Talk:Communications committee/Archive/2021

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Erroneous statement in Wired article criticizing Wikipedia

The author of a January 6, 2021 article in Wired magazine has criticized Wikipedia's article entitled Mythology of Benjamin Banneker.[1] The author stated:

In my conception, to visit Wikipedia was to be a flaneur, wandering unharmed from interesting edifice to interesting edifice. I paid little attention to those in marginalized groups who find Wikipedia full of frightening dark alleys and abrasive characters. In 2020, I decided to travel to some of the unwelcome corners of Wikipedia that I didn’t write about a decade ago. That’s how I came across an article obsessed with exposing the clay feet of Benjamin Banneker, a Black inventor and scientist in colonial America. .... But objections to this and other obscure, potentially offensive articles rarely carry the day unless an experienced editor or administrator can be enlisted to mount a campaign to reverse course.

The author described information that Mythology of Benjamin Banneker's Talk page contains. The author then declared that the article is "potentially offensive".

However, the author apparently did not carefully read either the article or its related main article (Benjamin Banneker). If the author had done this, the author would have found that neither of the two Wikipedia articles states that Banneker was an "inventor". In actuality, that is one of the unsubstantiated "myths" that the article and its cited references describe (see: Mythology of Benjamin Banneker#Banneker's clock). See also: List of common misconceptions#Early modern.

I therefore suggest that the Wikimedia Communications Committee inform the author and editors of the Wired magazine article that neither Banneker nor the "obscure, potentially offensive" article (Mythology of Benjamin Banneker) has or had "clay feet". The author apparently criticized Wikipedia and helped perpetuate a "myth" while not examining the condition of the author's own feet. The magazine's editors apparently did not fact check the author's statements. Corker1 (talk) 19:03, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

  1. Cohen, Noam (January 4, 2021). "Wikipedia's Biggest Challenge Awaits in 2021". Wired. Retrieved January 4, 2021.