This post is part of a three-part series on the grievous deficiencies of Wikipedia administrators.
I’ve been complaining recently about how much I hate Wikipedia’s administrators. When I wrote my first blog post here about why I really hate these admins, all comments I got were against me. Well it turns out that all these comments were made by administrators trying to defend themselves. Guess what, admins? Other people hate you too. Here’s a blog post I found that highlights some of the fallacies of administrators on Wikipedia:
This post first appeared on thewebservice.co.uk under the title “The Problem with Wikipedia“, and was written by mrwebservice. It has been edited by Deathgleaner for use on this blog.
Why do I say this? Obviously I’ve just had yet another bad experience with the self-professed Gods who “manage” the encyclopaedia… but is this a case of sour grapes or evidence of a fundamental problem? One or even a few incidents and you get a little irritated, but a bizarre attitude seems to be endemic to Wiki’s mods. So let’s take a look at just why Wikipedia sucks quite so badly.
Who wants to be a Wikipedia moderator? Why would you want to do it? How would you find the time? Why would you be bothered? Here are the reasons:
1) You want to contribute something of value to the human race: knowledge. A noble thought. But why not just contribute in the normal way? Because you are a prolific contributor and want to feel a little important.
2) You have a burning hatred of “spammers” and pranksters who leave their trail of junk contributions and links wherever they go. You fight the good fight and think of yourself as a crusader against spam. And you have the badges on your profile page to prove it.
3) You have acres of spare time and don’t know what to do with it. You may be old or unemployed and debating on forums does not carry the import or weight of helping to manage the most used encyclopaedia in the world.
4) You have a personal agenda to follow and you need the power to carry it through. Knowledge is power and you have the keys.
Now, let’s take a pinch of all these attributes and mix them together. What do we end up with? I’ll tell you what. A trumped-up & twisted little troll so filled with their own self-importance they are about to explode.
The two breeds of Wikipedia Moderators
In general, though, there are two types of Wikipedia moderator.
Wikipedia Moderator #1: the instigator with a vested interest
This is maybe the most dangerous breed. They have established a small reputation and perhaps following on Wikipedia through their collection of at best pedestrian and at worst moronic contributions. For whatever reason they have staked out a claim on a small patch of Wikipedia and see it as “theirs”. They were there first. Their material should stay. They’ve seen off countless spammers and weak revisions and are invincible.
These moderators will pounce on any revisions you make and systematically delete them. They may even try and delete whole articles you’ve written.
Wikipedia Moderator #2: the spam-hater with the itchy mouse finger
Although the instigators are pretty depressing, I think it’s actually these people that are the worst. These moderators cycle through the whole of Wikipedia looking for things to delete. Because they spend their time cycling through all the articles nominated for deletion, they don’t really have any specialism (other than being a tenacious “crusader”, with “left-wing” views so potent they actually make Hitler look like a hobbyist)
These jumped-up jobsworths who were misinformed about their lineage can’t comprehend what they’re reading 99% of the time and are happy to just keep clicking away. Delete-delete-delete. They’re doing everyone a service, after all. Where would Wikipedia be without them? It would be a seething link farm filled with “original research” and garbage. Every time something is deleted, the moderator has brought some good back to the world. The criterion for deletion is simple: if it’s been nominated, rip it out.
Why the two breeds are bad for anyone with anything to say
These two types of moderator work together. Step one: the instigator with the vested interest notices you and starts causing problems. Once the instigator has nominated something for deletion, or you’ve got into an argument with him about something that’s already been deleted, like some evil genie in a bottle, the spam-hater with the itchy trigger finger pops up. If something’s been nominated for deletion, “click” goes the spam-hater, and it’s gone. They don’t think twice. They are crusaders, after all.
You can’t Complain about Wikipedia Moderators
Wikipedia is “not a democracy” and there’s no higher order to complain to when things go wrong – just a seething collective of no-hopers who have formed alliances and like nothing more than slapping these laughable phallic symbols all over the place:
That’s right. You want to play by the rules and you’ve done your research. Your revisions are accurate and you have the links to prove it; your article was neutral and you want to argue your case; you’ve done your research and you actually followed Wikipedia policy. The trouble is, all of these policies are open to considerable interpretation, and there are so many rules and guidelines that there will always be something to throw at you. Remember, it’s not about debate. The decision has been made.
Wikipedia is essentially the biggest committee in the world.
Wikipedia is a big committee. And committees are crap. Everyone knows that. There are 1,614 admins on the English Wikipedia at the time of writing which is both a massive amount of people to be generating red tape and also a bizarrely minuscule number of people when you consider the millions of pages Wikipedia contains. So we’re really talking about the cream: the most mean-spirited, petty people on the planet.
Let’s hunt down and destroy Wikipedia moderators
I would like to hear of anyone and everyone’s bad experiences of Wikipedia. Perhaps we should all band together and form our own collective of Anti-Wikipedians. Any Wikipedia moderators with an axe to grind can go elsewhere. I have a rigid set of rules and guidelines in place and what that boils down to is I don’t like Wikipedians and I will delete your comment and glue my own banners all over your smug, self-regarding faces.
— END RE-BLOG —
This post received many comments which cursed administrators. Here are just a few:
They don’t give you reasons for deleting your content until you complain to them, and then it’s usually some lame excuse, then if you do exactly what they say, THEY STILL DELETE YOUR CONTENT. I hate Wikipedia and I think it should burn.
So true, Wikipedia is full of Nazi’s that’s why I quit. Most of the vandalism is done by so called admins them selves, I post an article and they delete it (vandalism) saying we don’t feel we need that. So if I write an article about something video games related a person who doesn’t know anything about video games or the internet deletes it?
As a former Wikipedia contributor with 2K+ edits and 50+ created articles, I couldn’t agree more with what you said! Looking back, the idea is fatally flawed.
I tried to put up a photo which i took myself and it was deleted using ‘copyrighted’ as a excuse. Copyrighted..? My own image..? That doesn’t make sense. I even tried to edit one article by inserting only one sentence using ‘credible’ sources and yet what happens: deleted. I was surprised by how quickly deletions take place. This one was only a matter of minutes. Those people must stay glued to their screens 24/7 looking to see if anyone has added anything so it can be deleted.
The criteria for using Wikipedia totally sucks. You have to do this; you have to do that; and, when you comply – there is another rule to follow.
If one of their people writes an article about YOU or your business, THEY get exclusive right to control the content. They also have a ‘blocking’ policy that prevents you from contributing if you threaten them with legal action. So, basically, they can totally misrepresent your source of income, possibly causing a loss of business, and then lock you out from complaining about it.
I had a run in with some today, it seems that they don’t have to follow rules or guidelines, can make up their own rules on the spot and ban people who are trying to stop vandals (or for any other reason they like). i have been trying to stop vandals and have been banned for a day because of it…the way the admins act completely defeats the point of having rules and guidelines to follow.
WIKI[PEDIA] is entertainment for losers without a job. It’s not an open community, in fact, anything you add gets deleted or reverted by some looser admin who thinks it only goes his way.
Wikipedia began a rapid toboggan slide down a very slippery slope with the advent of moderation. It is ironic that moderators, putatively introduced to remove the bias (in addition to misinformation, poorly written content and spam) from Wikipedia, have instead replaced user-contributed bias with their own, moderator-contributed brand of heavy-handed chauvinism, pettiness and personal agendas.
Exactly, administrators. It’s not just me, it’s all the regular users. Administrators, you have bashed us non-admins enough. You think you know everything. You think you’re perfect. You think the world revolves around you. You think of all this bullsh*t that’s not true, and when a regular user makes ONE TINY EDIT you just have to throw a bunch of stones at that user and mess with him/her, don’t you? So follow the rules like everyone else does and quit being retards, you administrators.