Barack Obama last week gave a speech, decrying the ‘wild west media landscape’ where conspiracy theories and wild claims are allowed to outpace rational discourse and consensus building, citing this current election as the troubling concern.
This was exciting for me to read, since what Obama is asking for is exactly what the design architecture of aiki wiki is. So that’s good news, the world is officially asking for something like an aiki wiki, something I mention in my TEDx talk, Google Consciousness. Social media will eventually replace government as we know and use it today.
It’s a bold statement but each year becomes more and more obvious, we now have a Twitter presidency, and an election that was hacked by 4chan.
aiki wiki’s entire design is an elegant algorithm for processing online collaborative discussion which naturally filters manipulations, deceptions, and delusions from a critical consensus process. It offers curation, consensus building, negotiation, and problem solving.
Some readers may know that aiki wiki is a project close and dear to me, and one of the reasons why I got involved with a wiki war on Wikipedia in the first place. When Rupert Sheldrake sent out a request for help, with the claim that editors were being harassed away from editing his Wikipedia article which he believed distorted his views and life’s work, I jumped in with a strict aiki wiki process and attempted to build a rational consensus.
Within a few days, I was outed, harassed, slandered and within 6 weeks I was banned from Wikipedia, despite my professional form and my strict adherence to Wikipedia’s own policies.
While I was able to build and win a consensus on Rupert Sheldrake’s wiki war, I was not prepared for tactics used in editor suppression for getting users sanctioned. I was naive enough to assume that once I encountered Wikipedia admins, none of them would actually take those tactics seriously and I would maintain my presence.
Yet I had enough evidence to show editor suppression happened to me, I didn’t think I had enough to make a complete claim, showing a persistent problem.
I decided to circumvent my ban and attempt to build a consensus, prepared now with the knowledge of these behaviors within this culture on Wikipedia, on Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia article, where they frequent in greater number.
Success. Deepak Chopra’s wiki war, for that time, was resolved – and was until I was banned again, as my identity was investigated and discovered.
For the past three years, I’ve been on the receiving end of a campaign to discredit me for exposing these tactics.
Building a consensus on Wikipedia in a charged environment is indeed allot like politics, but worser.
What wins on Wikipedia in a heated consensus is not a reasoned discussion of the issues, it’s a series of personal attacks on an editors character or intentions.
Since I started this project in 2013, I’ve been called a famous internet troll, an internet predator, a sophisticated pro who is conducting a world wide social media experiment, a sock puppet mastermind with an anti personality disorder, and my most favorite – a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I’m so hated in some areas of Wikipedia that this website is even blacklisted.
I’m still waiting for any Wikipedia editor to link to just one disruptive edit or post I performed on Wikipedia that shows any disruptive editing.
Last month, a Wikipedia editor known as RedSage complained on Jimbo Wales talk page in a series of two posts, both called ‘Wikipedia We Have a Problem’ and referencing this website. A handful of these skeptic editors took offense to mention of this website – and editor Jytdog (who I interacted with on Wikipedia while editing Chopra’s article) used this as a reason to get RedSage banned from Wikipedia.
The titles of both of these posts are direct quotes of banned user Rome Viharo’s website (which I can’t link to, as it is blacklisted) and the posts echo much of Viharo’s conspiracist hysteria about a skeptic takeover of WP (which Viharo apparently decided must be True after the community continually rejected his FRINGE-pushing nonsense about Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra, two topics of longterm disruption with regard to altmed here in WP)
Similar to Trumptonian levels of persuasion, Jytdog represents a small click of editors on Wikipedia that damage control perception. Jytdog chooses predictable ‘weasel words’, insist this website is nothing but a ‘conspiracy theory’.
These bizarre personal attacks against me and this website is a good example of how persuasion works on Wikipedia, it’s remarkably similar to political campaigns although for far less unimportant stakes.
This small collective of editors on Wikipedia and Rational Wiki whom have invested lots of their time and energy in discrediting me like any political group. To refer this website as a ‘conspiracy theory’ when I offer no such claim about ‘Skeptics taking over Wikipedia’ is over the top and it discredits them as skeptics to abuse language in such a way. It’s pointless to point out to Jytdog that I have clarified over and over this website is not an attack on skeptic ideology or even skeptic activism, it just focuses on a small group of editors who themselves claim to be skeptics.
Additionally, my only involvement on Wikipedia with this issue was solely on biography pages, and my editorial arguments were focused solely on biographical information, such as Rupert Sheldrake being a biologist, or Deepak Chopra being an actual MD (two things which skeptic editors did not want to list in the article). To state that I was promoting or pushing fringe views is a clear distortion and not supported by any discussion I had on Wikipedia, or any evidence what so ever. Jytdog is doing what any political operative does, he is attacking and attempting to demonize his opponents and is willing to misrepresent reality to control editing on a Wikipedia article.
A small handful of skeptics who edit on Wikipedia acting like asses has nothing to do with them being skeptics, it has to do with them being unable to responsibly reflect on their activities just like any other human being. It’s not skepticism that caused them to use Wikipedia as a platform for agenda based editing and harassment, it’s Wikimedia’s poorly thought through approach to harassment that is.
This post is more of an update, as current activities have kept me from addressing Wikipedia and my nerdy fascinations with wiki wars. I’ve yet to complete my case study on Deepak Chopra’s wiki war and that will be coming soon too. In the meantime to tide you the reader over until more gets produced, some wiki updates.