This blog experienced another up-tick in hits today and upon investigating the source (WordPress provides access to the referrer information from these hits) I see that people are coming here from the evidence page of the current Climate Change arbitration. A scan of that page finds the following comment by Stephan Schulz:
Now I find this to be rather odd statement since nothing on this blog has ever promoted meat puppetry in any way shape or form. Indeed, the How To Guide is simply that, a how to guide. It describes how to join the Wikipedia community of editors in a manner that supports what that community considers to be legitimate and constructive ways:
- Creating an account to establish an on-line identity and thereby have your opinions considered more, or less, without bias.
- Familiarizing yourself with the mechanics of how to edit a page using the Wikipedia provided mechanisms.
- Encouraging people to be more well rounded in their editing to avoid being viewed as a single purpose account. This is clearly what the Wikipedia culture encourages new editors to do.
- Familiarizing yourself with core Wikipedia policies and the importance thereof.
- And only then trying to enter the more controversial topic areas such as Climate Change.
This is all basic approved advice given to new editors already when they are welcomed to the project. I fail to see how providing information designed to aid new editors in identifying, understanding and most importantly following the rules so that they might be properly viewed as constructive members of the community is somehow “recruiting meat puppets“. Recruiting new and effective editors to the project? Absolutely. Recruiting meat puppets? Absolutely not.
This blog has never been about getting people to support my or anyone else’s specific point of view. Rather, the purpose of this blog is to help my fellow skeptics to understand why Wikipedia coverage of Climate Change is the way it is and to encourage them to become effectively involved based on their own opinions and points of view, not as a proxy for mine of anyone else.
If any Wikipedia Arbitrator contacts me because they have concerns about the neutrality of our How To Guide or the advice being given there I will be more than happy to work with them to address their concerns. Personally, I don’t think that aiding new editors and facilitating them becoming constructive contributors in the eyes of the community at large should be considered a problem. Indeed, since the project is always looking to attract more volunteers it would seem that this type of thing should be encouraged, not falsely condemned as we see here.
This is a sad comment on the pathetic state of wikipolitics on the climate change articles.