My previous post refers. There are lots more things to say; this post doesn’t really say any of them but veers off at a tangent. Let me know if you get bored.
The tangent to start with is “no-one from outside understand how wikipedia works”. An obvious example of this is Lawrence Solomon (my apologies for mentioning: it is more honour than he deserves; but he is a convenient example), who says:
Connolley did not wield his influence by the quality of his research or the force of his argument but through his administrative position
There are several problems with this statement: the first is that I haven’t been an admin since last summer (13 September 2009 to be precise; and in case you’re uncertain, that case had nothing to do with Global Warming). But more important are wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest rules, which prevent admins doing controversial things in the topic areas they edit (if they edit; some admins drop down to hardly editing at all once given the bit. Not me). In case you think that rule is just a formality, and as easily evaded on wiki as it is by city dealers: no. All my edits (and admin actions) are and were scrutinised avidly by any number of highly unfriendly eyes and anything violating the rules would have been reported (in fact there is a section William M. Connolley’s use of administrator tools while involved in that previous, remarkably stupid case, but you’ll notice none of those are in the GW area).
It is probably worth looking at this a bit further, since the misinformation is so widespread. You can see the logs of:
So, what did I delete? Cooling denier which you could argue falls under COI: but the thing was going to die anyway; I just put it out of its misery. I killed “Catastrophic climate change (disambiguation)” with the comment “(oh no not again)”; no-one cared. Not even the author. Ditto “Climate change jihad” and “Scientists opposing the global warming hoax”. That takes us back to 2007; I didn’t do many deletes.
As to the protects, you need to understand about the levels of protection available. Pages can be edit-by-all; no-edit-at-all; or “semi-ptrotected”, which means that anons (unlogged in editors) and new accounts (only a few days old) can’t edit them. the latter is conveniently used against vandals etc on controversial articles. There is a similar level of protects available against moving pages. Global Warming for example is permanently semi-protected, as is George Bush. but most protects just last a week or two until the trouble dies down. So most of my protects were “[edit=autoconfirmed]” type; ie, semi-protection.
Of those that weren’t just semi-protection, for example we have:
# 2009-05-22T22:00:20 William M. Connolley (talk | contribs) unprotected Catastrophic climate change (disambiguation) (Request from sane user) (hist)
# 2009-05-11T22:26:40 William M. Connolley (talk | contribs) protected Catastrophic climate change (disambiguation) [create=sysop] (indefinite) (salt) (hist)
the 11th protects the article in a deleted state; but as you see when asked by someone vaguely sane, I was happy to unprotect it. It seems to be dead again now, though. anyway, you get the idea.
As to the blocks, you’ll see that they are overwhelmingly “(3rr at A Sort of Homecoming (song))” and the like, since I spent most of my admin time enforcing the 3RR (which is to say, reverting a page more than 3 times in 24h gets you a block). None or very few are anything to do with GW.
So next time you read “Connolley did not wield his influence by the quality of his research or the force of his argument but through his administrative position”, you should ask: can you provide some examples of him doing so?
While I’m here, it is interesting to watch some of the folk old and new crawling out of the woodwork, mislead by the denialist claims of triumph on wikipedia. Lumidek (Lubos Motl) had a go at writing trash, got immeadiately reverted for the obvious reasons (Lubos doesn’t really understand wiki either, which is why BLP is a mystery to him). Lubos got the standard warning not to be naughty and responded in his usual charming fashion with risible claims of blackmail, spam and socking. But Lubos is not a real problem, because he has no patience. Lubos also needs to read [[WP:GIANTDICK]] if he wants to keep editing on GW related stuff.
[Update: judging from his blog, Lubos has already given up: So a few days ago, I naively wanted to encourage the users to improve the quality of the Wikipedia articles about the climate – because there could be some room for it, at least for 6 months. Obviously, that won’t work. But you may still try.. However, honesty dows compell me to add that Lubos also says Unlike some other skeptics, I also do think that Wikipedia is a very good and useful project that largely works. From a broader viewpoint, these are details… a page about Keith Briffa is an irrelevant story. It will be read by 0.3 people and whether or not they will understand his links to the ClimateGate will only change the knowledge of 0.1 people in average, and so on… Even the most politicized pages on Wikipedia are arguably more honest and balanced than some typical stories in the mainstream media. That’s my opinion and I have no doubt that e.g. Lord Monckton disagrees but that’s simply how I view the project, and you probably do, too. In comparison, Conservapedia looks really silly. I would never participate in such a project if it were obvious that it would remain a vastly inferior caricature of the actual Wikipedia. If there’s a left-wing bias or even semi-institutionally enforced censorship, it revolves from the fact that non-leftist editors just don’t work hard enough, according to the otherwise sensible general rules of Wikipedia. They should increase their activity. -W]
Less famous are the misc septic-lings who write stuff like I see this as attempting to rebalance the awful WC-led coverage fo this issue. It is also a test, to see how the page does in view of the supposed change in attitude towards ‘climate skeptic’ views. If it is ‘redirected’. merged or speedy deleted, for sure it will reflect badly on WP and be reported as such. Well, it was redirected (equivalent to deleted, in this case), so hopefully the test has passed; wiki (although “ruled” by a dysfunctional arbcomm) still isn’t a pushover for the dear disappointed readers of the septic blogs.
For fans of arcana, there was the edit war over “Global climate model” and the associated sock puppet investigations.
Special bonus fun: the following (lightly redacted) is an email I exchanged with another editor over a topic they were getting over-involved in, back in the days when I was an admin:
Hi. OK, I’m afraid I have some advice for you that you don’t want to hear. I’ve just read your mail, and I’ve just reviewed your last 500 edits. You do nothing on wiki but [XXX]. You need to step back somewhat and realise that this shouldn’t dominate your life, or your wiki editing. It really doesn’t matter that much. If you can’t convince people on wiki, spend some of your time and energy doing some of the vast array of useful things that need to be done else where. At the very least make a consious effort to do – oh, I don’t know, maybe 5 – useful little things elsewhere between every [XXX] post.
Its not quiite directly comparable – in that case, XXX was a single article – but the spirit is there.