[Foundation-l] Wiki Scanner & wikinew

Casey Brown cbrown1023.ml at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 01:10:02 UTC 2007

On 8/21/07, Kat Walsh <kat at mindspillage.org> wrote:
> On 8/21/07, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 8/21/07, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org> wrote:
> > > I have to ask why people are going to such great lengths to excuse the
> > > actions of News Corp.
> >
> >
> > "Actions of News Corp" I doubt it. Some of their emplyees probably but
> > without authorisation those cannot be said to be the action of news
> > corp.
> ::nods::
> I hate Fox News; I think it's dealing a rather harsh blow to the state
> of public discourse and what passes for news. (Someone always leaves
> it on in the cafeteria, and so I am exposed to its programs far more
> frequently than I might like.)

I know how you feel, I'm in a hotel lobby right now and I see The O'Riley
Factor on in the background........

But I would not say that the edits made from computers in its address
> space are the actions of News Corp. (They spread enough terrible
> articles that they're willing to endorse and even advertise to the
> world.) The edits may be things News Corp would actually approve of (a
> lot of them look like they would be) -- but they may also be the
> actions of support staffers and interns on their break, some guy
> playing a joke on his co-worker, or people who just still don't know
> that yes, everyone can see your changes when you make them, who may
> well have been fired for their actions if anyone knew about them at
> the time. I seriously doubt News Corp finds it to be in their interest
> to replace an entire article, even one critical of them, with juvenile
> vandalism, for example, yet that sort of edit can be found among the
> others WikiScanner turns up. (Here's an example, from someone who
> clearly didn't enjoy "The Incredibles".
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=prev&oldid=68303976 )

Of course!  We can't assume that these are the opinions of the News Corp
as a whole, just some employees who thought it would be cool or funny to
edit or just didn't think we'd be able to track them this way.

To treat a story about someone we dislike with less concern for
> skepticism and neutrality than another story is just as irresponsible
> as any bad reporting others do -- so I'd rather err on the side of
> caution. Wikimedia projects are somewhat notorious for being overly
> pedantic in the attempt to reach neutrality, and I can't deny that at
> all. But I'd far rather have that and get a very truthful picture than
> a more exciting story that doesn't mention things the reader may not
> realize or may get the wrong idea about.

Yes.  If they are planning on writing a story, they should do it with the
utmost caution! :-)

> (The above opinions are just the opinion of someone blathering on, not
> the location from which I am currently posting. :-P)
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Casey Brown

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