Thursday, October 13, 2011

Richard Dawkins and Wyndgate Country Club

I was forwarded a link to the Wyndgate Country Club vs Richard Dawkins and CFI-Michigan from Wikipedia editor Linda Long.  I had already seen this link and really didn't think much could be made of it. It isn't like Dawkins has never seen criticism, so I looked over his page and decided that it just wouldn't fit into his article.  Today I got another link from someone, this time with a YouTube video of Sean Faircloth and Dawkins on Fox news.

I decided that there is plenty of media focusing on this right now.  Protests at the Country Club (yeah team!) and possibly some legal action by CFI.  So I left mainly the same blurb on Richard Dawkins, Sean Faircloth, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True and CFI's Wikipedia pages.

Its current news right now, so this should go up.  I did a lot of linking between the 4 pages so they should be getting hits to each other.  I also didn't use just one citation, I listed 4 citations.  Check out these pages.

I'm really sad that the Wyndgate Country Club does not have its own page.  I know they are really hating all this publicity right at the moment, they refuse to comment according to the newspapers.  But I would have loved to have left the same blurb on their site.  

Hits wise we are talking quite a lot.  Between the four sites over 107K each month.  This controversy didn't hurt hits to Dawkins page.  Normally he gets 4-5K hits a day.  There is a big jump to 6.2K and 5.4K during this time.  A 38% jump.  Sean Faircloth's Wikipedia page had a 50% spike in hits for one day.   CFI didn't see a rise in numbers.  The book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True saw a 65% increase in hits to his page.

On another note...  When I was looking over the books page trying to decide if I should include it in all the edits.  I noticed an editor leave a note on the discussion page, Sept 21, 2011 "Can we prepare for a WP:DYK for this article?"  Ahhh "no"  These have to be launched within days of the launching of the page. What a missed opportunity.  I left a snarky remark in response. 


  1. This just in on the discussion page for Dawkins

    "The new [[Richard Dawkins#Wyndgade Country Club]] section is not suitable for a biography outlining the important features of Dawkins' life. Yes, it is silly that the US is in its current state, and it's absurd that some club would have this confused reaction. However, Wikipedia should not be used to right wrongs or highlight the news of the day. There must be a hundred similar silly stories associated with Dawkins, and this article is not the place to list them, however interesting or topical they are."

  2. Looks like they are seriously considering deleting the Dawkins references. They also noticed that I placed the same edit on 3 other places. They say this is a no-no. I think that it is just a good use of your time. If it is relevant to all four articles then why not?

    They feel that the Dawkins piece is not adding anything to the article. Maybe they are right? They say that news has nothing to do with a bio. They are also worried that I might turn this into an ugly edit war and are discussing how to handle this through WP channels.

    I'm not going to fight them on this. It isn't that important. I don't want to get a reputation as being difficult to work with.

    This problem with the Country Club might end up becoming a big issue, or it might fizzle out. We need to wait and see. If it becomes bigger then I (or someone else) can go back in and add it back, changing it to fit the newest citations.

    There is WAY too much work to be done to scrabble over whether Richard Dawkins page has a mention of Wyndgate on it or not.

    The lesson to be learned here is to LEARN. The other editors are telling me they don't like my edit and they are telling me why. I am listening to them and learning from them. Don't take this kind of thing personally.

    Also pages like Richard Dawkins are very well protected. When you are new at this, pick pages that are not in the awesome shape that his is, it may have taken a year or more to get everyone to agree on the page, they don't like it when someone just barges in like me and makes an edit.

    Take a chance, move on to something else and please just get involved.

  3. It looks like they did revert it on Dawkin's page but left it on the book's page. That seems to be a good compromise to me.

  4. Well the Dawkins edit is gone. It was discussed by several editors and the final agreement was the edit failed this (Recentism)

    And also the Wikipedia is "not a newspaper" rule.

    So live and learn.

    Possible that something more could be done if something ends up happening with the case. But guess we will have to wait and see.

    It the wake of all this the books citation about Wyndgate was agreed should stay. I just updated the citation I made to reflect that CFI is claiming they will pursue legal action not just possible legal action.

  5. Thanks Lei.

    Linda Long tried to put something up on the "O'Reilly Factor" about it. But it was quickly reverted because it really had nothing to do with the show.

    It was a reach as that show is highly controversial.

    I'm glad that some of you are stretching your editing wings and trying new things outside your comfort zone.

    Remember we are trying to add skeptical/critical thinking elements to WP to educate. But also the bigger aim is to make WP the best possible source of general knowledge in all languages. There are rules and we need to look at the bigger picture.

    But conflicts like this from time to time are good learning experiences.

  6. One correction to your post. DYK is not *just* for brand new articles. It can also be used for articles that have recently been massively expanded. This latter is for cases like long-term stubs that are just recently expanded into full-blown articles. From the DYK page, it is for:

    >DYK is not a general trivia section. DYK is only for articles that, within the past five days, have been either
    > *created
    > *expanded at least fivefold
    > *newly sourced and expanded at least twofold (only if the article was an unsourced BLP)

    The book article is still outside the window for DYK, but I wanted to correct you in case, in the future, you happened to expand a existing stub or something along those lines.

  7. Thank you Texas, you are 100% correct. I should have mentioned this even though it did not pertain to this case. This blog is for learning after all.

    And just in case you aren't caught up on all my blogs here is one I recently wrote on the DYK page I made for Jim Underdown.