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I made a great many changes all at once here, because this article had numerous errors. I have tried here to annotate most of the changes.

1. Bomis, Inc. does not control the Wikimedia Foundation. The two are separate entities, and the only formal relationship between the two is that Bomis still provides bandwidth and server space (and the occassional loan of hardware) to Wikipedia.

You failed to mention physical location. Bandwidth, server space and physical location are Wikipedia's primary expenses, which it meets with in-kind services provided by Bomis. Bomis partners control the board of directors. JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
"server space" and "physical location" are the same thing. There is no other physical location.
Space on the server, or space for the server? They can be two different things. I'll clarify. JustNews 21:23, 10 May 2004 (EDT)

2. I have deleted the paragraph about the alleged "inherent unreliability" of wikis generally -- while vaguely interesting (though wrong on many detailed points), this paragraph surely belongs on a more general page about wikis.

I agree this paragraph surely belongs in a discussion about wikis, and surely in a discussion about the largest wiki in operation. I will restore it. Perhaps you can improve it. JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
No, I just deleted it again, it's irrelevant. Perhaps you can improve it. Jimbo Wales 20:06, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
And perhaps this is where Wikipedia administrators get the idea their job is to initiate derisive "edit wars" rather than to improve and add to the meaningful contributions of others. JustNews 21:23, 10 May 2004 (EDT)

3. "an emerging administrative strategy that relies on public derision of suspicious contributors" -- there is no such emerging administrative strategy.

I will change the noun from "strategy" to "practice". JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
Still false. There is no such emerging administrative practice. If you have a specific complaint, please join the mailing list and make your complaint there.
This is analysis is not offered as a complaint to Wikipedia. Your insistence on defining proper venue for analyis of administrative practice undermines your weak claim of libel below. If you observe analysis of Wikipedia's operations published elsewhere, you likely have the reputation in your association to affect change based on that analysis. A company that asserts the right to direct readers to picutres of political activists that should be raped has no basis for claiming only it can define proper venue for critical analysis of its own political processes. JustNews 21:23, 10 May 2004 (EDT)

4. No sensible analysis of wikipedia can fail to mention that it is extremely difficult to get banned from Wikipedia. The way this was written, it sounds like Wikipedia editing access is difficult to come by, which is nonesense. Was the author of this stuff a banned user with an axe to grind?

A review of Wikipedia's block log offers evidence of dozens of blocks each day. Users are frequently blocked if their contributions are similar to those of previously blocked users. The chairman of the board is probably not the best anaylyst on how difficult it is to get blocked. The statement was is not even about how difficult it is to get blocked - it is about the use of ad hominen reasoning to block contributors. JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
It is extremely difficult to get blocked from Wikipedia. If you are a contributor who has been blocked contrary to our policies, please let me know, and I will look into it. However, based on your behavior here, it is very likely that I already know about your case.
Your's is not the only venue in which critics can analyze the coherence between pratice and ad hoc policies.

5. "After experiementing with a verified and peer reviewed wiki" -- false, and badly spelled. There was never an experiment with a verified and peer reviewed wiki. Are you trying to talk about Nupedia?

As you said "and you know it." Of course, and you are distorting a good faith effort to describe the nature of Nupedia. If you have something to add, add it, obfuscating the facts suggests vanity interests. JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
Nupedia was not a wiki.
I'll go read again to correct that nuance.

6. There was so much wrong with virtually all of the discussion of how wikipedia policy is set that I just omitted virtually all of it, replacing it with a simple and truthful explanation.

7. I'm sure that there are many valid criticisms of Wikipedia, and I've tried to indicate whatever sensible criticisms I could find in the content that was here. I'm sure that my over-zealous editing omitted some things that you'll like to add back, at least in part.

The overall gist of your criticism, which you have now plastered on multiple sites all over the Internet, is silly. If you really want to affect Wikipedia policy, what I strongly recommend is that you join the wikien-l mailing list and make some concrete proposals to the community, rather than running all over the net posting falsehoods about us. Jimbo Wales 17:56, 10 May 2004 (EDT)

I suggest if you wish to operate a non-profit corporation with a large public profile, you become accustomed to the fact that operation of the service will be a proper topic of discussion outside of venues controlled by the Wikimedia Foundation. I suggest your plea for no discussion of your policies outside of venues you control is evidence that discussion may also be somewhat controlled within those venues. And I suggest you are wrong in assessing that I desire to affect Wikipedia policies. I care to produce factual reports and accurate analysis that allows charitable donors to consider whether they want to support the Wikimedia Foundation or to direct their revenue and time toward other services that can provide more democratic administration, more respectful administrative practices and more reliable content.
When you say "your plea for no discussion of your policies outside of venues you control", you are libelling me. I have never made any such plea. Jimbo Wales 20:06, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
You libel lots of people when you say they "are a complete and total ass." Or maybe I was just offering the sort of slightly incorrect analysis wiki software solicitations usually ask for. You suggested I go to Wikimedia-controlled policy discussions to enter analysis about Wikipedia. There would be no more reason to confer with Wikipedia policy makers about contributions to SourceWatch than there would be to contact Kellogg, Brown & Root about their operations should be represented here. Your hasty resort to a legalistic defense in the context of unsourced publishing you champion seems to suggest a lack of confidence in the strength of your preferred medium JustNews

As for plastering the Internet, you must be confusing me with some other burr under your saddle. JustNews 18:14, 10 May 2004 (EDT)
No, I'm talking about you. Jimbo Wales 20:06, 10 May 2004 (EDT)

--- I have made a number of changes. These include minor grammar changes, removing a duplicated par etc I won't detail. The more substantial ones:

  • I have removed non-essential information on Bomis off the Wikipedia page to its own page.
  • I removed the following unsourced par - if it can be substantiated and sourced I'm happy to allow it in, if not its better out.
"Wales wrote on one occassion that anyone he has investigated who was critical of his administrators "turned out to be a complete and total ass." But he maintains polite and thoughtful users, even those prohibited from on-line discussions,are welcome to join mailing lists to comment on policy.
  • Ditto for "Wales also announced in May, 2004 that he envisions himself as eventually being paid to run Wikimedia Foundation"
  • This par I found unclear: "Plans have been announced to hold open elections that will allow Wikipedia contributors or the Wikimedia Foundation to elect two Foundation members to the five member board. Wikimedia Foundations bylaws assure the Bomis partners continued control of the foundations' board of directors. The bylaws do not allow open elections for the Bomis-controlled seats on the board of trustees, but allow the board to elect replacements."

Would this be clearer: "Under the bylaws for the Wikimedia Foundation Bomis would appoint three of the five members with two elected by Wikipedia contributors. In the absence of elected contributor representatives, the board of the Wikimedia Foundation would fill the positions. Replacements for the Bomis appointees would be elected by the board."

There are a few others where I removed perjorative statements. -- bob

Wales' employment ambitions are posted here [1]

Wales' comment that "in nearly all practical cases that I've investigated, I always find that the complainer is a compelte and total ass". The "'excluded members welcome on mailing list'" position is substantiated by Wales comments above.


The reason the total ass anecdote seems instructive to me is that Wales' appears to routinely blame those he deems trolls or unwanted users as the cause of problems, and fails to develop dialogue about systematic flaws in administrators approach. Critical analysts are steered away from talk pages or other public venues and encouraged instead to discuss "policy" in remote IRC discussions or mailing lists, while admins continually admonish critical members as "trolls" and for other undefined sins of affiliation. I don't want to use any here one of Wikipedia's routine adminstrative disputes as an example, but the abundance of ad hominem epistemology deserves analysis, having been cited by several critics who ran afoul of Wikipedia's administration. It was origninally part of this article, and the analyis remains instructive.

I need to read it a couple more times to understand why statements would seem perjorative. It seems Wikipedia's claim that everyone who runs afoul of their untrained volunteer administrators has demonstrated a "behavioral problem" is perjorative and deserves some balance in a neutral analysis.

The rewrite of the bylaws structure is more clear, but I suggest it needs a summary statement that makes it clear the bylaws assure the three Bomis partner's continued control. I want to restore "Wikimedia Foundations bylaws assure the Bomis partners a majority position on the foundations' board of directors."

My main interest is to offer some more cogent analysis than the fawning approval for wikis and for Wikipedia that has marked so much of the published analysis so far. JustNews 13:14, 11 May 2004 (EDT)

I reverted additions that were remarkably similar to earlier comments that were deleted at the time. --Bob Burton 19:46, 7 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Am delighted the sill changes on this page have stopped for a bit. Current version seems ok to me --BozMotalk

This link doesn't work.

On Wikipedia bias

I'd consider it important to mention some sources of Wikipedia bias here. Though establishing what Wikipedia bias means is a work in progress, I don't see why some elaboration shouldn't be or couldn't be included. Actually, why I registered and am posting this, is because I find it disturbing or rather detrimental to SourceWatch credibility to have come across what amounts to almost zero criticism of Wikipedia. Not that readers of SourceWatch wouldn't have their own established ideas what Wikipedia is good for and what not, I'd still say that taking into account the idea of Sourcewatch, a conspicuous mention of sources of Wikipedia bias should be included.

Some sources of bias are mentioned here. Demographics play a role in what Wikipedia contains and how sources are interpreted, but what's only implicit or lacking from the above link is the even more severe bias from available/'credible' news and information sources and Wikipedia's dogmatic insistence on "NPOV", "documented facts" and "no original research." This hardly explains my point very well, but as an example, the 2006 Isral-Lebanon Conflict page features a prominent picture the size of the introduction showing how "An IDF M109 self-propelled howitzer fires into Southern Lebanon." Depicting war, interpret its causes as you like, as an exercise of "boys firing a real manly tank" can't be considered anything but seriouly inhumane informing, abjectly hiding behind an excuse of neutrality. The page is locked from editing, the tank presenting the neutral line users "agreed" to go by.

Another example could be the Second Congo War article. The number of civilian deaths is low, the language mild etc etc. The little mention of the tragedy is overwhelmed by information about the conflict proceedings. The pictures tell nothing of the suffering. The article mentions nothing of Western corporate and "national interest" involvement, both of which would obviously be considered POV. My point is not to criticise the work of volunteers, but that the abundance of mainstream information will affect the articles tremendously. Maybe all this is too obvious.

Basic mainstream media critique applies very well to Wikipedia, with some modificatios, and I think that should find a very visible mention. Ataalto 07:34, 11 Aug 2006 (EDT)

Source of Wikipedia article?

This is the first time that I took time to look over the SW Wikipedia "article". The majority of the write-up is devoid of any sourcing, including any reference that information in the article might have been or was taken from the Wikipedia's article on itself.

We at SW need to do better than this. IMHO Artificial Intelligence 09:41, 11 Aug 2006 (EDT)