Wikipedia, Alek Boyd and the “truth”

June 30, 2009

Alek Boyd has been trying to insert into Wikipedia’s section on “Criticism of Hugo Chavez”, the following paragraph:

Hugo Chavez has expressed in no uncertain terms his support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). High officials of the Chavez administration, such as Ramón Rodríguez Chacín have been accused by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of “materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities of the FARC”. [81] Hugo Chavez held a minute of silence [82] over the assassination of Raúl Reyes, about whom he referred to as a “good revolutionary” and whose death prompted Chavez to push Venezuela and Colombia to the brink of war. [83] This was not the first time that Chavez would bring relations with Colombia to a standstill over the FARC. In 2004, Chavez halted diplomatic and commercial relations with Colombia over the capture, in the streets of Caracas, of FARC leader Rodrigo Granda.[84]

However, the Editors of Wikipedia want to remove it and Alek has been fighting over it. As you can see here, Alek’s arguments with the so called editors are absolutely bizarre. Alek documents each accusation and after all, it is a section about Criticism of Hugo Chavez. Moreover, despite claims to work with him, they don’t get back to him.

Remember this next time you use or read a Wikipedia entry.

16 Responses to “Wikipedia, Alek Boyd and the “truth””

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  2. Gringo Says:

    T.I.G.O.T’s point about directly quoting Chavez is a good one. There are certainly plenty of Chavista effusions posted on YouTube and on Spanish and English text sources. My guess is that if someone posts a translation of Chavez from YouTube or a Spanish text source, that Wikipedia will reply that the translation needs to be done by a certified translator. A certified translator who is concidentally also an employee of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

  3. Syd Says:

    Bravo, Tigot. “Give me the exact words, not someone’s opinion of what those words mean, and don’t try to interpret them yourself.” Too much me-ism and too few quotes/sourced facts, as said/occurred reduces overall credibility.

  4. paul Says:

    I managed to get a fair amount in on the discussion page for Chavez under an “an extraordinary read”. But you should see the pages on finance, they are awful. So keep it in context. Anytime someone tries to write something on finance they are accused of propaganda. Read the details and background of some of the people who do actually post on finance- what a joke. Those that should be writing on subjects must take one look at it and think forget it-I will just have intellectual pygmies delete my work or edit it for their ignorant thinking. The real danger is that is that Google on search lists those pages high as a point of reference!

  5. FC Says:

    I agree that non-controversial topics on Wikipedia can be useful, and some of them are well documented with references to other sites, magazines and books. I always see WP as a starting point.

    As for truthful or not, that very same argument can be made about anything on the web and to a further extent to any published media. Pick your poison I say.

    In any case, I can’t waste my time on Venezuelan wiki entries, Chavistas have FAR FAR more free time on their hands and I don’t want to spend 90% of my waking hours “defending” an article. If smart people can’t see through the propaganda and exercise critical thinking then they deserve to have the wool pulled over their eyes.

  6. Kepler Says:

    I think TIGOT is right on that, to some extent. There is also an administrator in English called Sally, US American who is very interested in Venezuela and who has done a lot to keep the “rescue” many Venezuela-related articles.

  7. T.I.G.O.T. Says:

    Although I certainly think the wikipedia editor’s “arguments” are borderline laughable if not worse, I must say that Alek pulled a Hondurean here (right idea, poor execution).

    Even if everything written is factual, the wording makes it sound extremely biased. Remember the “Usted lo vio” segments in Globovision (do they still do that?)? Follow that lead. Simply state the facts, and specially use Chavez’s own words against him. What did Chavez say and do when RR got killed? Give me the exact words, not someone’s opinion of what those words mean, and don’t try to interpret them yourself. What exactly did he say when the whole Granda ordeal? What did he say when Clara Rojas was rescued? And when Ingrid Betancourt was rescued? Has he ever used the word “hostage” to refer to the FARK hostages or not? What arguments did he use when he tried to convince everyone that the FARK are just misunderstood freedom fighters? What does he say when confronted with all the crap that the FARK does? What about the Tirofijo statue?

    Of course, doing this won’t make it more likely to get it posted on WP, but it’s always amusing to have the PSFs say “well, that’s what Chavez said, but that’s not what he really meant to say.”

  8. Roberto Says:

    It’s all your fault, Kepler. Can’t you keep those “teutones” in order? 🙂

  9. Kepler Says:

    Oh, those Germans…it seems as if most German-speaking people interested in Venezuela are Eurokinder who wear Che Guevara badges while traveling around the world thanks to the euros provided by their daddies working for BMW and Bayer. Those are the same who have no bloody clue of Eastern Germany.

    Have you seen the article about Primero de Justicia?

    I actually created the article for the PSUV as
    “Sozialistische Einheitspartei Venezuelas” to show the parallel with the SED. It did not last.
    Now enter that and see how it is redirected and read the comment

    “Vereinigte Sozialistische Partei Venezuelas
    aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie
    (Weitergeleitet von Sozialistische Einheitspartei Venezuelas)

  10. zamuro Says:

    german wikipedia entries about venezuelan topics are mostly based on leftist propaganda that do nothing more than repeating what the revolution says on abn and vtv.

    i have already suggested a correction of the entry on bolivarian missions as its “achievement” section is based on very weak (lack of objectivity, measurability) sources. the hard line nostalgics appear to form a strong pro chavista lobby in germany (& at, ch).

  11. veneco Says:

    Sorry, I posted my latest comment on the wrong thread.

  12. veneco Says:

    For spanish readers, read the whole crisis developement.

    Apparently, this Zelaya guy is like a spoiled kid who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

  13. jrsam Says:

    Interesting that RutgerH strives to discredit the authenticity/integrity of the laptops using an argument that INTERPOL has explicity rebutted in a document available to the public on their website. INTERPOL states categorically that they have verfied to their satisfaction that the laptops and memory devices and the documents contained in them did belong to Reyes and were recovered at the site of the raid and that the while disks were accessed NO content was altered, deleted or added during the initial three days when they were held in casual custody. INTERPOL further states that all of this was of primary importance in the investigation.

    The irony of his snide-swipe about “actually reading” has me choking on laughter that doesn’t seem to want to stop. The delusion and disingenuous of these chavista propogandists is mind-boggling.

  14. Nur_Ich Says:

    I actually have talked aboutt hat some days ago with my wife showing her in the german wikipedia the article about Venezuela. The section about alimentation, wich in spanish has some nice meals we eat here (Pabellon etc), the german version has 3 paragraphs :

    There is Mercal
    There are “Casas de alimentacion” organized by neighbors in a barrio for the habitants of the barrios
    There is free alimentation in public schools

    Does this sound like a interesting or neutral for somebody, who wants to look up some informations about Venezuela before actually flying here ?

    Another example is my legendary discussion about the amount of Chavistas in a rally some years ago, where the source claimed, that tere have been 2 million Chavistas in Av. Bolivar in Caracas. I even went so far to calculate, how many people actually fit into the street, but that is no argument for a real PSF in WP, since this is just a theory (i kid you not!) and WP is about facts with sources…

    I actually gave up to write there.
    The Hugo Chavez page in german actually loks like the head quearter of the PSUV, i would love to see Kepler rampaging through it, lol

  15. Deanna Says:

    I actually don’t use Wikipedia because I don’t believe that some of their entries are truthful or useful.

  16. Gringo Says:

    For non-controversial topics Wikipedia is good. Here is a record of the discussion of the murder rate for Venezuela, which is decidedly controversial topic. At one time it listed the murder rate in the 60s.

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