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Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia 
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Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages
By Ashley Feinberg, HuffPost
14 March 2019 ... e942967225

An attempt to expose the tactics of a disclosed paid editor, which, while admirable for its depth, has of course suffered from the same mistakes all these pieces seem to. By not really having spent any time studying Wikipedia outside their narrow topic of interest (and I wonder who specifically asked them to investigate this specific user?), they fail to spot when they are missing the wood for the trees.....(and I don't mean the fact there are a bunch of other disclosed paid editors, all using their own specific playbook, because Wikipedia is so easily played)
Edits made by someone with an undisclosed conflict of interest are certainly rampant, but once discovered, those illicit edits are reversed.
Well, not quite. Our forum has countless examples which have yet to be rectified. Finding COI edits in Wikipedia is like shooting fish in a barrel. And the key question here for Wikipedia's readers is, how much of it is actually being discovered, by anyone, inside or out? Our findings suggest, not much.
Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). When that doesn’t work, though, his refusal to ever back down usually will.

He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Wikipedia will know that there are countless Wikipedians who will quite happily deploy these tactics, who have seemingly countless hours to expend on it all, and not because they're getting paid, not even as suspected paid editors. They do it for the prize of winning the Wikipedia game, because they are activists, zealots, or just plain autistic. These losers were given the prize of being allowed to decide what is and is not, knowledge, no qualifications necessary, experience and competence to be judged by your equally inexperienced and often still incompetent peers. For most of them it is more power over the world than they will ever see in their miserable little lives, so no wonder they try so hard to show to their equally impotent peers that they are indeed the one eyed man.

People not used to the ways of the cult, their ritual dances and unspoken rules, would be frankly amazed to learn how little of what goes on there is tightly focused, relevant and efficient discussion of problems, with effort expended being in proportion to their seriousness or impact on the readers. Such a person going into the cult with that approach to Wikipedia business, is very much seen as the oddball of the group. They're only efficient and effective when it comes to hiding their problems - the difficult users, the corrupt Administrators, the hypocrisy, my God, the hypocrisy.

Jesus, you have to question the sanity of someone who settled merely for taking money to engage with those people with the goal of achieving an outcome, any outcome (screaming is not an outcome). I would want something money can't buy, as my fair day's pay.
Editors will periodically catch on to Sussman’s activities and admonish him on his Talk page.

Posts calling attention to Sussman’s lobbying of other editors rarely stay up for more than a week. According to his Talk page history, Sussman deletes criticism frequently and any record of it in his user logs often gets buried by his prolific posting and editing.

Usually, though, these warnings against Sussman’s petitioning are ignored.
It is, of course, routine for any Wikipedian who starts to rack up multiple warnings, to realise all you have to do is brush them under the carpet and ignore it. Nobody tracks any of it. Their system of handling "warnings" is perhaps the biggest joke of the website's entire system of self-governance. It would be so easy to centrally log warnings so that they might actually be able to enforce the policy that says if users ignore valid warnings, they get blocked (and those who routinely place frivolous warnigns are also dealt with, since in wikiland anyone can warn anyone for anything, as a core feature).

Logging warnings is one of hundreds of simple reforms the Wikipedians will never get around to implementing, because efficiently and effectively organising their system of self governance is just not in their radar as a priority. Just like finding undisclosed COI editors is not a priority. Just like verifying unreferenced information is not a priority. Their priority is scribbling on the giant pad they called an "encyclopedia". If the media had provided sufficient pushback against the very idea what they're doing is creating an encyclopedia, or just knowledge at all, maybe it wouldn't be such an attractive proposition for people who have no intent to create a neutral reference work, to tip the scales in their favour.

Wikipedia is a massive joke, the ease with which legit paid operatives can manipulate it being one small part of the entire mess.

You want to understand this aspect of Wikipedia? Figure out why Larry Sanger, the architect of the very neutrality policy that these paid shills are trying to subvert, lamented long ago as he severed all ties with this joke of a project, that the inmates had taken over the asylum. He was not referring to paid operatives, disclosed or otherwise. He was talking about the die-hard Wikipedians themselves, the ones charged with keeping everything in order. The ones who could and should be cleaning their own toilets, because they're the people who are telling the world that their house, while not perfect, is not a blot on the neighbourhood. It just needs a bit of your money and a bit of your time, and everything will be rosy. Bullshit. In reality, if Britannica was a city library, Wikipedia is the crack house.

There's no fixing it. Just toss a match in there, and watch that mother fucker burn.


Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:16 pm
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