SUPER IMPORTANT: WIKIPEDIA PAGAN PAGES ARE UNDER ATTACK: DELETION OF OUR LEADERS.
This anguished alert appeared at witchschool.com (“Witch School International: Your Online Pagan Education Starts Here”), authored by Tony Mierzwicki, a specialist in the practice of “ceremonial magick”.
Who was a culprit of all the trouble in the land of fairies?
Yep. Quorty, by now infamous Wikipedian, famously banned from editing Wikipedia, the writer Robert Clark Young, unmasked as a self-promoting violator of Wikipedia’s core principles. Apparently, Southern writers weren’t his only victims — see my earlier post Intellectual Democracy And A Hunt For Quorty.
Andrew Leonard, whose May 17th article did all the unmasking, became an instant hero-avenger to everyone wronged by the evil Quorty.
On May 24th, Mr. Leonard’s continues his saga of Quorty in Salon’s Wikipedia’s anti-Pagan crusade: A rogue editor targeted witches, warlocks and psychedelic scientists — and cast doubt on the site’s judgment:
…I started receiving emails from members of “the Pagan writing and publishing community” thanking me for unraveling the mystery of Qworty’s identity. According to them, Young had been guilty of waging a vicious and nasty war against prominent Pagans throughout 2012. …At least a dozen “important Pagan” leaders had been marked for deletion by Young on grounds of insufficient “notability.” Included on the list was the author David Jay Brown.
The entire diverse and multinational community of pagans, witches, warlocks, Neo-Pagans, New Agers, witchcraft promoters, Stregherian folks and Satan worshipers was understandably delighted to learn that its tormentor has been rebuffed, banned, blocked and investigated.
Quorty branded most of those listed above as either charlatans or severely mentally ill, you see. This was — and most likely remains to this day — his opinion. The opinion he is entitled to have, express and share. The opinion that may or may not be shared by others, to no detriment to pagans, witches, warlocks etc.
Yep. The opinion. Wikipedia, however, should present the state of the world rather than the opinions of its editors, unless the editor him/herself is a “noteworthy person” and his/her opinion is elevated to the status of referential noteworthiness and confined to his/her own page.
“Once you start marking pages on paganism as bullshit, then shouldn’t you mark pages on Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity too?” comments one reader. Or, I would add, on Black Holes, Communism and Chrononhotonthologos?
The closer we look at Qworty/Young, the more we are forced to grapple with the flaws built into the mighty Wikipedia machine is Mr. Leonard’s opinion of the whole situation. He worries about Wikipedia’s worthiness as a valuable source of unbiased, accurate information that is impervious to mutilation by unscrupulous morons.
The Vox Populi that appeals to me most is expressed in this comment of yet another Salon reader:
The very existence of this story demonstrates that Wikipedia works. Particularly the principle of participatory creation and editing. As there can be no human-made system without human flaws, the best human-made systems are those which allow humans to correct the flaws.
It looks like annoying witches, warlocks and various “specialists in the practice of magick” wasn’t such a good idea on Robert Clark Young’s part. Wiccan Horned God — Cernunnos? Pan? Atho? Karnayna? — must be watching out for his own. When Wiki Hexed Wicca, Wicca Hexed Quorty. Now, the spell is cast, and the Prince of Wikipedians turned into a warty toad.