About the Wikipedia “Edit Wars”

March 12, 2008 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

Today, reader and commenter Travis Seitler sent me the following email:

I was hoping you might write a new blog post asking the gang to stop trying to edit the SGM Wikipedia article unless they have prior experience with Wikipedia and understand the procedures in place over there. (Apparently there’s been one particular “repeat offender” without a user account who keeps adding the Uncensored link to the page.) If anything, this only kills the potential credibility of the blog.

I’ve been a member of Wikipedia since 2005, and in that time I’ve learned there’s procedures in place to give fair treatment to both sides and attempt to mediate an acceptable compromise. “SGM…U” posters, however, can ruin that process. The folks behind Wikipedia hate it when two opposing sides keep adding/deleting the same things in an article. They even have a term to describe it: an “edit war.” The Wikipedia mediator has already found it necessary to lock the SGM article and prevent it from being edited for the next week; that wiki-inexperienced folks’ actions led to that lock reflects poorly on all of us.

At the moment, a Wikipedia mediator/moderator has been assigned to consider the pro/con cases and weigh in on whether a link to the blog (or perhaps a “controversy” sub-section) merits inclusion in the article. The blog isn’t being snubbed, but the people behind Wikipedia (understandably) have reservations about treating blogs as sources. I’m weighing in on the discussion, and others are more than welcome to; all I ask before they do is that they first set up a Wikipedia account, and then take some time to learn what’s considered “good behavior” over there. It’ll go a long way toward building a positive relationship with the Wikipedia community.

It seems like Travis knows what he’s talking about.  Also, just for the record, neither Guy nor I has ever had anything to do with posting this blog’s link to Wikipedia.  We certainly don’t mind if it’s up there, but in a peculiar way that I hope won’t sound “hyper-spiritual,” we’ve always had the sense that if the Lord wants someone to be reading the blog, He will lead them to find it. 

So, let’s call a cease-fire in the “edit wars,” OK?  Thanks.

© 2008, Kris. All rights reserved.