Vanity Wikipedia Edits
February 10, 2005 9:22 AM   Subscribe

What is the proper netiquette for editing a Wikipedia entry about yourself? I just stumbled upon mine recently. Since it is written in the third person there is the presumption of objectivity. But then, it is my life, and I am the world's expert on it. What would you do?
posted by kk to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i'd post a comment on the discussions page (see tab near top of wikipedia page) asking for corrections / modifications and outlining why.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:25 AM on February 10, 2005

This question certainly puts the Meta in AskMeta. Don't worry about it, Kevin -- if you cross a line, the network will see your edits as damage and route around them.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:30 AM on February 10, 2005

Whoa...I am a bit starstruck. The Kevin Kelly? A Mefite?

I would say: Just change it, embellish, but try and maintain the third person tone of it.
posted by Quartermass at 9:32 AM on February 10, 2005

self link self link self link!!!!

Just kidding. Anyway,
wikipedia's wikiquette
page dosn't mention anything about editing self entries. The only thing that would apply is Recognize your own biases and keep them in check.

It might be good to use your own name to edit the articles, my wikipedia name is my real name.

Out of curiosity Are you still happy with Wired?
posted by delmoi at 9:35 AM on February 10, 2005

Or... write it up, and email it to me and I will update it for you. Then no one will know except the millions of people reading this thread!
posted by Quartermass at 9:35 AM on February 10, 2005

(the advantage of putting the comment in the discussion is that it is less likely to be lost in edits, so you don't need to keep going back to fix things up (someone else will fix it up for you). and, as a bonus, if you're - ahem - not that great at writing html then you don't run the risk of messing up the front page ;o)
posted by andrew cooke at 9:36 AM on February 10, 2005

First I'd learn to close my tags, and then, personally I'd be at it with a knife. The most reasonable thing you could do would be to post corrections to the discussion page (as suggested) or fix obviously incorrect facts.

The second best thing you could do would be to add information only. Removal of information would be percieved as censorship. Feel free to add information about the names of pets you've had, but don't delete the stuff about the time you "spent in Mexico"
posted by seanyboy at 9:36 AM on February 10, 2005

In July, New Scientist published an article about a physics experiment which its performer claimed, invalidated the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM. A highly provocative claim. Wikipedia's entry on the matter and its discussion has many firsthand contributions by the said scientist. So doesn't seem like a verboten practice.
posted by Gyan at 9:37 AM on February 10, 2005

Wikipedia meta page on auto-biographies:

"Some of us feel that even editing an article about yourself is best avoided, on the same principle. If you do so, please only add verifiable information and be especially careful to respect the neutral point of view. Noting objections or corrections on the talk page may be appropriate."

(The one on vanity pages is also worth reading, although it doesn't apply here since you're not a nobody.)
posted by smackfu at 9:45 AM on February 10, 2005

I updated their entry on MetaFilter as well as the page on me, only to post corrections.
posted by mathowie at 10:04 AM on February 10, 2005

Gyan: And the guy is a major pain in the lower regions of the anatomy, accusing people who try to make the article more neutral of being vandals and being generally abrasive. A great example of why, though you're not forbidden from editing stuff you're that closely involved with, it is a bad idea. If I were you I'd just drop a comment or two about inaccuracies or things you think need mentioning on the talk page.

Posting questions like this here or here will probably get you more knowledgeable eyeballs though, and would probably be more appropriate.
posted by fvw at 11:34 AM on February 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. The Autobiography entry in Wikipedia comes closest to an official verdict. I like the idea of posting stuff on the talk page. That makes sense.
posted by kk at 4:52 PM on February 10, 2005

Kevin, Roger Ebert has (apparently) edited the article on himself. I think it should generally be avoided (unless there's an egregious error, it's not all that important), but if you have a track record on Wikipedia making other edits that aren't challenged, it shouldn't be a problem if you maintain a strict NPOV, i.e. "Kevin Kelly is among the most innovative editors in modern journalism" would be a slight problem.
posted by dhartung at 10:24 PM on February 10, 2005

I have the same question about wikipedia pages that *mention* me. I think it makes sense I'm a l'il old stub page, but I've had disputes about some of the references to me on other wikipedia articles that I didn't think were accurate.

Not to derail Kevin's thread, but should that be a talk page request too?
posted by anildash at 12:04 AM on February 11, 2005

anildash: Yeah, that'd probably be wise. If the page in question doesn't get enough eyeballs for it to be handled swiftly you could even post about it in the misc section of the village pump saying you'd rather not edit stuff about yourself but you are rather unhappy with a factual inaccuracy.
posted by fvw at 12:48 PM on February 11, 2005

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