Connolley's Wiki-wars get a science study

BBC_wikiwarsAs we have known for some time, global warming zealot and green party member William F. Connolley edited 5428 Wikipedia articles, mostly about climate. It seems some researchers have taken notice of this and other topics that are ruled by similar zealotry.

From the BBC and Fox News: Re-writing history? Wikipedia’s biggest ‘edit wars’ revealed

Scientists analysed page edits in 10 editions to find topics fought over by contributors to the open encyclopaedia.

While some topics were locally controversial, many religious subjects, such as Jesus and God, were universally debated, they found.

Further research is planned to log how controversial topics change over time.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and three other institutions analysed logs of the changes made to Wikipedia pages to identify those in the throes of an “edit war”. Such a conflict involves editors of pages making changes that are almost instantly undone by another editor.

Finding the pages over which editors scrap about such changes was a better guide to controversial subjects than simply picking out those that changed a lot, wrote the researchers in a paper describing their work.

Pages that get updated a lot might just be about a rapidly changing field or topic, they said. By contrast, a topic page in which words and phrases are constantly removed and reinstated gave an insight into the depth of feeling it evoked among contributors.

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higley7

Connolley does not just do edit wars. He threatens banishment rather quickly. He sits on the page for the LIttle Ice Age in which it says that human activity caused the LIttle Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. I added some ameliorating phrases without removing anything of his and he threw my changes out repeatedly, and then threatened to have me blocked from Wikipedia. I even used realtime changes in my classroom to show students how fast he undid my additions.

H.R.

Global warming? Controversial? Who knew… ;o)
William F. Connolley, eh. Fellow by that name made a few comments here on WUWT a while back. Not a lot of agreement with what he wrote, as I recall.

I noticed the WikiWarming Bias while doing research about the 1936 heat wave. Only in Wiki was there a comparison made to 2012, and on one occasion the inference was that 1936 was the hottest summer “until” 2012. The actual data I looked at made it very clear 1936 was far hotter, with the heat more prolonged.
Someone with a lot more time on their hands than I have needs to go right through Wiki and undo Connolley’s manglings of facts and data.

Bill Parsons

They should leave the articles alone. Except for the America’s Got Talent article, I stand by my revision that the real season 3 winner was that guy who juggles raccoons He totally got the shaft!

James Ard

What’s so touchy about circumcisions?

Justthinkin

Ah yes. Wiki and their editing. Chairman Mao would be so proud. The only reason I go there now is to get the references at the bottom of some articles I am curious about.

Mycroft

Haven’t they banned this Clown… Connolley?

ralfellis

I created and updated the ‘intermittency’ section on wind power many times, because the Wiki page thought that wind intermittency was irrelevant to wind power. (Duhhh…!)
However, 90% of my efforts hit the cutting-room floor, plus I was banned from updating Wiki for alleged ‘vandalism’ (i.e.: trying to write about intermittency).
That, is how much one should trust Wiki entries, especially on controversial subjects.

ralfellis

Justthinkin says: July 19, 2013 at 11:50 am
The only reason I go to Wiki now is to get the references at the bottom of some articles I am curious about.
_______________________________
Ha, I thought that was just me!
They should create a new Reference Wiki. No biased commentary, just a list of references to that topic. Now THAT would be useful.
Thinking about it, they should create a new Reference BBC too. No biased reporting, just a list of other media outlets who are reporting that topic. Now THAT would be REAAALY useful.

CaligulaJones

I ran into Mr. Connolley way back the days of UseNet (ask your grandfather what that is). He was as charming then as now.
BTW, if you want to know just how screwed up the process is, this is a must read:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-wikipedia.html
Philip Roth tries to edit his own entry to remove a provable falsehood. Hilarity ensures.
Kafka was an optimist…

Jarrett Jones

Perhaps Connolley has a second career option with the WWE which ranks just above him. He has the required level of credibility and the effort he put into wriggling out of an upside down Tiljander should impress.

Bryan A

@ralfellis
Perhaps you should create an article in WIKI specifically regarding “Wind Intermittency” and it’s effect on wing generated electricity. Try creating a different account and loging in from the public library. I can’t see WIKI banning entry from a library PC

He edited 5428 articles? Wow, I’m really impressed by that. He must be a really smart guy.
all I know is what I read in Wiki, The Richmond Times Disgrace and the Raleigh Nuisance and Disturber.

DirkH

Bryan A says:
July 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm
“@ralfellis
Perhaps you should create an article in WIKI specifically regarding “Wind Intermittency” and it’s effect on wing generated electricity. Try creating a different account and loging in from the public library. I can’t see WIKI banning entry from a library PC”
They will mark such an article with “Candidate for speedy deletion” and simulate a debate on the talk page where they come to the conclusion that the topic is irrelevant.

DirkH

DirkH says:
July 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm
Bryan A says:
July 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm
“Try creating a different account and loging in from the public library. I can’t see WIKI banning entry from a library PC”
Oh, and my kid told me that all public school IP’s in Germany are banned anyway due to vandalism; with the same argument they will have banned library PC’s – they are often used by kids.

Louis Hooffstetter

Surely there is some deep seated psychological pathology at work here. What would Cook and Lewandowsky have to say about this?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

The study as described may not reveal as much as they think. What about all the articles that are changed but not noticed? That won’t be caught either by the “many changes” filter or the “many back and forth” filter.

Lars P.

Well, this is good material for real psychology studies not what the clown Lew and the like does. This is real and very interesting, so possibly they will soon get the money cut. Sounds too cynical? Am curious… lets talk 6 month later.
These are the limits of Wikipedia, the way how articles about global warming were edited was the reason why I ceased to make donations… It does not make sense for me to pay to maintain the nonsense some self-assigned “scientist” puts there.

The other Phil

Bill, I trust you were joking.
The author’s observation about how to define controversial articles sounds plausible.

Gail Combs

Bob says: @ July 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm
He edited 5428 articles? Wow…..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Makes you wonder what Connolley does for a living doesn’t it? Especially when you consider the number of time he has edited and re-edited the same article.
……
Now if a bunch of determined people picked one article and all had a go at it….

The other Phil

@Higley7
He threatens banishment rather quickly.
Perhaps true, but quite dated. He was an admin (you have to be an admin to block someone) but he lost that position years ago, so he no longer has the ability to block. (at the risk of being anal, banning is not the same as blocking and admins do not ban, that is a community action. However, to the casual editor a ban or a block both sound serious.)

DirkH

Lars P. says:
July 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm
“Well, this is good material for real psychology studies not what the clown Lew and the like does. This is real and very interesting, so possibly they will soon get the money cut. Sounds too cynical? Am curious… lets talk 6 month later.
These are the limits of Wikipedia, the way how articles about global warming were edited was the reason why I ceased to make donations… It does not make sense for me to pay to maintain the nonsense some self-assigned “scientist” puts there.”
You can be 100% sure that the state (or the superstate, the EU) finds ways to have exactly that in the wikipedia that he wants you to know and have you see what he wants you to see, whether the tool is Connolley or some other name. Just like the EU funds the NGO’s.
The wikipedia is a controlled medium, a Pravda, just like the state media (the “public broadcasters”) and the controlled private media (of which many are participants of the Bilderberg and CFR meetings).
The modern superstate has taken 1984 not as a warning but as a playbook, and wikipedia is the ministry of truth, in which history is constantly being rewritten. How many of the Winston Smith’s are REALLY unpaid volunteers (fanatics) will stay unknown and will never be examined.

The other Phil

@Mycroft
Haven’t they banned this Clown… Connolley?,/i>
I disagree with the characterization, but dealing with the substance, Connolley was both an editor and admin. He lost his admin status. For a time, he was banned from editing article about Climate Change, but he requested a release from his ban and it was granted.

Richard Barnes

It has been good to see how the BBC’s Black and Harrabin have kept licence payers in the know about how Wikipedia works.
Next up, the BBC’s “science editor” (BA Geography) explains recent developments in knitting needle technology.

The other Phil

@ralfellis
the Wiki page thought that wind intermittency was irrelevant to wind power. (Duhhh…!)
The article on wind power states (in part, emphasis added):
Electricity generated from wind power can be highly variable at several different timescales: hourly, daily, or seasonally. Annual variation also exists, but is not as significant.
Because instantaneous electrical generation and consumption must remain in balance to maintain grid stability, this variability can present substantial challenges to incorporating large amounts of wind power into a grid system. Intermittency and the non-dispatchable nature of wind energy production can raise costs for regulation, incremental operating reserve, and (at high penetration levels) could require an increase in the already existing energy demand management, load shedding, storage solutions or system interconnection with HVDC cables.

How do you reach your conclusion? (In fairness, I am quoting the current version, maybe you mean an earlier version?)

Other_Andy

Bob says:
“He edited 5428 articles? Wow, I’m really impressed by that.”
And those are just the ones he edited under his own name.

Steve P

Is there a viable on-line alternative to Wikipedia? I have EB on CD-ROM (remember that?), but as it’s frozen in time, I search online for the latest information, and Wikipedia is a usual starting point. Alas. .
It’s an unfortunate part of the human condition that one person can do so much harm, and not only in controlling information, where Mr. Connolley certainly does not toil alone.
Free and unfettered flow of information is not necessarily in the best interests of TPTB, nor of our mass media. I pay particular attention to what the media omit, demonize, or glorify.
Just as knowledge is power, so too false knowledge is weakness.

DirkH

The other Phil says:
July 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm
“How do you reach your conclusion? (In fairness, I am quoting the current version, maybe you mean an earlier version?)”
And that’s the great thing about wikipedia… when an inconvenient truth accidentally shines through, you can watch it shrivel and die piecemeal in the history of the article… In the end you read some hodgepodge written by nobody in particular with the involvement of who knows how many (government-sponsored? NSA?) bots…

william

I experienced an edit war with connelly first hand when I went into an article on CO2 and changed phrases that contained “global warming” to “the theory of global warming”. He had me banned after 2 or 3 rounds of edit reverts.

ralfellis

The other Phil says:July 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm
@ralfellis
the Wiki page thought that wind intermittency was irrelevant to wind power. (Duhhh…!)
……..
How do you reach your conclusion? (In fairness, I am quoting the current version, maybe you mean an earlier version?)
_________________________________________
I’m talking somewhere between 2007 and 2009 here, I was well ahead of the game. The effort was a part of my article on renewable energy being our downfall, which was written in 2004.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/25/renewable-energy-–-our-downfall/
.

Robert Clemenzi

[snip – this topic best left for dealing with elsewhere, lest it incite some excitable people, thanks though] – Anthony

DirkH

Steve P says:
July 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm
“Free and unfettered flow of information is not necessarily in the best interests of TPTB, nor of our mass media. I pay particular attention to what the media omit, demonize, or glorify. ”
Don’t worry. They’ve been working on that one for a hundred years now.
Eddi bernays “Propaganda” 1928 download
http://aaa-books.blogspot.de/2007/06/edward-bernays-propaganda-1928.html
Nephew of Siegmund Freud. Inventor of Propaganda, later renamed to PR. PR man for Woodrow Wilson. Published Freud’s books in USA and made Freud famous. Popper refers to Freudianism as unfalsifiable and one reason for his definition of the Scientific method.
Find “The Century Of The Self”, a BBC doku about Eddie (and more).

Mk Urbo

Good ole eco-freak whack job Connolley. I battled him on Wiki for over five years, sometimes to the point of getting banned. There were other just as bad [Schulz, Kim Petersen, Souza, Nigelj] and Wiki – to this day – stilledits a extremely biased article/content on AGW.
Suppression is the word that comes to mind…

Greg

Connelley puts himself forward as an authority on climate articles because he did some computer modelling of ocean currents in the Southern Ocean whilst working for British Antarctic Survey.
When I got hold of some of the papers he’d co-written, they were basically documenting how they had failed to get any results that matched observations.
I guess that means he’s a fully qualified climate modeller.
Odd how, in the “through the looking-glass” world of climate bigotry, being a total failure at modelling the system somehow makes one an authority on how it works.

Kev-in-Uk

aside from very general reference, and a pointer to look for real information – I never look at wikipedia. The reason? Well, actually it was because of the debacle that was Connolley when I first started looking into AGW ‘theory’ six or so years ago as I was suspicious of the media hype/consensus claims, etc – and then we had climategate.
I’d personally like to thank Connolley for his editing efforts – without them, I would have perhaps taken a good while longer to become skeptical of the warmist claims!!
Just goes to show – yet again – that the idiot warmist zealots are the best thing in the skeptics armoury!!

Bryan A

The history of Global Warming
In the beginning the world was cold and devoid of life
Then the world warmed and life sprang forth and diversified,
Then the world cooled down and much of life died off.
Then the world rewarmed and the remaining life once again diversified.
Then Mann sprang forth and blamed others of his kind for the warming and said it was bad

TomRude

William M. Connolley’s obsession can be appreciated in this post:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/09/death-by-stoat/#more-72186
Whe Connolley enters the stage during the attack on the Marcel Leroux page, one thinks of the Python’s “Here comes the Spanish Inquisition” line:
“•delete – the article has been hijacked by global warming deniers William M. Connolley (talk) 08:11, 28 September 2012 (UTC)”
Failed scientist, perfect censor!

As an old man who spent many years with the index cards and long library searches for basic information, the age of Wikipedia is a huge information revolution of very great merit. We are all far more informed today than any previous generation of human beings. I had my problems with Connelly as well and I am frustrated by the one sided presenation of the global warming issue. But I still use Wiki regularly in my work and personal life to considerable satisfaction and benefit. If through unified action we could get Connelly ousted, I would be a participant. However, I still will praise and use Wiki.

I know I know, but its at the top of the first search page and sometimes I can’t help it.

Gunga Din

The editing is settled.
(At least that’s what 97% of the editors have said.)

Peter Miller

Without guys like Connelly and Mann, a reasonable person might only be 90% certain that CAGW was BS, but their input makes it 100% guaranteed.

Bill Illis

Wiki had the potential to be the greatest source of information that the human race has ever known. I mean game-changer here.
But now it is just a joke (people really make jokes about it) and Connolley is more responsible for this greatest-promise-turned-into-disaster-turned-into-a-joke than anyone else.
He should be banned from Wiki [snip – over the top -mod]

Bill Jamison

It’s not like he’s stopped editing climate change related articles on wikipedia – he’s still very much involved/active. The sheer number of edits is impressive with almost 20,000 article edits to his credit and over 55,000 total. He had 108 article edits in Feb 2013 alone.
http://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools/pcount/index.php?name=William+M.+Connolley&lang=en&wiki=wikipedia

I have been thinking about it: has anyone attempted to create a Wiki page THE SKEPTICAL VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE >
If not I think we should put one together here on WATTSUP and when it passes the muster with Watts and company, try placing it on Wiki and take on the battle.
SKEPTICAL VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING
There are thousands of scientists who are very skeptical that the burning of fossil fuels which increasing the trace gas of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is creating a man-made global warming crisis. These scientists base their skeptical position on:
1. The entire basis of the global warming concern is that carbon dioxide (which is less than one half of one percent of the our atmosphere creates a positive feed back through its interaction with water vapor (the primary green house gas in the atmosphere) to cause significant warming which threatens our climate.
2. The only proof of the carbon dioxide theory is the extreme temperature increase projections of computer models that include the assumption of the radiative forcing theory.
3. These models have not been validated by actual temperatures in the last 15 years and their validity in questionable.
etc.
I see this eventually including the key basic papers of each of the high regarded skeptical scientists.
What do yoiu think.
.

DirkH

John, as I said – you are up against an organized force. not only Connolley. Every warmist climate science professor will urge his students to rectify that problem with wikipedia. A “research” juggernaut funded to the tunes of billions a year. Then, the entirety of the subsidy-grabbing renewables industry – the makers and owners of windmills and PV who receive subsidies.
Wikipedia is a lost cause for anything non-consensus (yes I also use it. But I always keep in mind that wikipedia’s NPOV = noncontroversial official version of events / history / science. Like I read the BBC – I know where they stand.)

Kevin Ryan

Thanks for the link to that paper, it is a very interesting read.
As for Connolley, he is a frivolous person without enough self awareness to realize it or fix it.

The other Phil

@ralfellis
This is what the article looked like at the end of 2009:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wind_power&oldid=335080803
In your defense, the lead paragraph has a sentence starting off like you said, ” The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems…” however, the full sentence reads:
” The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand”
Mealy mouthed, to be sure, and almost certainly the result of an uneasy compromise. Not as hard hitting as it should be, and it has gotten better, as the warmists have lost their compete control over articles.
Wikipedia is far, far from perfect. As someone noted, and I agree, its strength is the list of references at the end of each article. However, it is often a decent starting point for research, and should never be an ending point, especially in controversial areas such as global warming.
How do you reach your conclusion? (In fairness, I am quoting the current version, maybe you mean an earlier version?)

The other Phil

@John Coleman
I have been thinking about it: has anyone attempted to create a Wiki page THE SKEPTICAL VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE
There is an article called
Global warming controversy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy
(Not to be confused with the article Global warming http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming)
It does cover some of the challenges to the theory. Very possibly not in the detail or style that you would like, but would you be so kind as to identify some deficiencies?
There is also:
List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
which includes the names of skeptical scientists, and links to some of their papers.

Ragnaar

I remember something I heard about non-profits and Wikipedia is one and relies heavily on volunteers, The decisions belong to those that show up. I editted back in 2007 at the peon or whatever they call it level. One time they thought I made up a Lake and I asked them to use Google Earth and look at it. It has some admirable attributes but as we know, it fails at times, and I completely agree, it’s tough sledding on the Climate pages. What I said about showing up, and I’ve belonged to non-profits, you can get the Old Guard effect. Some new volunteers are turned off by that. You want any system to reward the best people and that may be a problem that Wikipedia does face, ending up being everyone that didn’t quit. I don’t mean to be harsh here. I had a question about the elements C, H, and O and how they seem to be central to Life. I think I found value at Wikipedia on that one. C being Carbon of course which is supposedly so evil, hahaha.

Chuck Nolan

Lars P. says:
July 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Well, this is good material for real psychology studies not what the clown Lew and the like does. This is real and very interesting, so possibly they will soon get the money cut. Sounds too cynical? Am curious… lets talk 6 month later.
—————————————–
I don’t like the idea of Cook’nLew in this.
I can see it now………
Title: “Why do the majority of skeptics vandalize wiki?”
cn