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Wikipedia, notability, and conflicts of interest

More than three years ago, someone unidentified created Wikipedia page about me. The author appears phony, and I have an inkling of who he is, but I never received confirmation.

When I found out about the article a while later, I was flattered and excited. I couldn't help but edit it, not knowing then (but well understanding now) that that was considered to be a violation of the Wikipedia policy. I wasn't really familiar with Wikipedia editing policies at the time, and I disagree with some of them now that I've read up a bit, but now I am in the situation of being accused of conflict of interest, when my motivation was to enhance the content.

I won't deny that I was also proud to have a page on Wikipedia.

A year later, my Debian colleage Josip Rodin stumbled over the article and questioned its notability, and I started to investigate the issue. I've talked to Josip and several other people I know about this, and went ahead to change the article in ways to centre its notability around my Debian book, which by then had sold over 20'000 times. That seemed to settle the issue.

Over the course of the next two years, several changes were made to the article, some by myself, but most by other people. Admittedly, the article grew more and more biographical and included more and more information about my involvement in Free software, as well as my research.

In January 2009, a user suggested that my article be merged with the article about my book. A brief discussion ensued, in which I ended up being the "lone dissenter" against two of the content police. My main argument was:

I don't see a point in merging a person with a book; what is the benefit? It is not like Wikipedia has to save paper, and having separate, interconnected pages rather than single monolithic ones is the spirit of the Web. Notability also comes from my research (which is about to be completed) and work on open-source software.

Again, I can clearly see the conflict of interest, because I obviously view myself as much more important than anything else in the Wikipedia-Universe.

Three weeks later, one of the two policemen called it consensus, because my arguments were considered invalid due to aforementioned conflict of interest.

Around that time, I had the chance to attend LCA in Hobart, where I spoke to several people about the issue, including Angela Beesley, who had in the past worked for the Wikimedia Foundation on editing content and setting policy. I learnt that Wikipedia contributors are split between three camps: Deletionists, inclusionists, and those who don't care.

Since it was pretty obvious that I was dealing with two people of the deletionist camp, I took this information to the discussion and offered to invite those with whom I had spoken to give their input, and to balance out other instances of conflict of interest in this matter. Nothing came back, and I put the issue on the backburner.

A few days ago, my article was redirected to my book's article, which I continue to oppose. It seems that the merging policeman is not ready for further discussion, and now I am unsure how to move on.

I would appreciate if you would email me with any advice.

NP: Tunng: Comments of the Inner Chorus