Censorship

NIDA-Wiki Meta Moment

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Following up on Jacob's post regarding NIDA officials' attempts to whitewash the organization's Wikipedia entry , it seems that Wikipedia's editors have since restored the entry to its original form.

With one exception: The entry now includes a section on NIDA's attempts to censor the entry.

NEXT: But If They Really Want To Stop the Spread of STDs, They Should Put Abe Beame[*] on the Thing

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  1. Saw that when I linked from the last post that you made. I think that that’s pretty funny!

  2. Now, I have some issues with wikipedia, but on the whole I approve of how self-correcting it is. Will politicians, bureaucrats, and government officials ever figure out that there is *no* page that will not attract a small army of editors if there’s even the slightest whiff of conflict-of-interest propagandizing?

  3. Funny stuff indeed. Just wait til the black helicopters nuke the Wiki servers.

  4. I’m still giggling about someone from NIDA’s IP getting admonished for defacing another wiki-entry (Hammerspace) w/ MC Hammer lyrics

  5. The entry now includes a section on NIDA’s attempts to censor the entry.

    Who’s sorry now, beyotch?

  6. Wikipedia is to a large extent a popularity contest. I know an author who’s fans will regularly remove anything critical about him, for instance.

  7. I kind of want to go dance around the NIDA headquarters singing ‘na na nah na naaaaa naaa!’

    Does that make me a small person?

  8. NIDA’s attempts to censor the entry.

    Whoa…whoa…whoa there, Tex… When you have a freely editable public bulletin board of knowledge than can be updated, modified and added to by, well, anyone (power to the people, man), what then is “censorship”?

    If someone writes in “**Eric is a fag**”, and Eric (who may, or may not be a fag) removes or modified the entry, is Eric the censor, or is Eric merely one participant in this grand experiment on public ‘knowledge’?

  9. figure out that there is *no* page that will not attract a small army of editors if there’s even the slightest whiff of conflict-of-interest propagandizing

    This is why that Wiki doesn’t move towards perfection, it moves toward and away from perfection all at once. Once there’s a whiff of conflict-of-interest propagandizing (read controversy), a small army of other equally interested parties move in who may be just as prone to their own conflict of interest. None of this is absolute- and certainly not everyone is equally prone to bias… but in the previous NIDA thread controversial sujects tend to attract controversial editors.

  10. Whoa…whoa…whoa there, Tex… When you have a freely editable public bulletin board of knowledge than can be updated, modified and added to by, well, anyone (power to the people, man), what then is “censorship”?”

    It isn’t prior restraint, and it isn’t any sort of punishment after the fact. But when a government agency uses a wiki’s open source access to delete negative coverage of same government agency, I’m pretty comfortable calling it censorship, even there’s no direct coercion involved.

    A government employee paid with tax dollars is using government computers on government time to erase content on a popular website that’s critical of the government.

  11. But when a government agency uses a wiki’s open source access to delete negative coverage of same government agency, I’m pretty comfortable calling it censorship

    I definitely appreciate the general sentiment about government agency modifying content critical of same on a non-government website. My point was mainly about the nature of Wiki. Wikipedia is a an encyclopedia of knowledge by which everyone is equal before the content, so to speak.

    Wiki, to control ‘unfavorable’ edits and to respond to critics has ironically become more and more top-down in its controls. Thematically, I may agree with you 100% about “A government employee paid with tax dollars is using government computers “ to squelch or reverse criticism, but that doesn’t change the irony-clad flaws of Wikipedia.

    To paraphrase the old-timer in Raising Arizona, “which is it a gonna be, young feller, if’n it’s open source, then it should open to everyone, if’n it ain’t open to everyone, then it ain’t open source.”

  12. In my experience, many controversial (and seemingly non-controversial) topics have either a section on criticism or even a hyperlink to a distinct entry devoted to a counter argument…Of course there’s a lot of passionate and agenda-driven people out there, but there’s also an army of Wikipedia geeks who won’t tolerate unsourced facts or overtly subjective prose. No, it’s not perfect, but as I commented in the previous NIDA post, I think Wikipedia is an amazing, invaluable resource for all of humanity.

  13. I would note that the wiki entry is clearly one that should be flagged for bias. Not that NIDA’s flaws aren’t a big problem, but the entry doesn’t give any information that might be condsidered postive.

    For instance NIDA produces a peer reviewed journal for drug research… Their guidelines are in line with that seen in most journals.

    “PEER REVIEW PROCESS
    All articles submitted for publication undergo rigorous peer review. Each manuscript is reviewed by three non- NIDA-affiliated subject matter experts for accuracy, cohesiveness, readability, and relevancy. Research review articles are peer-reviewed by researchers, and clinical perspective articles are reviewed by clinicians and treatment providers. Reviewers and authors are blinded – the identities of both are kept confidential. We generally will follow our reviewers’ majority recommendation to publish or decline to publish a paper.

    After receiving reviewers’ comments, we send a peer review report to the author. The report contains comments and criticisms from the peer reviewers as well as suggestions and queries from the editor. Authors are asked to respond to all comments, either by making the requested
    revisions or by offering a compelling argument against them.”

  14. I bet their protocols for delivering marijuana to researchers reads reasonable too

    and yet…

  15. NIDA administers a contract … to grow … cannabis crop for medical and research purposes,including the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program.

    The government’s medical marijuana program is CIND? Somewhere, there’s a stoner who considers slipping that name under the radar his greatest accomplishment.

  16. Radley – Just read the latest playboy. Thanks for setting the nice officers straight on their responses in relation to the real issue. How any of them can call “bullshit,” on your claims is beyond me when they know damn well it happens and it happens often.

    On a side note I did see a Preschool adminitrator out shoot a SWAT team member this weekend. It was amusing in a scary kind of way. The SWAT guy missed the target completely. This competition was a timed event where each have to load a shotgun and fire a single shot. Final score was determined by time divided by the score of the shot taken. Needless to say IIRC the preschool guy was a bit slower to pull the trigger, but at least he hit the target. Perhaps this is indictative of their tendencies to be quick on the trigger and slow on the thought process. Made me feel safer to know this guy was out their with a license to kill.

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