“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Wikipedia, Rev. Sizer And Bits Left Out.

with 8 comments

I am indebted to Judeosphere for pointing out that Wiki has updated its page on Rev. Sizer, mentioning the Barbara Streisand effect along the way.

I am not unduly worried that I was not credited. I won’t cry or moan, but what struck me was more what they chose to leave out of the Wiki entry.

I appreciate that Wiki is trying to achieve some neutral point of view. They are up front about it and I can see why that might be a good idea.

However, what I think is reprehensible is that they do not comment on how Rev. Sizer left another message trying to intimidate another blogger, in particular, Vee of Living Journey in Australia.

The evidence is there for everyone to see, his own comment:

“Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


[Even if it is subsequently denied, which I would doubt, then the Internet record can be pulled up to verify that Rev. Sizer did, in fact, leave that threat.]

Still, I suppose if Wiki had included that information then it would take the polish off of Rev. Sizer’s halo.

But there is a wider problem here and in the past I have been a bit critical of Wiki and Citizendium.

I think there’s a tendency for some of the biographical sections to come out like hagiographies.

Certainly, those of a religious persuasion (or not) would probably see why such an approach is not a good idea, and a bit unlikely under these circumstances, as few of us really have halos and most assuredly they do not need any on-line polishing!

8 Responses

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  1. No worries, MB, even this addition in Wiki will get erased as soon as the good vicar gets back from Africa.

    BTW, you can try and edit the entry yourself. But keep in mind the previous remark 😉


    30/01/2010 at 10:04

  2. Snoops,

    That’s one of my problem with Wiki, many conscientious people contribute to Wiki only to see their work deleted by some capricious editor or partisan hack.

    That’s why Wiki has had problems keeping volunteers, why write something when it will be deleted?


    30/01/2010 at 15:03

  3. Assuming Vee is blogging from Australia, Sizer is not only an arrogant thug but legally ignorant if he thinks the immoral tactics he used against Seismic can be used extra-territorially.

    Christian Zionist

    01/02/2010 at 08:02

  4. Exactly! It brings to mind him calling Interpol or MI6 to sort out a disagreement between bloggers.


    01/02/2010 at 15:33

  5. Often, I find, malicious edits of Wikipedia are done on a one-off basis and if you correct them they don’t return. If they become persistent, members of the Wikipedia community can be alerted fairly easily and persuaded to arbitrate or simply to be vigilant. There is no “they” at Wikipedia.

    If you look at the page history, one anonymous editor deleted the section, it was swiftly replaced, and then a regular editor made it more neutral. Edit it as you see fit and I’ll add it to my watchlist to keep an eye on!


    02/02/2010 at 15:26

  6. Bob,

    I had a look at the history pages, immediately and as far as I can see Rev. Sizer page is an impeccable example of blandness, and what it leaves out is often as important as what it includes.

    That is my problem with Wiki and Citizendium, often it seems that these entries are either written by the people themselves, under an alias, or at the very least one of their fans.

    So it means if you want to find critical information on people, unless they died, the Wiki and Citizendium pages don’t provide all the information.

    In one way I can understand it, they are afraid of libel, etc and upsetting people, but unless they include critical information it seems a bit pointless.


    02/02/2010 at 15:39

  7. I agree that many entries are bland, and many are self-promotional. Sizer’s has huge numbers of citations to his own website.

    And, yes, Wikipedia has stringent rules for biogs of living persons – rightly so surely?

    If you have some spare time, check out the Gilad Atzmon article, and wade through the edit history there!


    02/02/2010 at 16:55

  8. Bob,

    Just scanned it, weird.

    I think Atzmon’s id is all too obvious, Abie the Fish Peddler, is a dead give away.

    The politics section of his bio is appalling, it barely scratches the surface and that is the problem with Wiki and why blogs do a fairly good job in counterbalancing that blandness and in the case of Atzmon, the conspicuous lying by omission.


    02/02/2010 at 17:24

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