[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny - Harry Reid

Guy Chapman aka JzG guy.chapman at spamcop.net
Wed Feb 22 12:30:27 UTC 2006

On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 01:54:07 -0800, you wrote:

>However, I do think the Harry Reid issue raises an interesting question. 
>If Wikipedia is going to be a trusted source of information, there seems 
>to me that there is a need for us to vet "living people" articles in a 
>way that allows those people to respond to criticisms. We criticized 
>Congressional staffers who "anonymously" edited articles both of the 
>people that they were working for and of the opposition. In this 
>instance, with Harry Reid's staff, they are making a very open request 
>to Jimbo and the others in WP:OFFICE to identify things that they 
>disagree with in the article about Reid.

I don't see a problem with an open and honest request for factual
correction.  We have always encouraged living people to engage with
the community in keeping their biographies factually accurate - just
not by actually editing them.  Engage on the talk page, go to the
Office, whatever.  And if they point out an error which can be
verified as an error, that's good.  And if they dislike the fact that
verifiable but unflattering information is in there, maybe they should
have thought about that before they did whatever they did :-)

Rambling aside: my friend David Silsoe was lead counsel for the
proposers in a number of highly acrimonious planning inquiries,
including Sizewell B, Hinkley Point C, Heathrow Terminal 4 and
Terminal 5.  And despite that, I could not find anybody who had a bad
word to say about him.  Even his opponents liked him.  A lot of public
figures fail to pull off that particular feat, and the problem is
theirs not ours.  As long as we stick to WP:V and WP:RS and of course
"do no harm" we won't go far wrong, I think.
Guy (JzG)

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