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.
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,
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.
There is a factional problem with the article, but it is on another level. This is a piece of the edit log:
- 18:40, 17 April 2016 18.104.22.168 . . (11,179 bytes) (-8) . . (He was never convicted for making such a false claim. He was convicted for tax evasion and environmental pollution.) (undo)
- 00:04, 16 April 2016 Unibond . . (11,187 bytes) (+8) . . (it was false, he was convicted in a criminal court) (undo)
- 15:31, 15 April 2016 22.214.171.124 . . (11,179 bytes) (-8) . . (Removed unsourced defamation. Rossi used Nickel as a catalyst to convert organic refuse into hydrocarbons.) (undo)
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.
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.