WUWT reader Dennis Kuzara wrote to Wikipedia in response to our earlier article on Wikibullies prompted by Lawrence Solomon of the National Post. He has received an eye-opening reply. Emphasis mine – Anthony
> > 4. Has William Connolley been removed as a Wikipedia administrator? If so who has taken his place?
In September 2009, the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked Mr. Connolley’s administrator status after finding that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming. This has now been added to his article
Nobody has replaced him specifically, but there are more than a thousand other administrators with very varied backgrounds.
Dear Dennis Kuzara,
Thank you for your email.
12/20/2009 05:31 – Dennis Kuzara wrote:
> > Pierre
> > I understand there several processes and procedures intended to prevent
> > someone from taking control of a segment of Wikipedia for their own benefit. I
> > also understand that Wikipedia is huge and therefore cannot be micromanaged
> > from the top, which is why the procedures and controls are in place.
> > What happened in this case was a successful conspiracy to take command of
> > information (and history) by a not-so small group of co-conspirators, a la
> > 1984, to serve their own means and ends.This is not a flash in the pan, but a
> > long term (over a decade) coordinated effort to literally rewrite history. As
> > you stated, Wikipedia … normally takes no stance in disputes about Wikipedia
> > content or administration, but this situation is far from normal by anyones
> > measure.
> > I think the Wikipedia concept has enormous benefits and Wikipedia is usually
> > the first place I look when I need information. My greatest concern is the
> > damage to Wikipedia’s credibility by something as massive as what was
> > orchestrated by William Connolley and his band of cohorts. I think it would be
> > prudent for Wikipedia to be proactive on this matter, if for no other reason
> > than for damage control.
> > So, actually, your (apparently off the shelf) reply does not answer my
> > question.
> > Let’s break it down into several parts:
> > 1. Is the management at Wikipedia aware of the biased and dictatorial
> > Wikipedia administration by William Connolley?
I’m not Foundation management, just an editor and volunteer who answers customer
e-mail, but my understanding is that while Foundation staff are probably aware of
this and other controversies, they leave their resolution to the community of
editors and its procedures.
> > 2. Is there any internal investigation being undertaken to verify the extent
> > and the scope of this apparent hijacking of process.
What you refer to as a “hijacking of process” is, as far as I can tell, an
entirely normal (for me) series of disagreements about article content. Thousands
of such disagreements occur every day on Wikipedia, and they are normally resolved
through our discussion-based dispute resolution process, as explained at
. This process may ultimately lead to
an Arbitration Committee investigation.
> > 3. What, if any steps are being taken to correct the bias injected into the
> > 5,428 articles authored or edited by William Connolley?
Wikipedia’s content is not centrally edited. Anybody may make any change to
Wikipedia, including undoing an edit by Mr. Connolley. But that change may be
undone in turn if others disagree, and any dispute has to be resolved through
discussion until a consensus is found. This is explained at
> > 4. Has William Connolley been removed as a Wikipedia administrator? If so who
> > has taken his place?
In September 2009, the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked Mr. Connolley’s
administrator status after finding that he misused his administrative privileges
while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming. This has now been added
to his article
Nobody has replaced him specifically, but there are more than a thousand other
administrators with very varied backgrounds.
> > 5. Would it be prudent in this case to now have an administrator who is
> > biased against AGW but closely monitored until this situation is fleshed out?
Administrators are elected by the Wikipedia community, and require a supermajority
of about 70% for election. The community prefers to elect administrators who
display no bias in any respect, but are committed to upholding Wikipedia’s
principle of “neutral point of view” ().
> > 5. If the current controls failed in this situation (a successful coordinated
> > attack by a group), then what steps are being taken to change the procedures
> > and processes to keep such usurpation from happening in the future?
Should the community conclude that its processes were indeed subverted by anybody
(and I am not aware of any such consensus emerging currently), it may decide to
change its policies, as explained at
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