woensdag 6 mei 2009

Wikipedia en het Midden-Oosten conflict

 
Via Wikipedia worden propaganda-oorlogen gevoerd zoals via alle andere media. Israel-Palestina is één van de heetste strijdtonelen, maar evengoed wordt geruzied over bijvoorbeeld de status van de West-Sahara, Tibet en Taiwan. Globalisme, postmodernisme en cultuurrelativisme slaan makkelijk door naar waardevrijheid en waardeloosheid, waarin zaken als Holocaustontkenning door sommigen als legitiem standpunt kunnen worden geponeerd.
 
Activisten kunnen anderzijds bij onvoldoende weerwoord of gewoon onoplettendheid hun politieke agenda erdoor krijgen, en de waan van de dag wint het geregeld van de wetenschappelijk verantwoorde afstandelijkheid. Zo wordt een omstreden historicus als de communist Ilan Pappe, momenteel erg trendy bij radicaal-links, in Wikipedia regelmatig als 'gerespecteerde bron' geciteerd, terwijl 'zionistische bronnen' vaak als verdacht en partijdig worden geweigerd.

Wouter
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Last update - 08:14 04/05/2009      
Wikipedia editors: Coverage of Israel 'problematic'
By Cnaan Liphshiz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1082777.html

 
Wikipedia's coverage of Israel-related issues is "problematic," leading Israeli internet researchers claimed Sunday at the Wikipedia Academy 2009 Conference dealing with the world's largest encyclopedia. The conference was organized by Wikimedia's volunteer-based Israel chapter and Tel Aviv University's Netvision Institute for Internet Studies. However, the Web site's leading manager said it merely reflected public discourse.

In demonstrating what he defined as problems, Eli Hacohen, the Institute's director, showed how Hamas is not defined as a terrorist organization in the first paragraph describing the organization on the English site of the reader-edited online encyclopedia, which is the world's fourth most popular Web site.

Hacohen also documented his attempts to define Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a Holocaust-denier. Each time he included his remarks on Wikipedia, users and editors removed the reference - despite Ahmadinejad's frequent and public Holocaust denials.
 
On a related entry, Hacohen also noted that Wikipedia defines David Irving - a known Holocaust denier - as a historian, although his credentials are recognized by no one but himself. Furthermore, the Wikipedia entry on January's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza describes it as an "intense bombardment" by Israel on a civilian population.

Dror Kamir, a leading Israeli Wikipedia promoter, showed how Lod is not listed as a city in Israel in Wikipedia's Arabic-language version.

Also attending the conference, which discussed Wikipedia's role in academia, was Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia. Gardner told Haaretz that she is "quite comfortable" with the mistakes on the Web site. "I know that more or less the same mistakes can be found in the New York Times," she explained.

Before her address at the conference, she defined Wikipedia as a "just another mainstream news medium." Wikipedia, Gardner said, "will never say anything as Wikipedia. It will only quote relatively well-respected sources, including other media. So it's natural for Wikipedia to reflect public discourse as it fluctuates, and news is the first draft of history."

On her first visit to Israel, Gardner explained that her attitude stemmed from her framework of reference as a journalist in her native Canada, including a stint as director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Web site.
 
 

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