Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Hey-nony-nony, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Hey-nony-nony Member

    Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts


    I'm gonna cut right to the chase: Vandalizing Wikipedia doesn't help. It provides little in the way of lulz, it doesn't get seen or noticed by the CoS, and it just annoys the editors there who are trying to make it better.

    I've watched those editors try to prevent the white-washing of Scientology crimes by making sure that actual, factual information stays put in the Scientology-related articles, good and bad (of course, what Wikipedia calls "reliable sources" are all overwhelmingly negative towards the CoS, so there's very little "good" that needs defense). They work hard, and the articles have improved, but they face ongoing attempts by the CoS to wipe out anything that portrays L. Ron Hubbard or his criminal organization in less than hagiographic terms.

    Anyway, I've been lurking (and maybe I need to lurk moar, but again, another issue...) since Anonymous started its fight against censorship and oppression. And I've been cheering from the sidelines. But one thing kept bugging me... Wikipedia kept getting hit in the crossfire. Wikipedia is not run by the CoS. It is not associated with the CoS. It is not the target, it is collateral damage.

    But it could be a fantastic tool in the Anonymous toolbox. So here's a proposal: Wikipedia sees millions of visitors every day: Why couldn't a Scientology article such as Operation Snow White be a featured article on its front page every day? It would take several steps, but it wouldn't even be that hard.

    1. Stop vandalizing
    This step's pretty self-explanatory. If we're trying to turn Wikipedia into a source for neutral, factual information -- almost all of which, like I said, would actually be negative towards the CoS -- then vandalizing it is counter-productive.

    2. Find the sources
    Get off the internet and hit the library or bookstore; there's a lot out there that doesn't get incorporated into the Scientology articles because it isn't online. Pick up books and other reliable (non-CoS) sources of information about Hubbard and the cult. Read these books, and any newspaper articles you turn up. Scholarly books and newspaper articles are reliable sources for Wikipedia, and can't be deleted by cult members claiming they violate Wikipedia rules about neutrality.

    • Opinion pieces[/*:2lkim085]
    • Self-published works[/*:2lkim085]
    • Anything Wikipedia policy regards as a non-reliable source[/*:2lkim085]

    3. Get an account
    You can edit Wikipedia without an account, but it tracks your IP address if you do. Getting an account solves two problems:
    • First, it actually makes you more anonymous as far as everyone else is concerned. I don't want to know your IP address, and you don't want to know mine.[/*:2lkim085]
    • Second, it makes your edits more likely to stick. IP address editors tend to be vandals, and their edits tend to get scrutinized and reverted.[/*:2lkim085]

    4. Stop vandalizing. Seriously.

    5. Talk, talk, talk
    Don't immediately add your findings to articles. Mention them on the pertinent talk pages. Ask for assistance formulating your sources into properly wikified citations (deleting properly cited material from reliable sources on Wikipedia is a big no-no, making it harder for white-washers to remove your work). Ask long-time editors to help you incorporate any big changes you're suggesting into the article. Learn Wikipedia policy and rules.

    6. Edit... and edit boldly!
    Once you feel like you know the ropes well enough, dive in and start incorporating your sources directly. If your material merits a new article, make one! And add it to the WikiProject for Scientology.

    7. Edit... and edit carefully.
    Don't be surprised if sweeping changes are reverted. Resist the temptation to delete well-sourced material that is complimentary to the CoS (don't worry, there isn't much). Take major changes back to the talk page for consensus. If your additions are well-sourced and phrased in a neutral, just-the-facts-ma'am way, anyone who's edited there long-term will get behind you and go with the change.

    And as you edit, make sure you don't incorporate your own opinion into what you write. Use a neutral tone, even when presenting material that makes your blood boil. Let that material speak for itself.

    8. Stop vandalizing. I mean it.

    Wikipedia is a gift on a fucking platter: A central and highly popular place already set up and waiting for the flood of factual information Anonymous has at its fingertips. Reach out and take it.

    Edit:Heh... Damn BBCode...
  2. waianon Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    Very well said. :) And I fully agree, the vandalism does far more harm than good (and precious little good anyway). We have some very eloquent and intelligent folks here, and I know they can do us plenty of good through Wikipedia by editing according to policy.

    Research and knowing how to say things isn't my strong point so sadly I can't do such a thing myself. :(
  3. Selleck Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    brb,vandalizing....errr I MEAN, EDITING WITH SOURCES, Tom Cruise's page to state he is a devil worshiping midget who is impotent.
  4. NamelessEnvoy Member

    Re: Wikipedia

    I concur with the OP.

    First off, my last best guess is that there are probably about 10 "spam" posts per Wikipedia Member doing vandalism cleanup. However, many bots also roam the hallowed hall of "Recent Changes", and I should know that too, I had ~2000 anti-vandalism edits on Wiki before retiring last year.
    First off, any large change (100 words removed? Probably less) or any change with a clear removal of info or a clear insertion of biased text (IE: inserting swear words repeatedly or large posts with cruise control) will probably be auto-reverted by a bot or caught by someone with Popups (or the like) on the Recent Changes page. If you are caught repeatedly vandalizing (even in the name of Anon), you can be banned, and in more extreme cases, IPs can be checked, ISPs can be blocked, etc.

    If you can source your arguments, I won't necessarily go so far as to say that they will never be removed, but I will say that it will take more time for a decision to be made. Typically bots will ignore stuff like that, and a user will usually at the very least check the link out before removing it. This could, in some cases, create more interest.

    I have to warn you though, if you do use sources, I would suggest trying to find a source not directly related to the many anti-Scientology sites (so that means trying not to quote Enturb, SA, xenutv, WBM, too much), including new reports, transcripts hosted on independent sites, or investigative material in a hopefully un-easily-modifiable format (PDFs?). There are always concerns regarding the point of view of the citations, and some people live on building NPOV (Wiki-speak for Neutral Point Of View, typically accomplished through citing independent sources and attempting to bring both sides of an argument to an article) and investigating COI (Conflicts of Interest, IE: A Scientologist editing Scientology articles (Cough Terryeo cough).

    Accounts unfortunately don't mean a ton. I had two. *shrug* I didn't use them illicitly or anything. Just, Wikipedia, as it likes to tell itself every now and then, is not a democracy (Some sort of benevolent dictatorial republic?): Shear votes don't get anywhere, they can get stricken, ignored, or investigated as potential "Sock Puppets". There is a template that some users use on vote pages that states "Note: This user has made little-to-no edits on areas outside of this topic before contributing to this discussion. This should be considered by the Administrator closing this discussion".

    IP address editors are much, much, much more likely to be scrutinized.

    If you have a dynamic range, don't ignore the advice on this topic and edit without logging in, you could end up blocking an entire range (It would suck to have that happen, right?).

    Discussion > Edits. Make meaningful Talk posts, without sounding like a bot, and you'll see respect flow your way.

    If you do make an account, get involved elsewhere. You do not want to seem like a one-topic account, it draws more suspicion. Plus, I'm sure some people will find vandalism to revert. Doing little cleanup chores like that can go a long way in generating support for your points of view.

    Seriously, this is an awesome topic, and I agree with the OP: Log on, get involved, and make sure that you don't give yourself a bad name in the process.
    If you have the facts (Certainly there are many around here), you can make the edits that get noticed.

    If there's anything needing doing on Wikipedia and you need some help, drop me a PM. I might be able to help out.

    WP doesn't seem to be taking either side on this one, and it remains a relatively neutral source of Info. I was incredibly pleased to see a member there create the Anonymous (Group) page, and have it be actually cited. (Cites ftw)

    Even if you guys do screw up, WP is used to it, and it will handle it in the usual way, so long as you don't turn it into a big deal of "ZOMG $CIENTOLOGY IS CULT$ U R $CI!?" when you get warned/banned.

    Edit: Backslashes haunt my dreams.
  5. chanson Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    Bumping, since there needs to be greater awareness of this.
  6. Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    Google on 'scientology'. For years now the top three results have been, as they should be,, and Wikipedia. Which of these will a person seeking information pick first? Right.

    Now think of those poor editors of the Scientology pages. Besides the vandals and trolls they get a constant trickle of anti-scientologists who think the pages are pro-scientology and pro-scientologists who think the opposite so in they go, chopping, changing, spewing propaganda onto the Discussion pages, and then getting all upset when they get told off.

    Yes, more sensible editors would be welcome. People who want to make changes that have been rejected half a dozen times already are not. I'd venture to suggest that in most respects the main Scientology pages are not going to improve much now.
  7. P_P Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    That, really, depends on your location, and which server you connect to - at that point. As far as I understood. is ranked #5 here for me. And, yes, after #5 it get's good.
  8. anonimo Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    I also like the idea of having hundreds of ressourceful and motivated anons getting the facts right and sharing more and more of the truth that cannot be fought with PIs, attorneys or evil fairgamers. We should also add quite a bit of L. Ron Hubbards words and things that were confirmed in court.

    On the other hand, it all seems complicated and a strenuous thing to do. This is - in my case - because I never edited and researched a wikipedia article. But hey, this will get better with time. Also, I was thinking that we could open up a corner in the forum for wiki discussions. Like what articles for which reasons need to be changed and improved. Than we could take on certain tasks together, like finding proof for some argument or statement.
    In the same way we could extend the variety of articles. Give more information on the critics, on incidents, etc. thus helping people get informed well by a source they trust as more or less neutral.

    At the same time, we have to do the most effective things first. We should follow a strategy and give attention to what is most read. Maybe someone could point out for me how an article gets to the front page, Hey-nony-nony, you mentioned that.This would be best, of course...
  9. flippantmage Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    But that sounds like a much better story! :mrgreen:
  10. NamelessEnvoy Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    Quoted for the ****ing win.

    Cite the court documents, throw in the quotes in an appropriate place, win the internets. A suggested route of attack? In the "History of Scientology" section, add in the LRH "Religion = cash in my pocket" quote with proper references, build a paragraph of criticism with that.
    Watch the edit wars begin, or watch nothing happen. Depends on how harshly worded your paragraph was :p

    Horribly, horribly true. It takes a lot out of you if all you're doing is editing minor things. If you don't have big work to do or discussions to conduct, I suggest that you guys don't drain yourself on Wikipedia. It WILL get to you, sometime, somewhere. Something like a year and a half for me. It also takes a LONG time to learn the terminology, and it really isn't worth it to lose faith in humanity while you work under the Anon guise.

    I recommend IRC, Wikipedia's IRC, and Wikipedia discussion boards. Why? One, it's one more degree of separation. Two, live discussions on IRC, and getting more people interested over IRC.
    If you put things on WP pages/IRC then you'll get more info out, and maybe find new allies.

    Also the WP IRC is a great place to just hang out and gauge crowd moods, and for trying to get on people's good sides.

    Go to Wikpedia, look up WP:FAC It's the nomination procedure for featured articles.
    On this day + Did You Know have their own procedure but it's fairly complex that I still haven't learned, there's some sort of nomination process for them too.
    WP:FPC is the nomination procedure for pictures.

    There's also a ranking scheme of articles now, something like from E to Featured and Poor to Excellent quality as well. Try to move your articles up the scale if you can.

    Depending on your participation your nominations may not be easily considered. I might be able to help with that (PM me). So don't use SPAs, or Single Purpose Accounts, if you can. If you have a prior account it may be a good idea to use it instead of creating a new one.

    Don't link to WP Discussions from here though. Use IRC for that. You do not want Admins to get the idea that Anon is going to try to rig wikipedia for their own gains.
  11. anonimo Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    That makes me think of the nice letters that were written on occasions in this forum. Then they would be presented to the crowed and discussed. Something like this could be a great idea to get the anons warm up and start enjoying it.

    IRC, that's just like a normal chat right... so words will not stay there to be reflected upon, hm? The discussion board in wiki are quite different from the one we have here. Actually, I believe that for a general brainstorming or a presentation of major changes or improvements our message bord could do quite well. Of course, later it needs t be discussed on Wiki.

    I didn't know, there's something called wiki IRC. Sounds good for some aspects of the work. The big question: can't they track down my IP if I'm in IRC? Or does the usual proxy stuff work there as well?

    Now I think what are the priorities now?
    1. I think we want to get loads of people to protest
    2. We want them feed with high quility, convincing info to make them new anon recruits.
    3. We want to get the media talk about us lots and in a positive manner.
    4. We want the mass of people talk about us in a positive manner.
    5. We want them get interested in the matter and get them outraged at the fraud and abuses.
    6. This will be the final moments for the totalitarian cult, management will break down, Scilons will be freed.

    I see the work on Wikipedia between 4 and 5. The mass of sceptical people that cannot be reached so easily through youtube and the anonymous prostest, might have to be convinced by different media in a different way.
    We should start already now, in the major wiki entries, but our creativity, research and effort may have a greater effect if we focus on building well-designed information pages that are made to convince. Also, working on translations, writing comments to newspaper articles and letters to politicians and the media, doing youtube videos, all of that stuff is likely to have a bigger effect right now...

    Of course, there will be anons that simple more like researching and writing... I'm just speaking of what the mass of anonymous shoul concentrate on for the moment...

  12. its.an0nym0us Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    :teacher: I'm not a wikieditwhore, but I approve of this thread.
  13. saerat Member

    Re: Wikipedia, vandalism, and hitting where it counts

    Operation wikify for trying to get operation snow white as a featured article? :confused:
  14. DeathHamster Member

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