Disappearing the Medieval Warm Period in Wikipedia
December 20, 2009 4 Comments
“If a consensus of the majority is all it takes to determine what is right, then having and controlling information becomes extraordinarily important.”
– Masamune Shirow
Financial Post – Wikipedia’s climate doctor:
All told, (U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William) Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.
The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.
This isn’t a criticism of Wikipedia, by the way. The same thing can happen elsewhere. If anything Wikipedia makes it possible to track the numbers you see above for silenced contributors and deleted articles. This does, however, point to the need for Wikipedia to make their editorial process less vulnerable to a rogue censor.