John Paul, aka JP, adds his experiences to the discussion of Wikipedia bias and ethics, broached yesterday in his Comment of the Day to Item #2 of the post, “Mid-Day Ethics Mop-Up, 7/15/2021: Trump Derangement, Wikipedia, And Fact-Checking”:
“While I know I am not the best writer, I like to consider myself a studious person. But this was done through some rather painstaking classes I had to take in undergraduate and graduate classes. One of those classes was Scripture Interpretation. It is by far the hardest class I took in undergrad. My professor spent the first two weeks, making sure we knew how to do proper research. It was there I first learned (2005 I think) about Wikipedia. He said, it was not a site to be trusted and would not be considered useful for the course. This peeked my curiosity. So I went in during his office hours to asked him why. He told me: Go down to the men’s bathroom down the hall, use the last stall on the right, then come back and tell him what I saw.
“This was a rather strange request to tell me why I shouldn’t trust a website, but I figured he must have had a point, so down I went to the empty bathroom, found the stall, looked in it and saw what was a rather normal looking stall. Confused, I looked around the toilet, checked the toilet paper holder, looked up at the ceiling, found nothing. I was about to admit defeat when It occur to me to check the back of the door. It was there I found numerous jokes about a particular student (just one). There must have been quite a few. Mostly, they were told in the Chuck Norris style of jokes like “God said, let there be light” and X says, “Say please.” There were attempts to fix this problem with obvious layers of paint, but it was a band aid to a persistent problem.
“So I went back and old him what I found. He then pulled up the Wikipedia for our school and there with information about our school were the same jokes about the same student found in the stall. The site used his first and last name. The professor told me that no matter how many times and has changed it himself, he keeps encountering the same problem. The site and the bathroom keep popping up with the same lewd comments and jokes.