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Don't trust on Wikipedia (by Latuff)
by Latuff (latuff [at] uninet.com.br)
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 10:52 AM
Let's go with another dirty trick...
Some of my friends wrote me about the Wikipedia article on me and I'd like to clarify some points. After checking the article, especially "discussion" and "history" sections, you can see it's far from neutral. You will always find someone trying to attach labels like "racist" or "anti-Semite" (surprised?), including Deviantart users, who, unhappy for having comments hidden by me in my DA page and for my criticism against U.S. and Israel, migrate to Wikipedia to release all their anger against me.

And now they've even created a fake biography where it's said that I was "born into a family of 7 in Rio de Janeiro to a Brazilian father and an Argentinian mother" and that "parents separated after my mother moved back to Argentina to marry a Jewish man." And of course, refering to some made up gay affair: "At the age of 34, Carlos and his soon-to-be husband, Javier, traveled to Toronto, ON where they would undergo vows for marriage."

The most interesting thing is that I was NEVER contacted by ANY Wikipedia editor for collecting information about me and my art or at least VERIFY the authencity of such "biography".

The real story is that: NO, I was not born in a family of 7. NO my parents aren't separated (of course the choice for a "Jewish man" by editors was not by accident, as if it could sound extra offensive to me) and NO, I'm not married with men or women. If I had a gay relationship I would have no problem making it public, 'cause I really don't have any problems with gays or lesbians. In fact, I've been a supporter of gay and lesbian human rights.

In short, this Wikipedia article is great for good laughs but NOT for serious information about me and my art. So my advice for you readers and supporters is do not trust in everything you see about me around the Web. If you want ACCURATE information on me and my cartoons, you can start from here:

http://benjaminheine.blogspot.com/2007/02/interview-with-carlos-latuff.html
http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/829
http://palestinechronicle.com/story-2002092700153681.htm
http://www.geocities.com/voiceoftherepublic/issue02.htm

If you have any doubt about anything, don't be fooled by anyone, talk right to the artist: latuff [at] uninet.com.br

Since the poor guys can't make anything to stop the world flow of anti-Israeli apartheid cartoons, they try cheap dirty tricks like this. Anyway, judging by this "biography", I can say they have a bright future writing screenplays for U.S. sitcoms.
Hehehehehehehehe!!!
:)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Daniel Brandt
(wikiwatch [at] sbcglobal.net) Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 12:56 PM
Wikipedia editors never contact the people they write about. It's none of that person's business what Wikipedia publishes. In fact, there are policies that forbid a person from making corrections to an article about himself, and even policies against an editor getting information from that person directly, because this is considered "original research." Wikipedia is a cesspool, and it's a danger to everyone who might find themselves victimized by their anonymous, teenaged editors. Aren't you lucky! Now you get to watch your article (but don't touch!) for the rest of your life. Expect it to get vandalized regularly, and also expect it to stay at the top of the search engines, if only because Google loves Wikipedia so much. I've been fighting to get my biography taken down for 18 months, and the result is that more and more anonymous Wikipedians hate me now, and are committed to keeping the article on me as a form of revenge.
by Vincent
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 1:22 PM
Wikipedia admins have a power trip, and anonymous editors get more support and respect than those who use their real names. I think an anonymous editor whose edit got a lot of publicity of another bio had it right: Wikipedia's comedy basically.
by east berlin citizen
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 3:06 PM
(surprised?)

< actually, yes.
I don´t care how you - apologize or try to explain your reasons.


It´s just:


yes.
by Wikipedia Sysop
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 8:09 PM
Hi latuff, I am one of Wikipedia's many volunteer administrators. The situation you describe is unfortunate, however, these situations are an inevitable part of the process. Wikipedia does not write its articles, instead anyone can create and update a page. Therefore, there is no fact checking process, and vandalism or deliberate errors are sometimes added. These are usually quickly removed by both regular volunteers and readers like you, who can correct any errors they find. Inevitably some changes slip through the cracks, and therefore we do not recommend the Use of Wikipedia as a source for a reference paper, for example. However we feel that Wikipedia provides a useful start for such research, or to find out information that you simply were wondering about. You can leave any questions about Wikipedia at the help desk. Thanks for your interest.
by Gregory Kohs
(greg [at] centiare.com) Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 8:14 PM
Latuff, I feel for what you've experienced on Wikipedia. It's an out-of-control mess over there, as far as biographies of living persons go. If only you were an asteroid or a Pokemon character -- then you would be lovingly adored by their anonymous editors.

If you want to write your own biography, and (thanks to semantic web coding) stand a chance at out-ranking Wikipedia itself on Google, you are hereby invited to create your own wiki biography on Centiare.com.

I hope to see you there.
by Longtime Wikipedian
Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 9:29 PM
FYI, Mr. Kohs was thrown off of Wikipedia because he was being paid to spam the site with biased articles. Not one to be slowed down by being permanently banned from the project, Mr. Kohs decided he would simply start his own project where he could be as biased as he pleased. That site is called centiare.com.
by Gregory Kohs
(greg [at] centiare.com) Tuesday Apr 10th, 2007 10:14 PM
Of course, "Longtime Wikipedian" (afraid to give anything but a real name, since his or her intention is to defame a real-world person) gets the story wrong. I wasn't "thrown off" Wikipedia because I was "spamming the site" with "biased articles". I was made unwelcome at Wikipedia by a cabal of active administrators and Jimmy Wales who sought to INTERPRET all of my contributions as "spam" and riddled with "bias". The article I wrote about Arch Coal is a perfect example. A few paranoid admins viewed it as "spam", while many, many fair-minded editors in good standing saw it as nothing more than a short, informative discussion of the basic facts about a coal-mining company.

You see, regardless of the facts, "longtime Wikipedians" have been inculcated to to believe that anything that doesn't involve tireless, free, unpaid labor by teenagers with Cheetos dust on their fingers, must by definition be harmful to "the project".

Latuff, you're a smart enough cookie. You can decide who to believe -- me or the anonymous Wikipedians coming out of the woodwork to "correct" your misguided impressions of their precious project.
by Mandeep M
Wednesday Apr 11th, 2007 6:24 AM
Hi Latuff, I am big admirer of yours. It seems that your article was vandalized by people who don't like you. In such cases, you can report the issue at WP:AIV and get these idiots blocked. Wikipedia's open nature is its greatest asset, but unfortunately, it's also the biggest shortcoming. The Wikipedia user community is very alert and receptive to complaints -- As soon as the vandalism was reported, all the nonsense was removed from your article and the page was protected. All the fools who were vandalizing the article were banned. Talking about comments by Mr. Gregory Kohs, all I can say is that he doesn't understand what Wikipedia is what all about (as is evident from his promotion of Centiare). He believes that Wikipedia is about publicity, Search Engine Optimization and getting yourself a higher ranking in the Google search results. Mr. Kohs is the founder of MyWikiBiz, a service that offered to manipulate Wikipedia entries for $49 to $99. He was initially blocked for paid editing on behalf of customers. Later he was unblocked after he coolly discussed the matter with Jimbo Wales and convinced him that his paid edits will be neutral and unbiased. However, he was blocked again for creating multiple accounts and using legal intidimation. I would like to see the differences between him and Wikipedia sorted out, but I don't see this happening in near future because both the sides (Mr. Kohs and some overzealous Wikipedians) have indulged in hot-tempered debates and mud-slinging. By the way, I am not at all surprised that the Mr. Daniel Brandt has seized the opportunity to spread anti-Wikipedia FUD here. I would request Mr. Brandt to stop misinforming others -- there is no policy that forbids a person from making corrections to an article about himself or herself (see this: "in clear-cut cases, it is permissible to edit pages connected to yourself"). Also, there is no policy against an editor getting information from that person directly -- it's just that the information should be attributable to a published source (websites, newspapers, journals etc.); otherwise I can claim "Latuff told me that he has 7 siblings" and insist on adding it to the article. Mr. Brandt was blocked from Wikipedia for trying to use his entry for self-promotion and later (when he failed) causing disruption. Mr. Brandt knows very well that not all Wikipedians are "anonymous, teenaged editors". The Wikipedians who prefer anonymity is due to fear of being hounded by people like Mr. Brandt -- by his own admission, he has stalked at least two female Wikipedians, disrupting their personal lives (Kathryn Wolfe aka User:Katefan0 and Linda Mack aka User:SlimVirgin). Wikipedia is not the only thing that Mr. Brandt hates. He seems to have problem with every successful project and person (1, 2, 3)
by Gregory Kohs
(greg [at] centiare.com) Wednesday Apr 11th, 2007 12:39 PM
I wonder who "Mandeep M" is? Funny, my name is Gregory Kohs, and I am proud to sign it to my opinion, but I have yet to see someone here critique me under their own full name. "Mandeep M" is an anonymous persona, so I'm unable to place a lot of stock in what he or she says. I will, however, still refute a few items, just for good measure:

(1) I fully understand what Wikipedia is all about. I realize it is not a business directory. I realize it is not a Yellow Pages. My promoting Centiare is no more an indication that I don't understand what Wikipedia is, than my enjoying a delicious slice of bacon is a reflection of my not understanding what a chicken is.

(2) I've never offered to "manipulate" Wikipedia entries. I offered to "create" entries where there were previously none. Hmm... which word is more perjorative -- manipulate or create? Nice try, Mandeep. Are you proud of the fact that Wikipedians still haven't gotten around to writing articles about each of the Fortune 1000 companies? Are you pleased that a paid historian was not allowed to write basic, factual articles about such companies -- articles that could be further edited and improved by whomever chose to?

(3) In describing the history of MyWikiBiz on Wikipedia, Mandeep conveniently leaves out the story of the Reward Board, which functioned as an approved "pay for editing" clearinghouse on Wikipedia BEFORE MyWikiBiz came along, and continues to so function AFTER MyWikiBiz moved on. Also, we see no mention of the fact that the policy on "Conflict of Interest" didn't exist until AFTER MyWikiBiz came along. So, thanks for painting a profile of MyWikiBiz as a secretive, dastardly, and manipulative attempt to exploit Wikipedia, when in reality we tried to operate 100% in the disinfecting sunlight of full disclosure, and in the same spirit of EXISTING rules at the time.

(4) Wikipedians' fear of being held accountable for their editorial actions is frequently transformed into a flustered paranoia that virtually all off-site critics are "hounding" or "stalking" these editors. I've asked in another forum for Wikipedians to show me actual cases where personal harm came to any Wikipedia editor, which would have been actionable by police or in a court of law. So far, I've seen nothing produced. Unless you want to say "we" ruined Essjay's life; but I tend to think he kind of brought that on himself -- ironically, exercizing the same hyper-paranoid "I must remain anonymous" behaviors that you continue to espouse. There is no constitutional right to anonymity, and I would say this is especially so among a community that purports to write "facts" about living persons, yet proves so many times to be completely incapable of stating those "facts" correctly and without malice.

(5) This one is just a throw-away, but tell me, Mandeep, why was the Wikipedia article about MyWikiBiz deleted, even though it clearly passed notability (WP:CORP) and verifiability standards that Wikipedia sets for its own content? Could it be just another glaring example of censoring anything that might tarnish the reputation of the "encyclopedia"?

P.S. You have a hilarious definition of "legal intimidation". I've never filed a lawsuit against anyone in my life.

P.P.S. Whose anonymous counter-point will be next? Who cares to be similarly slam-dunked by the truth and logic?
by Ren-b
Wednesday Apr 11th, 2007 2:29 PM
Latuff, you won't be surprised that your friend Norman Finkelstein has come under similar attacks on Wikipedia, on his article, and related ones.

Finkelsteins sparring partner, the torture advocate Alan Dershowitz, has an interesting history with Wikipedia. Dershowitz was caught out after he went on a vandalism spree on his own article - doing things like removing mention of Finkelstein, and inserting the line that he is the "winningest appellate criminal defense lawyer in history." The mental image of Alan Dershowitz, prominent Harvard lawyer, furiously adding complimentary material about himself on an internet encyclopedia is very funny.

What happened next was that Jimbo Wales, the leader of Wikipedia, received some sort of legal threat from Dershowitz. Wales immediately caved in and gutted the article of anything Dershowitz would disapprove of. This behavior is noteworthy because Wales had never done such a thing before. So why would he do it for Dershowitz? In a word, because of his political bias. Wales has some pretty strange views of the world. He's a follower of the Ayn Rand cult - who elevate egocentric acquisitiveness as a virtue. The personality of an organization's leader often casts a shadow over the organization's way of thinking and behaving. So it is with Wikipedia. The project's core team is a bunch of loony "Libertarian" types who hang around chat-rooms discussing their Star Trek fixations. Can you imagine a less suitable group to write an encyclopedia? Wales is someone who made money "speculating on interest rate and foreign-currency fluctuations", it's not surprising that Jimbo has disparaged Indymedia as "far-left" in the past. When someone has has no problem with fraud, we can pretty much guess how he made his money in Chicago.

Under Wales, Wikipedia will continue to fail. And it will continue to libel people like you.
by wikipedian and indymedia volunteer
Wednesday Apr 11th, 2007 3:17 PM
"Jimbo Wales, the leader of Wikipedia,"

The English language wikipedia alone has about 1.7 million articles - it's meaningless to claim that any one individual can be a leader of the encyclopedia.

Jimmy was the first chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, but he is no longer: Anthere is the present chair:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/4_wishes_for_year_2007

"He's a follower of the Ayn Rand cult - who elevate egocentric acquisitiveness as a virtue."

He certainly was in the past. By now, experience of wikidom and the world may have taught him a little more reality.

"When someone has has no problem with fraud," In that case you should say the same thing about every local indymedia collective - how many of us know every active person's true background? Do we care? The web side of indymedia is much more anonymous than wikipedia, so according to this line of argument, you'd have to say that indymedia is much more fraudulent than wikipedia.

by Mandeep M
Thursday Apr 12th, 2007 3:26 AM
Dear Mr. Kohs, I don't intend to fight with you, but I'll try to clear your doubts.

(1) No, you don't understand what Wikipedia is all about: Wikipedia is NOT a tool to support commerce

(2) Agreed. I apologize for using the wrong word ("manipulate"). I am one of the supporters of the idea of paid editing at Wikipedia (like I said in my earlier comment that I would like to see the differences between you and Wikipedia sorted out). I don't think it makes any difference because people can anyway indulge in paid editing secretly. But the goal should be encyclopedia building, not advertising, search engine optimization or getting to Google front page. You keep talking about Arch Coal as the "perfect example", but you're forgetting that you've a history of treating Wikipedia as a business directory that should contain article on any company that pays you. I remember an AP news item that reported "Kohs says he got about 10 clients into Wikipedia this way over the next few weeks. (He won’t name the clients because he wants their entries to stick.)" -- that was one of the reasons that your unblock case failed. You know very well that if the subject of an article is notable, it will survive the deletion, irrespective of who created it (like Arch Coal did, and the user who nominated for deletion was blocked). The very fact that you refused to divulge the names of articles created by you makes Wikipedians wary of your intentions.

(3) The editors who talk about paid editing at the reward board or at the linguist list do not think that Wikipedia is a tool to support commerce -- their goal is encyclopedia building and they don't refuse to name the concerened articles. And please stop believing that you were blocked for paid editing. Only the first of your blocks was paid editing, and you were unblocked soon per the discussions. The rest of the blocks were not for paid editing -- they were for advertising (of course, you're going to call it "humor") and sockpuppetry.

(4) I agree that there is no constitutional right to anonymity. I'm not talking about cases like Essjay here (it was great to see him get exposed). I'm talking about cases like Amorrow, Kathryn Wolfe or Mr. Brandt contacting old boyfriends of a female editor in order to "expose" her. You might keep calling the harassed Wikipedians "hyper-paranoids". You might keep arguing that a telephone call or contacting somebody's boyfriend doesn't kill a person. But, if you've any remote knowledge of psychology, you'd probably know that how much stress and fear such kind of hounding causes to a person, esp. women. And you're being a hypocrite here -- you are calling Wikipedia editors "hyper-paranoids", without realizing that most of your buddies at the Wikipedia Review (such as Somey, anon1234 etc.) are also anonymous.

(5) This should answer your questions -- your company doesn't become notable because it was mentioned in a few news reports that centered around the issue of Wikipedia and paid editing. And this is not a "glaring example of censoring anything that might tarnish the reputation of Wikipedia" -- 1, 2, 3...

I don't have much time to indulge in fruitless arguments, so this would be my last comment here. Looking forward to your new business MyCitiBiz for Citizendum.
by Gregory Kohs
(greg [at] centiare.com) Thursday Apr 12th, 2007 7:42 AM
Mandeep, there are so many mistakes in your rebuttal, it just isn't worth my time to try to correct them. I'll leave it to the masses to decide who is telling the more factual story -- you or me. If anything, my "bacon vs. chicken" analogy should be reason enough for the intelligent evaluator with even a mote of humor in his soul to side with me. Arguments such as this demand an ability to grasp higher-order logic, which you seem to lack.

P.S. Norman Technologies passed WP:CORP. It failed to enter the encyclopedia because of the distaste for paid editing, and because I was challenged to "prove" notability, which led to language of puffery. Being that you can't see that, I deem you a hopeless case.