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news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Wikipedia Bans Scientologists

Posted by dorian on May 30, 2009

SciTechBlog  cnn.com

May 29, 2009
Posted: 03:47 PM ET

The collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing the site. The Register reports Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, or ArbCom, voted 10 to 0 in favor of the ban, which takes effect immediately.

Wikipedia’s innovative free-encyclopedia draws upon the knowledge of millions of users to create and edit articles on every conceivable topic. Edits appear immediately and do not undergo any formal peer-review process.

Wikipedia officially prohibits use of the encyclopedia to advance personal agendas – such as advocacy or propaganda and philosophical, ideological or religious dispute – but the open format makes enforcing such policies difficult.

According to Wikipedia administrators speaking to The Register:

Multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.”

However, Karin Pouw, with the Church of Scientology’s public affairs office, told me she is unaware of any coordinated effort to alter Wikipedia. Instead, she described the edits as individual attempts to correct inaccurate information by impassioned Scientologists and interpreted the ban as a typical Wikipedia response to arguments over content. She noted that even the U.S. Department of Justice received a temporary ban after someone  erased references to a controversial scandal from inside the government agency.

One Wikipedia contributor I spoke with that was involved in the Scientology arbitration agreed that some of the edits coming from the church were justifiable, but insisted the ban was necessary after the church refused to follow Wikipedia’s policies:

“The edits coming out of Church of Scientology servers were of the sort that made their organization look better.  Up to a point that’s justifiable, when it comes to correcting inaccuracies or removing poorly sourced negative information. There were times when they went beyond that and deleted well sourced information that was unflattering, and there were times when they insulted other editors in a manner that would reflect poorly upon any religion.”

Some see Wikipedia’s decision as a setback to the Utopian goal of Web 2.0 in which every user is allowed to freely contribute.

How do you feel about the ban? Should Wikipedia actively suppress self-serving, misleading or inaccurate information? Or does every voice deserve to be heard?

<div class="cnnStoryPhotoBox"><img src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/25/palm.pre.jpg" border="0" alt="" width="292" height="219" /></div>

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what does tom cruise have to say about this?


4 Responses to “Wikipedia Bans Scientologists”

  1. the Web 2.0 article is really fascinating. thoughts traveling freely of politics, religion and mostly $ holding them back. i am so against intellectual property rights.

    i don’t read much wikipedia, but i am curious if other religious organizations carry on like tom cruise on oprahs couch trying to edit their agendas.
    i know of one talibangelist that had some things about him removed.

    scientologists think that they are aliens, but they are not. wannabees.

    Саентологи считают, что они являются иностранцами, но они не являются. wannabees.


  2. princessxxx said

    you have to admit, that was beautiful. and such a story.
    i see your point, i’m not agreeing, but o.k.
    i will save the hardcore stuff like michelangelo for my site.
    work on the next one for monday morning.
    “lame hairdos & hair don’ts.”
    so much for web 2.0.
    oh, and in case you don’t know who i am, well, i am at the library. thinking of telling that james that hates fags more than god what is what. that is what got me all worked up on that obscene cystine chapel. and his holeyness the papule.

    well, a fart and a 🙂 and i am outta here.

    oh, and kay, kay really pisses me off, too. kay is so crazy she makes tom cruise look like some plain jane librarian. WTF!

    we need to invite scientologists here. i don’t see any. check how long it takes them to f*ck things up.


  3. princessxxx said

    not on wikipedia.

    wikipedia is not a reliable source for anything.
    you can’t even find reverse ignorance.

    that is a l.d.s. problem, not scientology. stupid l.ron.hubbard.
    Vecchia Madre Hubbard
    Andato in armadio
    Per ottenere il suo povero cane un osso,
    Quando ci si è
    L’armadio è nudo
    Così il povero piccolo cane era nessuno.

    this poem has a very interesting backstory.


  4. dorian9 said

    interesting ! and based on the picture of catherine of aragon i guess she was the face that inspired the creation of the protestant religion and divorce!

    i really would want a scientologist on our blog. we heard from the lds. i shall recruit!


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