is my own favorite example, and also the site of one of my extremely
rare personal ventures into editing.
There was a time when this article was heavily slanted in an anti-US
fashion. The important tidbit is that the article went significantly
beyond all mainstream sources in claiming that the U.S. broke the
truce agreement. In fact, all mainstream sources were very vague on
that point; there seems to be little information about what the truce
agreement actually consisted of, and little information about how the
fighting started again.
However, my experience in helping on the article was quite good, but
of course people may pay me more deference than I would otherwise
deserve on the merits of my writing. My sense of it, though, and I do
a *lot* of reading on talk pages and edit histories of controversial
pages, is that the majority of contributors are willing to work with
others to find a way to ensure that we don't make claims that go
beyond the best available evidence.
(I have not read the current version of the article.)
Much Wikipedian rewriting of AP, Guardian and other news stories about
the Bush Administration and Iraq slants the coverage even more those
anti-US sources had already slanted the stories. This has got to stop.
Wikipedia news coverage should not be slanted in ANY direction.
Don't argue your points in news stories. Don't omit one side and
emphasize another side, especially when the source you are quoting
includes both sides.
The US point of view is that they are liberating an oppressed Iraqi
populace from a bloodthirsty, power-mad dictator. We should neither
endorse nor oppose this POV.
The rebels' point of view as that they are fighting against an imperial
takeover aimed at subjugating an independent Iraqi populace for selfish
and nationalistic purposes. We should neither endores nor oppose this
News stories tend to play up the "rebels vs. US" angle. They are quick
to quote local witnesses who insinuate that the US is killing civilians
wontonly in a war of aggression; this bolsters the argument that "the US
is wrong". Please note that Wikipedia must not endorse or oppose this
If you want to argue that the US is guilty of war crimes, start a blog.
Or write a general article which QUOTES prominent sources as making this
argument. But don't sneak it into news stories. I'm asking you, please.
A supporter of Jimbo's NPOV policy
Dan Drake wrote:
>[Bets being accepted on whether responses will point out that the stupid
>American is unwittingly showing his own bias in that last sentence.]
We all show our biases periodically, and in fact most of the complaints
both here and elsewhere that Wikipedia slants toward a certain POV in
fact reveal more about the POV of the writer than some overriding POV in
Wikipedia itself. Some individual articles do have serious POV problems
depending on what the last author did with them. But Wikipedia as a
whole is, if I may borrow Cimon Avaro's pogo stick, occasionally bumpy
but not actually slanted in any particular direction.
The first edition of the Foundation newsletter is ready for preview
and proofreading. It includes a lot of information about the Board,
overviews of the ongoing and
newly-started projects, and an enthusiastic interview with Ward Cunningham.
Please take a look :
Feedback, factual corrections, or requested updates may be left on the
Anybody remember Guru Maharaj Ji?
Well, there's a long running controversy at Wikipedia over how to
characterize him. Apparently, it's the single biggest edit war we've
One scholar has spent over 8 months researching the man, and a group of
several dozen ex-followers is reverting like crazy.
I think the way we handle this has important implications for our future
Bureaucrat and NPOV Maven
The article said we had no entry on a famous British moral philosopher.
But by the time I did a search, our article was the best article
available on Google. So either they WERE wrong, or they have BECOME
All actors and politicians know that "There is no such thing as bad
You want to kill something? Ignore it. (What you pay attention to,
Jim Redmond wrote:
>Ah, but the problem is that, as a grassroots effort, we have no control
>over the impulses of our participants. Our more... fanatic... devotees
>are likely to respond to this latest slight with mouths a-foaming and
Oh well, at least while they're busy flaming The Register they won't be
foaming misspelled POV all over our nice articles.
> Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales wrote:
>> We will need to do a search to determine if we have other images from
>> this site as well. The error was due to the assumption that if it is
>> on the Nasa site, and is a picture from space, it is in the public
> In a brief spot-check of 30 NASA images, no others were from SeaWiFS,
> so if there are any others, they seem to be in a small minority. It's
> hard to check for them though, as they come from various NASA sites
> under the company's agreement with NASA, and not from a separate
> SeaWiFS site. There is a http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov, but the only
> references we have to that site are external links, not images. So
> I'm guessing we're okay.
There was actually one more from SeaWiFS, uploaded by the same user, who
was able to provide the source on a third one that seemed questionable.
The copyrighted one that needs to be removed is:
It didn't occur to me until people started tracking down the Black Sea
image, but I'm guessing this one is also uploaded and used on other