Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Deval Patrick's Wikipedia: Abysmal

I just toured Deval Patrick's Wikipedia... and was stunned. What a piece of trash! I'm not saying that because I'm a Deval Patrick supporter; if Kerry Healey's section were that bad I'd be complaining too (maybe I'll even check out her page to see). I know Wiki can be dangerous because of its user input, but Deval's page was just abysmal - even for Wikipedia. Here are some of the problems:

  • The "criticisms" section was laced with prejudiced reporting and failed to present almost any context (I added some tonight).
  • There were almost no detailed issue positions, which is beyond belief. (Seriously, there was only information on Stem Cells, Cape Wind and the Death Penalty - and it was limited at that. What about k-12 education, health care, public colleges, housing, jobs, etc?)
  • There's almost nothing on the campaign or its development; there's no information on current polls and little on campaign opponents.

I'd love to say, "no problem everyone, I'll fix it," but I just don't have that kind of time. I may go back and add some sort of policy views, but I don't want to go anywhere near the criticisms section again because I am biased. I added some badly needed context to it tonight and think I did a good job at remaining neutral, but I wasn't about to go and change language that desperately needs changing for neutrality's sake. If a few volunteers who can be neutral would work on that section, that would be great.

However, adding in more policy positions is really what needs the most help on the website - which is a job anyone can do, even the biased. It's important for people to know where Deval stands on the issues: quotes from his position papers, speeches and debates add a lot to that section. Furthermore, information about the campaign - such as polling information, some basic information on Deval's opponents to add context the election, information from the debates and the primary results would all be relevant information. If we all do our part, Deval's wikipedia page can be a goldmine of neutral information for voters across the state - and even the country.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great idea. This is what needs to be fostered for all the races. Maybe we could even get the debates to have a list of things, pre-set and an egg timer. They could each have 30 seconds to say " I'm for/against the death penalty because..."after 30 seconds their mike goes dead. Then contiue down the list, stem-cell etc.

Joe said...

I'm confused about the Songer thing. I'm against the death penalty, so I would laud Deval on getting the sentance commuted to life, but the ad says the killer is eligable for parole but the wiki says he'll be in for life. Off the top of your head, do you know what the deal is?

Ryan Adams said...

Hmm.. that's interesting. I missed that. I'd assume Kerry Healey's add is at least party correct, that Songer must be up for parole at least sometime soon if not now. Joe,

If he isn't, she would have been called on that very quickly However, just because someone is up for parole doesn't mean that person will get out.

And, a convicted cop killer certainly isn't going to be released on parole at an early opportunity. That's just not going to happen early, if ever.

Anon... for a second there, I thought for a second you were being serious. While debates don't lend themselves to quick soundbites, a website like Wiki is a great resource because they can give relatively quick positions for anyone who's looking to see where a candidate stands on a particular issue... as well as both show readers where to get more in depth knowledge.

However, I think I must have been ambiguous. I don't think the Wiki site should just give a quick list of positions... I believe in the blog I said that the positions there were barely described. Based on that statement, it should be reasonably assumed that I wasn't happy with what was there at all in terms of offerring enough detail and analysis.

There's a happy medium and, even beyond that medium, resources should be given for further, extremely detailed, positions (at least for the issues where candidates have laid them out in detail).

Anonymous said...

I think he did get it commuted to life. It's possible, but not certain, that FL doesn't have the option of life without possibility of parole without special circumstances (like multiple victims or something like that). Regardless, yu have to understand that in many cases parole hearings are just formalities, Charles Manson can go in front of the parole board but that doesn't mean he has any chance of getting out.
If Songer was convicted of killing a cop it's really unlikely that he'l be parolled even if that's an option, which it may not be.

In any case, people are entitled to the best representation, particularly in capital cases, and I can't see how doing his job can be held against Deval.

Anon, it can't be that hard to find out where the candidates stand on issues that are important to you, have you tried their websites for a start? If you have questions, call their campaigns they'll be happy to tell you what their positions on the major issues of the day are.

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