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Recent changes patrol

Wikitruth

Wikitruth is a website critical of the online encyclopedia project Wikipedia. It was created on March 20, 2006.

The site argues that there are fundamental problems with the structure of Wikipedia. It highlights the reported actions and statements of prominent Wikimedia Foundation members, such as Jimmy Wales, and probes the concept of vandalism, censorship of articles on Wikipedia, and other aspects of the Wikipedia culture.

Ownership and editors

Wikitruth says that it is operated by a group of Wikipedia editors, including several administrators, who have spent hundreds of hours editing Wikipedia pages. Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales has labeled the site "a hoax", and its creators "almost certainly people who have been banned by Wikipedia". Wikitruth's editors have responded that current Wikipedia administrators have contributed to Wikitruth, saying that several articles could not have been written without someone having administrator status.

Wikitruth runs on the MediaWiki software and it uses a feature which prohibits editing by anonymous users, and the site is not open for new account signups. Readers may contact the editors through e-mail, or readers who are also Wikipedia editors may use their talk pages.

Publicity

The first major media attention to Wikitruth was published on April 13, 2006, in an article in The Guardian by Andrew Orlowski, the San Francisco bureau chief for The Register, who has also written articles critical of Wikipedia.

The Slashdot effect

Wikitruth gained wider notice when Slashdot, a technology-related news website, posted an item on April 16, 2006 titled "Censored Wikipedia Articles Appear On Protest Site", which referenced the Guardian piece. The post specifically mentioned the deletion and significant modification by Wales and others of articles on former underage webcam pornographer Justin Berry, and adult-film director Paul Barresi. Due in part to being mentioned in a front-page news item on Slashdot, Wikitruth's servers were overrun with a flood of attention. Later, Wikitruth was mentioned on Metafilter, Digg, and various other news sites as well.

The Register article

The next day, Orlowski published another article, this time in The Register, titled "Wales and Sanger on Wikipedia". This article echoed several criticisms about Wikipedia from "Skip", whom Orlowski described as a Wikipedia administrator who is a part of Wikitruth. Some of the criticisms leveled by "Skip" in the article include comments about Wikipedia's lack of a CAPTCHA challenge-response test for securing registration or editing and preference for inclusion of certain kinds of articles such as Pokémon.

Criticisms of Wikipedia

The website levels several criticisms against Wikipedia, including exposing articles and edits that Wikipedia has censored and other “atrocities” involving administrative feuding. One group of these criticism centers on Wales and WP:OFFICE, a meta page on Wikipedia set up to deal with certain legal and related issues. Wikitruth uses certain deletions carried out by Wales and others under the policy (actions that it rewords as "Office Does It, Shut Up") to argue that Wikipedia content is censored. There is also a page describing Wales on the website, which contains several arguments, including the assertion that Wales rules by fiat and entices other "Wikipedians" to perform actions he wants, such as the insertion of certain website links into articles. Some Wikipedia policies support Wales as the "ultimate authority on any matter."

Another group of criticisms centers on specific Wikipedia processes. For example, Wikitruth criticizes Wikipedia's recent changes patrol, a group of Wikipedia editors who inspect recent changes in Wikipedia articles, calling them "a Junior Woodchuck Club" that prevents legitimate edits to Wikipedia articles. Wikitruth also states that it is easy for Wikipedia editors to comply maliciously, to "game the system" by outwardly following Wikipedia protocol. Protocols and policies they have explicitly cited as flawed and which enable "gaming" are Wikipedia's limit of three reverts to an article per user per 24-hour window and the use of administration in stepping in to resolve complications in such disputes. Other issues that they comment on include the concept of notability, controversy surrounding neutrality in articles, the use of sockpuppets, and the use of the epithet "troll.

See also

Footnotes

External links

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