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The Man Who Guards Clinton's Wikipedia Entry 395

Posted by kdawson
from the lonely-vigil dept.
Timothy found a profile in The New Republic of Jonathan Schilling, a 53-year-old software developer from New Jersey who works to keep Hillary Clinton's Wikipedia entry clean and fair throughout the election season. "After he started editing her page in June 2005, Schilling became consumed with trying to capture her uncomfortable place in American culture, researching and writing a whole section on how she polarizes the public... [T]he attacks on Hillary's page mainly take the form of crude vandalism... It's different on Obama's page, where the fans — no surprise — are more enthusiastic, the haters are more intelligent, and the arguments reflect the fact that Obama himself is still a work under construction... The bitterness of the fights on Obama's page could be taken as a bad sign for the candidate. But it may actually be Hillary's page that contains the more troubling omens. Few, if any, Hillary defenders are standing watch besides Schilling. In recent days, the vaguely deserted air of a de-gentrifying neighborhood has settled over her page..."
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The Man Who Guards Clinton's Wikipedia Entry

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:10AM (#22919778)
    Maybe I'm just getting older, but this election is really making me lose my faith in the political process. Elections seem to be nothing but bitter slander now. Sure, it's always been that way to some degree, but at least Bill Clinton's first run in the early 1990s, for all the debate and polemics involved, managed to be entertaining (remember Primary Colors [amazon.com] ?). This whole process, on the other hand, is just sad.
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:23AM (#22919864) Homepage Journal
      No, I think you're just getting older. Read about the U.S. presidential election in 1828 [wikipedia.org] between John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson. They really brought out the mudslinging: Jackson's marriage got attacked while Adams was accused releasing an American servant girl to the Czar of Russia to appease his sexual appetite.

      The thing is that bitter mudslinging is good for the process in some ways -- the First Amendment allows us to talk trash about the political candidates and some might be true, some not, but in the end, the real truth usually surfaces.
      • by Targon (17348) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:42AM (#22919968)
        The problem with the mudslinging is that if you do not follow the process on a daily basis, you may hear about falsehoods spread, but do not hear when those falsehoods are proven to be wrong. The same goes for these small clips that are all over the place that can easily be taken out of context.

        There really isn't a lot of press coverage for when baseless accusations are proven to be nothing, but there is a ton of coverage when those initial accusations are made.
        • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:12AM (#22920198) Homepage Journal
          That's not the fault of the First Amendment or of the U.S. political process. That's the partially the fault of the media's sensationalism and everybody's short attention spans. But there is press coverage when baseless allegations are proved false and, IMHO, the ultimate responsibility lies on the voters -- if you're not paying attention, maybe you shouldn't vote. *shrug*
          • by galego (110613) <jsnsotheracctNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:50AM (#22921098)
            if you're not paying attention, maybe you shouldn't vote. *shrug*

            Bingo! If parent wasn't a 5, I'd say mod it up. Voting is a privilege, not a right as some would have us believe. It should not be granted or denied based on irrelevant factors such as race or gender, but I worry about the effect of our cluelessness and lack of perspective when voting in America.

            Admittedly, I have been guilty of clueless voting in the past.

            Maybe there should be a quiz to get to the polls, replete with being cast off of a cliff (Monty Python style ... Holy Grail) for trying to vote w/o being informed on the issues. ;) Thing is ... I'm certain we'd lose those administering the quiz, just like in the Holy Grail. :O

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Moofie (22272)
              "Voting is a privilege, not a right as some would have us believe."

              I need for you to point out to me in the Constitution where you got that ridiculous assertion.
              • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:18AM (#22921404)

                "Voting is a privilege, not a right as some would have us believe."
                I need for you to point out to me in the Constitution where you got that ridiculous assertion.

                Go commit a felony and you'll see.

                • by 1729 (581437) <slashdot1729@gma ... minus herbivore> on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:40AM (#22921666)

                  "Voting is a privilege, not a right as some would have us believe."
                  I need for you to point out to me in the Constitution where you got that ridiculous assertion.

                  Go commit a felony and you'll see.

                  Felons lose a lot of rights. Or do you think that freedom (i.e. not being incarcerated) is merely a "privilege"?
                • That's it is a right and can only be removed by due process of law.

                  I agree.
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by DesScorp (410532)
                  "Go commit a felony and you'll see."

                  Don't commit one and you'll never have that problem.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by galego (110613)
                While I haven't read the constitution lately and admittedly can't cite where that is. IANAL and suppose are a rocket scientist. I would equally challenge you to show me where it is specifically cited as a right. And whether or not it is a *right*, the point is ... voting is of significant consequence and should not be performed by masses of uninformed. Any party could complain equally on uninformed voting toward the other I'm sure. Thing is, it hurts us all. Is that a ridiculous assertion?
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                "Voting is a privilege, not a right as some would have us believe."

                I need for you to point out to me in the Constitution where you got that ridiculous assertion.

                Have you ever read the Constitution? For starters, the 14th Amendment [usconstitution.net] specifies that people denied the vote for "participation in rebellion or other crime" still be counted for purposes of apportioning Representatives, implying that voting is not a right. More importantly, nowhere does it guarantee voting rights to anybody for any reason -- eli

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AlfieJ (660051)
          The problem with the mudslinging is that if you do not follow the process on a daily basis, you may hear about falsehoods spread, but do not hear when those falsehoods are proven to be wrong.

          Which is one of the reasons the founding fathers instituted the electoral college, instead of letting the popular vote elect the president. The presumption is that the members of the electoral college will be paying more attention to the process and won't get as caught up in the baseless mudslinging as someone in th
        • by sheldon (2322) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:02AM (#22921204)
          A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. - Churchill

        • Nothing gets rid of the mud quicker than an intellectual "car wash". The more people become aware of sites like Media Matters [mediamatters.org] and Fact Check [factcheck.org], the less likely they'll be to buy into the bullshit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Himring (646324)
        I'll one-up ya. Read about the political mudslinging between Octavian (Augustus) and Mark Antony [wikipedia.org] during their campaign to succeed the assassinated Caesar, circa 27 BC. Back then, however, the mudslinging got a bit more personal, to the point of bloodshed and lots of it....

        Bashing one's opponent with truths, exaggerations and falsehoods has been the stuff of democracries, republics and political processes since the beginning....
    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:34AM (#22919938)
      In some ways I chalk this up to the media. They have become increasingly good over the years at capitalizing on scandal and drama with reductionist articles like this one. Stereotyping the arguments and behaviors of each cap in order to enrage the other and you have yourself an anger inspiring sound bite a talking head can use to sell some commercials. I'll be willing to bet if you look at what candidates themselves are saying it isn't, to any drastic extent, more or less intelligent than 20 or 30 years ago. But if you look to open public internet forums for ideas on politics you may come across some people literally frothing at the mouth posting any sort of stab they can think of on both sides.

      So yeah considering Wikipedia as some kind of "omen" of general consensus among voters just makes me think of the jokes (from SNL i think?) around when WP was created like: "Wikipedia this July will celebrate America's 600th anniversary of independence thanks to General Hello Kitty's heroic strategies in the war with China."
    • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:52AM (#22920032) Journal
      Elections seem to be nothing but bitter slander now.

      That's largely how they've been for most of the history of our republic. Try looking up some of the things that Alexander Hamilton said about Aaron Burr.

      -jcr
      • by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:56AM (#22920608) Journal

        Try looking up some of the things that Alexander Hamilton said about Aaron Burr.

        And we all know how that one ended [wikipedia.org].

        Hey! Maybe Hillary and Obama can have a duel to settle the nomination once and for all. Anyone want to place any bets? Will the brother pop a cap into Hillary's ass? Or will Hillary dodge his shots as she did the sniper fire in Bosnia before taking him out? Or will they both have to duke it out with dull steak knifes because both are in favor of gun control?

        Coming soon to a pay-per-view station near you! Don King is gonna make a fortune.... ;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash (241428)

      You know, the 1992 election was the first US Presidential Election I actually followed, and followed at a lower level than most elections I'd followed even in Britain, where I lived at the time. I was at University, and was getting seriously involved in Usenet at the time.

      And trust me, it was just as vicious then. Which, in retrospect, is ironic because the stakes were somewhat lower. George Bush Sr was never as incompetent or dangerous as his son and McCain, the country had not suffered any major disast

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ArcherB (796902)

        John McCain is the enemy.

        First, John McCain is not the enemy. America has many enemies. Osama Bin Laden would be a fine example of one. John McCain is not an enemy of America. For that matter, he's a true American hero. I'm not saying that qualifies him to president any more than it did John Kerry, but don't take an American hero and call him the "enemy". That's just hateful, partisan rhetoric. Enough of the hate speech already.

        John McCain wants us to stay in Iraq for 100 more years.

        Typical of the left. Lying about their opponent and declaring them the "enemy". HERE [youtube.com] is a vide

        • by DarkSarin (651985)
          You're right that John McCain is not an enemy of America, even though liberals love to paint him that way. It is unfortunate that despite that, John McCain is still a poor choice for president.

          War hero or not, and despite all his ability, McCain is a poor choice. I do not waint McCain as president. But even more than that, I absolutely can't stand the idea of Hillary as president. Obama I can live with, but McCain and Hillary both make me sick for vastly different reasons. I don't like Obama's position
        • by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:59AM (#22921168) Journal

          Hey, it's nice to see somebody stand up and defend the guy. I'm a lil tired of seeing us use that quote too -- how is beating McCain to death over that quote any different from going after Gore for "inventing" the internet or swift-boating John Kerry? I do take issue with one thing you said though:

          Typical of the left

          Why was that even necessary and what positive thing do you contribute to the conservation by taking that sort of swipe at "the left" (as if "the left" is one monolithic entity with a single agenda and battle-plan)? I think we'd all be a lot better off if the people on both sides of the political divide could at least respect each other and avoid taking those kinds of pot-shots at each other.

          I didn't even finish the rest of your McCain rant

          I can't speak for the GP, but my rant about John McCain doesn't have much to do with Iraq. I disagree with him completely on Iraq but I can at least respect him for his viewpoint and acknowledge the fact that he was one of the few Republican voices that questioned the Administration on Iraq (he called for more troops long before the surge became fashionable). My rant with John McCain is how he effectively sold out his own positions to kiss the ass of the base in order to secure the nomination. He went from having the courage to stand up to the likes of Jerry Falwell to kissing his ass four years later. That cost him a lot of respect in my eyes -- he got some of it back by speaking out against torture, but still.....

          I miss the John McCain from 2000. If that guy was running he'd have a decent shot at getting my vote. Hell, if that guy had won in 2000 I think we'd be a lot better off -- he wouldn't have made Afghanistan into a side-show while outsourcing the job of catching Osama to local warloads of questionable loyalty. He wouldn't have run his administration from the extreme far-right while further dividing this country. He wouldn't have cost us our creditability on human rights by torturing prisoners. He wouldn't have stopped talking about Osama until he was "dead or alive".

          Karl Rove has done his country a lot of disservices in the last eight years -- but as far as I'm concerned his biggest disservice was using his gutter politics against John McCain in South Carolina's 2000 Republican Primary.

          • by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:14AM (#22921354)

            I miss the John McCain from 2000.

            As you say above, he's sold out to get the nomination.

            Now that he has the nomination, I'd expect him to return to his 2000 persona - by far the most sensible Republican that I can remember (though Bush Senior wasn't too bad - he just upset the pro-Israel lobby by threatening to cut subsidies if they didn't stop illegal settlements).

            All I can say from a British standpoint is that we certainly would prefer it if you didn't elect Hilary ;P

        • Pot, meet kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

          by LanMan04 (790429) on Monday March 31, 2008 @11:17AM (#22921380)

          That's just hateful, partisan rhetoric.
          followed by

          Typical of the left. Lying about their opponent
          Hello pot, meet kettle!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        He's said he's comfortable with the occupation of Iraq lasting "100 more years"

        With respect, it annoys me when I see sound bites taken out of context and used against someone, even if that person is someone whom I'm opposing (and I am opposed to McCain winning, FYI). He was attempting to put Iraq into perspective -- consider the fact that we've been in Japan and Germany for over 60 years -- Korea for almost as long.

        We can oppose him for his views on the war but trying to beat him to death using that single quote is no better then beating Al Gore to death for "inventing" the inter

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by FBodyJim (1136589)
      My name is James Hogan, I'm a software engineer from Long Branch New Jersey and I've never run for, or held, a public office before, so I decided to start high and run for US Congress ( http://www.hoganforcongress.com/ [hoganforcongress.com] ) against a 20 year politician here in New Jersey. What you posted is what, no exaggeration, 75% of the people I've talked to have said. Each year, they find themselves more and more distanced from politics and, like myself, reference "them" and "us". It's interesting though because these pe
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jesdynf (42915)
        I have a donation for your campaign below.

        <p> </p>
        <p> </p>
        <p> </p>
        <p> </p>

        Please employ them responsibly. If you run out, I may have some more.
  • WP:OWN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:12AM (#22919802)
    Just make sure to keep http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles [wikipedia.org] in mind, Jonathan.
    • by Otter (3800)
      What I've always found odd about Wikipedia is how their conflict of interest policy forbids people with overt interest in a subject from editing, but people with free-floating obsessions are free to spend their lives banging away at the page of their choice. Of course, that is the traditional idea of conflict of interest, but anyone familiar with the Internet should have learned by now that fanboys and crackpots are willing to put at least as much zealotry into their campaigns as anyone with money at stake
  • by rve (4436) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:19AM (#22919830)
    It's not just Hillary Clinton's page.
    Just for a laugh, check how often pages on completely neutral and uncontroversial subjects are vandalized.

    The Carrot (vegetable)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Carrot&action=history [wikipedia.org]

    Just in the past week:
    - Replacing the entire page with "carrots cause wicked diarrhea"
    - Replacing paragraph headers with "==Uses== (I LOVE NICK JONAS) .com! everything free!"
    • by rve (4436) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:21AM (#22919842)
      Should have used the preview button...

      Just in the past week:
      - Replacing the entire page with "carrots cause wicked diarrhea"
      - Replacing paragraph headers with "==Uses== (I LOVE NICK JONAS) 3" and "==History== (I LOVE THE JONAS BROTHERS)"
      - Inserting "CARROTS A.K.A Juno's mum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
      - Adding nonsense like "the carrot was invented by the fairy princess Isis in 5009" and "The Glazed Carrot was Alexander Graham Bell's Favorite Food."
      - "The carrot/ Reece(who likes the carrot) Hannam"
      - Adding nationalistic bullshit
      - "They look like penises."
      - replaced page with "Everyone Go To www.some url.com! everything free!"
    • by nguy (1207026) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:54AM (#22920052)
      Just for a laugh, check how often pages on completely neutral and uncontroversial subjects are vandalized.

      Neutral? Uncontroversial? I'm being haunted by killer carrots from outer space, you insensitive clod! Aieeeee....
    • by niceone (992278) *
      - Replacing the entire page with "carrots cause wicked diarrhea"

      OK, I laughed. Is that very wrong? Probably is.
  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:19AM (#22919832) Homepage
    ... that one of the Obama "editors" calls himself "Bellwether".

      Until recently, Bellwether, a.k.a. Kevin Bailey, was an analogue to Schilling on Obama's page.

    Anyone know what a bellwether is? No? It's a neutered male sheep, with a bell on a cord around its neck. You let it loose in open grazing, and it will find other sheep, and then you find it by listening for the bell ringing as it ineffectually tries to mate with the ewes it's found.

    Probably not the best nickname to choose, I'm thinking.
  • by superwiz (655733) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:35AM (#22919946) Journal
    His name is Schilling? And he shills for Hillary? Is her campaign manager Miss Moneypenny? Am I the only who sees the irony?
    • His name is Schilling? And he shills for Hillary?

      Only on the off season.
  • by daveime (1253762) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:58AM (#22920072)
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    And for those of you who can't be bothered to google for the Wiki entry ...

    "Who guards the guardians".

    I thought the whole point of Wikipedia was that is was essentially a public resource, where anyone could add to it. If the whole whing is moderated, who draws the line between "vandalism", and just something that might put the subject "in a bad light" (regardless of the factual accuracy of it).

    So anyone looking for "real" opinion may as well stay away from Wikipedia, as it's being managed by some of the same spin-doctors who manage the actual campaigns (and we all know how unbiased they are) :-(
  • who would have thought a totally open forum for posting nonsense against another persons name wouldn't work out....
    • who would have thought a totally open forum for posting nonsense against another persons name wouldn't work out....
      I'm confused. I didn't realize slashdot was a wiki.
  • by Flaming Babies (904475) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:25AM (#22920296)
    He's got 5 of the last 500 edits to the page. Yeah, he's a real one man army defending the wiki...
  • by GauteL (29207) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:33AM (#22920376)
    Having browsed through the Hillary Clinton page today I can't help feeling that the article has been vacuumed clean of any real criticism against her. One thing is removing obvious vandalism, but has Schilling (or someone else) gone too far in removing any reasonable criticism of Hillary?

    1. Where is the mention of her being criticised for taking lobbyist money?
    2. Where is the mention of critisism for her "exaggerating" her own stories for dramatic effect?

    These are just two issues I can list at the top of my head which are completely missing from the article. Instead there is ample reference to awards she has been given.

    As far as I know, Schilling has no official authority at Wikipedia and at the moment just acts as a self-appointed dictator that spends so much time on it that he manages to keep it "clean". When this happens, it is only fair to question whether he actually has an overly censoring position with regards to this article.
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:50AM (#22920554) Homepage
      The campaign page has a few more of the criticisms, but you're right that her biography page is carefully missing anything negative.
    • by sheldon (2322) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:51AM (#22921108)
      That's pretty common for any wiki entries relating to current political events. Any criticism will be removed.

      For instance looking at John McCain, there is some small mention of the Keating Five but it's limited to simply saying "He survived it", Which is interesting considering it is probably the biggest blight on his career. It doesn't even acknowledge the lessons he learned from that, which one can either see as smart politics, or cynicism. That being, when caught with your hand in the cookie jar, attack the makers of cookies. aka his "Maverick" quest for political reform.

      Or if you want to get into games of political gotcha. There is no mention at all of his quotes on not knowing anything about the economy, or wanting us to stay in Iraq for 100 years.

      Whether criticism is fair or not is entirely dependent upon your biases.
  • It's ironic that in keeping Hillary's wikipedia page "clean," Schilling perpetuates the meme that the Clintons are always complaining about everyone picking on them whenever anyone calls them on their evasions, distortions, and whoppers.
  • When seeing only the last name 'Clinton' in non-election-related news, the first name that pops into my mind is
    [x] Bill
    [_] Hillary
    [_] Neal
  • by Froze (398171) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:45AM (#22921036) Homepage

    I finally decided to watch one of her speeches the other night and discovered that she has an amazingly obvious tell. If you pay attention to her head motion you sill see that every time she make an affirmative statement she nods her head (as if to agree with herself). Contrary, every time she make a negative statement she shakes her head from side to side. There is also a diagonal gesture to accompany the ambiguous statements as well. She does this for every fact that she speaks, however if you watch her head during her declaratory statements, she does the same thing, but these are the promises she is supposed to be making and she will actually show which ones she really believes in. For instance at one point she made a statement to the effect that

    .. this will provide health care for all Americans
    while simultaneously shaking her head as if to say no, not really, not all - only some.

    When I watched her speech and payed attention to her body language, almost all the "good" parts (IMNSHO) are qualified as negative or ambiguous and all the self serving political promises are affirmative. If anyone else cares to post some specific examples that lay out what her real intentions are I would gladly like to see them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gatkinso (15975)
      The only body language you need to watch to know if a politician is lying is any movement of their lips.
  • At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

    .

    I like Obama, I really do, but sometimes it's hard to count yourself among his supporters. Ok, it's probably my fault for reading reddit (for the non-political stuff) but every time I visit that page I can't help but feel an irrational hatred towards Obama. It's not only all the "FUCK HILLARY!!!!!11 LOLTHXBY" headlines, it's mostly when they heartily applaud arcane primary rules and electi

  • Article Date???! (Score:2, Informative)

    by kc2keo (694222)

    Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"

Working...