Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wikipedia, Free?

Finally, I watched it. Zeitgeist, The Movie, The Spirit of Age. and It was something else for real. I wouldn't hesitate to give it 9 out of 10. that 1 is cut for reasons I will discuss in my review on the movie in the next entry.

But before that, I'd like to talk about an important issue, something that matters for me as it matters for any other blogger around the world, Internet Censorship, taking Wikipedia as an example.

Is what we know today as "user-generated content websites" or "web 2.0" (blogs, youtube, wikis, flickr, etc) really something "from the people and to the people"? I'm asking that question which popped in my mind right after I discovered how "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia" is not "free" at all.
Just before yesterday, I had this strong faith in Wikipedia, ever since I found this website while looking for informations about Solid Snake (from Metal Gear Solid Video Game) and I was so happy to find a huge amount of information about the game history and its developing, along long time ago, it became my destination whenever I feel like learning about something new and see what other people got to say about it. everytime I watch a movie I look for its article on Wikipedia, enjoy reading the trivia, the Production background, criticism, etc. Whenever I read or hear about someone who interests me, I hurl to Wikipedia to read more about his life, find his quotes in Wikiquotes, I never buy a book unless I cheak what Wikipedia's review on it, Underground artists who don't have mainstream media's attention got biographies in Wikipedia, history, science, arts, and many many more topics that Wikipedia makes it easier to learn about, and of course cheaper.In simple words, for the last five years, Wikipedia was more than just a website to me. I even used to test it from time to time by searching for stuff that I used to think there's no way I find information about them where I live, I was so surprised that my search for pre-islamic arab gods actually gave me great results, with articles about Al-Lat and Al-Uza (Pagan arab gods) which are topics I was only taught to hate them, other attempt was to find out how the NES Gun work, (NES or Famicom, is a game station before the Playstation era).
And I'm sure many of you share with me this respect to this great source of information and how it represents the journalism of masses from around the world.
But not all that glitters is gold, lol that sounded funny..

As usual, after watching Zeitgeist, I went to cheak Wikipedia for it, I found nothing, and I'm sure yall found it strange that there's no article for such a "controversial" -as some would call it- peice of work. it just didn't make sense to me. so I had to ask google, I typed the words Zeitgeist The Movie Wikipedia and clicked search. and what I found was this page:

turned out that there was an article, but it was deleted by Wikipedia editors. and that page is the debate over the deletion of it. according to the editors, the article was deleted because it's about a:

"... Self-published internet movie with no assertion of notability whatsoever, no reliable sources, no mainstream media attention, etc. If reliable sources demonstrating reliability and verifiability surface later, feel free to bring this to DRV."

I was like, HUH?

I don't know much about Wikipedia rules, in fact, it was the first time I know Wikipedia has a criteria for "Notability" of films [].
Ok, I can understand that they donh't wanna see articles about movies on YouTube by stupid fat kids fighting to get of the couch or whatever, but it's the notability condition that made me choke. a movie entry must be mentioned in the "mainstream media" before it is deemed notable!!! WTF? mainstream media? the reason why we are having these internet movies, those self broadcasting websites, those "free" encyclopedias is to escabe the bullshit of mainstream media, but now you wanna tell me I can't write an article about something unless the mainstream media talk about it first? fuck you.
and wait a second.. notability? the goddamn movie is being discussed all over the web, on blogs, forums and in chat rooms, it's getting millions of hits on Google Videos. and since it's an Internet Film we are talking about here, I think these factors are stronger evidence on notability than mentioning it in some fact-twisting corporate media outlets.

There's no comparison between this movie and the stupid nonsense on youtube and google video that Wikipedia need notability to host articles about them, this is a 2 hours long movie that is completely professional (though the sounds are not, too much bass man), it discusses the issues in an informative way, it don't need “full length reviews by two or more nationally known critics” to gain honesty, fuck that, that's the diffrence between Internet and corporate media, people are the critics. they will watch it, and go watch more movies or read more books about the issues and come back to correct the mistakes or to add new information (its those with empty-minds, they are the ones who need critics, but they're too busy arguing who should win American Idol). it just happened to be broadcasted through Youtube and Google along with millions of other materials that may not meet Wikipedia's criteria. and that's definitly not a reason to throw such a great job away and call it nonsesne, it's what you're doing is nonsense, mainstream media attention huh?
It's as simple as that, When Wikipedia clearly states that blogs, forums, downloaders don't matter, and are not "a satisfactory evidence of notability", it also clearly states that it's not a reliable source itself. and its a shame to be called "free" or "open" or whatever.
After Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace -and he's a known media monopolizer-, it became a fear of many that one day, the internet won't be diffrent from TV, and we all know revolution won't be televised.


HalalHippie said...

Your wtf(!?) is understandable, but bear in mind that Zeitgeist is as yet an underground production. It has not (yet) made it to the established films club, so to speak.

Looking forward to ur more detailed wiev on it.

Jah guide

Elisabeth said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

A SUPPORTED BY THE DEVELOPER TOOLS? It was interesting. You seem very knowledgeable in ypour field.