I’ve discovered that the Wikipedia entry about Falun Gong is heavily biased. Indeed, before I took it upon myself to insert a few words about the criticism the organisation has met with, the article was entirely about a) how good FG is (and I disagree), b) how nasty the Chinese government is (and I agree).
Now, this article is guarded by a bunch of FG devotees who undo all attempts to introduce a more balanced view into the text. Their antics on the discussion page are quite a sight. I think it would be good if some of Aard’s readers joined me in making improvements to the article. Informative, referenced additions is what I have in mind. Let’s leave the pro-FG and anti-government material untouched and just introduce a solid anti-FG perspective. Editing Wikipedia is easy and self-explanatory. Don’t forget to check out the discussion page.
Update: This is the first time I’ve been involved in an edit war on Wikipedia. Very instructive. Some new (to me) knowledge:
- Three Revert Rule: you are not allowed to make “more than three reverts, in whole or in part, on a single page within a 24-hour period. A revert means undoing the actions of another editor, whether involving the same or different material each time.”
- The Falun Gong devotees try to get around this rule by ganging up and taking turns reverting anti-FG additions to the article. No individual participant breaks the 3RR rule except when they lose count.
- Their main edit-battle tactic is to allege that an anti-FG addition is somehow against the Wikipedia guidelines, even if this forces them to contort like acrobats.
- Edit wars against cultists are hard to win decisively. One way out of a stalemate is to attract more participants to the discussion, people who are willing to put a contested article on their watchlist, preferably Wikipedia admins or other Wikipedia junkies.
The Falun Gong article is of course just one example of many where Wikipedia’s basic principle does not work very well. (I oppose all cults, and I could just as well have had this fight with Raelians, Scientologists or Catholics.) But it’s still a hugely useful resource, particularly since warred-over articles tend to get flagged as such at the top. If I want to know the Swedish name of the hoki fish or the dates of Anthemius’s reign, then Wikipedia really can’t be beaten. Love it!