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Webcartoonist punks Wikipedia

Kristofer Straub reports on the deletion of his webcomic Starslip Crisis:

Delete Wikipedia: A Webcomics Case Study:

The Webcomics Purge of ‘07 continues with the deletion of Starslip Crisis‘ article. An article for deletion was submitted to Wikipedia, to delete Starslip Crisis, and the measure carried.

The result was delete and redirect to Blank Label Comics. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 10:42, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I started the vote to delete Starslip Crisis.

I started the vote to delete Starslip Crisis using a freshly-registered user with no other edits under his belt.

I also used faulty logic to initiate the discussion: I said www.starslip.com has no Alexa data, and isn’t notable as a result. (www.starslip.com is just a redirect: the comic’s URL is www.starslipcrisis.com and has an Alexa rank.)

Then I registered ten more fake users to stuff the original delete vote. This is called “sock puppetry” in Wikipedia terminology, and is frowned upon. The names of the fake users I used in the AfD are: Salby, Incredulous, Banalzebub, Hammerabbi, LKeith30, Repromancer, Expiwikist, Floxman, YothSog, and 66.27.212.63.

It’s so frowned upon that when someone else — a person I don’t know calling himself WizardBrad — tried to use a sock puppet to get his Keep vote to count twice, he was found to be cheating and his vote was struck from the record! Bless your heart, WizardBrad.

Here I was terrified that the Wikipedia editors-that-be would uncover my ruse to falsely delete a webcomic from their pages, and not only did they not find me out, they discounted someone cheating in Starslip’s favor!! How did they catch him and not me? Why did they bother to check up on his IP and not the IP address I used for the ten fake voters?

Oh, I will admit, I was sly. My fake voters engaged in conversation with one another, even one convincing another that the article should be deleted, not just merged under something else. Wikipedia cautions its editors that sock puppets can appear, and that the “straw man sock puppets

are created by users with one point of view, but act as though they have an opposing point of view, in order to make that point of view look bad, or to act as an online agent provocateur.

What I tried to do was take the popular point of view among Wikipedia’s editors — “delete webcomics” — and then prove that it would be accepted even under fallacious/suspicious circumstances. And it looks like I was successful.

Starslip Crisis is gone from Wikipedia for made-up reasons championed by my team of ten grudge-carrying fakes.

As it turns out, it’s not hard to get something deleted from Wikipedia, especially if it’s on some ice-blasted, barren frontier land on the internet like webcomics, where no one really knows what’s important and what isn’t, and no one really cares to make sure.

Yes, it does look to me like the process is broken, why do you ask?

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