Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Cult of Wikipedia

Okay...this is a story that involves myself, my cousin, Wikipedia, Blue Bird Cafe and Beef Stroganoff. Let me get a little backstory going here: About every other Thursday, Blue Bird, a cafeteria-type place in Clarksburg, makes beef stroganoff for lunch. It is rather excellent and we generally order on the Thursdays that they make it. About 3 weeks ago we had been commenting on how good it is and to prove it, I logged on to and added to the beef stroganoff page the following: "It is a well-known fact that Beef Stroganoff is served at the Bluebird Cafeteria in Clarksburg, WV once a month on Thursdays. Bluebird is known for serving the best stroganoff East of the Mississippi." About 3 days later, it was removed and described as "spam" and cited for "grammar." And now, on with the rest of the story...

So, Thursday, we noticed that the beef stroganoff addition was gone. So my cousin put it back on the page. Within 2 hours, a user by the name of JennyRad removed the entry. And, well, that started the downward spiral. My cousin then proceeded to Jenny's page where he learned she was an unemployed engineer. He added that she needed to "get a job" to her page...and something about being a loser. She removed that from her page. He then deleted the beef stroganoff page completed and she restored it within minutes.

Mind you that all this is tracked via IP address so is kinda affected the whole office -- if they went to Wikipedia for some reason, they would see they had messages. Luckily, I can't imagine anyone using it. So, Matt filled me in on what was going down so I went and read the comments left on our user page and promptly removed them. Within minutes, they were back with a warning not to change the page (even though it was our user page?). I removed the warning and it was back with another warning...stating: Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages, as you did to User talk:, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. PCEevee talk 20:43, 9 June 2006 (UTC).

So, I added to OUR user page that the people of Wikipedia were insane (which they obviously are). Which, well, within seconds was removed and the following now was there: This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize a page, as you did to User talk:, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. John254 20:49, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

And the PCEevee person left another message too saying they weren't insane. But, they clearly are. For one, who has time to monitor beef stroganoff and detect changes that quickly? Two, who has time to monitor a user page? Three, why can't the user edit their user page? Four, why are the people so militant about the changes?

I know they have to keep certain things from happening but they don't have to Nazis about it. A simple entry about the Blue Bird serving beef stroganoff isn't something that is that bad. It's true. I can prove it. Anyway, I think the people who edit Wikipedia are in a cult (maybe Scientology). They have their own language on there and they don't like outsiders. It's a nice resource but don't make a change whatever you do. Or else you could be BLOCKED or BANNED completely.

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