Cyberbullying via Wikipedia

Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 01:04 am
I was doing my usual thing on Wikipedia when I came across this rather shocking message on an admin page:


My name is Shannon Dickson, and I work in a private high school in Toronto, Ontario (called the School of Liberal Arts). I am writing to you because you are one of a few people who can retrieve a deleted article from wikipedia. This is my situation: it has just today come to our attention that a young girl who attends the school has begun to self-mutilate. She says that one of her reasons for being so sad is that a couple other students are posting horrible things about her on the web, including wikipedia..." etc (The teacher was requesting to see what had been written about the girl.)

Emphasis mine.

Have you had any experiences with cyberbullying?
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:11 am
I wondered when this type of thing would start happening. I don't know much about how Wikipedia controls its content. I know there are rules for documenting information, but I don't know how it is managed.

Are there enough "moderators" to police the system, and how are those moderators approved?
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:20 am
for the most part anybody can edit wikipedia

a young woman who worked on a radio show i'm quite fond of got a job on another radio show

when i went to the new radio shows wiki page somebody had reported her move to the show as "newest member ****, that annoying c*nt from the *** *** *** show, has joined the cast"

i was able to edit the page and remove the offending passages
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 02:39 pm
It is, surprising, extremely tighly moderated. The have bots as well as hundreds of admins, not to mention the edit-nuts who will do anything to improve wikipedia.

What it does lack is unity. My school uses a single IP, and, it being a school full of teenage boys, there have been many amusing edits to wikipedia. We receive no less than 26 warnings, at least 8 of which were "last warnings" threatening to remove editing access if any further vandalism was committed. Because all the warnings were from different bots and admins, each presumed that we had only been given warnings by them, even though all our warnings were clearly displayed on our talk page. I guess no one bothered to check. And guess what? We're still allowed to edit!
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