As a registered member of Wikipedia, I never edited an article until I caught a vandalized entry for “Harry Palmer (Avatar)”. At first I just added quotes to an “advertisment” someone added for the course, and then I realized most of the article was rewritten, or more specifically, gone.
Someone anonymously (from an IP address in Hawaii) got rid of any “negative” links and references, including the whole section of documented facts about his envolvement in Scientology, as well as links to pertinent court docs, etc.. So I went to work and reverted the artilce to the last pre-tampered with version.
This is a good excuse to really learn how to work Wikipedia as an editor, as I have spent way too much time researching the topic, weeding the needles of facts from the haystacks of opinion, hearsay, and marketing.
But I might not make any friends, as being objective will grind on people who have an agenda to insisting I have one myself. People want to believe what they feel they need to, and the people and critics of Avatar, regardless of any “tools” they may have, are sadly no different.
And maybe cleaning up this WP entry will give me closure on finding what I was looking for in Avatar. In a few ways I found more than what I wanted, and in others I never will because the pieces I daresay are missing for a reason. I don’t care to explain at this point, and am pushing my trained energies toward a more measurably objective scholastic pursuit — Wikipedia.
The chips may have to fall where they may and my conscience may be followed at some personal expense. I would gladly walk away if someone else would do it.
Okay, so now you have no idea what I’m talking about …
It’s simple, really. One group of people believes what they are doing is “creating an enlightened planetary civilization” and anyone who might get in the way — even the messenger of inconvenient facts — is the devil. The other groups beleives that not speaking out against what they consider a con and a cult (the first group) is commiting a sin of omission and is part of the problem — when the facts are inconvenient to THEIR view.
Unfortunately, people I know might be caught in the balance, not just friends I’ve made online while doing research. Is there a limit on the price I should pay? Who owuld I be without integrity? Am I taking myself too seriously, or just am aware of doing the right thing?