[WikiEN-l] Self-sensorship, how far should it go?

Blu Aardvark jeffrey.latham at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 00:22:42 UTC 2007

Here's my opinion on the matter.

First, Slashdot is not a reliable source. Thus, links in article space 
are thoroughly inappropriate except for in articles related to the 
subject. Second, the question must be asked - who is adding these links, 
where are they adding these links, and what is their motive for doing 
so? True, there are some established users who are clearly acting in 
good faith to call this slashdot drivel to the attention of other 
editors, but is doing so actually necessary? Does it benefit Wikipedia 
at all?

I think it's safe to say that SlimVirgin is well aware of the piece. I 
think it is also safe to say that SlimVirgin is highly upset by the 
piece, and considerably bothered by the fact that her fellow editors 
deem it necessary to call the piece to the attention of her and other 

It's a hit piece, a hack job masquerading as journalism. As I've posted 
on Slashdot myself, it may be true that she is who the article claims 
her to be, and the evidence may be sufficient to draw such a conclusion. 
It may be true that she has an active conflict of interest on Wikipedia, 
and the evidence may be sufficient to draw this conclusion as well. But 
there is not enough evidence to convict her of being affiliated with a 
government agency - I've seen better and more believable conspiracy 
theories advocated by the GNAA.

But yet, not only do slashdotters find it necessary to call attention to 
the piece, Wikipedians do as well. Can you understand why some people 
would rightfully be upset by this?

I don't see it as censorship. I see it more or less of a common-sense 
"why are we even discussing this?" type of action.

Oleg Alexandrov wrote:
> As we know, Slashdot posted a story linking to a paranoic article
> revealing SlimVirgin's real name and claiming she is a secret
> agent.  Bad and dumb on their part. That of course makes
> SlimVirgin feel distressed, creates a lot of damage, etc.
> However, how far should Wikipedians go to "protect" the feelings
> of their editors? As of now, any attempts (and they were many) to
> mention anything about this anywhere on Wikipedia is reverted on
> sight. Any post with the words "SlimVirgin news" is just deleted.
> I beleive this is going overboard.  The damage is done. Shutting
> our eyes and ears, pretending "All is well in Wiki-land", and
> ruthless self-censoring is just further damaging Wikipedia's
> reputation.
> Comments?

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