On 1/21/2013 9:31 PM, Risker wrote:
I find my thoughts about this heading in so many
I'm not really sure where to start.
Of all the people on Wikipedia, I would have thought that people on
this list would be intensely aware of the hazards of having a
biographical article about oneself on Wikipedia, particularly one that
will likely be little-watched, and for whom huge numbers of editors
will have significant conflicts of interest in editing. This is
particularly true of articles about women, it seems, and especially
women of borderline notability. This is a target painted on Sarah's
back. She may not realise it yet, but having spent a good chunk of
the last several years dealing with "vandals and trolls", she's a
really juicy target.
Indeed, one could easily say that the creator of this article had a
significant conflict of interest in writing an article about someone
who is an advisor to the author's non-profit, AND who has made
significant edits to the author's article. Imagine if Jimmy Wales went
around writing biographical articles about the WMF Board's advisory
council members - we all know what digestive products would hit the
oscillating ventilator. (Of course, the major variable is the quality
of writing - I am happy to grant that it's well written.) Conflict of
interest is already a very major battleground on the project, although
we've not really discussed it much on this list.
I'm sorry but I think this was a bad idea. It seriously increases the
risk that other wikimedians will find themselves with an unwanted
biography that will be pretty well impossible to remove from the
project. That might be fine for some, but it's a significant concern
for a lot of others, and I know of several wikimedians who are
similarly borderline notable but who go out of their way to avoid
media or turn down speaking engagements because they do not want a
Wikipedia article about them. I'm afraid this low bar to notability
is so unhealthy that it's had an effect on our own community.
If a person isn't that notable and wants it off, I think that's
done...if they can figure out how to get it done!
I had a ridiculous one up in 2006-2007 that I didn't know how to remove.
Eventually I just beefed up and made it accurate, mostly by deleting
nonsense and adding refs. Then some editors got mad at me and even
though I had like 10 quotations or paragraphs from solid sources about
me, brought to AfD deleted it. That WAS fine with me. (On the other
hand, I'm not publicity shy and if I could have the article written my
way - and had more accomplishments to crow about - I wouldn't be opposed.)
Women have to worry far more about being attacked for having a strong
opinion in just about any forum, and especially online where people
(esp. males out to mess with women) can somewhat easily hide their
identities. It's a bummer and I've certainly been infuriated when its
happened, especially if its an individual or site that has no intention
of taking something disgusting down. But we just have to deal with it,
just like one has to deal with construction workers whistling at you
walking down the street. It's a game and you can't let the bullies win...