Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikipedia to ban Global Warming editor?

Back in December, I posted about the shenanigans of a Wikipedia editor. It seems one William M. Connolley had rewritten thousands of articles to censor anything that might cause skepticism of Global Warming. He more or less dissappeared the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), and removed all note of controversy about Mike Mann's hockey stick graph.
The ClimateGate emails have exposed Wikipedia as being entirely unreliable regarding climate change. Entirely. Anthony Watts has been all over this for a while, but the situation is essentially a politically motivated editor at Wikipedia rewrote history via thousands of Wikipedia articles. The Wikipedia "system" broke down, as corrections to these articles were blocked, and the people correcting them were banned from Wikipedia.

Computer Security folks look at "Resource Poisoning" attacks as some of the most interesting - if you can convince a critical mass of users that something is untrustworthy, it will collapse.
Well, it seems that Wikipedia is fixin' to ban him:
3.1) User:William M. Connolley is banned from the English Wikipedia for six months for long-term violations of WP:OWN, WP:CIVIL, and WP:BLP.


3.2) User:William M. Connolley is banned from all Climate Change articles, broadly construed, for one year. He may edit their talk pages. This editing restriction specifically includes modification of talk page edits made by any other user, on any talk page; in the case of posts to William M. Connolley's user talk page, he is free to remove posts without response.


4) User:William M. Connolley is banned from editing any article that is substantially the biography of a living person, where the person's notability or the subject of the edit relates to the topic area of global warming or climate change.


5) User:William M. Connolley is subject to an editing restriction for one year. Should he make any edits which are judged by an uninvolved administrator to be uncivil remarks, personal attacks, assumptions of bad faith, or violations of WP:BLP, he may be briefly blocked, up to a week in the event of repeated violations. After 3 blocks, the maximum block shall increase to one month. This editing restriction specifically includes modification of talk page edits made by any other user, on any talk page; in the case of posts to William M. Connolley's user talk page, he is free to remove posts without response.
So not a permanent ban, other than 4). I guess it's a start.

The problem remains the impression of Resource Poisoning. The Wikipedia articles on MWP and LIA are better now than they were two years ago, but (a) that's not saying much, and (b) there's still a ways to go. Take Wikipedia with a very large grain of salt on Climate Change issues.


doubletrouble said...

Winston Smith works @ Wikipedia?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of the Memory Hole, but as long as the history of each article is preserved, then truth will be here like it is everywhere: Cork-like. You can push it down with you thumb but no matter what you do it'll keep popping up.


Anonymous said...

Yep. I remember reading an article about his antics a few months back (might've been longer, I don't remember).

Glad to see that Wiki's finally manning up and doing something about the little weasel.


bluesun said...

Uhhh... every class I've ever had to write a paper for said DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA FOR ANY OF YOUR BIBLIOGRAPHY! They are generally ok to find a jumping off point. Trust, but verify.

Andrew Judd said...

William M Connolley is still in charge of climate at Wiki

Re: My experiences when attempting to make changes on Wiki by Andrew Judd

Wiki is preventing a true description of the 'greenhouse effect' being shown on Wiki.

Wiki wants you to believe that the atmosphere heats the Surface. Anybody attempting to show that the surface heats the atmosphere will be banned.

As required by Wiki my comments were supported by the references already on the page.


I went as far as to phone up the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Senior Scientist, Yochanan Kushnir Ph.d, who wrote reference 9 and he confirmed that the surface heats the atmosphere, and the surface is warmer because the atmosphere slows down the heat loss from the surface and the colder atmosphere cannot heat the hotter surface. That was the main point that I wanted to get onto the Wiki page.

Wiki administrator Dave Souza who may well be Connolley since Souza cannot possibly be the ten year retired local authority architect he claims to be with the energy of a fifteen year year old to prevent changes, said I had an odd unsupported opinion that the atmosphere heats the surface and was always intrumental in getting me sanctioned.

After I was banned my wife informed the editors that Dr Kushnir fully supported what I had said and even after this editor Dave Souza kept up the obfuscation that Kushnirs telephone comments were not valid for Wiki. Souza referred to my wife as das Weib when he reported her. Obviously he knew the abusive content of that expression when used to describe another mans wife. My wife was banned.

Connolley appears to be the chief abuser of anybody who attempts to make unapproved changes, but he has other names he can use to ensure no disputing editor can make changes.

Connolley did a write up of his behaviour with me on his blog where he kept up the insulting behaviour in the comments continually saying i did not know what i was talking about.

Fairly well known climate scientist James Annan called me a loon, and on his blog when i asked for an explanation he deleted the comment and said 'do go away silly troll'. He followed up with more comments on Connolleys blog that if he told me what he did on the internet he would have to kill me. Connolley thought this was all a big joke.


These people behave like children but evidently they have some power to alter our reality.

Other editors have tried to make similar changes and been banned.


The whole experience was very odd and it was only later that i found out this had all happened before and Connolley was a well known activist.

Please feel free to use this information as you wish


Andrew Judd