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I’m in my first editorial war on Wikipedia and it’s no fun.

A few days ago, I noticed from hits coming into this site from Wikipedia. I went over and found out that somone had added a section about Criticism to the WIkipedia Kitchen Nightmares page. Again – I didn’t add this link to site, some total stranger did. I have no idea who.

So I went over to correct a couple of things – there was a spelling error and an explanation of something was slightly wrong. Then today, I noticed the whole section was missing.  I undeleted it – and then it was deleted again. It’s one particular editor that I’m having trouble with – you can read the back and forth here-look for the Kitchen Nightmares section.

I’ve been editing Wikipedia stuff for a couple of years now. Not too much stuff but I understand editorial policy. I’ve worked professionally as a writer and editor for over fifteen years now. And now some dude from the Netherlands whose claim to fame is that he is into Doctor Who gets to tell me I’m not a reliable source when I spoke firsthand to people and related that on this blog? I don’t think so. We’ll see how it goes.

Update: Here’s how it went…

I want to strangle people. Wikipedia admins are little hitlers with no common sense.

Poor Jimbo Wales.

More Update: My lovely wife Lauren had a panic attack last night at about 3am and so I’ve been attending to her for the last 17 hours or so. She’s been puking up bile and sweating and miserable; panic attacks are really nasty, if you aren’t personally familiar with them. So, between cleaning her puke bucket out I’ve been going back and forth about what this policy is or what a guideline is or whether blogs are ever valid as cites and what counts as ‘original research’ and stuff like that.

Cleaning the puke bucket was more fun.

Poor, poor Jimbo Wales.

He started a religion! He didn’t mean to, but the admin side of Wikipedia is truly the biggest Gordian Knot Clusterfuck Of Epistemological Misunderstanding And Bickeing I’ve ever seen in my life. Byzantine in it’s construction and terminology and ruled by people who don’t actually understand the policies that they are enforcing. Bizarre. Yuck. And counter productive – no wonder the Kitchen Nightmares page sucks there. And that’s just for a dumb TV show! Glad I didn’t get into theology or Star Wars or something controversial.

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  1. I’m sure you’re aware of the various forms of Wikipedia content dispute resolution: Give them a try? It would probably be a good way to establish your own bona fides as a reliable journalist and set a precedent to allow others to cite to your blog without starting another edit war. Yeah, there’s a certain level of anal retentiveness on Wikipedia that I’m sure has driven many good editors away…

  2. Is it worth it? Have you ever done it?

    Just…ya know…sigh.

  3. It isn’t worth it, ever. Editing pages on Wikipedia is generally an utter waste of time, unless you already have nothing but time on your hands – and that is still debatable.

    Wikipedia editors typically consider themselves experts in everything, and will fight you tooth and nail. It has happened to plenty of journalists and researchers, and will continue to happen as long as the site exists.

  4. That’s been my experience so far. It’s been…interesting, I guess. I never knew how awful it was.

    The Kitchen Nightmares page has at this point been decimated. As it stands, it’s a totally useless reference page for the show.

  5. I myself suffer from panic attacks and what they do to your life.

    If your wife ever needs someone to talk to, rant at, whatever, have her shoot me an email at the address I provided in my fill-in form.

    And yes, I am serious. I have mine pretty much under control, thank God, but believe me, I know what she is going through.

  6. I’m a for mod somewhere, and we have just a few months of “drama”. Gag. Our brave and fearless leader posted a link to a couple of articles about Wikipedia’s latest crap, and a link or two to Wikireview. I was not surprised.

    Nor should you be! The world is full of dunderheads who revel in the power trippin’ of the Mighty and One Delete Button. Sometimes, I, glance at it after a long and tiring day of doing nothing. It calls to me, beckoning….. “I’ll make you feel better, I promise….”

    Sorry your edits got edited, but hey, look at it this way – you’ve got a nice blog and your own delete button.

    Best wishes.



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