Wikipedia Is Impersonating History


Why would someone with Aspergers complain about it?

I have cited it as a reference in many of my blog articles by linking to it and henceforth shall refrain from doing so, the information is subject to change and often misleading.

In fact it appears to be a cultural argument between want to be scholars, who are running away with their own idea of self-importance, well meaning academics and the general dumb ass end of the public spectrum – rather than a well structured factual reference library. I believe the core editors need to bring some new principles to the table to take it forward. Only will they listen? Especially when it is making so very many people angry. And by default it is hard to hear an angry person’s point of view.

I started raging against the Wiki machine and after an hour or so thinking I was in a position to do something about it, I realised I wasn’t, so rather than throw a complete wobbler, I took a step back and sent an email to a Wikipedian who I respect. She is someone who has been awarded a Wikihalo by the Wikipedia community for her hard work, key wiki support and her cheerful spirit. Basically I asked her for help.

She replied saying:

“these are defense mechanisms that Wikipedia has developed to try to protect itself from being used by others….it’s very unfortunate that some users have become unforgivably rude as well. I don’t excuse this sort of behavior — I just hope to help you understand where it comes from.”

I think feeling like being unforgivably rude is a massive understatement.

I actually feel like having a complete melt down, my Wikipedia entry is possibly the most frustrating thing I have ever dealt with and I think that Wikipedia needs to change. In keeping with my post “Listening For The Gold” I invite you to read this post from the point of view “what can we do to illicit change” rather than “Jesus, when a guy with Aspergers goes off on one, they really let it go, I wouldn’t want to live with that, I am going to unsubscribe”.

For a start, cited sources of information are dubious to say the least. To provide accurate data in research, information that cannot be obtained first hand should be cross-referenced to get as much corroboration as possible.

Wikipedians simply are not doing this.

What’s more, I have had my account disabled (again) this time for impersonating myself. So, I created another and used it to correct the information they hold about me. Within hours someone has changed it back.

So why is this annoying me so much?

I originally provided Wikipedia with a biography in 2005 when I noticed some of the detail in the Duran Duran entry to be wildy incorrect.

Apparently this is not the done thing and while I can understand why, I still think Wikipedia need to have a mechanism for obtaining accurate data from source if the person an article is written about is living.


Some helpful soul immediately edited my work and changed the information I provided about Duran Duran back (to reflect a reference in an article about the band, which in itself is incorrect) and then set about correcting my entry.

For example the very thing that makes my contribution to the recording industry, the fact I pioneered the use of Pro Tools in recording studios and was one of the first people to completely replace tape with a digital audio workstation is something that is not considered relevant. It has been removed.

I think I said I was able to “push the boundaries of conventional recording and produce master quality recordings at a fraction of the cost of using conventional studios”.

In my original biography I also noted the irony of Fine Young Cannibals success with “She Drives Me Crazy” given that weeks earlier 30,000 record sales placed us at number 97 in the UK charts and it took around 7,000 copies for their single to get to number one. Granted after it became a number one, the record sold a lot more copies, so the fact is difficult to provide reference for, other than Rona, Roland Gift’s sister, was our secretary.

Now, the current entry about Garden Of Eden is probably a meaningless fact without the original context. 30,000 is neither representative of the most number of records I have sold on a project, or the least. Duran Duran’s Astronaut is currently estimated in the region of two million.

So, several edits later, from well meaning people who think they are improving the original document I provided, I now find a band I was a member of for years only spans months of my career.

I am actually also credited with a couple of things in which I had no involvement.

Also, according to Wikipedia I moved to Hartford a year later than I did (in fact I no longer live there) and despite several attempts to reflect my name change, people keep changing it back.

So Wikipedia, thank you for caring, and thank you for noticing I am impersonating my former self. Only how can I be?

There is no longer a person called Mark Tinley to impersonate.

Look up (at the top of the page)!!!

I am not called Mark Tinley anymore, I have a legal document that says so, but I can’t get it past Wiki adjudication it seems.

Rather than striving to be factual Wikipedia seems to want to take the cultural argument further.

For example…

I added factual information about David Ogilvy, who I know personally, even backed it up with references, only to have it torn down later by someone who assured me the David Ogilvy I know (the songwriter and guitarist) is not the same person as the David Ogilvy I know (Lord Ogilvy).

Perhaps he is a clone?

Perhaps the guy I went to tea with in the castle who had a recording studio in Notting Hill is none other than Zaphod Beeblebrox. Ironic that a fictional character should have such a long Wikipedia entry given the criteria they are using to prevent my entry from being factual.

How did this person make the decision that “David Ogilvy” are different people? (deliberate use of semantics).

Because the person read the Scottish/American guitarist only moved to Scotland in 1999.

This hardly amounts to an investigation.

You only have to read the ‘David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie’ entry (David’s father) on Wikipedia itself to find out he married the daughter of am American multi-millionaire in 1952 and note that he has six children, one of whom was born in 1958 and is called David to ascertain it is the same person.

Even a complete idiot can see they are the same age. Okay if it were Smith and both parents were English perhaps you could contest.

To contest on the date someone moved house? (not that Wiki can get that correct anyway).

Not withstanding the fact that someone who knows him personally is telling you who he is.

Equally the Wikipedian who deleted this page could have read that I moved to the New Forest in 1999.

What could that have meant?

That I am not the same Mark Tinley as the family therapist in the United States?

Well done

If I seem somewhat annoyed, well yes, I am…

According to Wikipedia, providing information about yourself is considered vanity!


So history is only correct when an EDITOR has changed what you have written or said to suit their interpretation…

Even when I have provided clear links and information about people I personally know (events I have seen with my eyes, backed up with written proof) they have been altered or deleted by people who think they know better.

Now I know why nobody understands ‘The Bible’ and the world spends its entire time trying to blow itself up.

Human beings are basically fu*king idiots!!!

We have to learn to change…

Maybe we are wrapping ourselves in red tape and telling ourselves there is nothing we can do about it?

I suppose I can console myself in the fact that even if my Wiki entry was correct people would misread and mis-interpret it anyway!

See you on the other side of the looking glass,

creative thinker | innovator | visionary


1 Comment

  1. Mark – this rant is called for! Wiki is a joke. I’ve had similar experiences with them, ultimately deleting Sean Wright – musician, author, etc. Like – what the hell is that all about?

    Although discovering a couple of years ago from my father that my inherited name was a double-barrelled affair, and included Terrington to the Wright, seems to be acceptable to them in part.

    Except they’ve deleted the fact that I appeared at the Pakistani Festival in Trafalgar Square in 2007 with Najam Sheraz to a live audience of 12,000+, and live satellite feeds to millions worldwide! (They also deleted links to national newspaper citations from UK , Pakistan, and India. Look East came out and filmed me, writing an article about my involvement, an article that is still online on a BBC website). Isn’t that another source to cite? Apparently not.

    It’s absurd! I have the video recording of the whole show! Youtube has broadcast hundreds of personal vids from fans there on the day, and I’ve seen myself on several of them performing on stage! They’ve even re-run this imortant international event several times since 2007 on GEO TV to millions of viewers worldwide once more!

    It was REAL history in the making. 60 years of Pakistani Independence being celebrated through music and art by Pakistanis living, working, as well as enhancing our economy and culture in Britain. I’m massively proud to have been involved, but according to wiki A) I wasn’t there or B) it didn’t happen or C) maybe both A and B). Jesus! What is wrong with these wikifolk?

    Back to you…

    “I pioneered the use of Pro Tools in recording studios and was one of the first people to completely replace tape with a digital audio workstation is something that is not considered relevant.”

    It’s absurbed to delete such important facts. Makes you want to spit feathers. Like you, I find it bizarre that updating your own facts is termed vanity, in their eyes. But then we shouldn’t be too surprised. Anyone who gets out there and does things for themselves is deemed unworthy. Seems upside down, and out of focus to my mind.

    Oh, yeah, only editors know history. They are, after all, creating it to suit their own bias view of the world, events, and people in their esteemed, and oh so credible version. It’s a gross form of bigotry, ignorance, and historical manipulation. So much for freedom of speech! It’s so annoying, so utterly twisted, that it makes me anger to the point of laughing!

    Change? Yes, please.


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