the gazillions of articles, we could somewhat compare encyclopedias to tree rings, and it might equate fairly closely to some notorious trees at a place called Yamal. It is just too small a sample, and this is recognized by the Emerald site reviewer.

    The 80% accuracy, to me, is a bit fishy. I can’t link to the actual paper, so I don’t know. But 20% error rate??? What level of statements of fact are included? Why so small a sampling? Also, what was the motivation for the paper? And did the author cherry-pick, ala Yamal?

    20% error rate in ONE article would be pretty shocking. To find a sample of eight with an overall rate of 20% sounds a little bit “off” to me. Especially since it is based on “biographies.” I have to say that I’ve read a LOT of bios on their site and can’t recall seeing any statements of fact that were out and out wrong. So, were the bios of popular show-biz types with lots of fans? Or of true historical figures? If the latter, oy vey! If the former, shame on them, but who the heck cares? (That latter I say as much as a LOL as anything…)

    I won’t let Wikipedia off scot-free, though, because even if it is only 1/4 as unfactual as that, it is pretty bad – even for so small a representation. Even 5% would make me cringe. One would be hard-pressed to find a string of Britannica articles with anything approaching a 5% error rate.

    At the same time, I for one am not willing to pay Britannica’s online fee. But I do read Wiki articles knowing that any single fact may not be correct. Like others, I use Wiki as a starting point and then verify, verify, verify.

    If we here looked at eight global warming articles on Wikipedia, we would probably disagree with 5% or even 20% of the statements of fact. And if they came here, they would likely return the same level of distrust of statements of fact presented here.

    All in all, I would not draw a conclusion from so small a sampling. I am with the reviewer.

    But thanks for pointing to it.

  92. Lucy Skywalker;
    For now, I’d like to suggest that Anthony runs a “hot” Wikipedia climate article once a week, for folk here to crowdsource rewrite suggestions, and for those who choose, to edit them into place.>>

    I like the idea, but I think the end goal of editing it into place in Wikipedia will in the end be cirumvented by those determined to pursue their agenda.

    What may be more effective is the same idea, but written as a counterpoint and/or suplementary to Wikipedia’s articles, and hosted by someone like you or Anthony with a small group of moderators tightly controlling the articles. You could even use WUWT threads to debate a given article before it goes into the Climatepedia.

    I think also that some of the difficulty in doing this is that there are plenty of scientists (real ones) who contribute to forums such as this, but their writing is often WAY too technical for the common user of Wikipedia. I note that in addition to all the serious heavy weight technical people who contribute to WUWT, there are plenty of commenters who have other skills.

    I for example, am no where near technical enough to write a lot of the articles that would be required. But have someone who is jot down the issues in point form, be they four or forty, and I can turn it into a well written article that someone with a high school education can understand and is still technicaly sound in a few hours.

    There’s probably lots of people who could pitch in, but to protect it, it must remain “outside” of Wikipedia.

    I think also that

  93. Friends,

    You are under rating the importance of Wikkipedia. You may be “above it” and see its flaws clearly, but for millions and millions of people it is THE SOURCE of fact. It is the first listing of google on most topics. I work with an News Producer who has Wikki open on his computer at all times so he can check any “facts” that need researching as he prepares his TV newscast. Hundreds of thousands then see his news. We need a Wikki committee in the Climate Realists movement. We need a name PhD to step forward and be in charge.

  94. 20% error rate in ONE article would be pretty shocking.

    Why? I find major errors in just about every article I’ve read on there. Bios are some of the worst! Try reading the ones on skeptical scientists,

    The Real Climate Martians (Financial Post, Canada)

    Fred Singer, one of the world’s renowned scientists, believes in Martians. I discovered this several weeks ago while reading his biography on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. “Do you really believe in Martians?” I asked him last week, at a chance meeting at a Washington event. The answer was “No.”

  95. @ Jason October 15, 2010 at 5:26 am:

    …Connolley, a founder of Real Climate, a site that habitually hacks out any comment they disagree with, has been found out. He has been altering facts, truths in some cases to fit his own agenda.

    On an open-edited site, in a field as contentious as AGW, presenting one’s side of the issue is to be expected, if not forgiven.

    That he removed references to peer-reviewed articles he happened to disagree with (I am assuming here that I understand that correctly), THAT would be unacceptable and should have been dealt with long ago. That they did not deal with it till now speaks volumes. One does have to ask: If Climategate had not happened would they have continued to let WC get away with that behavior forever?

    We cannot dissociate this action from Climategate. In itself it is a GOOD THING, but it would never be happening without Climategate.

    Climategate was a tipping point. Perhaps THE definitive tipping point in our lifetime.

    For what it is worth, I have suggested to WP that their Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy be modified to cover Controversial Topics. I suggested, among other things, that such topics have separate sections for PRO and for CON editors (who would be required to declare themselves). Editors would not be allowed to edit the opposing camp’s section. There would be a third section, a neutral section, which would have close oversight, and which could only have “facts” stipulated to by both PRO and CON side. WP needs to acknowledge that editors for all subjects cannot be trusted to act cooperatively. Those subjects which are open to actions like WC’s only drag the entire project down and make it unreliable. Therefore they must be treated differently. (Can you imagine the fallout if we here got in on Al Gore’s WP page and were the last editors every day?)

    The issue for all of us here is that people are being misled, and especially so by people like Connolley. As an example, if someone edited in that Chas Dickens was born in the wrong year that may be incorrect and embarrassing to WP, but in the end, who cares? While incorrect, it does not materially mislead.

    Connolley’s actions rise to the level of intellectual crime, no less so than those clerics who stifled Galileo 500 years ago. WP’s history has been till now like a police chief who always looked the other way. This action is a step in the right direction. However, they let it go far too long and have been injured by it. But this action alone will not prevent it happening again. Don’t forget that they have many attack dogs. WC will just be replaced by others – if WP does not take other actions to stop the practice altogether or to control it.

    But for Climategate, we here all have to believe WP would still be letting him get away with it (i.e., our distrust is well earned).

    But this action also says: WE ARE WINNING.

  96. I’ve always wondered why WMC uses “Stoat- Taking Science by the throat” as his slogan for his blog.

    Now I know. Stoat Rabett death match:

    Looks cute and harmless, but Stoat really is a nasty little bugger.

  97. If you go to the wicki link and actually look at the ban, you will find that Connolly is banned
    from the English Wikipedia for six months (5.1), and banned for a full year from all Climate Change articles (5.2), and has a few other bans as well.

    However wicki admins decided to ban a number of skeptics as well, probably because they were trying to fight back against Connolly and his army of propagandists. It is difficult to tell from what they have published.

  98. Wikis likes Marley, dead as a door knob. Me I only ever come here to look fer girl friendand seeing Pamela Grey got married had 16 kids and her bum got a bit bigger not fat.

    I am out of here. Teachers and kids don’t like Wiki don’t trust it. If you aint got the future you do not have anything.

    Anyway it won’t be a debate. You can look for yer opinion and name in light. But wiki ain’t well. Call the black taxi.

    I miss Doc Grey from the midwest. A rare woman, one with a sense of humor.

  99. I ever thought Pam Grey was a mermink trapped in the midwest.

    I wrote a Poem,

    then I tore it up.

    But I remember the first line

    Aque Grey, silver light and mane so grey.

    Shit Romance

  100. Davidmhoffer

    I made this suggestion on another blog which doesnt seem a million miles away from your comment;

    “There has been some marvellous material which goes to the heart of the AGW debate on WUWT (and other blogs) but it soon becomes forgotten as the next item rolls up on the screen.

    I am tempted to think that we could do with a ‘best of’ type of blog which would split into two sections. The first is where articles are ‘tested’ then perhaps rewritten or discarded and where comments are positively welcomed.

    There would be a second section where the ‘good’ material that stands serious scrutiny would reside and no comments would be allowed.

    The articles would be put into sections in their proper context with a linking narrative. In that way -like the IPCC assessments- they remain visible and readily accessible.

    The blog format has an advantage in as much, unlike the IPPCC epics, new material can be tested quickly, the whole thing updated reglarly and any new interesting angle fed to the media.

    Sure there are lots of blogs that list material but they don’t really put it into context and have a linking narrative, and sometimes the material covered can be off the wall. Whatever we think of the IPCC it comes over as a professional organisation to policy makers.

    In this respect marketing of our own ‘product’ is terrible compared to the IPCC.

    I think the first section would need to be as serious minded as Judith Currys new blog, as for the second section, I’m not sure there is a direct equivalent at present in the sceptics world.”

    It would be excellent if WUWT could host something like this but Anthony already has a highly successful format and I’m not sure he would want to go off at such a tangent so its perhaps more an affiliated site but one that would certainly draw on the articles and expertise at WUWT.

    tonyb

  101. Poptech:

    Good find on Britannica’s response to the Nature study.

    I found this pull quote too interesting not to mention:

    “Contrary to the usual practice of making all data freely available in order
    to facilitate a study’s replication by others, Nature declined our repeated requests to make the full reports available.”

    That modus operandi sounds awfully familiar. Now where have I seen that kind of thing before? =P

  102. Connolley’s ban has limitations. He can do nothing temporarily, but how can all the crap and omissions he caused be corrected or removed.

    There is another major source for climate science matters, Google, Yahoo and Bing. Each is set up to prefer the AGW point of view over the actual science that contradicts the AGW input. The public will continue to be misled until the search engine operators are induced to stop filtering search results.

  103. I`m one of the banned :) I see some comments on Kim taking over from billy boy, nope, he took a voluntary ban so he`s gone as well. Pity science apologist got off, he is as bad as connolley.

    REPLY: Are you saying Kim Dabelstein Petersen has taken a voluntary ban? Citation? – Anthony

  104. Anthony Watts says: October 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I’ve always wondered why WMC uses “Stoat- Taking Science by the throat” as his slogan for his blog. Now I know. Stoat Rabett death match:

    Looks cute and harmless, but Stoat really is a nasty little bugger.

    Why man you aint seen nothin’.

    Stoats terrify rabbits (the rabbit screams in a particular way) by hypnotising them with slinky dance. And – ever heard of Stoat Packs?

    …Merrily Harpur reveals some less well-known behaviour – the triumphal capture dance, the funerary hiding of killed stoats and the swarming in huge stoat armies…

    “On a mild, sunny day in March, a man was walking down a Yorkshire lane. Partridges were calling in the stubble, there was a blue haze in the air, and all was quiet in that part of the wolds.

    “Suddenly, as he walked, a pack of small animals charged down the bank into the lane and all about him. They leaped at him red-eyed, snapping little white fangs, leaping, dancing, darting, as agile as snakes on four legs. Indeed, they looked like furred snakes, with their short legs, their long, undulating bodies, their little pointed heads, their flattened ears, rat-like tails and little murderous eyes.

    “The man laid about him with his stick. He knocked six or eight flying into the ditches on either side. He kicked off two or three that had fastened their fangs into his trouser leg. And those that he had knocked flying with blows that would have stunned a dog came out of the ditches and at him again. So, after a minute or two of this cut-and-thrust business, he took a good sharp run down the lane…”

  105. If Connolley starts editing under another name, that will become obvious. His style is unmistakable. And from the subjects he edits and what changes he makes, he will be discovered. It’s easy enough to copy all of his posts and analyse them for word frequency and phrase frequency. Any “new” person posting about climate can be checked against Connolley’s past posts.
    If Connolley keeps posting under another name, this will prove that Wikipedia cannot or is unwilling to control their editors. Sponsors will stop donating money to Wikipedia.

    Hey Connolley, I know you are reading this, since you’ve got nothing else to do for six months. Why don’t you and your Wikipedia mates find something useful to do?
    I invite suggestions for tasks for the unemployed Connolley.

  106. Someone had mentioned using a different computer to circumvent an IP ban and that’s not true. Internet service providers (ISP’s) provide addresses which can be changed. A computer has a MAC address, but this can be changed/modified as well. Really, the easiest way is to use a proxy server and a new/different account (most dedicated trolls have several active accounts with proxy IP’s) for uninterrupted trolling fun.

  107. Having taught math or management (not at the same time) at four different colleges and universities as an adjunct instructor, I can speak from experience in several different fields of academia at both graduate and undergraduate levels. NO instructor, professor, dean, janitor, etc., EVER accepted Wikipedia as source for ANY information. Citations have to be to copyrighted material, or published theses, dissertations, or similar sources WHICH REPORTED THEIR REFERENCES. I believe the discussion of Wikipedia is, unfortunately, a waste of electrons (it would have been a waste of paper a few years ago). As Poptech accurately noted, the basic premise is flawed. Group editing, whether internet, electronic or handwritten, does not create fact, only opinions, as long as there is no ownership and ultimate responsibility for accuracy. Because Wikipedia is ‘all volunteer’ and has no budget to control how posts and edits are conducted (and Connolley is only one example of the kinds of egregious conduct on view there; try to find any factual-but-unpopular statements about B. H. Obama’s early associations in Chicago that last more than seconds), this whole discussion is a waste of effort beyond the point of skeptic’s making progress even in the blogosphere…

    “Move on, nothing to see here…”

  108. Feet2theFire,

    How is a “neutral point of view” determined on Wikipedia pages and who makes this decision? Could it be the person who edited it last? How is this a “neutral point of view”?

  109. @Mark Nutley

    ‘I`m one of the banned :) ‘

    So essentially you went about and did your best to screw up one of the greatest ideas of the human kind in the information age since the idea of the library of Alexandria and then you just smile at your own it destructive work?

    You must be ever so proud of your own work for why else destroy an information base used by a couple of billion people to date only based on your own preconceived notions and presumptions?

  110. On the subject of wikipedia’s accuracy, it could be 100% accurate (it isn’t), but that wouldn’t be good enough. The accuracy isn’t the main problem; it is what is deliberately omitted and excised that is the real problem.

    Also, it is logical that the studies that check wikipedia’s accuracy probably aren’t going to uncover every mistake in an article, which would tend to bump up any accuracy ratings they may assign.

  111. So wait a sec…many “sceptics” were topic banned PERMANENTLY while WMC gets 6 months? The findings refuse to cite him for ownership or other such behavior but jsut do this cause hes a tough guy to get along with? They continue to praise his one off level of expertise in the field?

    Read the whole page linked on wiki…you’ll find if anything they just through out anyone who would dare post antimanbearpig info..they also reaffirmed that the “science” pages shall not cater to “alternatives” which are reserved for the “political” sub pages (which sounds not surprisingly like what WMC and his cabal have been saying all along)

  112. “William Connolley, now “climate topic banned” at Wikipedia”

    Connolley is also a founder of Real Climate. When people are moved to write and promote propaganda they have seceded to look at the science concerning increasing atmospheric CO2.

    Public policy must be based on facts. There is limited funds to spend on programs. There are other significant issues to address. Increasing atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to the biosphere. The biosphere expands and is more productive when atmospheric CO2 increases and there is an accompanying small increase in temperature and along with an increase in precipitation.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpiration

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T3Y-4N6FNPR-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1133437266&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=602850a304857db4767613a021735d61

    “Impact of elevated CO2 and temperature on rice yield and methods of adaptation as evaluated by crop simulation studies

    But increases in the CO2 concentration up to 700 ppm led to the average yield increases of about 30.73% by ORYZA1 and 56.37% by INFOCROP rice.”

    http://www.advancegreenhouses.com/use_of_co2_in_a_greenhouse.htm

    “Carbon dioxide is one of the essential ingredients in green plant growth and is a primary environmental factor in greenhouses. CO2 enrichment at 2, 3 or four times natural concentration will cause plants to grow faster and improve plant will quality.”

  113. Connolley had the Roman Warm Period article deleted. How to get this back permanently?

  114. Better late than never I guess. Established POV warriors like Connelly are all over wikipedia like fleas on a dog. This is just one small step in addressing a much larger problem.

  115. tallbloke says:
    October 18, 2010 at 4:16 am
    Why doesn’t someone start a wiki for removed wikipedia pages
    _______________________________________________________

    A very sensible proposition. In parallel with this, can the climate realist/skeptic lobby convince Wikipedia to reinstate all that Connolley had, in a now-confirmed corrupt way, removed?

    As you wrote above, Anthony: “Perhaps we no longer need to disengage from Wikipedia, but rather engage it and work to make it better.”

  116. trbixler says:
    October 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm
    Not to state the obvious but who will unwind the thousands of biased edits?

    I have only read to here, so if this is a repeat, my apologies.

    You bring up a very good point, and I am afraid the answer is no one. So what did the ban accomplish?

    Now the RC group can acknowledge a truth (the false edits of WC), and then point to this and say they have “cleaned house” and then point to wiki and say “and our points remain unchallenged”.

    An excellent PR coup for the propagandists of RC and their ilk.

  117. Why don’t we organise an e=mail circulation list so that anything this suspended individual wants doing is done by hundreds of us?

    Wiki will wish they had never suspended him.

    If I get a positive response to this post lets go for it – perhaps someone can give ideas about organisation because I’m not that good at all this computing (its only a tool at work, not my main function).

    I admit I know nothing about the man – it is the censorship which sticks in the craw. At least the US has the 1st Amendment giving the right to free speech – unlike some other places.

  118. This is what comes of not reading the article properly – I should have made my suggestion about someone excluded for telling the truth rather than this individual! However the point holds good

Comments are closed.