Correct Wikipedia editing

July 10th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Fox at Stuff reports:

Justice Minister ’ office has become embroiled in a war with ministry critic .

Brooking is an outspoken critic of Collins and the Justice Ministry and was a prolific Wikipedia editor – now banned – under the username Offender9000.

Writing on his blog at the weekend Brooking said his entries had been slashed from lengthy articles to stubs of little more than a few hundred words.

He voiced concerns that Collins or her staff were behind the edits though admitted to Fairfax Media he had no proof.

This reminds me of the time when I worked in the PMs Office and a fervent Alliance activist publicly accused me of having used my Internet black box over-ride to block her from accessing the Internet. The reality was that Ihug just had an outage (I know as I was on the same ISP!).

In this case if Brooking has been banned from editing Wikipedia, it will be because he consistently broke the rules. It is quite hard to get banned. You have to be quite irrational, or consistently doing biased edits. Some people think Wikipedia is a forum for them to make people look bad. It isn’t.

A spokesperson for Collins admits to making minor changes but said they were up-front about who they were – claims backed up by Wikipedia logs and supported by a Wikipedia editor.

Comments from Collins’ office appear in the Wikipedia logs.

“I am Judith’s press secretary. Happy to help out by providing a more recent photo for use. As I have a clear [conflict of interest] … I won’t be editing content on the page but I may suggest changes which you can choose to take up or not and can provide further background material etc as requested,” the press secretary wrote in February.

That is exactly the way to do it. Be up front on who you are, and propose changes on the talk page, rather than make edits directly.

Brooking pointed to pages he had edited, including articles on legal aid, the police, corrections, Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Government Communications Security Bureau – which had been slashed.

“I thought New Zealanders had freedom of speech – according to the Bill of Rights we do. But Judith Collins and Chris Burns don’t seem to think so,” he wrote.

Speaking to Fairfax, Brooking admitted he had no proof but was concerned about the changes and the fact he had been banned from editing Wikipedia.

While Brooking bemoaned the changes he was often forced to defend his own entries and changes against accusations of bias by other editors.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can ignore Wikipedia’s rules. Mr Brooking is free to set up his own websites where he can say what he likes about Judith Collins. But he can’t pollute Wikipedia with his edits if they don’t comply.

A Wikipedia editor with the username Gadfium told Fairfax Media via email that Collins’ office had been open about its contributions though they were told they should refrain from making further changes.

“They declared their conflict of interest and only edited the Judith Collins article to supply a requested photo,” the editor said.

The removal of a comment from an article about David Bain which it considered defamatory to Collins was “understandable” and the staff did not try to reimpose the changes when they were reinserted but “began a civil discussion at an appropriate page”.

I love it when an article quotes someone by their online alias. Gadfium is a long-standing and well known editor of Wikipedia. He makes the point again that the best practice is to discuss potentially controversial edits on the talk pages, not just have an edit war.

Gadfium said Brooking was blocked from editing because of concerns about bias and because he was also operating anonymous accounts, something which is not allowed.

When you start setting up anonymous accounts so you can say nasty things about someone on Wikipedia, you need to relax and get a life.

There is an interesting contrast between the Stuff article on this issue, and the NZ Herald article. The Stuff article includes the claims by Brooking, but includes an interview with a Wikipedia editor, goes into lengthy detail of what Collins’ office did do, and how they followed correct process. It also highlights how Brooking has been banned, and why. I think it is very well balanced.

By contrast the Herald article gives a very different impression. It doesn’t provide key details (which are important to those who know this stuff) such as the staff identified themselves on the talk page, and explicitly said they don’t intend to do edits etc.  I’m not having a go at the Herald article but I urge peopel to read both articles and reflect the entirely different impressions they leave. It shows how decisions on what to include and highlight can dramatically change the impression you get from an article.

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27 Responses to “Correct Wikipedia editing”

  1. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    There was nothing extreme or nasty said about Ms Collins before her alterations.

    Her adjustments were nothing more than an ego building exercise by Ms Collins who doesn’t like the fact that she had a very public spat with Judge Binnie, being known.

    The changing of her photo is nothing more than vainity.

    The woman is aesthetically challenged, finding the best photo she can is not going to hide the fact that she resembles the ‘clown’ from Stephen King’s IT, on a good day. Whilst it is not on to attack a persons natural physical appearance, there is very little about Ms Collins appearance that is natural. Her overly plucked eyebrows, made more distinct by inappropriate use of make up, together with an extremely poor choice in hair colouring – demonstrate the same falseness exhibited in her ministerial decisions.

    The only person she is fooling by her adjustments to wikipedia (using tax paid employees) is herself.

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  2. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    ^^ You’re one sick and twisted unit.

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  3. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Judith (3,337) Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 11:08 am
    —————————–

    Don’t blame me, if the woman wishes to open dialogue by changing an already reasonable photo for the very best shot of herself she can find, then she is inviting criticism on her physical appearance. She got it. All she has done is draw attention to herself. She would have been better to leave what was there alone. They were not ‘bad comments’ but true. Her spat was very public, was a demonstration of poor judgement on her part. Especially now we know that she presented 34 points to Fisher before he wrote his peer review. She deserves every bit of criticism that comes her way and if she don’t like it, she is certainly in the wrong job.

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  4. freemark (324 comments) says:

    Someone at The Standard totally exposed the bullshit behind this story and Brooking the other day..very humorous watching the ducking, diving etc.

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  5. Ed Snack (1,540 comments) says:

    Like to put up a photo Judith so we can all criticize how you look ? Or does it need too much photoshopping ?

    Or should one simply say “meow” ?

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  6. tas (530 comments) says:

    The defamatory material that was removed can be found here. (I hope linking to it doesn’t count as defamation on my part.) Judge for yourselves. I don’t think it is particularly bad, but it shouldn’t be on Wikipedia. And I don’t think the assertions are entirely true.

    Collins’ press secretary has definitely acted in good faith and been upfront about what she is doing.

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  7. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Ed Snack (1,001) Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 11:26 am
    ———————————

    But I am not on wikipedia, nor am I a member of parliament, and in the public arena.

    As I said, a persons natural physical appearance should not receive criticism, however, artificial adjustments are free game.
    Collins had her photo changed – through vanity – therefore inviting criticism. She got it and I believe from other blogs, I am not the only one who has responded.

    Bennett, Parata and other female MP’s would have the brains to leave ‘well enough’ alone. Rather than stir the pot on vanity issues – Collins clearly isn’t that wise.

    Tas – what was said before the adjustments were true. They are not defamatory.

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  8. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    Definitely a tinfoil hat wearer.

    I noticed a couple of similar nutjobs had appeared at the GCSB Bill hearings last week (or so). IIRC, they were alleging that they’d been under surveillance by the intelligence agencies of multiple countries for twenty years or more, and were interpreting every envelope damaged in the post as evidence of this surveillance. I was surprised that Key and the other party leaders didn’t break out in laughter at their testimony (‘cept for Norman, who probably spotted a couple of Green Party kindred spirits).

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  9. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Judith – “The woman is aesthetically challenged, finding the best photo she can is not going to hide the fact that she resembles the ‘clown’ from Stephen King’s IT, on a good day. Whilst it is not on to attack a persons natural physical appearance, there is very little about Ms Collins appearance that is natural. Her overly plucked eyebrows, made more distinct by inappropriate use of make up, together with an extremely poor choice in hair colouring – demonstrate the same falseness exhibited in her ministerial decisions.”

    What a bitter and catty post.

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  10. TheContrarian (1,043 comments) says:

    That was me, freemark. Brookings is a liar

    Here is what I posted:

    Firstly “JC Press Sec” declared, openly, who they were:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Judith_Collins#Replace_photo

    Secondly Roger was banned for using several sock-puppets:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JaggerAgain
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Offender9000/Archive

    And then lying about about being new to Wikipedia in June 2013 when previous sock (Offender9000) actually started editing in 2011:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Legal_aid_in_New_Zealand&diff=prev&oldid=561740162

    This has less to do with Wikipedia sanitation and more to do with Roger breaking wikipedia rules regarding sock-puppetry.

    Also it goes on:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Offender9000

    Roger Brooking has no credibility on this issue. He ran several sock puppets and pretended to be different people in violation of Wikipedia rules and attempted to white wash his own Wikipedia history before writing his blog post and calling foul.

    “The nub of the problem is not the correctness or validity of the material that Offender9000 added, but the systematic breaches of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view (often shortened to WP:NPOV), which is a core wikipedia policy. Early in Offender9000′s editing career there were other issues (mainly WP:COI and WP:OUTTING), but these appear to have diminished over time. Note also that around the time of his most recent blog post, Offender9000 removed a great deal of material from this page (it’s in the view history link above) in which the issues were explained to him in great detail over a multi-year period”

    In short, he is lying.
    “Roger Brooking has revealed a campaign by Judith Collins’ staff to sanitise her Wikipedia page”

    The only thing revealed is Roger’s systematic attempts to game Wikipedia rules to push his own POV and getting caught.

    Also:

    “how does Judith Collins know what I’m doing on wikipedia? I don’t use my real name – I use a pseudonym. Does that mean the GCSB is watching me?”

    Yeah that or the fact you wrote a fucking article about yourself on your userpage:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Offender9000&diff=prev&oldid=464737085

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  11. gump (1,232 comments) says:

    Gadfium is a funny chap. He appears to have appointed himself as the guardian for Soulan Pownceby’s wikipedia page.

    If you find yourself spending time on the Internet defending the memory of a notorious convicted child killer, you should probably reexamine the choices you have made in your life.

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  12. flipper (3,277 comments) says:

    Anyone who makes use of Wikipedia is simply lazy.
    It is rubbish, not to be trusted, and not worth the “space” it occupies.

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  13. TheContrarian (1,043 comments) says:

    “It is rubbish, not to be trusted, and not worth the “space” it occupies.”

    Because the wikipedia articles themselves are full of links to scientific journals, book references to go study etc then it can be very handy. Just don’t take the articles themselves at face value

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  14. wf (322 comments) says:

    @ Judith: you are being vile and have exposed yourself as a most unattractive person.

    I often wonder why women are so nasty about each other when the comments only reflect back upon themselves.

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  15. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    wf (180) Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    ——————————–

    Yeah, but if I was making similar criticism about Winston Peters, or Peter Dunne, it would be acceptable, and similar comments have been frequently celebrated on this very blog about them and other ‘opposition’ MP’s.

    Strange that the party the person being criticised belongs to, determines the amount they can be abused. :-)

    Do you not recall even more vile and objectionable comments being made about Helen?

    I think I’ve made my point. :-)

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  16. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    To the left their cause is always right and true and any means to promulgate it however devious (sock puppetry) is OK. When their dishonest tactics are called out they wail like spoiled children (Brooking’s bleating to the media and Judith acting all huffy because he’s been pinged for his distortions).

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  17. Zapper (847 comments) says:

    Judith – Get help. Bain killed his family. Move on or you’ll end up even more bitter than you sound here.

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  18. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    if I was making similar criticism about Winston Peters, or Peter Dunne, it would be acceptable,

    No it wouldn’t.

    If you posted criticism of Peters’ or Dunne’s appearance rather than their performance we’d think you were a shallow lightweight. Just like we do people who criticise Clark’s appearance.

    And if you posted criticism of Peters’ or Dunne’s appearance, including the phrase “As I said, a persons natural physical appearance should not receive criticism, however … “, we’d know you were a hypocrite.

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  19. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    DPF:
    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can ignore Wikipedia’s rules. Mr Brooking is free to set up his own websites where he can say what he likes about Judith Collins. But he can’t pollute Wikipedia with his edits if they don’t comply.

    There needs to be a name for this popular misconception that the principle of free speech means I have an absolute right to post up whatever I like, on your website that you maintain and pay for – and you have to just take it, because – because – because FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

    It’s stupid; you’d think most people would see that it’s a fallacy, and yet you see people espousing this fallacy all the time. There should be a name for it. (“Freedom of graffiti” or something??)

    Maybe you and your mates at InternetNZ (or whatever…?) could think of a name for it at your next meeting?? ;-)

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  20. simonway (356 comments) says:

    Brooking was operating multiple sockpuppet accounts and repeatedly violated the policies for articles that are “biographies of living persons” (BLP). BLP violations are taken very seriously. Here is the Talk: page of one of his accounts, which details some of the policy violations he committed.

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  21. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    Judith: “Don’t blame me, if the woman wishes to open dialogue by changing an already reasonable photo for the very best shot of herself she can find”

    Lol, Collins has an internet stalker called “Judith”

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  22. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Judith @ 11:08 am

    You catty bitch ! Keep it up :)

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  23. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Kea (5,852) Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    ——————————

    I just love it!

    It’s ok for others to diss everything from Helen Clarks teeth to her genitalia, but dare to say anything bitchy about a member of the National party, and suddenly they feign shock and horror.

    Pack of bloody hypocrites who need to get over themselves

    They’ve previously set the standard – then just complain when it’s applied.

    Incidently, has anyone noticed John Key’s hair lately? Hehehe ! ;-)

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  24. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Rick Rowling (667) Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    ————————————-

    Yeah right rick, so no one on here has ever made a personal comment about the physical appearance of any member of the opposition.

    LOL are you joking. This place is full of comments about Helen Clark’s teeth, and worse, not to mention the physical characteristics of opposition M.P.’s. You seriously need to take the stroll through the archives. I’ve never voted for Helen, and never would, but to fake offence when they are just as bad – is really hypocritical.

    It’s either open for everyone, or its not on for anyone.

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  25. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I am with Judith. Collins is an out and out cow and most women can see it….Funny seeing all her boys run to her defense. If those eyebrows don’t deserve criticism I don’t know what does.

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  26. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Is she using botox or disport? Just asking.

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  27. Elaycee (4,089 comments) says:

    I can understand why a small number of commenters feel threatened by Judith Collins… after all, Collins is no fool – she is smart, well educated, commercially savvy, possesses a very good bullshit radar and is clearly not swayed by orchestrated campaigns by single interest lobby groups.

    Methinks some people just resort to spite simply because Judith Collins has made decisions they don’t like.

    Best they don’t step back – otherwise, they’ll kick their saucers of milk.

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