Friday, January 1, 2010

A (Small) Battle Won on Wikipedia

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I was browsing Holocaust-related articles on Wikipedia, most of which espouse the “traditional” Holocaust mythology (many virulently) when I came across a reference to David Cole, main on-screen talent in a long and very influential 1992 video debunking tour of the Auschwitz theme park. I noted from the reference that the article itself that concerned Cole had been deleted fairly recently (December 6).

Why wouldn’t Wikipedia, which covers Ernst Zündel, David Irving, and even (scathingly) Holocaust Denial, cover David Cole? Why, indeed? Wikipedia doesn’t provide access to deleted articles (they wouldn’t be deleted if Wikipedia did), but it does provide access to a kind of “audit trail” in which it is recorded “who” (that is, which Wikipedia Editors) deleted an article, and their statements as to why the article should be deleted. The article was established on November 29 by an Editor identified as Ramos221, who has since been deleted. The article lasted a week, and Editor Ramos not much longer. Thank you, Ramos221, whoever you are!

I looked up the Deletion Discussion on David Cole and encountered a few disingenuous citations as to why he didn’t merit coverage on Wikipedia, concluding in four votes to Delete and none to Keep. I recognized one of the participating Editors (WilliamH) as one who has in the past monitored my contributions to Wikipedia on the Holocaust, and altered or, in most cases, deleted them. The other Editors voting were the one that apparently initiated the deletion, and two others that, when I checked them around December 30, had been permanently banned from Wikipedia, which is usually done to notably destructive Editors.

One of the two had been identified as a “sock puppet,” which is a fake account created by an Editor (who may or may not have a “legitimate” account) who wants to make edits without their being associated with his or her “real” account. Having and using “sock puppets” is a way to get around having been banned, and Editors detected doing this are themselves banned, along with their sock puppets, of course. The other banned User also showed all the indications that it was a sock puppet.

Wikipedia, which is nothing if not procedural, has a procedure for calling a situation like this to the attention of Administrators, which are “Super-Editors” who have official responsibilities and powers in Wikipedia. I wrote up the situation I describe above, and in a matter of minutes, the Administrator who had approved the original deletion put the article back!

This small victory is likely to be transient without ongoing vigilance on the part of me and all the rest of us concerned that the truth regarding the Holocaust be allowed even the slightest chance of being detected by the determined researcher. The Holocaust Legacy has squads of Einsatzkommando who patrol Wikipedia day and night and jump on Editors like me and Ramos with amazing speed and ferocity. They have probably already marked David Cole for deletion out of fear that Wikipedia users will discover his persuasive videos through links from his article.

So go check the article fast, while it’s still there! And help me patrol Wikipedia. If you haven’t yet trained yourself to be a Wikipedia Editor, log a Comment to this blog post to let me and the other readers of this blog know that we need to act on Wikipedia. Again.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to read the article you've mentioned, but it has been deleted.