View Full Version : Wikipedia and it's Erroneous Information about New Jersey

12-12-2005, 10:07 PM
I have often told people to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. Not everything in there is accurate and should not be considered as hard fact. I have found many things that are outrageously incorrect on there concerning NJ. I used to try correcting things, but then just gave up when I got into an argument with someone over their misrepresentation of the NJ/NY border (read the NY Stole NJ's Land (http://forum.aboutnewjersey.com/showthread.php?t=138) thread). Now with the public embarrassment this past week when the founder of USA Today found a scandulous and very inaccurate article about him on Wkipedia, I hope more people will listen.

Wikipedia is no different than a messageboard and people should only look at it in that context. They do not have anyone making sure that the information is correct, contrary to their claims they do NOT have "experts" who look over the information.

Many "Wikipedians" or people who contribute to wikipedia, have a political agenda and will twist facts to present their point of view. There is a white supremecist forum, which I will not link to from here, that I discovered is linking to AboutNewJersey.com (although I have no idea what page). I went in there and discovered that they have a thread telling people to go onto Wikipedia to spread their views by posting in various entries. I know many Wikipedia entries are left leaning, right leaning and many are anti-american, anti-etc. The articles are only a reflection of those people who take enough interest in posting in a particular entry.

Warning to everyone, take what you read off the web with a grain of salt. We make every effort to make sure that AboutNewJersey.com (http://www.AboutNewJersey.com) is accurate, but we have no guarantee of what is put in this forum. At one point I had thought about using the Wiki software to develop AboutNewJersey.com and allow people to contribute and edit the attraction listings. I ruled that out because I felt it would prevent us from having control over the accuracy of the information. Hence we went with this messageboard so people can share their OPINIONS and wouldn't get confused as fact. If anyone finds anything inaccurate on AboutNewJersey.com, we are happy to receive e-mails and correct anything.

Here is the original op-ed piece from USA Today...

A false Wikipedia 'biography' (http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-11-29-wikipedia-edit_x.htm)
By John Seigenthaler

"John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960's. For a brief time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven."

This is a highly personal story about Internet character assassination. It could be your story.

I have no idea whose sick mind conceived the false, malicious "biography" that appeared under my name for 132 days on Wikipedia, the popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are unknown and virtually untraceable. There was more:

"John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1971, and returned to the United States in 1984," Wikipedia said. "He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter."

At age 78, I thought I was beyond surprise or hurt at anything negative said about me. I was wrong. One sentence in the biography was true. I was Robert Kennedy's administrative assistant in the early 1960s. I also was his pallbearer. It was mind-boggling when my son, John Seigenthaler, journalist with NBC News, phoned later to say he found the same scurrilous text on Reference.com and Answers.com.

I had heard for weeks from teachers, journalists and historians about "the wonderful world of Wikipedia," where millions of people worldwide visit daily for quick reference "facts," composed and posted by people with no special expertise or knowledge and sometimes by people with malice.

At my request, executives of the three websites now have removed the false content about me. But they don't know, and can't find out, who wrote the toxic sentences.

Anonymous author
I phoned Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder and asked, "Do you ... have any way to know who wrote that?"

"No, we don't," he said. Representatives of the other two websites said their computers are programmed to copy data verbatim from Wikipedia, never checking whether it is false or factual.

Naturally, I want to unmask my "biographer." And, I am interested in letting many people know that Wikipedia is a flawed and irresponsible research tool.

But searching cyberspace for the identity of people who post spurious information can be frustrating. I found on Wikipedia the registered IP (Internet Protocol) number of my "biographer"- 65-81-97-208. I traced it to a customer of BellSouth Internet. That company advertises a phone number to report "Abuse Issues." An electronic voice said all complaints must be e-mailed. My two e-mails were answered by identical form letters, advising me that the company would conduct an investigation but might not tell me the results. It was signed "Abuse Team."

Wales, Wikipedia's founder, told me that BellSouth would not be helpful. "We have trouble with people posting abusive things over and over and over," he said. "We block their IP numbers, and they sneak in another way. So we contact the service providers, and they are not very responsive."

After three weeks, hearing nothing further about the Abuse Team investigation, I phoned BellSouth's Atlanta corporate headquarters, which led to conversations between my lawyer and BellSouth's counsel. My only remote chance of getting the name, I learned, was to file a "John or Jane Doe" lawsuit against my "biographer." Major communications Internet companies are bound by federal privacy laws that protect the identity of their customers, even those who defame online. Only if a lawsuit resulted in a court subpoena would BellSouth give up the name.

Little legal recourse
Federal law also protects online corporations BellSouth, AOL, MCI Wikipedia, etc. from libel lawsuits. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, specifically states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker." That legalese means that, unlike print and broadcast companies, online service providers cannot be sued for disseminating defamatory attacks on citizens posted by others.

Recent low-profile court decisions document that Congress effectively has barred defamation in cyberspace. Wikipedia's website acknowledges that it is not responsible for inaccurate information, but Wales, in a recent C-Span interview with Brian Lamb, insisted that his website is accountable and that his community of thousands of volunteer editors (he said he has only one paid employee) corrects mistakes within minutes.

My experience refutes that. My "biography" was posted May 26. On May 29, one of Wales' volunteers "edited" it only by correcting the misspelling of the word "early." For four months, Wikipedia depicted me as a suspected assassin before Wales erased it from his website's history Oct. 5. The falsehoods remained on Answers.com and Reference.com for three more weeks.

In the C-Span interview, Wales said Wikipedia has "millions" of daily global visitors and is one of the world's busiest websites. His volunteer community runs the Wikipedia operation, he said. He funds his website through a non-profit foundation and estimated a 2006 budget of "about a million dollars."

And so we live in a universe of new media with phenomenal opportunities for worldwide communications and research but populated by volunteer vandals with poison-pen intellects. Congress has enabled them and protects them.

When I was a child, my mother lectured me on the evils of "gossip." She held a feather pillow and said, "If I tear this open, the feathers will fly to the four winds, and I could never get them back in the pillow. That's how it is when you spread mean things about people."

For me, that pillow is a metaphor for Wikipedia.

John Seigenthaler, a retired journalist, founded The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. He also is a former editorial page editor at USA TODAY.

12-12-2005, 10:24 PM
It was only fair to post that the person who posted the Wikipedia article which caused so much embarrassment for the onine "encyclopia" came forward....

Wikipedia author: False entry was joke (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/11/wikipedia.ap/index.html)
Writer linked journalist to Kennedy assassinations

Monday, December 12, 2005; Posted: 9:24 a.m. EST (14:24 GMT)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- A man who posted false information on an online encyclopedia linking a prominent journalist to the Kennedy assassinations says he was playing a trick on a co-worker.

Brian Chase, 38, ended up resigning from his job and apologizing to John Seigenthaler Sr., the former publisher of the Tennessean newspaper and founding editorial director of USA Today.

"I knew from the news that Mr. Seigenthaler was looking for who did it, and I did it, so I needed to let him know in particular that it wasn't anyone out to get him, that it was done as a joke that went horribly, horribly wrong," Chase was quoted as saying in Sunday editions of The Tennessean.

Chase said he didn't know the free Internet encyclopedia called Wikipedia was used as a serious reference tool.

The biography he posted, which has since been replaced, falsely stated that Seigenthaler was linked to the Kennedy assassinations and had lived in the Soviet Union from 1971 to 1984.

The entry motivated Seigenthaler to write an op-ed piece for USA Today blasting Wikipedia's credibility. He described himself as a close friend of Robert Kennedy and said he had worked with President Kennedy. He said "the most painful thing was to have them suggest that I was suspected of their assassination."

Seigenthaler said he doesn't plan to pursue legal action against Chase.

He also said he doesn't support more regulation of the Internet, but he said that he fears "Wikipedia is inviting it by its allowing irresponsible vandals to write anything they want about anybody."

Chase said he created the fake online biography in May as a gag to shock a co-worker who was familiar with the Seigenthaler family. He resigned as an operations manager at a Nashville delivery company as a result of the debacle.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Just as an added thing, according to BBC, John Seigenthaler Sr. has "said he would not take legal action over the entry and urged Mr Chase's boss not to accept his resignation. "

Wikipedia joker eats humble pie (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4520678.stm)

The man behind a fake posting on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia that linked a journalist to the Kennedy assassinations has apologised.

Tennessean Brian Chase said he added to the entry to trick a co-worker.

The discovery of the fake data in journalist John Seigenthaler's biography started a debate about the online reference work's reliability.

The prank caused Wikipedia to change its policy so only registered users can create entries.

Data debate
Mr Chase, who added the false information to the biography in May 2005, said he did not realise that the online encyclopedia was taken so seriously.

The fake information stated that Mr Seigenthaler Sr was linked to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and that he had lived in the Soviet Union for 13 years. The entry has now been corrected.

Quoted in The Tennessean newspaper, Mr Chase said: "I knew from the news that Mr. Seigenthaler was looking for who did it, and I did it, so I needed to let him know in particular that it wasn't anyone out to get him, that it was done as a joke that went horribly, horribly wrong."

The fake data was added to shock a co-worker who knew the Seigenthaler family, said Mr Chase. He has now resigned from his job as an operations manager with a Nashville delivery company following his unmasking.

The fallout from the prank led Mr Seigenthaler to write an opinion piece for USA Today which sharply criticised the reliability of Wikipedia.

Mr Seigenthaler was a founding editor of USA Today who worked closely with John Kennedy and was a friend of Robert Kennedy.

The incident also led to a lot of unfavourable coverage of Wikipedia in newspapers and online.

Mr Seigenthaler said he would not take legal action over the entry and urged Mr Chase's boss not to accept his resignation.

12-12-2005, 11:08 PM
Here was a good article on "The Register"...

There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility' (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/12/wikipedia_no_responsibility/)
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Published Monday 12th December 2005 14:25 GMT

No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood - Despair.com (http://despair.com/ir.html)

On Monday, in one of his now-weekly appearances on cable news defending the latest Wikipedia scandal, the project's figurehead Jimmy 'Jimbo' Wales expressed his desire to find the anonymous internet user who had libeled John Seigenthaler.

Seigenthaler, a former Robert Kennedy aide and newspaper editor wrote about his anguish a fortnight ago, describing how an edit to his Wikipedia biography implicated in him in the Kennedy assassination, and claimed he'd lived in Russia for twelve years. Both claims were false, and lay uncorrected for months.

For CNN viewers, and for NPR listeners again the following day, Wales repeated his wish to unmask the perp, but could only offer some hand-wringing excuse about the difficulty of finding anonymous users, and the complexity of serving internet service providers with subpoenas. However, we now learn that the libeler wasn't very hard to find, and has now stepped forward to confess to making the edit with an apology.

Brian Chase, a 38 year old employee of Rush Delivery in Seigenthaler's home town of Nashville, Tennessee, admitted to making the edit and has apologized to Seigenthaler. The reason he gave to the New York Times was most revealing.

Chase thought Wikipedia was a joke site and he made the edit to amuse a colleague. From which we conclude that the spoof site Uncyclopedia, which consists entirely of fictional entries, is doing far better than expected, and that Wikipedia has a long way to go to rid itself of the image that it's a massive, multiplayer shoot-em-up game, or MMORPG.

Chase has lost his job, and Seigenthaler joined the pleas to reinstate him.

But the unusual aspect of this - and this is an irony on a par with Sony using 'DVD' Jon Johansen's anti-DRM code in its DRM CD software - is what compelled Chase to step forward. The libeller was outed not by Wikipedia guardians, by a prominent critic of the site who has been earned himself a lifetime Wikipedia ban - researcher Daniel Brandt.

Chase left a fingerprint behind, in the form of an IP address, and Brandt discovered that the machine was active, traced it to Nashville, and discovered it was hosting a web server. The web server revealed the name of a company: 'Rush Delivery'. Brandt fired off a fax to Rush Delivery in Nashville and confirmed the connection.

Perhaps he'll be unbanned now, although we doubt it. But Brandt, who recounts his story in detail (grep for "whodunnit (http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/usatoday.html)") says his discovery was extremely fortunate, and he's correct in many ways. Wikipedia has made it more difficult for such detective work to be performed in the future, as the site now requires a 30 second log-in procedure to create an unvalidated user id, behind which libellers can shield their identity.

That Wales couldn't fufil his expressed desire to unmask the perpetrator sounds less a case of "too hard to do" than one of "can't be bothered, mate".

So we come to the question of responsibility. We've promised to deal with the ethics of Wikipedia before, and it's no longer possible to ignore the elephant in the room, so we must.

Who's responsible for Wikipedia?
Two great cries have rung around the internet since the Seigenthaler scandal broke.

One is that Seigenthaler should have corrected the entry himself, and the other is that no source of authority can be trusted "definitively". That's a deliciously weaselly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoid_weasel_terms) phrase we'll examine in a moment.

But both excuses seek, in the classic tradition of bad engineers blaming users for their own shoddy handiwork, to pass the responsibility onto Wikipedia's users.

The blame goes here, the blame goes there - the blame goes anywhere, except Wikipedia itself. If there's a problem - well, the user must be stupid!

Before we deal with each of these, and in all fairness, we must step over a small but important semantic whoopsy. If what we today know as "Wikipedia" had started life as something called, let's say - "Jimbo's Big Bag O'Trivia" - we doubt if it would be the problem it has become. Wikipedia is indeed, as its supporters claim, a phenomenal source of pop culture trivia. Maybe a "Big Bag O'Trivia" is all Jimbo ever wanted. Maybe not.

For sure a libel is a libel, but the outrage would have been far more muted if the Wikipedia project didn't make such grand claims for itself. The problem with this vanity exercise is one that it's largely created for itself. The public has a firm idea of what an "encyclopedia" is, and it's a place where information can generally be trusted, or at least slightly more trusted than what a labyrinthine, mysterious bureaucracy can agree upon, and surely more trustworthy than a piece of spontaneous graffiti - and Wikipedia is a king-sized cocktail of the two.

Secondly, Wikipedia's proliferation owes much to the fact that we're currently in a temporary, but very familiar blip in history - one we've been in many times before. Wikipedia has sprung up to fill a temporary void. Copyright law exists in a permanent state of tension, and there's a latency between a new technology being invented and compensation mechanisms being agreed upon that spread that valuable, copyrighted material far and wide.

So I'm very privileged right now, as a member of the San Francisco public library, to be able to tap into expensive databases I couldn't otherwise afford. In ten years time, these "member's societies" will be the norm, and most of us won't even realize we're members. The good stuff will just come out of a computer network.

For now, however, it's the chasm between Wikipedia's rude claim to be an "encyclopedia", and the banal reality of trashy, badly written trivia that causes so many people to be upset about it.

It's an unwarranted assumption of authority.

Now back to Seigenthaler, and let's address each of these pathetic defenses in turn.

The first, and the most immediately absurd of these two defenses, is that since nothing at all can be trusted, er, "definitively", then Wikipedia can't be trusted either. This is curious, to say the least, as it points everyone's expectations firmly downwards.

If you recall the utopian rhetoric that accompanied the advent of the public "internet" ten years ago, we were promised that unlimited access to the world's greatest "knowledge" was just around the corner. This hasn't happened, for reasons cited above, but now the public is now being exhorted to assume the posture of a citizen in an air raid, where every moving object might be a dangerous missile.

Everything you read is suspect! You'd better duck!

Only a paranoiac, or a mad person, can sustain this level of defensiveness for any length of time however, and to hear a putative "encyclopedia" making such a statement is odd, to say the least.

This defense firmly puts the blame on the reader, for being so stupid as to take the words at face value. Silly you, for believing us, they say.

The second defense is rather more intriguing, and repellant.

Wikipedia's defenders point to the open model, where anyone can make changes, as another example of shrugging off responsibility.

This, again, is an excuse we have to savor as much as a lepidopterist might savor catching an undiscovered breed of butterfly - it's an excuse that can only be heard during rare blips in human history.

This one owes its credibility to the fact that the word "publication" has become rather blurry. Wikipedia is a project whose failure is genetically programmed into its mechanisms, and "publication" is one of those things that will trigger the final, fatal sequence of destruction.

We can rest assured that Wikipedia will never be printed - or at least not in countries where defamation laws exist. Perhaps some brave soul will attempt a Wikipedia tome in Borneo. Or Mars. But as soon as it hits print, the blurriness behind publication disappears, and Wikipedia The Book is seen for what it is, an evasiveness based on accident. And the lawsuits will begin in earnest.

So Wikipedia's second defense rests heavily on the assumption that everyone in the whole world is participating, watching, and writing at every moment of the day, and so that a failure to pay attention represents negligence on the part of the complainer. Seigenthaler, the argument goes, was clearly being an idiot when he failed to notice that day's piece of web grafitti. Instead of taking his dog for a walk, or composing an email to his grandchildren, he should have been paying ceaseless attention to ... his Wikipedia biography.

To which the only honest answer is, "we don't owe you anything".

Really, we don't. If they can't get it right, why on earth should we have to clean up the mess. I can't speak for you, but I have better things to do.


12-12-2005, 11:09 PM
"It's the Hive Mind wot dunnit. Not me"
If "publication" by an "encyclopedia" means anything, it means that you have to get those facts right.

More or less. Kinda.

And "publication", therefore, entails some kind of responsibility. The "Hive Mind", or "collective intelligence" that we're told will "self-correct" such goofs is simply absent when it's needed. The only people operating the levers of the man behind the Hive Mind curtain, it seems, are the Wikipedians.

Involvement in Wikipedia has taken its toll on a significant number of decent, fair minded people who with the most honorable intentions, have tried to alert the project to its social responsibilities and failed. Such voices could be heard on the Wikipedia mailing list, speaking up for quality. Wikipedia is losing good editors at an alarming rate, but who can blame them for leaving?

Quality isn't an issue, and now Responsibility isn't an issue either.

We'll leave you with one delicious illustration of Wikipedia's sense of responsibility. We turn - where else? - to Wikipedia's philosophy section.

When a few weeks ago, we looked at how Wiki folk defined "quality", we found a very telling definition, one that was at odds with all others. "Quality" was loosely defined as "general good value".

And Wikipedia hasn't disappointed us now.

Calls for responsibility, we learn, in that unique strangulated prose style that is truly Wikipedia's legacy to the world -

"... often form a pejorative means of attacking political opponents. This habit of demanding behaviour aligned to one's own desires also occurs in other arenas: one expects "responsibility" from children, parents, spouses, colleagues and employees, meaning they should change their attitudes to suit the speaker."

From which the only thing missing is:

".... booooo big bad teecher - I'm not going to skool today. **** you!!"

Which is terrific stuff.

Now a picture of the body behind the "Hive Mind" of "collective intelligence" begins to take shape.

He's 14, he's got acne, he's got a lot of problems with authority ... and he's got an encyclopedia on dar interweb.

Watch out!

12-13-2005, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the info.

I was not aware that the information (in general) posted on Wiki. is not always verified for accuracy.

I will be more cautious when using this site for information in the future.

12-24-2005, 02:50 PM
Wikipedia hits again.

I discovered on AboutNewJersey.com stats that there was a link to AboutNewJersey.com from the wikipedia copyright violation page. It seems as if someone took it upon themselves to determine the photos I had posted on the Wikipedia "Liberty Island" page were copyright violations. :mad:

This is the message I received...

It appears that three images you uploaded, Image:StatueLibertyLSP.jpg, Image:MapSml.gif, Image:EllisIslandLSP.jpg, are copyright violations. You indicated in http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Liberty_Island&oldid=29619494 that these were taken from AboutNewJersey.com. In limited circumstances, fair use images are allowed (Wikipedia:Image_copyright_tags#Fair_use), but I don't think this is the case here. Suitable free-license alternatives can be found at Commons. --Kmf164 21:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Then without contacting AboutNewJersey.com through one of the MANY e-mail addresses we provide on the site, they merely took it upon themselves to delete the photos. This is one of the reasons I can not stand wikipedia.
I contacted them and told them that I was the president of AboutNewJersey.com, the photographer of the photos, as well as the wikipedia submitter and that I hope they will restore the photos ASAP. I also e-mailed wikipedia to complain about the removal of the photos and the fact that they did not attempt to contact AboutNewJersey.com.

You can see the photos in question here as well as the copyright infringement notices...


12-27-2005, 12:42 PM
I found another indication that Wikipedia is very biased against NJ. Not only did they remove my photos of the Statue of Liberty as seen from NJ, they have also taken off the image I posted of a NJ Statue of Liberty license plate (pleased note that they did however KEEP the NY one). :mad: Compare the change (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Statue_of_Liberty&diff=27796533&oldid=27696248)

The changes made to the pages I contributed demonstrate the problem with Wikipedia and how there is no standard. It also demonstrates how people can remove items or change articles because they want to bury information they don't want others to see. I find it very interesting that the old NY plate can be shown on the site, but a CURRENT NJ plate can not be.

12-28-2005, 01:48 PM
I found another indication that Wikipedia is very biased against NJ. Not only did they remove my photos of the Statue of Liberty as seen from NJ, they have also taken off the image I posted of a NJ Statue of Liberty license plate (pleased note that they did however KEEP the NY one). :mad: Compare the change (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Statue_of_Liberty&diff=27796533&oldid=27696248)

The changes made to the pages I contributed demonstrate the problem with Wikipedia and how there is no standard. It also demonstrates how people can remove items or change articles because they want to bury information they don't want others to see. I find it very interesting that the old NY plate can be shown on the site, but a CURRENT NJ plate can not be.

Shades of 1984: If you want ideas to die out, remove them from public view. :(

01-03-2006, 01:31 AM
I have discovered that now Wikipedia has phyisically deleted all the photos I had uploaded to be used on the Liberty Island page and the Statue of Liberty Page. They were there to demonstrate where the statue is in association to NJ and to provide a map showing the border between NY and NJ.

I can either spend all my time correcting information on wikipedia or I can provide the accurate information on AboutNewJersey.com. I prefer to build up AboutNewJersey.com and let wikipedia continue with the erroneous information. I will merely include links back to AboutNewJersey.com so people can see the REAL truth. I'm done with Wikipedia.

05-31-2006, 05:30 PM
Wikipedia strikes again. :rolleyes:

I was looking up Jersey Shore and one thing led to another and I ended up at Long Beach Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Beach_Island). I read the article and everything seemed to be pretty much in order, but then toward the bottom, I saw the categories listed as....

Categories: Barrier islands | Islands of New York | Ocean County, New York | New Jersey geography stubs

What first caught my eye was ocean County, New York. First off there is no Ocean County NY, and Long Beach Island is located in Ocean County, New Jersey anyway. Then why would it be listed under "Islands of New York" also? Long Beach Island is not in New Yorkl, nor is is it anywhere near New York. :roll:

I looked at the edit history and it seems that who ever wrote up the article about Long Beach Island, had all the towns in it listed as "New York. :rolls: Several other people had already corrected many of the mistakes.

In my comment I stated the following...

I changed the Categories to properly reflect Long Beach Island New JERSEY. Whoever created ths stub had the two of the categories going to NY, which Long Beach Island has no association with NY at, nor is there a Ocean Coutny NY, it's Ocean County NJ. Just another example of why Wikipedia is not a very reliable source of information. I see several people went in and had already changed most of the erroneous references to NY, but missed the categories. How could anyone who created this page have associated Long Beach Island with New York. if they created it, they should have actually have known where it was located. --JerseyDevil 22:17, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Just another example of the unreliability of Wikipedia. :roll: I am seriously wondering if the starter of this arrticle thought that New Jersey was part of NY, since it was properly listed as part of the geography of New Jersey, but then everything else mentioned it as being New York. I looked further by the way and it seems as if someone went into the article on May 18th and changed everything to state that it was in NY.

08-29-2006, 09:48 PM
Can anyone come up with what's wrong here in Wikipedia...?

Category:Battles of the New York Campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Battles_of_the_New_York_Campaign)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

For Wikipedian collaboration on this topic, see the Military history WikiProject.

Pages in category "Battles of the New York Campaign"

There are 10 pages in this section of this category.


* Battle of Fort Washington
* Battle of Harlem Heights
* Battle of Long Island
* Battle of Pell's Point
* Battle of White Plains


* Fort Washington


* Landing at Kip's Bay


* Battle of Millstone


* Battle of Princeton

Anyway, I have decided to develop the NJ Wiki which will be just about NJ. Hopefully we can prevent these errors. I have no desire anymore to correct Wikipedia's many mistakes.

08-30-2006, 06:07 PM
BTW - here is an example of how proud New Jerseyans are sarcastically referred to on Wikipedia...

It is sometimes said by New Jersey boosters that...

I have not seen any other residents of a state referred to in such a manner. Only New Jerseyans are supposedly wrong to support their state. :mad:

04-24-2007, 12:08 AM
Can you believe it - I GOT BANNED from Wikipedia. You want to know why? because I have a similar name as someone who is now an admin. :roll: He uses Jersey Devil and I have and always have used JerseyDevil.

This was the explanation I was given...

Your account with this username has been blocked indefinitely because the username may be rude or inflammatory, unnecessarily long/confusing, too similar to an existing user, contains the name of an organization or website, contains the word Wikipedia or the name of any other Wikimedia Foundation project, or is otherwise inappropriate (see our blocking and username policies for more information).

The specific reason was -

This account has very low activity and is very similar in name to an administrator, user:Jersey Devil. Guy (Help!) 21:43, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

First some user deletes New Jersey photos I put up there, because they're copyright infringement (they WERE MY photos to posted on there!) - now I have my user name banned.

You want to know what made me discover this? I was looking at the discussion page for New Jersey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:New_Jersey) and and I noticed the following -

Can anyone support the notion that the American Flag is a "New Jersey creation"? Betsy Ross was a resident of Philadelphia. If it refers to Francis Hopkinson, while there is a possibility that he may have designed it, why do we think he did so in New Jersey? Hopkinson worked in New Jersey for a time, and represented the state in Congress, but was a native of Pennsylvania and lived in that state while he was a delegate to the Congress. He was later a judge in PA. I'm removing the reference. If someone can provide a valid claim, we can add it back. --Chancemichaels 18:03, 12 April 2006 (UTC)Chancemichaels

What do you want from us New Jerseyites? (or is it New Jerseyans? Who knows?) First it's the Oreo Cookie, now it's the American Flag. Will the next thing you'll tell us be that our distinctive aroma isn't even our own? Please let us wallow in our delusions about cookies and decorative national banners and just leave us alone. On a more serious note, Hopkinson is credited as being the flag's creator. The first Flag Act, passed on June 14, 1777, was enacted while Hopkinson was an NJ delegate to Congress. Seems like there's some connection, but there should be a more definitive source provided. I would suggest marking it as requiring a source, rather than removing the claim. see USFlag.org for a rather equivocal source that could support an NJ connection. Alansohn 19:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I only want accuracy. We know for a fact that the Oreo wasn't created in New Jersey, and it seems highly doubtful that the American flag was a "New Jersey" creation as well. Although Hopkinson was a delegate from New Jersey, and took a job in New Jersey for a time, there's no evidence that if he designed the flag he did so in New Jersey.

Following your link, the only place referenced for Hopkinson is Philadelphia, where as a delegate to Congress he would have been spending much of his time anyway. He's a curious figure in the state's history, since he was a Pennsylvanian who didn't spend much time in NJ before returning to PA as a Congressman who then took a job as a judge in PA. Again, it's only about creating an accurate encyclopedia. Asserting that the flag was designed somewhere is a positive claim, must be defensible and in the absence of any supporting evidence should not be included. --Chancemichaels 20:12, 13 April 2006 (UTC)Chancemichaels

I was going to inform them that Betsy Ross was a New JERSEYAN from Bordentown or Burlingington (can't remember off the top of my head) who MARRIED a Philadelphian - so yes, New Jersey does have ties to the creation of the American Flag, since it's CREATOR was a New Jerseyan.

But considering how negative the New Jersey pages are and how erroneous much of the information is on those pages, it's like trying to put out a southern California fire with a fire extinguisher.

So please people, do me a favor, ON ALL Wikipedia pages dealing with New Jersey, provide a link to AboutNewJersey.com! Let's stop the madness of Wikipedia. :roll:

04-24-2007, 12:20 AM
BTW - I retitled this thread to be about Wikipedia and it's erroneous information it provides about New Jersey and I moved it to the New Jersey discussion forum. I felt since the majority of the posts have been going in that direction, it was best to reflect that in the thread title and placement.

04-24-2007, 10:47 AM
I received the following response from Wikipedia today...

The problem here is that your name is confusingly similar to that of an admin. Ideally, we would have not allowed the admin to choose this name because of the similarity but at the time, we did not have the likeness checker in place. Unfortunately, we cannot allow both usernames to exist when they are this similar and when one person is an admin. Given your low edit count, the easiest approach is to have you change your name. This is nothing personal.

As to your images, I see you have uploaded four images. You say these images
belong to you and have been removed. Of the images:

This image did not belong to you. It was a mapquest map.

This image appears to be a copyright violation, the original source being http://www.aboutnewjersey.com/, and you did not dispute this. Now, it looks
at least possible that you actually own the copyright to this image but if so, you should have noted that when the dispute was registered. You will also have to update aboutnewjersey.com to indicate that this particular image is released under the GFDL.

As previous.

Although you did not leave a license for this image, it appears that you do not own the image. It was assumed to be a fair-use image used in a replaceable manner and so was deleted after being marked as such for a week.

I responded with...

Thank you for your response. I did register my complaint at the time concerning my photos, they apologized and said I would have to resubmit the photos, that they couldn't be restored. I was told that it was because of an over zealous admin, who should have contacted me or did a little more research on it. Since there are numerous errors on Wikipedia when it comes to New Jersey facts, it just got to be a huge headache and it wasn't worth it. It's like putting out a southern California fire with a fire extinguisher. That's how I discovered I was blocked - there was a discussion on the New Jersey talk page about the American flag and whether it has any association with New Jersey or not. I was going to comment and tell them - Betsy Ross was a New JERSEYAN who married a Philadelphian and MOVED to Philadelphia - so yes, New Jersey does have association with the American Flag. Not that the so-called experts seem to know anything about New Jersey on there, so I wouldn't expect them to know this. Of course, then they would want birth certificates to prove it. Just like when I tried telling someone that in the original New Jersey charter - New Jersey was given all the land west of Manhattan and Long Island - this would make Liberty, Ellis, Staten and Governors Island all New Jersey land. They replied back that they wanted a resource that said this was the case, quoting our charter wasn't good enough (they were claiming that New Jersey was only given the land at the low water mark in the Charter - yet NO WHERE in our charter does it mention a low water mark)..

Concerning my name, I understand the reason behind it being blocked, however I will not be changing it. I had JerseyDevil before this admin (who may leave or stop posting at any time) and I guess therefore I will not be correcting the many erroneous items that appear on the NJ sections, unless I do it through standard IP with no name. I am sorry that Wikipedia did not have the checks in place PRIOR to this person registering, but that isn't my fault. I only respond to New Jersey related articles and therefore use JerseyDevil.

- Robert

08-31-2007, 06:06 PM
Here are examples of the type of attitude toward New Jersey you find on wikipedia (note that this is only a small sample) -

Drive-by movement to New Jersey

Every couple of weeks, some ignoramus tries to move the Statue of Liberty off Bledoes (aka Liberty) Island and onto the Jersey shore. It's pretty well documented over on the Liberty Island page that the dry part of Liberty Island is owned by New York State. Maybe we can stop the vandalism by removing all reference to the statue being in New York by simply referring to its presence on Liberty Island? I tried boldly making that edit, and I already forgot reverted, requested discussion here. I represent that, short of educating every Noo Joisian about the topic, the best thing we can do is not rub salt in the wound. I mean, they already live in New Jersey -- we should cut them some slack. As the old SNL joke goes, "Keep New York City Clean [17], dump your trash in New Jersey." RussNelson 15:31, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

You'll notice here that New Jerseyans who fight for things to be properly represented on wikipedia are snidely referred to as "New Jersey Boosters" -it's funny how people who fight for New York to keep getting center stage on wikipedia aren't called "New York Boosters" :roll:

* Liberty Island is "in" New York State, and nobody has yet suggested that there has ever been any official dispute about this. This is because of legalities and agreements between the states and not because of what you'd expect by looking at a map or measuring mean high water at neap tide or whatever.
* User:Digibullet, anon, anon, and User:JerseyDevil have made assertions and given reasons why it should be associated with New Jersey.
* It is clear that there are some New Jersey boosters who are deeply resentful of what they perceive as an unfair popular perception that New York is somehow superior to New Jersey, and the location of the Statue of Liberty is involved in this resentment.
* One newspaper story identifies one such booster who lives in Jersey City, but nobody has yet turned up any prominent officials or authorities or mayors or governors saying anything like this.
* There is not yet agreement on whether the faction insisting that Liberty Island is "in New Jersey" is large enough or important enough to merit more than the degree of coverage presently in the article (the short paragraph at the end of the Description section). - basically here they flat out admit that when it comes to wikipedia - majority rules - whether it is right or wrong or incomplete information.

New Jersey boosters tend to cite these things in evidence of their claim:

* The Ellis Island decision
* Ordinary maps (road maps, online maps, road atlases), which generally (four out of four I've checked) draw the border down the center of the Hudson, label Liberty Island, and do not have any dotted lines or parenthetical notes that say anything about its status other than what can be inferred visually
* The New Jersey license plate with the picture of the Statue of Liberty on it
* Statements that the island is "within New Jersey's territorial waters"

13:33, 29 August 2007 RussNelson (40,734 bytes) (Let's see if we can get the New Jerseyites to stop vandalizing this page by removing all mention of New York as its location.)

By the way - at some point they took to link off of the Statue of Liberty page that showed that the Statue of Liberty is in New Jersey waters ([url=http://www.aboutnewjersey.com/Regions/Gateway/Hudson/JerseyCity/statueOfLiberty.php) and how to get to it from New Jersey.

What's sad is that so many people used it as reference material. I never was able to correct the ignorant comments regarding the 1664 treaty and stuff. In my opinion - Wikipedia is a virus. People should take what wikipedia says with a grain of salt.

What's even mor bothersome and scary is that they have the wikipeida:New Jersey project. Chances are it probably being worked on by many people who either live in NY or have never been to New Jersey.

09-02-2007, 01:14 AM
I can either spend all my time correcting information on wikipedia or I can provide the accurate information on AboutNewJersey.com. I prefer to build up AboutNewJersey.com and let wikipedia continue with the erroneous information. I will merely include links back to AboutNewJersey.com so people can see the REAL truth. I'm done with Wikipedia.
Wikipedia no longer allows links back to AboutNewJersey.com. They have removed all my links and when I put them back - they remove them again. BTW - I'm not pointing to this page - I'm just pointing to the main AboutNewJersey.com website and only when it makes sense - like the main New Jersey page or the Jersey Shore page. In terms of the Statue of Liberty - I did have a link that pointed people to the Statue of Liberty (http://www.aboutnewjersey.com/Regions/Gateway/Hudson/jersey-city/statue-of-liberty.php) page on AboutNewJersey.com