Wikipedia is engaging in deliberate policy of stealth plagiarism of my work, and that of other experts, on the basis that experts are scum!
Stop Wikipedia's Stealth Plagiarism
In a blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago I bust the then universally held myth that Richard Dawkins coined the phrase ‘selfish gene .Within two weeks of my unique mythbusting, Wikipedia sneakily changed its own perpetration of that myth by simply changing the word “coined” to “used” . And yet Wikipedia made zero reference to my blog as the source of their correction. I put a postscript on my selfish gene myth blog post showing what the encyclopedia did, and you can read it here along with my comments on the problems that such secret editing causes for scholars studying how myths and fallacies are spread.
Essentially, Wikipedia is not only failing to attribute the hard work of expert scholars who bust myths, in doing so it is effectively taking credit for discovering that information, which is an act plagiarism. Moreover, by this device, Wikipedia is also hiding its trail of involvement in spreading the original myth.
Today, a colleague came into my office to inform me that Wikipedia has plagiarized my myth busting again. This time in relation to my unique busting of the Moral Panic Myth
It took me minutes to discover that a so called ‘master editor’ Wikipedian recently deleted the link that someone had inserted to that Best Thinking paper, which uniquely bust the moral panic myth, and yet he/she then sneakily plagiarized it on the Wikipedia Moral Panic page itself. Consequently, Wikipedia now has no reference to my paper as the source of unique new information that neither Professor Stan Cohen, nor Jock Young, nor Marshal McLuhan actually coined the phrase ‘moral panic’. And yet before I bust that myth Wikipedia, along with thousands of other publications and websites, was credulously spreading it!
The rationale for plagiarizing experts – by passing off their work as the work of Wikipedia - is twofold. Rationale One can be found behind the scenes on Wikipedia’s edits page (here) as: “bestthinking.com does not count as a reliable source” (note: scroll down to 26th January 2013 to find it)
And the second reason: Rationale Two for plagiarizing my work is to be found in that master editor Wikipedians profile. Apparently it is because as an expert I am scum.
Here is his, and presumably Wikipedias, stealth-plagiarism philosophy from the site itself:
'The Wikipedia philosophy can be summed up thusly: "Experts are scum." For some reason people who spend 40 years learning everything they can about, say, the Peloponnesian War -- and indeed, advancing the body of human knowledge -- get all pissy when their contributions are edited away by Randy in Boise who heard somewhere that sword-wielding skeletons were involved. And they get downright irate when asked politely to engage in discourse with Randy until the sword-skeleton theory can be incorporated into the article without passing judgment.'
Most ironically – having plagiarized my Best Thinking article – Wikipedia’s rationalization for doing so is that Best Thinking is not a reliable source and that as an expert I am scum. Well now, they say that uneducated Americans don’t get irony, this is certainly not dis-confirming evidence for that claim. How about plagiarism, do uneducated Wikipedians get that? How about Wikipedia being an unreliable source and then hiding that fact every time it gets caught in myth spreading. How about Wikipedia plagiarizing other people's work in order to hide its dreadful unreliability by operating a policy that they do not need to reference the author if she/he published the exact same new information that they have taken from that author's work, in order to correct their own errors, on the basis that the author's publication platform that published the information is deemed unreliable by Wikipedia?
Wikipedia's psychopathic self-serving stealth plagiarism policy is that if unique information discovered by an author is reliable and valuable enough to plagiarize, because it is essential to correct Wikipedia's own errors, then that author and originator should not be cited if Wikipedia's rules state that the site where the author published the unique information, from which they just plagiarized the author's work, is an unreliable source of such information.
Wikipedia's institutional practice of stealth plagiarism is unethically Kafkaesque and is in fact underpinned by psychopathic thinking.
So who is scum now Wikipedia - or should it be Psycopedia, Plagipedia perhaps or even Kafkapedia?
The Unintended Consequences of Wikipedia’s Plagiarism Practices
I have uniquely bust several myths here on best thinking. They are as follows:
- The Spinach Popeye Iron Decimal Place Error Supermyth
- The Booze Down the Boots Bootlegging Myth
- The Black Market Myth
- The Moral Panic Myth
- Google finds the original Google
- The Warren Harding Founding Fathers Myth
- The Zombie Cop Supermyth
- The Crime Opportunity Myth
- The Semmelweis Supermyth
- The Robert Merton Mythbust
- The Selfish Gene Myth is Busted
I have been more than happy to freely disseminate this information into the public domain for zero financial reward. However, my motivation for spending many thousands of hours that I have devoted to busting these pernicious myths is that I at least be attributed as the originator of the mythbusting.
Wikipedia’s policy of institutional stealth plagiarism means now that other authors will take the new information that I have provided and weave it into their own published work in the academic and popular press and then be falsely invented as originators.
I currently have a triple A-Z of 100 per cent irrefutable, because they are fully evidenced by the publication record, busted myths. My intention was to release one a month here on Best Thinking. However, the fact that Wikipedia is stealing the efforts of my labours and treating it as though its own editors are the mythbusters means that I cannot now do so.
I used to support Wikipedia with financial contributions. I will now cease to do so until they publically guarantee that they will cease plagiarising the unique and original work of sceptics and mythbusters.
Wikipedia’s stealth plagiarism policies and practices have effectively created an enabling environment for the perpetuation of unreliable information and the dissemination of myths and fallacies.
This is a new hi-tech problem in need of a new solution
Although Wikipedia is not untypical of the entire encyclopaedia industry in terms of profiteering from stealth plagiarism of the original work of mythbusters, the issue is now a serious problem due to the fact that we have the internet hosting online encyclopaedias that are under constant revision.
In the past, mythbusting originators had a clear hard-copy publication record to prove that they had got their first, because the encyclopaedias could only plagiarise their work from a mythbuster's published traditional, hard copy, books that clearly preceded the encyclopaedia. Today, Wikipedia needs to adopt a more ethical practice than the traditional encyclopaedia industry. If it fails to do so then it is going to halt the ability of the internet to allow veracity to overcome fallacy at a greater rate than was previously possible. That surely is not something that Wikipedia is supposed to do, is it?
You will see here that Wikipedia official editors removed the reference to my unique publication here on Best Thinking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic
And the rationale behind failing to credit the sources of the latest information that they took from my work on Best Thinking is Wikipedia's hypocritically self-serving policy that : “bestthinking.com does not count as a reliable source.” That's just a policy designed for psychopaths who enjoy editing to do as they please.
If you click here http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Moral_panic&action=history
and scroll down to 26th January 2013 you will see that a Wikipedian known as Dreamguy was given the ability and authority to commit this plagiarism. If you scroll all the way down to the references on this now deleted information you will see that someone did originally reference me on Best Thinking as the original source of the myth bust
Finally, on the current page (9th April 2013) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic you will see that Wikipedia has removed my name and my Best Thinking article as the source of the myth bust but kept the results of my original myth busting contained therein. That is blatant plagiarism!
References to my plagiarized work
Sutton, M. (2013) The British Moral Panic Creation Myth is Bust. Best Thinking.com. January 15th 2013 http://www.bestthinking.com/articles/science/social_sciences/sociology/the-british-moral-panic-creation-myth-is-bust
Sutton, M. (2013) The Selfish Gene Myth is bust. Best Thinking.com. Mar. 5, 2013 5:24 pm http://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=20445%2c20445