Friday, May 29, 2009

Scientology Banned from Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee has voted to permanently block any edits to the free encyclopedia from IP addresses known to belong to the Church of Scientology or its associates. Apparently, Scientologists have been consistently trying to scrub information critical of the cult from Wikipedia, violating the website’s policy toward promoting only factual, referenced, and unbiased information. However, anyone who’s read Wikipedia can tell you that many articles obviously contain all sorts of biased and baseless edits. For quite a while, the entry on the Apollo 11 moon landing was altered to cast doubt on whether the event actually happened, inserting conditional phrases like “according to NASA…”. Still, the user-run community of editors is usually able to weed out bad information from the site very quickly. According to the ArbCom, Scientologists were abusing the system so much and so often that banning their IP addresses was the only to stop them. But even though it’s fairly well known that the cult has official policies relating to censoring information critical of Scientology, it’s also worth noting that Wikipedia has previously banned anti-Scientology editors from altering entries with biased language and baseless information. So it goes both ways. Though, obviously, Wikipedia is an evil organization bent on preventing Scientologists from exercising their religious right to lie about things online. Hey, I didn’t write that last sentence! What the hell? More details here.

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