How Wikipedia gets edited

I haven’t posted Lowering the Bar items in a while, mostly because Kevin Underhill, its inventor and maestro, has been commenting on criminal, not civil, events, but partially because he’s changed the formatting of his blog and I can’t figure out how to pick things up and share them here.

Well, I can, actually: I copy them and paste them. So, having announced my advanced methodology, here’s Kevin on how Wikipedia works. Think about this when you next check in with Wikipedia and assume everything it tells you is spot-on accurate:

  • As Weird Al Yankovic has noted, it is a clear sign of nerdhood that one has edited a Wikipedia page (and yes, I have done that). If you can’t edit one yourself, you can ask other editors to do it for you, as this incident shows. That gentleman asked for several edits to the page about himself, complaining that (among other things) it used an inaccurate nickname, got the details of his early life wrong, and that someone had deleted a paragraph mentioning his book about the Manson Family killings. This caused quite a stir, mainly because he was the Manson Family member in question. Charles “Tex” Watson (if it was actually him), also said the article wrongly accused him of taking $70 from one of the victims. Guess he felt it was important to set the record straight.
  • Okay, the articles I have edited at one point or another include, but are not limited to, “larceny,” “coulrophobia,” “trial of the century,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “John Dean,” “the Insular Cases,” “Baba Yaga,” “restatements of the law,” “Egyptian pyramids,” “Henry V,” and “Cthulhu Mythos,” and I’m sure there was a good reason I was interested in each of those topics at the time. Although the reason for “Baba Yaga” is not coming to mind right now, to be honest.
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