[Foundation-l] Request for your input: biographies of living people

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 00:55:16 UTC 2009

I'd like to put forth for consideration the issue and problem of
whitewashing, where the subject of an article wants there to be an article,
but wants negative information removed from it despite the negative
information being true and verifyable and notable.

I've been working one of these since it landed in OTRS a few months ago -
I'm not the most active OTRSer by any means, but this is one of those "have
to keep watching the case" cases.  A businessman who was fairly successful
was also convicted of an unusually large major financial fraud - which they
contest and are appealing, but remains on the record.

They wanted the article stripped to the bone and just have some stuff about
his success story, and had been edit warring over for some time via IPs and
sockpuppets before he came to OTRS.

The info had been adequately sourced to start with - in the process of
dealing with the edit warring he was making, other editors and anon editors
had filled in quite a bit of the further background info and more and more
reliable sources as well.

I don't know what the percentage is of requests overall where it's a
whitewash attempt - it's been a significant percentage (5% as a guess) of
those I had to deal with.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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