Wikipedia John Edwards Page Now 'Protected' From Editing

The controversy over Wikipedia's censorship of any update regarding the alleged John Edwards scandal as chronicled by your humble correspondent yesterday has taken an interesting new turn. Wikipedia, in response to this controversy, has now made an announcement at the top of their John Edwards entry:

This page is currently protected from editing until July 30, 2008 or until disputes have been resolved. This protection is not an endorsement of the current version. See the protection policy and protection log for more details. Please discuss any changes on the talk page; you may use the {{editprotected}} template to ask an administrator to make the edit if it is supported by consensus. You may also request that this page be unprotected.

So what happens tomorrow, July 30? Will the wall of silence at Wikipedia finally be breached? Enquiring minds would like to know. Meanwhile, it is much more interesting and amusing to read the John Edwards Wikipedia talk page than his official entry. Here are a few of the latest highlights for your amusement:

This is entirely sad. I came to Wikipedia to get the real scoop of what I've been hearing snippets of on the blogs and... NOTHING. Usually when I hear a rumor, I turn to Wikipedia to find that some resourceful and resilient editor has found verifiable documents or stories from reliable sources. When I heard the rumor that there was tape of Michelle Obama saying "whitey," I came here to find it was false. But this story? Nothing. Why is Wikipedia, burying this scandal as other news outlets? I think there are enough sources out there to stick this on biography of Edwards. If some editors from on high dictate that it shouldn't be on this page, will they kindly remove scandalous news from the pages of Republicans such as Larry Craig and Mark Foley?

I am sorely disappointed. From scanning the talk page, I think there are sufficient sources to at least write a paragraph on the thing.

As many of you might have noticed, this Wikipedia censorship story, first reported here yesterday in NewsBusters has spread throughout the web. A point made in this Wikipedia talk page post:

We are simply making wikipedia look partisan and censorious by keeping this out and it is shaming us all.

Can you kindly swallow your pride and compromise in some way to save this silly internal wikifued from becoming a cause celebre across half the Internet.

From a stictly vanity POV, your humble correspondent must confess that this observation is his fave of the whole talk page:

The Conservative Newsbusters is also reporting the complete lack of Wikipedia coverage on this.

One poster gives Wikipedia a severe spanking for their censorship:

I know that Wikimaniacs love the policies, no matter how vague and useless they sometimes are, but the fact is, people don't come to Wikipedia to see what the Wikipedia Policies say they should see. They come to Wikipedia for information, and Wikipedia is withholding information. (Smart) people don't come to Wikipedia to get absolutely definitive yes/no answers as to whether a controversial incident happened (no offense), but do expect a biographical article to tell them about the relevant, noteworthy, and newsworthy elements of a person's life.

Years from now, if you ask an informed person what happened in John Edwards' life during the 2008 presidential campaign, they will tell you among other things, that he was accused of having a mistress who gave birth to his child. The fact of allegation, regardless of whether or not it is true, is part of the story of John Edwards' life.

I don't know who all is involved in either side of this WikiControversy, but there are obviously some editors (you know who you are) who need to give yourselves a good hard slap upside the head, because you are making a mockery of everything good about Wikipedia.

I've only skimmed a small portion of the Wikipeda talk page about this censorship controversy. I recommend you check it out for yourself since it is chock full of entertaining material.

UPDATE: Wikipedia's apparent protection of John Edwards now goes beyond allowing his Wikipedia page to be updated. Now they are scrubbing anything in Wikipedia that might relate to the alleged scandal. Here is an excerpt prior to today for the "Story of my Life" entry for Jay McInerney's novel (bold emphasis appears as red in Wikipedia):

The novel is about the life of [[Alison Poole]], an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year-old, rich girl who is originally from [[Virginia]], who lives in [[Manhattan]], [[New York]]. She's involved in several (sexual) relationships and is aspiring to become an actress. She falls in love with bond trader and Shakespeare expert Dean but soon they betray each other. Jay McInerney has stated that the character of Alison Poole is based on Rielle Hunter (formerly known as Lisa Druck).<ref>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/10/scrubbed-edwards-filmmak_n_67868.html</ref>

And here is how the same entry looks after it was "cleansed" earlier today:

The novel is about the life of [[Alison Poole]], a rich girl who is 20 years old and originally from [[Virginia]], who lives in [[Manhattan]], [[New York]]. She's involved in several (sexual) relationships and is aspiring to become an actress. She falls in love with bond trader and Shakespeare expert Dean but soon they betray each other.

So not only does Wikipedia prevent updates to their John Edwards page but they allow any reference to his alleged mistress to be scrubbed from their pages.

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.