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Humanist Archives: Jan. 30, 2019, 5:45 a.m. Humanist 32.400 - the question on Wikipedia

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 400.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: Bill Benzon 
           Subject: Meet the man behind a third of what's on Wikipedia - CBS News (28)

    [2]    From: Miran Hladnik 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.387: the question on Wikipedia (37)

        Date: 2019-01-29 16:05:15+00:00
        From: Bill Benzon 
        Subject: Meet the man behind a third of what's on Wikipedia - CBS News

The opening paragraphs:
> Steven Pruitt has made nearly 3 million edits on Wikipedia and written 35,000
original articles. It's earned him not only accolades but almost legendary
status on the internet.
> The online encyclopedia now boasts more than 5.7 million articles in English
and millions more translated into other languages -- all written by online
volunteers. Pruitt was named one of the most influential people on the internet
by Time magazine in part because one-third of all English language articles on
Wikipedia have been edited by Steven. An incredible feat, ignited by a
fascination with his own history.

The rest of the article: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-the-man-behind-a-

Bill Benzon



        Date: 2019-01-29 08:05:36+00:00
        From: Miran Hladnik 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.387: the question on Wikipedia

Thanks Bob Kosovsky for a clear explanation of the »problems« some
users have with Wikipedia.

Concerning the rejection Ken Friedman's friend suffered when
contributing to Wikipedia, I miss a link to the entry in question and
to the debate around it to check what exactly went wrong. The reasons
for reversion are simetimes trivial (too expressive or redundant
language, false linking etc.) and can be quickly cured, especially
when other users intervene. I engage expert colleagues to help with
arguments when it comes to a conflict. Disturbingly strong egos, both
simple users or administrators, not able to adjust their decisions,
are banned by the community.

As everything we do in Wikipedia is traceable, we can see that
conflicts arise when users stick to the argument of authority, as Ken
Friedman once did: »I am a tenured professor in two disciplines and a
university dean«

On a long term things are getting better. Ken Friedman warned the
students »NOT to use Wikipedia as as reference source« in 2005
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Gurubrahma/Archive02), but started
editing it by himself later. Ken in a debate with a Wikipedian
admitted that entries are better after the interference of other
users: »I observe that you have indeed brought clarity and
improvements to the article.«
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Kenfriedman0). Rational
argumentation helped survive another Ken's Wikipedia entry on Jack Ox
I am repeating the invitation of the fellow user Modernist to Ken: the
articles »can definitely be improved especially by you«. Please,
listen to the call. – miran hladnik

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