Rossi and Wikipedia

I know something about Wikipedia, how it works — and how it doesn’t work. From Rossi’s blog, some meshegas about Wikipedia, likely written by Rossi himself.

 


  • Ike

    Dear Andrea:
    In the English version of Wikipedia the article “Andrea Rossi” is managed by powerful editors paid by your foes. We tried many times to correct all the slanders contained in it, but after few seconds all the corrections are erased. In that article all the updates against you, usually totally false, are accepted, while all the corrections are sistematically erased within seconds. We think that a corrupted editor controls it full time. The text reports all the comments of your well known foes and rejects all the comments that can contain anything non negative related to you. Why don’t you sue them?
    Thank you for your important job,
    Ike

  • Andrea Rossi

    Ike:
    I know perfectly the Wikipedia issue, because we too have tried to correct the falsities, but, as you say, after few seconds the corrections are canceled: this fact gives evidence of the fact that there is a team of powerful editors that full time takes care of it, otherwise the corrections would be made now and again, as it happens normally. Probably you too have experienced the fact that when we tried to insist in the due corrections on this page, the guy who tries to correct is banned from the editing system. This gives evidence that there is an organized gang of editors, not just candid guys.
    Now I have better to do than take care of Wikipedia, its turn will arrive in due time, in due place, in due ways.
    By the way: the probabilities that our Customers will not buy our products because of the stupidities written by our foes on Wiki are 0%, therefore it is not a priority. They damage my personal image, but not our product and what counts here is not my person ( I myself do not take myself seriously in the global context ), what counts here is the product I am working upon.
    Besides, every person not stupid and not biased understands after reading the first lines that it is just vulgar libelling made by our well known foes.
    Suggested reading related to the issue:
    http://www.ingandrearossi.com
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

     

  • San

    Dear Dr Andrea Rossi:
    About Wikipedia: they have been sued from many persons that have been misrepresented in their posts by corrupted editors. It is not just you, they use this as a blackmailing method.
    Cheers,
    San

  • Andrea Rossi

    San:
    Thank you for the information: can you send me evidence of what you wrote?
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.


    This is fact-free, as common for Rossi’s blog.

    First of all, there is a problem with Wikipedia coverage of any controversial or fringe science. Add to that the negative reputation of Rossi, as promoted by Steve Krivit, and as now supported by evidence in Rossi v. Darden, it is utterly unsurprising that negative material on Rossi tends to persist, whereas “corrections” posted by inexperienced users tends to vanish quickly. It is about how Wikipedia works.

    It is extremely unlikely that anyone is being paid to badmouth Rossi, or certainly not directly. Krivit may be paid to write his blog, it used to be he was paid $90,000 per year, but that was not paid by someone with an agenda about Andrea Rossi in particular. If anyone googles Rossi, they are going to see a lot of negative information or claims. Indeed, I just did it and the top hits were mostly positive, i.e., Rossi-fan sites, and Rossi’s own blog. But the number two hit was a Krivit expose of Rossi. And the number four was the Wikipedia article.

    The entire field of LENR and cold fusion suffers from some terrible editing, with a faction involved that includes some administrators. I confronted these, successfully, but … when confronting a faction on Wikipedia, the faction then comes after the whistle-blower, and Wikipedia process is relatively vulnerable and naive when it comes to factional editing. It thinks of a faction as a cabal, involving secret collusion, when factional editing happens right in the open, and standard Wikipedia process creates it.

    There are two forms of article maintenance on Wikipedia: editors who have taken an interest in the article, and who have it on their Watchlist, so they will be notified of all changes. Most serious Wikipedia editors have the software add the article to their watchlist if they make any edits to it or to the Talk page. Add to this that any editor perceived as “pushing” a fringe “POV” (Point of view) maybe warned or sanctioned, many have been blocked … by adminstrators who sometimes were, themselves, pushing a point of view, sometimes called the “Scientific Point of View,” which is actually a violation of Wikipedia policy, which is declared to be Neutral Point of View. However, the implementation of that and the processes by which it is maintained are highly vulnerable to factional activity.

    Wikipedia operates, in theory, based on consensus, and a faction will, through common watchlists, including watching the Talk pages of friend and foe, notice and come together when controversy arises involving them or critical interests. Generally, the SPOV faction doesn’t have a majority of users on their side, but general users will not be focused on these issues, so who shows up can be heavily biased. Add to that the systematic long-term harassment and sanction of users who might oppose the factional agenda, the problem becomes very difficult. They will seem to have “consensus,” except that is not consensus, it is either majority view, or it is, even, sometimes, that the faction marshals enough comment that they can prevent consensus from forming. These people, I found, would state that they did not believe in neutrality and they did not believe in consensus, and those were administrators, saying this before the Arbitration Committee. Which has no sane process. Something being said like that passes right by them.

    Wikipedians tend to believe in Wikipedia, a kind of shining vision, and my opinion is that the vision could have been realized, but got stuck in artifacts from how Wikipedia was formed, and it became reactionary. Any attempt to move toward genuine consensus was crushed. It was amazing to watch. And this was before I got involved with cold fusion.

    However, that process, of control-through-watchlist is relatively slow. To resist it takes experienced users; what commonly happens is that non-wikipedians see and article on their favorite topic and think it’s wrong, so they remove the errors, but not in a manner consistent with policy. If they push this seriously, they may be warned and if they continue, they will be blocked.

    Similarly, they may see that an article is missing something they know, and add it, but do not cite what is called in Wikipedia-speak, “Reliable Source,” which does not mean what non-Wikipedians would think. It’s complicated, and these newcomers haven’t studied it! Wikipedia started with people doing that, and it was allowed for some time, but the push was toward creating a more reliable product, by using theoretically objective means of assessing sources and insisting on everything being sourced.

    If changes were being immediately reverted, my hypothesis is that they are being reverted by Recent Changes Patrollers, who are not knowledgeable on the topic, necessary, but will see patterns. I did RCP to build edit history to build credibility. It’s a fun game. Once in a while I would actually look up sources, but most of this was like playing Whac-a-Mole, reverting vandalism and clueless editing. I would guess that these attempts to “fix” the article did not follow policy, that this was obvious, and so there were hundreds of editors in line to revert it. When I did RCP, I would load fifty changes and scan them very quickly, using an assisted editing tool, look for anything out of place. When I saw something, I’d press the Revert button. Usually someone else had already reverted it. It’s that fast. It’s quite impersonal. That article would now be on my watchlist. If the person goes to the Talk page and argues for the edit, I’d see it. But I just looked at the Andrea Rossi page and nothing has been added to the Talk page since April 2016.

    So if they are trying to fix the article, they aren’t trying very hard! And they are going about it in a way that is contrary to policy. If you make a change to an article and it is accepted, fine. But if it is reverted, you do not simply make the change again, you discuss it, on the article Talk page.

There is a factional problem with the article, but it is on another level. This is a piece of the edit log:

These logs are in reverse time order.  When I did RCP, I often set it up to only load anonymous edits, because it was denser with Bad Edits. If you want respect on Wikipedia, register an account and do some noncontroversial editing.  This edit was not reverted in seconds. If you look at the edit, the IP was removing the word “falsely.” And that word should not be there. It is, in fact, defamation. And I noticed it immediately, looking at the article, before looking at the edit history. It stands out like a sore thumb, it is in the lede, and the lede should be solidly based on what is in the article. A reference in the lede is a sign of factional conflict on an article, because the matter should be explained in more detail in the body of the article, and the lede should not be referenced, being merely a summary of what is in the rest of the article, where the sources will be shown.

In this case, the correction that I would agree with stood, for a month. Then it was reverted.

(cur | prev) 18:53, 15 May 2016Ronz (talk | contribs). . (11,085 bytes) (+8). . (Undid revision 715742512 by 82.113.46.93 (talk) not what it says) (undo)

This is a BLP violation, i.e., Biographies of Living Persons, which require very strict sourcing of possibly defamatory material. So … what is in the source? I could not read it. It is behind a pay wall and is probably an image, not text that google could translate from the Italian. This is the note sourcing that part of the text, supposedly:

Guastella Giuseppe. “Riciclaggio rifiuti tossici, assolto Andrea Rossi (English translation: Toxic waste recycling, Andrea Rossi acquitted)”. Corriere della Sera. Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2011-11-12.

This was in the E-cat article, which wasn’t a BLP. OK, where did “falsely” come from? It was added in this edit, in August 2015, by Unibond, the same one who restored it. Unibond is confused, but his edit stands because nobody who cares does anything. It is highly unlikely that the source says what he wrote, but even if it did, this is not something to be shoved into the lede based on an offhand reference in a newspaper article, the substance of which was that he was acquited.

The claim by “Ike” on the Rossi blog is false. If there were attempts to correct the article, they were long ago, not recent. Unibond had been editing the Rossi article since 2014. He insists on his own change here, but does not assert a source. Discussion by edit summary is not what experience editors do, unless they are blatantly POV_pushing and believe they can get away with it, which some can. But when an experienced editor who knows Wikipedia Dispute Resolution process shows up, these factional editors generally lose.

I saw no “powerful editors” who had been recently active. One administrator, a common factional tool, TenOfAllTrades, removed two sections of weakly-sourced material, in October, based on changes on the E-cat article, where there is much more activity.

Rossi’s habitual patterns on his blog would indicate that he wrote what he attributed to “Ike.” His response followed along with what Ike asserted, the same theme, his enemies are paying to libel him. He’s said the same thing about anyone who criticizes his work, he claimed — or tolerated the claim, I’m not sure which — that lenr-forum.com had been bought.

Rossi, if he is sincere, is heavily confused about how the world works. There are paid editors on Wikipedia. It’s radically against policy unless it is disclosed. They can be very difficult to identify, if they do general purpose editing in addition to what they are paid for, and if they know what to avoid. There is no sign of paid editing on his article. And there is nobody who would pay for attacking Rossi. It won’t help Industrial Heat, because public opinion makes practically no difference to them, and negative opinion about Rossi can somewhat rub off on them. After all, they supported Rossi for a time.

Rossi is correct on one point: the Wikipedia articles will not seriously harm him. He has much more to worry about in other venues, such as a certain court in Florida. While people are edit-blocked who “try to correct” articles, that’s generally because they have no Wikipedia skills and don’t follow policy. The IP trying to remove “falsely” could have been blocked, though probably not for just two edits. There is much more to see on the Energy Catalyzer article. (And I edited that article while banned, as a test of the system, for a short time. Most of the edits stayed for a while. Wikipedia in general, though, is a lousy place for writers, it is editor-heavy. If you can’t write, edit! Slash and burn! This is why real publishers pay editors a little and writers a lot. Good writers, anyway. Good editors know how to work with writers…. Wikipedia has tried to do without another publisher essential: managers, who mediate between writers and editors.)

If someone wants to fix the Rossi article, to remove unsourced negative material, or to balance negative material if possible, I’d be willing to help. I will not myself edit Wikipedia, I respect the ban, i.e., the project has the right to ban me, foolish or not. Wikipedians are responsible for what they tolerate. However, I can advise. Indeed, in the past, after I was banned, I was paid for Wikipedia advice, including providing wikitext.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

See http://coldfusioncommunity.net/biography-abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

One thought on “Rossi and Wikipedia”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti Spam by WP-SpamShield