Thursday, April 8, 2021

It's Finally Beginning to Sink In: "Wikipedia's Deep Ties to Big Tech" by Michael Olenick

 Found this on Naked Capitalism, with an introduction by Yves Smith, here is a link to the original article at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website. Olenick talks about the Tides Foundation and the WikiMedia Foundation's ties to that and to Google's shuttered, plus how wealthy the organization really is, the interconnection between Craig Minassian (Minassian Media Inc.) and his two employees Jose Oliver and Dasha Burns with the WMF and the Clinton Foundation, and other oddities and conflicts of interest. "Wikipedia's Deep Ties to Big Tech" is an sequel to a January article "Wikipedia: The Overlooked Monopoly" which goes into gory detail about the websites endless use of unpaid labor, the culture of deletionists, and other Wikidiocy. Deep in the comments to the "Monopoly" article, we get some of this weird fanboyism:


It seems like you don’t really understand what the phrase “ad hominem” means. It does not mean “someone said something I don’t like.”

Ad hominem takes the form of “this person has these bad personal traits; therefore their arguments are wrong.” This editor you take such offense to wrote nothing about you as a person and therefore did not engage in ad hominem. They justified their deletion of your edits by pointing out that the source is unreliable, which it is, because it’s a wiki. Wikis are defined in Wikipedia’s rules as unreliable sources because anyone can edit them. As such, Tim1965’s deletion was correct and his justification sound. Would you like to see an example of an actual ad hominem fallacy?

This guy lives in a basement and doesn’t get paid for his work. Therefore, his work is wrong.

You are the only person engaging in ad hominem in this dispute. You very clearly broke the rules of Wikipedia and, bizarrely, took the totally-correct enforcement of those rules as some sort of personal slight.

  1. Yves Smith

    Your comment is what Lambert calls a reader assisted suicide note, which we are only too happy to oblige. You have violated basic rules of argument, as well as made a personal attack on a post author. Each individually is grounds for blacklisting. Three together is a no-brainer.

    First, you are Making Shit Up with your definition of ad hominem. It is any form of attack on the author of an argument, not just ones based on personal character. “He was posting something from his own article” is a fit. Nowhere did you or Tim1965 contend that Olenick was factually in error.

    Second, you straw manned. Olenick’s argument that Wikipedia’s policies, including its policy on not allowing authors to provide links to their own text, is evidence of its monopolistic approach. If someone is a Noble Prize winner, or a Pulitzer Prize winner, they can’t point to their own work? The Columpbia Journalism Review pointed out years ago that the distinction between the MSM and blogs was increasingly spurious, since columnists and even journalists increasingly had blogs, some under the sponsorship of the publication, yet not subject to review. Similarly, Naked Capitalism has been regularly cited and re-reported in the MSM, and we are regularly invited to apply for journalism awards, yet according to Wikipedia, we are “user generated content”. Wikipedia would not credit us for breaking important stories, like the ones that got three separate government officials fired.

    I have authors regularly send me links to their stories, including blog posts. Sometimes I publish them. Sometimes I don’t. Wikipedia with its zillons of editors is saying it isn’t capable of making similar determinations? This stupid policy supports Olenick’s claims that the intent is preserving Wikipedia’s information monopoly, and not stopping experts from engaging in self-promotion.

    Third, as previously stated, your personal attack it totally out of line.


  2. flora

    You very clearly broke the rules of Wikipedia and,….

    ( Catches breath after laughing, since the entire point is that the wiki argument from authority is a claim based on its questionably interested “authority” )… ohh kaay.

  3. Michael Olenick

    Yves answered this one. Tim’s attack was ad hominem, attacking a website I work on with no investigation. Still, that’s besides the point.

    As stated many times, these Wikipedia “rules” – which are sloppy at best – exist to preserve a monopoly. That is the point.

    I don’t care about the edits or, for that matter, Tim1965 and his ilk except to the extent they pollute public discourse, which they do.

    I do care about diversity of thought, opinion, bullying, and monopolies – especially of information or news. And Wikipedia is certainly a monopoly. Like most monopolies, there are often positive benefits — Google is outright magical — but it’s still a monopoly.

                                            Google Images seems to be onto Wales' little scheme....