Censure & Wikipedia: Concluding comments

We would like to wrap up this category with some observations about the blockings and speculate about their repercussion on the future of Wikipedia.

The reason for the blocking is: “Because it (the links) appears to be mainly intended or used for publicity and/or promotional purposes”

We believe there is a double standard in the decision. Most of the Wikipedia entries on pop culture are all about self-promotion. The “industry” and fans that make up entries on media idols and super heroes have become self enclosed ideological ghettos, subservient to the media industry. Until recently external links were allowed for critical analysis; no longer.

Most of the editors involved in our blocking have fancy names. Unfortunately anonymity tends to rime with immunity and eventually turns into unaccountability. We have tried to reach the people responsible to discuss the issue. We have encountered an obscure Kafkaesque system and no response.

Wikipedia is slowly becoming clannish, secretive and arbitrary. Editors have become an unaccountable officialdom that is enforcing policies that are contrary to the non-linear linking of the Net.

Linking made Wikipedia a dominant presence on the Web. And now it is Wikipedia that is caught up in an uncontrolled search for self-promotion. Its growing popularity made it a brand name equal to the biggest corporations on the Net. But Wikipedia is not a corporation and was not meant to be one.

Over the years Wikipedia became mainstream and a convenient platform of information. Convenience has its advantages but it also fosters laziness that hinders curiosity and innovation. See: “Linking to Wikipedia is lazy and a disservice to someone else who deserves the link”, by Alister Cameron.

The overwhelming predominance of popular culture has progressively transformed Wikipedia into a narcissistic platform of self-adulation that rejects any form of criticism.

In the past we applauded the fact that we could find a feature on Michael Jackson and a solid column on René Girard. This promoted a culture of tolerance and inclusiveness. What we object to is that the mental framework that inspired the creation pop culture articles is discouraging criticism and eventually academic linking and postings.

At the time Kurt Shaped Box removed all our links I had begun a project to include an entry on Implicit Religion on Wikipedia. I began the process by calling Professor Guy Ménard in Montreal to find out if he thought Edward I. Bailey, the author of Implicit Religion: An Introduction, would have any objections. Guy Ménard, had worked with the author and translated his book in French. He was pleased with the idea and recommended that I contact Bailey directly.

The blockings came as shock. As a result I lost interests in contributing to Wikipedia.

Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff may be right when they wrote in The Web is Dead: Long Live the Internet: “Monopolies are actually even more likely in highly networked markets like the online world.”

Mega organizations and monopolies eventually collapse under their own weight of corruption, incompetence or arrogance. History shows that in overstretched institutions the aggregate value of the parts that make up the system tend to be worth more broken up than if they stayed part the whole.

Wikipedia officialdom has driven a wedge between itself and the contributors who made it what is today. It is our view that the source of these contribution will eventually dry up. The best contributors in humanities and science will ultimately shun Wikipedia. The good articles will be copied and moved to a scientific friendly format that encourages criticism and the advancement of knowledge.

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