Subjects of Wikipedia biographies

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Subjects of Wikipedia biographies react to this reality in varying ways.



  • In spite of myself, I was pleased when I learned that someone had created a Wikipedia page about me. Once in a while I'd peek. As I wrote articles and appeared in the media, I'd occasionally ask my assistant to add a link to the site. My wiki page became a narcissistic pleasure.


  • My recollection is that it's completely fine. It was certainly accurate. I never felt any need to correct it. Although, actually, at one time my Wikipedia entry was vandalized. Probably if I say that it'll encourage people to vandalize it. No, who would even care? People wrote stuff in my Wikipedia entry that was obscene and I didn't know it until my brother alerted me. That was how I found out I had a Wikipedia entry: It was being vandalized.
  • Being by definition the greatest expert in the world on this lemma’s subject, I know for fact that a lot of it is mendacious. It is either your own lie or the lie of a source that you have cited or reproduced in good faith, but either way, it is not truthful. It does not follow your self-imposed requirement of “objectivity”. It describes an imaginary strawman, not me... Well, there you have it. The lemma on me has ended up taking this form because some militant among your contributors purposely wanted to “warn readers” against me. Please cite me an instruction for encyclopedists that names “warning” among the legitimate goals of an encyclopedia... Indeed it serves no purpose to take sides for or against me. But as is clear from your many readers that I have had to deal with, the lemma strongly takes sides, viz. against me. This is intentional, as illustrated by a contributor’s insistence to “warn readers”... At any rate, in a encyclopedia, I count on being judged for what I myself have said or done, and not for the gossip my declared enemies have come up with.
  • If there's one thing I learned while writing about Young, it's that editing one's own page is considered a severe violation of conflict-of-interest rules. But now I understand why so many writers can't resist breaking those rules. It's crazy making, watching total strangers pick and choose through my online detritus. The temptation to rally my own army of sock puppets and send them forth to bravely edit is difficult to resist.
  • Key facts or relevant events in our lives or research are being omitted, efforts to include them in the articles by neutral editors are being met with harassment, defamation and personal attacks. Skeptic activists on Wikipedia are on a campaign to discredit notable biographies that deal with any form of alternative viewpoints and because I am a highly public proponent, my own article has been made into a ‘ground zero’ for these same skeptics who have sought to discredit my name and work for over 15 years.... Most have simply washed their hands of the problem, claiming that the bigotry or bias on Wikipedia is just an unfortunate side-effect that we have to accept. But this is not a trivial unintended consequence of an open source system; bias goes against the very principle of Wikipedia and must be addressed. I have to deal with this bias and misinformation every time a journalist interviews me and references my Wikipedia article. I need to spend the first 30 minutes of interviews to correct all the misleading information from my Wikipedia article. It doesn’t matter how many reliable sources are submitted, nor how well supported certain facts about my life are — if it doesn’t not fit within the narrative of extreme skepticism of the band of editors controlling my Wikipedia page it is quickly removed. And the editors who complain of this censorship are harassed or banned... Most of the skeptic editors on my article believe me to be a very dangerous man — and believe that it is Wikipedia’s responsibility to warn the world of how dangerous my ideas are.
  • The idea is that a Wikipedia page is the online front door for countless people and businesses. It is in both their and Wikipedia's interest that the page be accurate and complete, with citations. Of course, Wikipedians also want to keep self-serving pap and propaganda off the pages. But even the subjects of Wikipedia articles should share that goal, because to turn the online encyclopedia into a promotion engine risks undermining their own reputation--especially if Wikipedia editors and readers catch on.
Dan offered to help me improve my page. This meant finding citations, organizing the different chapters of my life, and--most importantly--explaining on the talk page what we were up to, and asking people to point out any problems or shortcomings they saw.
So now there's a better bio of me in Wikipedia. I don't own it or control it. But I contributed to it.
  • I stopped denying my age the day I found out I had a Wikipedia page. It was put together by some over-eager yet well-meaning cyber geek who’s apparently one of the six viewers of my TV host stint on Game Show Network. Right there on the World Wide Web is my birthdate glaringly displayed for the entire universe to see.
It’s not hard to edit a Wikipedia page — believe me it’s not if I can do it. But every time I went online and shaved five or six years off my birthdate, this unseen “Julian Assange” went back and restored it.
How does Mr. Wiki-Stalker know I’ve changed it anyway? And why does he care that I’m so emotionally immature I can’t bear to see the numbers 1–9–6–1 lined up in that order?
Besides, MY Wikipedia page is about MY life. I can fake, forge or revise my own damned history, thank you very much. Who is this basement dwelling Wiki-Weirdo? This pleather-belt-wearing, mouth-breather who’s cutting and pasting my life on some makeshift encyclopedia? Who has that kind of time?
  • I check it periodically to make sure it’s factually correct. It’s gratifying, to some extent, that somebody thought it was worthwhile to add a Wikipedia page about me. What helps is, when I’m giving a talk, the moderator can go to the Wikipedia page, read it, and use those comments in my introduction. So it has some value, and I think it’s fairly accurate.
  • Facts? Jimmy Wales, your Wikipedia bio of me is a propaganda piece full of half-truths, distortions, & outright lies, & has been for years. Wikipedia does this to everyone who dares dissent from the far-Left agenda. Everyone knows this. You’re not fooling anyone.
    • Robert Spencer
    • Robert Spencer روبرت سبنسر रॉबर्ट स्पेंसर (August 25, 2020). @jihadwatchRS. Twitter.


  • This summer, soon after the TED controversy, a commando squad of skeptics captured the Wikipedia page about me. They have occupied and controlled it ever since, rewriting my biography with as much negative bias as possible, to the point of defamation. At the beginning of the "Talk" page, on which editorial changes are discussed, they have posted a warning to editors who do not share their biases: "A common objection made by new arrivals is that the article presents Sheldrake's work in an unsympathetic light and that criticism of it is too extensive or violates Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy." Several new arrivals have indeed attempted to restore a more balanced picture, but have had a bewildering variety of rules thrown at them, and warned that they will be banned if they persist in opposing the skeptics.

Wikipedians with Wikipedia biographies[edit]

  • Being suddenly and involuntarily unemployed will do that to you
  • But it's time. As the leadership team begins to coalesce under Lila, I want to open up space for the organization to learn and explore anew—and I’d like to rediscover for myself what it means to tackle challenges outside of my areas of comfort and familiarity.
  • I have my moments, I think everyone does. But then I look back on some of the articles I’ve written […] and it feels good. That wonderful feeling of having made something useful. That’s what keeps me going, often as not
  • Losing volunteers is a sign that things could be better at Wikipedia. My main interest is in writing new content. Doing that is a lot more difficult nowadays...The scope has been getting narrower. There is a truly vast library of rules and policies... The history of Wikipedia has been one of increasing barriers to changing articles
  • The first time an article about me appeared on Wikipedia was on the Polish edition. I felt kind of flattered. I asked the author why he had done it, and he wrote: "Because you deserve it." Quite a nice compliment, even though I really don't believe my person is so very important at all. At present I "have" an article in six different language editions. Although I am an active Wikipedia editor, I don't interfere with them. I know very well that there is no rule that would forbid me to edit them, but I elect not to do so.

Former subjects of Wikipedia biographies[edit]

  • last week I found out I had a wikipedia page. this week i find it's been removed, but as they say....
    • Caitlin Rose in a Facebook post of a Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon titled Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow (Part 1)
    • Rose, Caitlin (November 21, 2010). Caitlin Rose. Facebook. Retrieved on 7 November 2020.

See also[edit]