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Old 11-28-2017, 01:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Questions about Editing Wikipedia

Has anyone here ever edited Wikipedia pages? I'm curious about your experience.
Did your edits stay or were they removed or overwritten?
What, generally, did you add or edit and why?
How did you go about maintaining your anonymity? Or did you?

I am seriously considering trying to get some additional information added to a Wikipedia page, information I believe necessary for public safety, but I'm scared about doxing myself or repercussions from the subject of the page. I feel super helpless and afraid but at the same time morally obligated and the police have exhausted all their avenues for now. I want to get some information out there but I can't afford even a frivolous or baseless lawsuit. Being right won't help if I'm bankrupt.

Thoughts?

ETA there are other important personal reasons I'd want to remain anonymous while adding this information, it's not just or even likely actually being sued, but let's assume that's my major motivation because I can't be more detailed about the risks without giving away too much.
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Last edited by Pancake; 11-28-2017 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancake View Post
Has anyone here ever edited Wikipedia pages? I'm curious about your experience.
Did your edits stay or were they removed or overwritten?

What, generally, did you add or edit and why?
Yes but only for minor points I wanted to correct. I don't remember checking to see if they remained that I recall.


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How did you go about maintaining your anonymity? Or did you?
That wasn't something I was worried about. You can make changes as anonymous. Or you can make changes with a screen name. So long as the screen name isn't the same as somewhere else you have used it on the web you are anonymous except for your ip address. If you are worried about that, you can use the Tor browser.

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I am seriously considering trying to get some additional information added to a Wikipedia page, information I believe necessary for public safety, but I'm scared about doxing myself or repercussions from the subject of the page. I feel super helpless and afraid but at the same time morally obligated and the police have exhausted all their avenues for now. I want to get some information out there but I can't afford even a frivolous or baseless lawsuit. Being right won't help if I'm bankrupt.

Thoughts?

ETA there are other important personal reasons I'd want to remain anonymous while adding this information, it's not just or even likely actually being sued, but let's assume that's my major motivation because I can't be more detailed about the risks without giving away too much.
The other thing that will give away your anonymity is if you are so specific about what you are talking about that people can figure out its you from what you've written about so that's something to avoid.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I remember when Taco Rubio used to edit wikipedia.

Once he altered a list of events in a year in the 4th century or thereabouts to let people know this was when the bananaphone was created in China.

Unfortunately it was removed after a few days.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have made edits in a few articles. Mostly they are still there. They can track IP addresses so use a library computer and edit anonymously.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Once got into an edit war with the legislative staffer of a Republican state representative who commented that it would be impolite to say "vagina" in mixed company. All I did was add that comment to his page (he said it in context of Michigan's infamous Vaginagate incident of 2012), and the staffer kept taking it down. So I kept putting it back up. Proud to say, it still stands there to this day, and you can see it here. And read a very short edit fight about it here.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been a moderately steady editor of Wikipedia, on and off, less so lately. Maybe a dozen edits a year, down from a peak closer to 100.

Now that I've checked, I see that most of my edits have stayed. They're pretty much non-controversial stuff, clarifying technical details, adding references, fixing broken links. No edit wars that I can remember.

I have used my real name on my edits.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have only done very minor edits. I think I edited a comic character who was referenced in an Agents of SHIELD episode to add the reference and added a photo of a local business that had a page but no photo.

I believe both are still there but I never followed up. I want to say someone with better knowledge of Wikipedia cleaned up the photo posting.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancake View Post
Has anyone here ever edited Wikipedia pages? What, generally, did you add or edit and why?
A little on Wikipedia itself over the years, but at the level of two books-in-progress on the Wikibooks sister site:

Space Transport & Engineering Methods

Seed Factories

Check any page in those books, and you will find my username. Why is to give back to the next generation of engineers.


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Did your edits stay or were they removed or overwritten?
That depends entirely on if it is subjective content, and if a wiki-nerd has adopted the subject as their private fiefdom. Nobody cares if I update the version number and release date of some piece of software to the current values. If I was foolish enough to wade into a political article (I'm not) it would very likely be reverted (edit undone).

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How did you go about maintaining your anonymity? Or did you?
I don't. I have a bio page with my real life info.

Quote:
I am seriously considering trying to get some additional information added to a Wikipedia page, information I believe necessary for public safety, but I'm scared about doxing myself or repercussions from the subject of the page.
The Wikipedia mantra is "citation required". Stuff you know about from personal experience isn't considered valid, even if the article is about themselves, for a famous person. A link to a newspaper article, or published source online is considered valid.

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I feel super helpless and afraid but at the same time morally obligated and the police have exhausted all their avenues for now. I want to get some information out there but I can't afford even a frivolous or baseless lawsuit. Being right won't help if I'm bankrupt.
If the police are involved, Wikipedia isn't the right place to release information. The news media have tip lines, and Pastebin.com has often been used to post information anonymously. The advice others have given about doing it from an internet cafe, etc is good. Post the info on Pastebin, then point a reporter at it as a tip. You can include pointers to the police case so they can verify it.
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do not talk about my editing experiences on Wikipedia...because it might out me...
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I updated some stuff about U2 and it has stayed and I did not have any real issues, but your topic seems much stickier than the history of an irish rock band. It sounds important to you though, so maybe take Veritable's advice and hit the library.
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