Editors Still Using Double Standard for Kimberlin Wikipedia Entry
People keep trying to add an accurate phrase about Brett Kimberlin’s criminal history to the first paragraph of Brett Kimberlin’s Wikipedia entry. And keep getting shot down — to the point where editors are threatening to remove the entry entirely.
The offending phrase, which keeps getting removed, is “a convicted drug dealer, bomber, and political activist.” Someone keeps adding the phrase in, and it keeps getting deleted, as you can see from the edit page.
Kimberlin is certainly a convicted drug dealer and bomber. Here’s how the Federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit described Kimberlin’s criminal history:
After being convicted of the bombings and related offenses, Kimberlin was sentenced to a fifty-year term of imprisonment for manufacturing and possessing a destructive device, and malicious damage by explosives with personal injury in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d) and (f), and 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f) and (i). He received a concurrent twelve-year sentence for impersonating a federal officer, illegal use of a Department of Defense insignia, and illegal use of the Presidential Seal in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 912, 701, and 713, respectively, and a five-year term for receipt of explosives by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(i)(1). Finally, he was given a four-year sentence by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on an earlier, unrelated conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
The editors who keep removing the phrase claim that it violates “BLP rules” relating to a biography of a living person. A Wikipedia editor told me convictions aren’t supposed to go in the lede paragraph of a living person’s entry. Whether it’s accurate or not, they say, adding this accurate information in the lede paragraph actually risks getting the whole article pulled:
What part of it was slander? He is a convicted drug dealer and bomber. Is there any contention that he isn’t? Gotrexman (talk) 01:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I don’t care. It’s still against the BLP rules. You want to get it deleted outright instead on the 2nd attempt by JusticeLeader? ViriiK (talk) 01:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
“JusticeLeader” is the guy who submitted a suspicious and deceptive request to have the entry deleted a little over a week ago.
This isn’t the end of the world; Kimberlin’s criminal history is amply described elsewhere in the entry. I’m just having a hard time understanding why the same rule doesn’t apply to, say, Charles Manson:
Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is an American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s.:163–4, 313 He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca carried out by members of the group at his instruction.
or G. Gordon Liddy:
George Gordon Battle Liddy (born November 30, 1930) known as G. Gordon Liddy was the chief operative for the White House Plumbers unit that existed from July–September 1971, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Separately, along with E. Howard Hunt, Liddy organized and directed the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in May and June 1972. After five of Liddy’s operatives were arrested inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, subsequent investigations of the Watergate scandal led to President’s Nixon’s resignation in August 1974. Liddy was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and refusing to testify to the Senate committee investigating Watergate. He served nearly fifty-two months in federal prisons.
or any other examples you can probably find where living people have had their criminal histories mentioned in the lede paragraph of their entires.
Luckily, a hero has come to save the day. The page has been locked to prevent further editing — without the offending accurate phrase. The editor who locked the page?
Richard Symonds, aka Chase Me Ladies, I’m the Cavalry. You might remember him as the guy who originally deleted the article last September, claiming a “harassment campaign” against poor Mr. Kimberlin.
The fellow who described the entry on Kimberlin as an “attack page” that “simply painted him as a man with no positive qualities at all, which is obviously problematic in a neutral encyclopedia.” Who said that “reliable sources” could be found saying I had “harassed” the Readers’ Representative of the Los Angeles Times, but refused to specify said “reliable sources.”
That Richard Symonds.
As Fletch once said: “Thank God, the . . . police.”
We’re all in good hands now.
Ding.Patterico (83033d) — 8/28/2012 @ 7:34 am
The phrase isn’t accurate. He’s a convicted drug dealer and bomber, but he’s not a convicted political activist. Maybe if you wrote “an [[American]] political activist, and convicted bomber and drug dealer”…Milhouse (8acf6a) — 8/28/2012 @ 7:44 am
Milhouse, your grammatical point has nothing to do with the actions of the wikipedia editors.SPQR (26be8b) — 8/28/2012 @ 7:59 am
I would offer two things:
First, the Manson and Liddy entries are semantically different than the Kimberlin entry. They are “factual” rather than “characterizations” — “Manson was found guilty…,” and “Liddy was “convicted….”
The Kimberlin entry in dispute says he “is a convicted drug dealer….”
This is a distinction without a difference, but it is a distinction.
Second, I’m sure in large measure WL responds to complaints about entries, and edits them accordingly, rather than proactively seeking out offending entries and editing them sua sponte.
It might just be that no one has ever asked for the Manson and Liddy entries to be edited in accordance with what WL claims the policy to be.shipwreckedcrew (4c8ee5) — 8/28/2012 @ 8:12 am
I figured we see Symonds again, soon. His motives in his editing are suspect. His ‘example’ description of Patterico read like Neal Rauhauser wrote it, and his need to protect Brett Kimberlin from proven facts betrays the entire purpose of Wikipedia. The Speedway Bombings are a major historical event that an encyclopedia should be able to discuss.
The entry on Brett Kimberlin should include the ‘top flight con man’ aspects that Mark Singer described as well as the amazing censorship and resulting streisand effect. And to tell that story, you really need a section in the Brett Kimberlin entry that describes the wikipedia censorship and Symonds’s strange campaign of deleting the truth.
They have become part of the story and should stop trying to narrate it. Symonds is so out there that he eliminated a well sourced entry altogether. Has been unable to come up with a compelling reason and I’m convinced his reason is simply that Brett wanted him to.
Why does Brett want him to? We all know why. So people he and his organization attempt to influence do not understand him accurately.
So in my view, Symonds is complicit with all the smearing and the lawfare and the attempt to frame and innocent man and put him behind bars. It’s that serious to me when someone attempts to hide the truth for Brett or Neal.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 8:13 am
There’s probably something to this. I always thought Manson had devotees, though. I wonder if some of them have tried to get Manson’s conviction removed from his Wikipedia page. I am half tempted to emulate the ridiculous censorship arguments from this page onto Manson’s just to see them dismissed as preposterous.
So are you suggesting the phrasing say “Brett Kimberlin was found guilty of ___ and ____ and ____” instead of saying “Brett is a convicted ___ and ____”? I admit I have a hard time understanding this point. Not that you’re wrong. I just don’t think this way.
I haven’t bothered attempting to edit Wikipedia on this topic, partly because wikipedia has a reputation for being dishonest about controversies. Hopefully someone finds a way to at least get the same few dishonest people off this particular story.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 8:17 am
You might remember him as the guy who originally deleted the article last September, claiming a “harassment campaign” against poor Mr. Kimberlin.
The big, disgusting irony in all this is that people like Richard Symonds undoubtedly believe their liberal instincts are imbued with goodness, compassion, generosity and tolerance. After all, they in general certainly don’t think that leftism is quite wonderful because it boosts a person’s common sense and logic, or that left-leaning biases encourage humans to be heartless, selfish and cruel. Yet studies of human nature reveal that such a bias does exactly that—and, again, that’s what makes this all so ironic.
I’m sure Symonds (and most certainly Kimberlin) can happily relate to these type of people…Mark (cf1ca8) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:09 am
Who is WL? Wikipedia is edited by its users, and by nobody else.Milhouse (8acf6a) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:10 am
Gee, I might be concerned, if I cared what nonsense is caked all over Wikipedia.
But I don’t. Wikipedia is about 40% propaganda, which is why I don’t allow it to be used as reference.Space Cockroach (8096f2) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:25 am
Why don’t you and others just start writing about how Symonds violates Wiki rules. You’re a lawyer. I’m sure that aside from this one, Symonds is ignoring a ton of rules to the detriment of other individuals/entities. It’s not just hypocrisy, it’s a pattern of behavior. Right? Hey, they love suspending people there over at Wiki.Bets (32484b) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:30 am
Bets, that’s a good idea, except Wikipedia is corrupt and those with power exploit a maze of rules and selective enforcement. There is no arguing with such people. Patterico went on and on at length reasoning with Symonds. He’s still censoring absolutely factual and sourced information in a way that isn’t consistent with other articles, and this is just one example of thousands.
Wiki’s own rules mean nothing. What really matters is communicating that wikipedia is a dishonest source. It’s not just imperfect. it is propaganda.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:36 am
Exactly. There is an admin cabal that effectively WP, however much they deny it. The average user has no idea, and blindly votes for the long-established admins, and the admins blindly support each other in institutional solidarity. It’s not even necessarily about politics or ideology, it’s the bureaucracy they’ve created (in violation of [[WP:BURO]]) that makes jumping through their hoops more important than building a better encyclopaedia. And it lends itself to manipulation by weasels like this Symonds fellow.Milhouse (8acf6a) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:57 am
It’s obvious that BK just hasn’t killed enough people yet, or that no-one can document that he ever worked for Richard Nixon (or GWB), or the offending edit would be restored.
Plus, it’s not like WikiPutz is the only on-line encyclopedia.AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92) — 8/28/2012 @ 9:58 am
AD, there’s no doubt in my mind that if Kimberlin had smeared a democrat VP and was supported by Anne Romney instead of Teresa Heinz Kerry, or Citizens United instead of the Tides Foundation, a whole lot of censors would become promoters.
The opposite isn’t the case. At least not for those I’ve associated with.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:01 am
Hmm… interesting. What is Wikipedia to do when one of its editors becomes part of the story? Symonds played a relatively small part, but it speaks strongly to Kimberlin’s motives.Book (0e06b5) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:06 am
Yeah, Wikipedia is a fine place to go for information about Calculus, but it’s utterly useless when it comes to any hot-button issue with any political or semi-political context. AGW, Nuclear Power, McCarthy, Gun Control, you name it, it enshrines the liberal position on anything along those lines.
The liberals rule the place because non-liberals have better things to do than constantly police the entries to make sure it all follows Officially Accepted Liberal Dogma™.
Make any change that disputes the OALD™, and it’ll be reverted within 10 mins.
One reason I laugh at anyone who tries to use it as a justification point when dealing with any kind of hot-button issue.Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:08 am
Unfortunately, it is considered, however defectively, as the Gold Standard for them. Cite any other source that isn’t one of the classical encyclopedia groups and people will go, like, “What?”
It’s worse than asking someone to name a search engine other than Google. The two have become synonymous with their respective arenas.Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:10 am
That’s a great point.
Patterico isn’t bothering with the bureaucracy because he can just blog about the point, back it up with evidence, and let the facts speak for themselves.
I also agree that wikipedia can be acceptable for non controversial matters, but I don’t like promoting them for this purpose because I think that fools some people into thinking wikipedia is reputable, which it just isn’t.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:13 am
Reason # 3,997 why Wackopedia should not be read.nk (875f57) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:32 am
Well, there’s always the Conservapedia.jasond (0b7791) — 8/28/2012 @ 10:51 am
The liberals rule the place because non-liberals have better things to do than constantly police the entries to make sure it all follows Officially Accepted Liberal Dogma™.
Tnat hits the nail right on the head. I am surprised how often it turns out that the most committed and obnoxious Wikipedia editors are academics, who apparently have nothing better to do than fight to make sure their opinions on a topic are accepted as fact. I used to try to edit Wikipedia pages on topics where I had a level of expertise, but I quickly tired of fighting battles with agenda-driven editors. I mostly use it now when I want to find something that is factually-based, like a historical date or a list of people involved in a particular event.JVW (edec8d) — 8/28/2012 @ 11:07 am
Ironically, the “pro-Brett” crowd on that article apparently prefers for the first sentence to say, “Brett Kimberlin (born 1954) is best known as the perpetrator of the Speedway bombings in 1978.”
Do they think that makes him look better?Joshua (9ede0e) — 8/28/2012 @ 1:05 pm
I’m glad to see you make this post and bring attention to the continued effort to delete and white wash Kimberlin’s Wiki page.Matthew K (bdc827) — 8/28/2012 @ 1:31 pm
It might be noted one problem is that Brett Kimberlin acknowledges the drug dealing, but continues to deny the bombing.
But also shouldn’t the fact he was suspected of murder (albeit not of having personally carried it out) get in there somewhere?Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/28/2012 @ 1:47 pm
Why does Patterico remind me so much of that Assistant DA who kept on stalking and blogging about that gay student president? When I saw the assistant DA on TV I was shocked by how much he appeared himself to be gay or lusting after his nemesis. IT seemed like this assistant DA was projecting all his desires, faults and fears unto this gay Student President.
Seriously, the RNC Convention is occurring this week but if you look at the topics on this blog very little is about the goings on in Tampa but about mundane, whiny stuff.
Last I remember, that vociferous blogging assistant DA that was chasing after the Gay Student President was eventually fired for his obsession with the student president and the student president sued him and won $4.something million in civil court.
Just sayin’ModRepublican (0c4b6b) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:00 pm
You are a liar, Mod. Just sayin’JD (b0764b) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:05 pm
modrepublican, no one is forcing you to read this blog. You clearly hate just about everything about it.
You seem to share the Brett defense force’s interest in costing Brett critics their jobs.
I have no idea why moderepublican would compare a gay student to a convicted bomber and drug smuggler who probably ruined hundreds if not thousands of lives with those drugs. But then, you folks are all nutcases.Dustin (73fead) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:10 pm
So, you’re saying that by stalking various district attorneys, you can somehow turn it into a civil lawsuit that will enable you to retire at a young age ?
If you want free money in exchange for no work, why don’t you just vote for Obama ?Elephant Stone (65d289) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:15 pm
Oh wait. You already plan to do that.
“Modrepublican” (both parts are lies), what is your relationship to Brett Kimberlin and/or Neal Rauhauser? How many degrees of separation exist between you and them?Milhouse (f524b5) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:29 pm
25. Very little is going on in Tampa.Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:40 pm
Sometime about 6 tonight, Mitt Romney will officially become his party’s Presidential nominee.Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/28/2012 @ 2:41 pm
Brett Kimberlin (born 1954) is best known as the perpetrator of the Speedway bombings in 1978. Since his release from prison, Kimberlin has co-founded the non-profit Justice Through Music Project and the activist organization Velvet Revolution. He has also been involved in various legal disputes.
First thing is it’s amazing someone thought enough of this to make a wikipage.
My second thought, that’s not looking good on Brett’s resume.
Ding.papertiger (e55ba0) — 8/28/2012 @ 6:38 pm
James O’KeefeSaveFarris (9d9a63) — 8/29/2012 @ 6:00 am
Wonder what someone would find if they searched the blogs on:
“Just sayin’ ”
Sure sounds familiar.Phillep Harding (1b8b26) — 8/29/2012 @ 12:56 pm
Which, in a nutshell, amply explains not only just how Wikipedia became leftard, but also how and why over the last 50 years liberals have commandeered and now dominate (1) most municipal politics in the US, (2) the K-12 public education system, (3) just about all of post-secondary academia, (4) the mainstream media, and (5) Hollywood.
Conservative were just too busy to get involved I guess.G Joubert (d984c5) — 8/30/2012 @ 10:43 am