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They Can’t Hide Forever

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on May 22, 2013 | Comments (9)

Last November, I made a post about Wikipedia. Entitled “Wikipedia’s Dirty Little Secret,” my post had a couple of things to share.

My first point is that if you are doing research, Wikipedia is a great place to start your research but a horrible place to end it. Wikipedia had disclaimers hidden away admitting you should not trust what you read there without checking more sources.

My second point was about attempted deletions in Wikipedia. In my post I wrote,

One of the pseudonymous “editors” of Wikipedia appears to have a grudge against Pagans and occultists…This editor is trying to get entries for numerous people involved in occultism deleted from Wikipedia. This includes such people as M. Macha Nightmare, Luisah Teish, Louis Martinie, Kenny Klein, LaSara FireFox, Ian Corrigan, and Raven Grimassi.

And I admitted that I was one of the people up for deletion, too.

The person primarily responsible for all the attempts at deletion was an editor known as “Qworty.” He has finally been “outed” by Salon, an online journal. A more in-depth analysis from a Pagan perspective was posted by Jason Pitzi-Waters on The Wild Hunt blog HERE.

It turns out Quorty is a novelist who claims to have made 13,000 edits to Wikipedia. Many of them were allegedly caused by grudges, spite, and envy.

His rationalization, justification, and excuse was that he was…

“a schtick … an entertainment, an annoyance, a distraction, a put-on, a reading experience, a performance, a series of ironies, an inversion that you do or do not get.”

“Wikipedia is the great postmodern novel,” declared Qworty. “Wikipedia is ‘not truth’ … Wikipedia, like any other text, is not reality.”

Wikipedia, after over five years of this enormous scam, has finally acted. Qworty has been “officially, and indefinitely, blocked from editing Wikipedia, and various investigations into his past history have begun.”

For the full story of how this person helped to destroy any credibility we attribute to Wikipedia, see this LINK.

The point I wish to stress is that Wikipedia is definitely a useful tool. But if you ever thought it was in any way authoritative, you’ll see that the practice of “revenge edits” and self-promotion by anonymous editors, not to mention Wikipedia’s own disclaimers, reveals they have no authority at all.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Stephen Glaser
on May 22nd, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

>His favourite tool was to have a small army of sock-puppets to support him in his various purges.

So, the revenge editing might not be over if his sock puppets are still at wikipedia.

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#2 
Written By Andres Pedraza
on May 23rd, 2013 @ 8:09 am

No one source should ever be deemed the final authority, and that said, Wiki, in general, is good enough. As was Britannica in its day, and as are many others today. I do agree that multiple sources should always be consulted, and personal research and experimentation, when appropriate, should also be a part of the serious student’s arsenal. Also, Donald, I have to say I quite enjoy your books and this online endeavor. Don’t stop…

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#3 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on May 23rd, 2013 @ 9:27 am

Thank you for your comment, Andres, however, I have to respectfully disagree with some of your comments. First, if you don’t think any source should be deemed an acceptable authority, nothing will ever be authoritative. Further, if no source is authoritative, you could check multiple sources and still not have the facts. Sooner or later we have to accept something as an authority.

As I quoted in the post I linked to above, Wikipedia admits that their “articles are written primarily or solely by individuals who are not subject matter experts.” Articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica were written by experts in their fields, often after research or consultation with other experts, and then edited by a panel before inclusion. Wikipedia urges, “Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.” They also warn, as justified by recent events, “The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica was different in two ways. First, it limited its size, and therefore didn’t cover everything as Wikipedia claims it wants to do. Second, it could take many years between editions, and as editions became older, some of the articles, such as those discussing leading-edge science, politics, etc., became dated and were no longer considered accurate. However, the authoritativeness of EB was legendary. The authoritativeness of Wikipedia is simply non-existant.

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#4 
Written By Michele Quill
on May 23rd, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

Caveat Emptor. Do your own homework!

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#5 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on May 23rd, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

I agree, Michele. The problem is that some people think referring to Wikipedia IS doing their homework. My point is that Wikipedia is great for pointing to authoritative sources, but should not be considered authoritative itself.

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#6 
Written By Andres Pedraza
on May 24th, 2013 @ 7:35 am

Donald, thanks for replying, first of all! On your first point, I actually said “No one source should ever be deemed the final authority.” I think you get to authoritative when you have multiple, independent sources backing up the position. I never said “a source” could not be an acceptable authority. Just that I don’t think it should be the one and only final arbiter.

I concede your points regarding Britannica, though I wasn’t saying anything to the contrary. Times have changed, though, and dynamic, instantly updateable seems to be the thing these days. Anyway, I guess my point is not to trust in any one source, but to look towards a concensus of many (and make sure they’re all not just repeating a single source somewhere). And when possible, go out and do things. Become a source!

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#7 
Written By Peter
on May 24th, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

Mr. Kraig, Salon took up the cause:

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/24/wikipedias_anti_pagan_crusade/

Mr. Young has been exposed.

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#8 
Written By brian wright
on May 24th, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

Authority is a weird double edged thing. We require an ultimate final authority on nearly anything. Frequently, the acceptable authority becomes by default that body, regardless of any disclaimers associated therewith. That authority is also tossed or taken at the whim of nearly anyone in a position to do so, for example, even recognizing that brittanica was properly researched and peer reviewed it was not acceptable for use in my courses in public school. Their justification was that they wanted us students to do our own research which is fine but I for one did not have the lab set up at home and they were still in the process of teaching us the scientific method. For conversation, Wikipedia is OK. More is required for application.
fan boy moment: Squee! I’ve used modern magick for about a decade now thank you! Its one of my go to works.

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