[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny

Keith Old keithold at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 10:52:12 UTC 2006

On 2/22/06, Geoff Burling <llywrch at agora.rdrop.com> wrote:
> Just a number of observations on this topic.
> 1. If a person is a topic of sufficient attention, for whatever
> reason, Wikipedia should have an article on that person.
> 2. I thought Delerium's stub was quite accurate & NPOV.
> 3. The edit history of this article had 675 edits -- including
> Delerium's. Sheesh.
> 4. I am reminded of a strategy I mentioned in another thread --
>         a. Silently acquiese to opponent's edits; after all, there's
>         many other articles in need of attention.
>         b. Wait x number of weeks.
>         c. Revert opponent's edits while carefully leaving any later
>         contributions intact.
>         d. Repeat steps 2 & 3 as often as needed.
> and of the variations other people mentioned.
> 5. When I hear that this person's family is concerned about the
> article, are they more worried about the picture of his appearance, or
> that he was declared guilty in a court of law for a sex crime --
> specifically on the charge of "Gross Sexual Imposition" & an attempt
> to do the same?
> 6. And just what is "Gross Sexual Imposition"? For the curious, I
> found a definition at
> http://www.ag.state.oh.us/le/training/pubs/cert/unit2-2C_rev0506.pdf --
> which defines it as involuntary sexual groping, with the usual
> conditions that apply to a definition of rape: use or threat of use
> of force, whether the parties involved are married[*], whether the
> victim was capable of consenting to this act, & if the victim was
> less than 13 years of age. FWIW, when I Googled for the specific
> part of the Ohio Revised Code that he was convicted under, I found a
> hit that explains this is one crime that explicitly cannot be expunged
> from his record.
> 7. Looking at this guy's picture & considering the crime he was
> convicted of, I have to wonder if this wasn't some mean-spirited
> practical joke gone badly wrong, & for which he is being mangled by the
> gears of justice. (Of course this kind of thing happens -- & not only
> in the US: I remember reading about a case in the UK where a pair of
> homeless bums were arrested & convicted of being notorious IRA
> bombers, despite the fact both were obviously incapable of holding a
> normal job or even attempting to apply for one, let alone managing such
> a demanding chore as making & setting these complicated devices.)
> 8. Again, FWIW I went to school with a guy with a similar deformity
> similar this one. He exhibited normal intelligence. If the findings of
> the court were accurate, then he knew what he was doing: coercing
> another person to being groped.
> 9. Are we more worried about providing verifiable information in
> Wikipedia, or if people are going to object to the nature of our
> information? After all, are we going to back off from stating that
> Vice-President Cheney shot Whittington in the face with a shotgun, &
> that Whittington later apologized to Cheny & his family for the
> accident?
> Geoff
> [*] I am not expressing an opinion on this clause of the relevant
> section of the Ohio Revised Code. I am merely reporting what it says.
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The question is do we have articles on every person convicted of such an
offence in Ohio or elsewhere. The answer is we don't nor do we have articles
on the vast majority of them. The reason that we have an article on Peppers
is that he is disabled and that some people have decided to single him out
on a couple of websites. That doesn't excuse his behaviour but it doesn't
justify an article.

 Should we have? In my view, no we shouldn't unless there is strong public
interest in the case as reflected in multiple verifiable sources. All we
have for Peppers is the reference from Snopes so the verifiability is shaky.

There is clear interest in the Cheney case reflected in thousands of
reliable sources in existence. This is not the case in the Peppers case. In
my view, it doesn't even warrant a minor mention in Internet culture.


Keith Old

Keith Old

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