Czech Wikipedia is not impartial

11. 1. 2010 / Fabiano Golgo

Who deserves to be an entry on Wikipedia? What does a person have to do to be considered important enough to be an article in that democratic virtual encyclopedia?

One of the major problems in Czech culture is its tribal tendencies. It is not an exclusive Czech problem, but it is a disease very widespread in this nation. Small and homogeneous, with a tradition of repressing the different (= that which does not conform to "our" concept of civilized behaviour - ironically, a codex obviously imprinted by the Habsburgs), where only those with similar opinions are allowed in the same group and strong manifestations in public are discriminated against, not to mention that whoever dares to divert from the provincial views of the majority is labelled a troublemaker and as such "we" have the right to safeguard ourselves against them as the accepted norm... When all moms beat their kids, no mom can dare to say that that is unhealthy...

The ability to let into your personal space those who have very different views is rare in this land. That is why I often point to Britské listy as the only such space. Think: does anyone else publishes such a panacea of varied views and, especially, does any other medium in ČR allows for members of the team and readers to openly fight with each other? Does any Editor-in-Chief allows in their medium to be published that he is a "vůl" (idiot) or other aggressive words?

In my case, because I write my articles in English, I see with admiration and disbelief how editor-in-chief Jan Čulík spends hours translating my attacks against him, without ever censuring it nor affecting our cooperation and friendship. When another member of Blisty felt attacked by me, he refused to translate the article I wrote (he was in charge of that by the time), screaming he is not a masochist... As if a criticism, no matter how wrong, could kill...

I remember how, when I read a strong article against me by a then computer nerd from Mimoň, Filip Rožánek, in the deceased, something like "Fabiano, that Brazilian provocateur" I did not agree with a word of what he wrote, but loved his style and offered him to work for the magazine I directed because I recognized his talent, which he later proved by his own efforts and became an key player in the local media scene at an incredibly young age. We have never agreed on many things and he is also one of those who do not like my anarchistic ways, but I would never cowardly need to run away from his views, for I am secure enough to take criticism and also live with people who think diversely. Probably that comes from growing up in a multicultural environment. And not being censored by my parents as much as the average Czech kid is by theirs. Frequenting an Anglican school (Bishop William Thomas') that supported creativity and freedom may have helped as well.

The inability of letting space to opposition has obvious historical roots and a population that grew up locked up not only territorially, but ideologically, is still influencing those who were not even alive back then. I also believe that the well accepted "Mother Dictatorship" in this nation teaches kids from a young age that one does not need to be right to impose their truths, all it takes is to have the power to do so. The concept of fair play is laughed over. The materialism and cynicism that is king here supports those who act selfishly.

And the Czech Wikipedia shows those very same provincial prejudices.

Writer and poet Filip Sklenář became notorious for writing controversial pieces about, for example, Christianity, ephebophilia or how Jan Palach should not be made a hero, etc., while disgusting those who cannot stand homo-erotica involving young adolescents (unlike Robert Vano, whose smooth personality made acceptable even for his photographs of naked male prostitutes he consumed to become art pieces in exhibitions...)

All that and much more made Filip "persona non grata" everywhere, including among wikipedistas.

He used to be a prolific wikipedista, meaning he would write many important articles for the virtual encyclopaedia, which was conceived to be democratic. Just that the founder has no idea of what goes on here. Because of personal antipathy - not lack of knowledge or style -, Filip was expelled not only from the possibility of writing entries, but even from having his name as an entry. (The proof that it was all for personal reasons, not for supposedly not having the expected knowledge for it is that Filip added at least another 93 entries after his expulsion, under different nicks or IP addresses from Internet Cafes from Ostrava.)

A ridiculous and long discussion was created by that tight-knit and conservative group of pseudo-intellectuals that sequestered the Czech Wikipedia and treat it like their fiefdom.

If a wikipedista writes an article that has a mistake, what is to be done is to eliminate the piece, not the person.

In the tribal and discriminatory internal discussion about why Filip should not be an entry piece, for those who would like to know who he was, we find arguments that are purely from envy, for they make no sense.

The decision to let Filip be part of Wikipedia or not should be discussed as in a public forum, which is what Wikipedia expects, not from a simple, unjustified vote. That means Mr Mirek feels he was elected, that he has the POWER to do it. Only that his power is from tribal reasons, he is tune with his fellow wikipedistas, so all he needs is to add one more boot to the lynch mob...

A young man who has written 2 books, one of them (Červené dlaždice) very well reviewed by those who are not religious bigots, who was on top of that the only person who saw the intimacy of Radovan Krejčíř after he had fled the Czech Republic, without being his friend, thus able to tell the truth about what he saw, and who lived such a singular life in comparison to the average Czech, whose poetry was recognized as good even by the public radio is not important enough for the Czech Wikipedia?

Simple: envy. Personal vendetta. Littleness. Put bluntly: Čecháčkovy, just that intellectualized ones...

It is absolute nonsense to say that Filip is not important enough to be there.

And now that he has died, for sure. But I tried to add an entry with his name a few days ago and in a matter of MINUTES, it was erased. The administrator even had the guts to justify that I used parts of texts from my own articles! As if I had no copyrights over my own articles!

It is amazing how the administrator feels he can decide whether Filip is important enough or not.

Just that he is probably blind in his soul and corrupted in his motives, because if Filip was not important, then his death would not have reverberated in articles in many sites, endless discussions about his life on ChristNet, references to him in more than 20 blogs and online media like Referendum, plus the upcoming printed pieces on Nový Prostor and A2, dozens of reproductions of his poetry on Facebook and at least 4 articles on Britské listy? That is what they call a non-important person?

What their Czech mentality does not let them see is that the fact that Filip said things they did not agree with, does not mean he was not relevant. It is like to censor an entry about Hitler, because he was the devil on Earth... Worse, it is like not letting an entry about Bohemians Football Club, because the wikipedistas are either Sparta or Slavia and, as their argumentation could go, Bohemians is a loser, almost closed, not a real professional football team etc.

Absurd, primitive, short-sighted, typical for the small peasant intellectuality of so many here.

I have asked Ondřej Slačálek to prepare a new entry about Filip for the Wikipedia. I am curious to see if it will be erased as well.

But if they will have the lack of good sense of repeating the bad deed, I will contact the headquarters with some serious exposé of what has been happening here. Old Czech sabotage against foreigners who, as Masaryk said, know nothing about "us". They count with their anonymity, thanks to the impossibility of the American side to know that this is going on.

The local administration of Wikipedia stole the virtual encyclopaedia for themselves. Let it go, it belongs to all of us, including those many who would like to see an entry about Filip there.

So I ask all those who agree with me and would like to see it on the Czech Wikipedia, to please write to:


Obsah vydání | Pátek 26.2. 2010