Saturday, May 5, 2018

Returning to our Wikipedia Hijinks

Earlier I wrote about how even the appearance of self-editing one's own Wikipedia entry was a very, very bad idea. One reason is apparently something called the Streisand effect.
So one consequence of the events noted a few days ago is pretty obvious - one potentially draws unwanted attention to one's own activities, in particular those that may be characterized as less than ideal. I would love to see documentation of the increase in views of the negative information, as a 2500% increase does seem quite whopping. Not saying it isn't true, but records of page views would be helpful to make that case.

As noted before, there are some problems with the entry as it currently stands, even after the Wikipedia editors stepped in and undid the damage from mid-April. I have to reiterate that I am not an objective resource on these matters, and will refrain from editing that entry myself, as that would also expose me to a conflict of interest as a registered Wikipedian. Now if I were to edit, I probably would start with current affiliations. One question I would ask is if holding what appears to be a guest lecturer position at Vrije Universiteit (VU) is really the same thing as that of professor, and whether being a guest lecturer really counts as an official faculty position. Still seems like a pretty cool gig, but perhaps less than how it has been made to appear. If a Wikipedian decides to research that matter, I would urge no contact with the fine folks at VU as they probably have better things to deal with. Besides, if one utilizes the evidence that is already quite publicly available, I think someone could draw the necessary conclusions and at least make that part of the entry's conversation (known as talk), and perhaps make the necessary correction to the entry. Just sayin'. I would also urge anyone editing that page or those of any other living scientist to take great care before making edits - it's good common sense and Wikipedia policy.

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