Wikipedia Disturbing Listings that Shouldn't Be?!!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Supa_Fly, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. Supa_Fly macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #1
    Ok before reading what I'm about to post, I want you to understand that first I am a compassionate human being, and also in NO way mean to offend anyone! So please keep on open mind.

    Since WWDC 05, with Steve Jobs mention of wikipedia, I decided to take a look. Wow, I'm amazed at how great the majority of the content within is and how accurate it is. Surfing the internet for all my interests lately has been extremely boring - that happens with insomnia & way too much time on my hands.

    I came across a subtle thought today, considering the latest London terrorist attacks (my heart felt sorrows goes out to all family's affected, as I too worry of my family there). I decided that so much issues with the world begin with greed, power, and most saddening; the basics of ignorance no matter how small or big or what topic it regards. Because of how blind ignorance is and how it narrows ones' ability to allow - man I just forgot the perfect word here - compassion (?) for openning to differences, causes so much destruction. So I decided to search for one, just one derogatory word. One that has caused me so much pain & sorry in my childhood. A word that even amongst my more, shall I say vocally-accented peers, have caused them not even to see me as equal when the word was used to group us as less than human. A word that was used to class me, amongst others, as property, something almost inanimate, lack of rights, lack of equality, lack of identity, a word that coincided with branding my class with surnames to show everlasting ownership. An insult that even caused me to feel, no, wish I wasnt who everyone first sees of me from afar before meeting me & speaking with me. :mad: :( (this last icon is supposed to represent tears).

    I know that I'm not allowed to even post such a word, even though I am of this class & can prove it with photos or even my post in a thread long ago concerning this word. So I cannot. BUT you should be able to figure out what the insulting, degrading, hateful word is ... and if not I praise you for being so open and having the pleasure of living in an environment up till now that sheltered you from having knowledge of this word.

    Now if your of any other class/race of the human world, please do a search on wikipedia.com and see how accurate the meaning of derrogatory terms of your class/race is. Still read it openly before letting too much emotion get over your human ability to think.

    I do hope that I have all of your attention. In this day and age were all of us; regardless of societal class/race, color, or creed ..... we are all HUMAN BEINGS 1st and foremost. We all require oxygen, food, water to live. We all need emotional attention, attachments, gratification to interact & be emotionally intact. We all need education, and the challenge to progress our minds to truely thrive in this plane of existence. So why in this world of technological advance, with the internet as the source of communication, knowledge, and entertainment do we need an encyclopedia, a web-based one that contains derrogatory words that caused so much pain and seperation between humans for century's?!!! I cant say that I've met anyone in my childhood years - in a well rounded cultural environment & in every school that I've attended - that has come across a derrogatory word that they didnt know that they couldnt ask someone or their parents the meaning. And on top of that from either their parents - if they were open minded - or their peers - again open minded - not to use such derrogatory insults. I cant say I've come across an adult that couldnt do the same; asking their peers what an unknown to them, derrogatory insult word means and come to the conclusion also not to use it (unless they are incapable of being open minded & mature to correct wrongful thinking).

    When I look on wikipedia.com to try to edit, contact some form of administrator, or even request to vote a particular page deleted; its so arcane that its ridulous! I've gotta be some hacker or programmer just to do anything that I mentioned in this paragraph. *sighs* :(

    And to make this worse, the word is mostly historically linked with hiphop rappers using the word, and some book, I think by Edgar Allen Poe?, whom portrays a character of my class using it but not another character whom doesn't. Mostly to show how common place in todays culture its used amongs my class/race peers. Yet it fails to show the lengthy history of its usuage, how it was supposed to be wrongful to be used in this day and age. It doesnt even recognize it as being WRONG, just controversial!!! WTF?! This isnt 1940 or 1853!!!

    Sorry everyone for the long post. I just wanted to show my discontent at the advancement of the internet in this particular area, along with a slight rant. I'm so upset that I forgot to look for information of just the history of my class/race in wikipedia to see if that too is vague.

    Thank you everyone for being so open minded, patient and even reading this far. Many many thanks and peace be to you.

    PS. attached is myself with my two lovely, kids.
     

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  2. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #2
    Cute family you've got there. I haven't tried editing anything on wikipedia yet, but I have found a lot of useful information on there, so I definately think it is a valuable resource. You might want to look at the Contact page for information on contacting someone about offensive posts.
     
  3. Supa_Fly thread starter macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #3
    Thank you. That means a lot, honestly. Unless my eyes are really bad - I havent been getting any sleep for 36hrs straight, and its a recurring cycle this past 2 months - there no1 to contact. Its seems like a do it yourself sort of adjustment until you've done something really bad & an IP needs to be banned. I myself would have to do extensive research which I fear would take months and although beneficial to me and many others I still dont think it would be entirely accurate. Of no doubt the site is incredibly useful! I'm just thinking that derrogatory words shouldnt have a place in an online encyclopedia. It just doesnt advance anyone with knowledge of such things. Unless that is me showing my ignorance? Hmm. something I may have to ponder for a while.
     
  4. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #4
    Yeah, now you're getting into the question of "Is it better to protect people from this or to educate them about it and hope they will be stronger people because of it." It's a tough decision, especially when you have young children. You always want to keep them safe. I don't know if you saw it, but there is a Votes for deletion page. While you're not actually communicating with anyone per se, it will get your opinion out there, and hopefully others will see and communication can start. It seems that the decentralized running of wikipedia can be both a blessing and a curse.
     
  5. dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #5
    I don't see the problem with it... They cover every aspect of it, and noted the fact that it is offensive/racist in english countries multiple times.

    You can't make the word disappear. IMO the wikipedia entry is professional and complete.

    You really shouldn't get so worked-up about it, the reason they don't let anybody edit it is so that some jerk doesn't come along and deface it (which we could all sadly see happen).
     
  6. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #6
    The point of wikipedia is that they do let anybody edit it. See How to edit a page.
     
  7. Supa_Fly thread starter macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #7
    Man, you hit it on the button. Thats how I feel about. Dead on. My eyes were shut about it until now.

    @dermeister, I'm worked up for the quote I posted above yours that wrc_fan posted. I'm more bothered because reading the entire article shows that, NO, it doesnt state it is offensive/racist outright. I lists:

    None of these sentences, when searched by the word racist, lists the word in question as FACT= Racist. Considered as racist doesnt make it racist as a fact. The phrase Racist Nature comes close but isnt listed as FACT of using, such word, as racist. Unless its the way the English language is used in this article, playing with the meaning of words in a sentence, especially when describing another word, the word in question here, changes the perception of said word. (Man, reading what I just typed seriously sounds weird and hurts my head at 4:47am EST, lol)

    This is the closest this entire article comes to listing this word as in FACT=RACIST as you've put it, and how I hope the article would as well.

    PS. I dont want to seem like I'm gunning anyone down, nor do I think that this is the only 'forbidden' word in today's world, nor do I think black's were the only slaves. As I mentioned before many other derrogatory words SHOULDNT be used or even listed in an online, worldwide accessible encyclopedia. But since my rebuttal with dermeister (I read that name wrong @ first seeing in my mind as determeister, sorry), and helpful insight by wrc_fan; maybe having it there is beneficial. If others do see it this way, thats fine, but I think it should be linked to black history - in this specific case, in other cases linked respectively to further open the shut eyes of others reading other derrogatory listings on wikipedia.


    Thanks everyone, I'm feeling a lot better about this.
     
  8. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #8
    I sympathize with you, but still don't think you have the only answer to what is a fact and what is not. No-one has. And censorship is not the way to go. If you cannot discuss something in public, then we're on a very dangerous path.

    I just browsed through the N-word article on Wikipedia, and if anyone reads through that and don't understand that this word is both offensive and that use of it will be understood as racist, those are kind of slow, you cannot be much clearer than: "N..." is almost always pejorative or suspect when used by nonblacks in America. That the article also discusses difference in opinion does not influence this, and for an objective article these views has to be mentioned, too.

    Many articles on Wikipedia about controversial issues are marked as such. This article is not labeled as "disputed" and based on the content, even if it mentions controversial and maybe even disturbing things, I don't see any reason for disputing it. It actually covers most sides of the issue quite well, and seems to be quite factual.
     
  9. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #9
    I agree with Mitthrawnuruodo. Honest discussion, education and information will always be more beneficial than elimination. Understanding that others have different viewpoints and opinions is part of the education process. That is where dialogue comes into play.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  10. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #10
    WP:NPOV helps to explain why articles on Wikipedia are written in such a seemingly peculiar way.
     
  11. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #11
    The article says, Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view: without bias, representing all views fairly. According to Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable".

    While this is a high ideal, I doubt any of us can achieve complete neutrality in our thinking and eliminate all bias. I'm sure that is why there are checks and balances on Wikipedia.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  12. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #12
    Yep. There are lots of avenues there for working out disagreements if editors can't come to a solution on their own.
     
  13. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #13
    I'm really sorry people used this term against you, however, I agree with the majority here, that freedom of speech based on factual information is the way forward. The article has been lain out in such a manor that the reader realises how 1) it was a term for a black person 2) older generations may be used to the word and still use it, not intending offense and 3) it is more or less offensive to use it today, thus any reader would be advised not to use it.

    I think it's very important to document historical and modern day contemporary issues so that future generations won't make the same mistakes. By censoring the information in documents you only lay yourself open to attack.

    Perhaps because of the way I've been brought up, but I never ever see people differently. I can't stand all this positive discrimination rubbish because at the end of the day it is still discrimination. One should be chosen for their qualities not for their race, sex or otherwise.

    Not having a rant against you Prom1, just I don't like all this *****-footing around when it comes to the english language. A black person is a black person. A fat person is a fat person. A tall, short, thin, orange, two headed person is just that. They're not called adjectives for nothing. I don't understand why people are afraid to say something like, "that's my sister, the one standing next to the black guy" people rarely say it but it's only this tabooing which is making it racist or prejudice. Fat isn't offensive, fat people, I am myself, just make it offensive by expressing annoyance. Most fat people have only themselves to blame so if they don't like being called fat in the non offensive adjectival way, do something about it. Of course this all changes if you get some ****-hole who uses it offensively, e.g. "Oi, fatty get over here".

    I'm sure I'll get flamed, for what I think is the truth, just a lot of people are afraid to admit it.

    Prom1 as the bible says, turn the other cheek, put behind you what they used to call you as God wont judge you, only those who have.
     
  14. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #14
    As some others expressed, I do not see a problem with the article. An old saying is: "ignorance is bliss". Maybe for a small child but not for older, more mature adults. I say this because racism is a large part of world history. As an American it is extremely embarrassing that such a civilized culture conducted slavery for so long. It is even more embarrassing that we have all types of discrimination across the country. If I could change it I would. But since I can't, I'm not going to ignore it. It has to be recognized. By showing the mistakes of the past, hopefully we can have a better future.

    My great-grand parents came to Ellis Island from Italy and many slurs were created to offend them (obviously not as severe as the slurs created for African-Americans, but none the less I despise the words). I would never want these words to be stricken from a complete encyclopedia or history book. I would never use them and I would correct anyone who used them in front of me, but none the less they are part of my history. They help express the trials and tribulations my family struggled though for 3 generations to give me a happy, content, and wonderful life. I don't know your personal family history, but I hope you feel the same.
     
  15. Supa_Fly thread starter macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #15
    Excellent reply's thank you all.

    I dont have the definative answer, but in this day and age this word shouldnt be left to opinion whether or not its racist. Discussion is good, and so far I'm pleased nothing insultive by anyone here has arrisen thus far. Shows the intelligence of the Mac community is very warm. :)

    The quote you choose lists this as ALMOST always pejorative & lists it as 'or suspect' which by definition, suspect isnt a confirmed thing but something left to discussion. Nobody could be slow not to see this either. Leaving such a hateful word to opinion and not listing it as fact=racist; is disconcerning to say the least (amongst other racial slurs which I dont use).

    Indeed this covers both sides of people using it very well, but not quite as indepth as it could be. And by you mentioning 'seems quite factual' again is your opinion but based on my personal experiences - being both the receiving end of racial intent of using this word (as its origin) and using it amongst my peers inn my early years - this gives the thought of the word not being fully represented indepth. Researching American history will show how much more destructive this word is; something wikipedia left out. I wish submitting new info would be easier as I'm a loss at how to implement the sites instructions.



    My issue is that the article isnt definative of the word being racist. You've highlighted what I mean by this quote; the wording leaves this word as an opinion, not listed as a fact racist, and therefore observation by some, non-blacks, to see it as opinion -> which causes more harm that good.


    Thanks. However on your point# 3 the article doesnt advise it not to be used today as it would be in direct violation of iMeowbot's link; another reason I feel it serves no real purpose to be listed at all along with other racial terms pertaining to ANY race.


    A person after my own heart, and this is how Ive been raised and continue to be raised. However, I was thinking that the see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil may have been better for the newer generation. Oh yeah almost forgot no offense taking SpaceMagic, I still eye to ey e with you on a black person is black, not Afro-American or Afro-Spanish or whatever. btw the article briefly links to this. And I just begun to read the bible. I'll admit when things get extremely hot I believe in God or the blessing of my children but in devastating tragedys like genocide or bombings like in England of recent or 9-11 I question. I'm still in Genesis.

    I very much feel the pain that your family has caused. In no way could I feel or think that one racial slur is more or less offensive than another! Racial slurs - that term also bothers me


    I did a quick search and came across this link ; Historical Link Related to Subject Mods (MODS, a caution of this link that may be offense but its directly related to this topic. I wanted to use this to further highlight why I feel the word in question is negative. As a precaution please remove the link as you seem fit, but only after say a 48hr time period, please to let those already participating in this discussion, intelligently I might add, can review it. Thank you very much).

    Also do a wikipedia search for the word White. Under Usuage, symbolism, colloquial expressions the 6th point lists what most of us would find in any paper back printing of the dictionary, but highlighted more intensely. In Wikipedia not so, good for them. Now do the same for the word Black; and under Usage, symbolism, colloquial expressions you'll find just as extensively what you'll find in any dictionary - printed. A very big disparity. The reason I bring this up is I feel to better highlight the N-word as being FACT=Racist (again just as ANY other terms of disparagement) and maybe should be linked in wikipedia; what do you think about this suggestion?

    Lastly I would like to thank all of your compassion & helpful insight. If someone knows how to make suggestions in wikipedia, I would be appreciative if you see my view of opinions, the more recent onces, to change the wikipedia article to make those suggestions on my behalf. I know I'm going against the majority here. But always remember that any term of disparagement is negative and causes hurt beyond the given moment. It can even affect ones self worth or even cause them to question the validity of their existence. Using any of these words - terms of disparagement (I wikied that too so I'm still constantly learning ;) ) or racial slurs - is destructive and I wouldnt wish any to be called out to anyone nor on my worst enemy.
     
  16. Switzermac macrumors regular

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    #16
    many sites which are user contributed are like that
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    I don't know how much clearer they could have made it. The offending word is on Wikipedia's disturbingly long list of ethnic slurs.

    I think the problem with Wikipedia listing the word as strictly offensive has to do with it's use in the American black's vocabulary. The reason they can't say it offends everyone is precisely because the community it offends has adopted it's use amongst themselves. Wikipedia makes quite clear that it's use is not tolerated from people outside the race, however.

    Actually, perusing the list is quite insightful. It's interesting to see just how many ways there are for people to insult other people. From a linguistic perspective, it's fascinating.

    Also I'd be curious as to how balanced Wikipedia has to be. Do they have to provide space to people who say the Holocaust never happened, just to be neutral? Does neutrality ever involve putting a value judgment on the truth of a position?
     
  18. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #18
    Ok, you know that some people are too touchy when characters from The Simpsons are considered offensive:
    :rolleyes: :D
     
  19. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #19
    The question is really, how difficult is it to ignore it? There will always be smallminded people with ignorant attitudes. As long as these people don't write the laws, and aren't allowed to act out their beliefs. Other than that, free speech is no technicality, they have every right to say those things-- especially on a wiki, which has the express purpose of displaying user input. That said, I do think it's idiotic to hijack wikipedia articles like this, but put it in perspective. Speaking as a gay person, with experience dealing with the Westboro Baptist Church: ignoring it is the best way to deal with it.

    edit: oops, i didn't realize it was a list of racial slurs. That one shouldn't even be offensive, it's academic.
     

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