Thursday, 27 September 2007

'No pimps allowed'

Wikipedia has been a valuable reference tool for many people since it's creation in 2001. Below is a list of the number of articles submitted in each of Wikipedia's 10 most popular languages:
  1. English: 2,025,577
  2. German: 644, 514
  3. French: 562, 648
  4. Polish: 427, 910
  5. Japanese: 417, 000+
  6. Dutch: 361, 237
  7. Italian: 353, 135
  8. Portuguese: 287, 645
  9. Spanish: 282, 076
  10. Swedish: 252, 261
There's also several other languages including Danish, different types of Norweigian, Welsh and Scottish.

There might be the occasional question over the accuracy of some of the articles, but that is because it allows anonymous posting - so there is no way of ensuring that only trustworthy people make the edits. However, you can create a user account (as I did) if you don't mind being identified. It will also allow you to carry the list of contributions you have made from computer to computer (for anonymous posting, Wikipedia takes the IP address of the computer).

Under the name 'Pimp Daddy', I have made 36 contributions to Wikipedia. They have ranged from spelling corrections to the creation of pages (e.g. I created an article about the World Darts Federation).

My username might not be the most serious looking choice, but it contains no swearing, no racism, no anti-semitism, etc. It's just a bit of fun. However, Wikipedia have decided to block me from editing because they felt it was inappropriate. This has happened despite my numerous contributions to the site using that name already. There are many people who include things such as bias in their contributions, cause controversy and don't even bother to create a user account - but most of them do not get blocked.

This was the message that I get when I try to edit an article:
"You have been blocked from editing, or tried to edit a page to which you do not have editing access.

Pimp Daddy (your account, your IP address or a range of addresses) was blocked by DragonflySixtyseven for the following reason (see our blocking policy):

no pimps allowed

Your IP address is, and your block has been set to expire: indefinite."
Obviously, I was annoyed by this. I sent an email to one of the Wikipedia administrators (DragonflySixtyseven) expressing my opinions (without swearing) and I received this response via Wikipedia's 'My talk' feature (part of the email I sent is shown at the top):
""I have been blocked from editing pages and the reason given was 'No pimps allowed'. I think this is a totally unjustified reason - it is only a username."


You have three choices:

1. you can start over with a fresh username. This is easiest, but you will lose all your previous edits.
2. you can post a request on WP:CHANGE to have your username changed. If you opt for this, you will have to post on your talkpage first to ask to be unblocked so that you can post your request.
3. you can walk away from the project in disgust.

I suggest option 1 or 2, but some people do opt for 3.

DS 22:04, 24 September 2007 (UTC)"
I still believe that this is not a valid reason given my good conduct and accurate contributions on the site. As a result of this I won't be using Wikipedia again.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: Wikipedia, Wiki


Wesley Mason said...
Section entitled "Names", a lot of people agree.

Personal opinion does not belong in the realm of the moderator, that is the 'net 101, and someone seems to have missed the lesson.