Op-ed: ‘Wiki Geeks’ locked in spiral of failure

Meet the small band of unfortunates who make up ‘Wikiproject Football’ – Wikipedia’s all-male cabal of soccer anoraks.

Perspective and Wikipedia ‘notability’: “These are small, the ones out there are far away”

There is an excellent Wikipedia ‘task force’ specialising in women’s football, with some talented and hard-working contributors. But their aims are frustrated at every turn by the handful of obsessed losers at the main project, who block-vote to rig deletion discussions and skew the inclusion criteria in favour of their pet subjects.

Odd, slightly vulnerable men. Smug, complacent and reeking of flabby entitlement. This article, entitled Wiki Geeks lays bare Wikiproject Football’s alarming lack of diversity.

Far from twigging that this makes them a laughing stock, they instead maintain a bullish pride. Apparently unprompted, each offers up a Partridgean anecdote to the snickering FourFourTwo hack.

Little wonder then, that they are often described as a “stuffy boy’s club” and, less charitably, a “circle jerk”.

One buffoon spends his every waking hour – seriously – deleting logos off women’s football team articles. In his opinion they are mere “child entities” of the male teams and unworthy of their own logos.

It’s a crusade based on an, er, idiosyncratic reading of the guidelines. Needless to say there is no ‘consensus’ (because it’s sexist. And stupid.)

To be fair, our hero did make a play for Wiki-wide consensus, but was laughed out of town. So he embarked upon going round thousands of individual articles in piecemeal fashion.

What an existence! But his deranged monomania continues unchecked because not enough editors watch over the women’s team’s articles. This is what we’re up against.

“Team logos on women’s football articles? Not on my watch!”

The scandal of Wikipedia’s systemic bias is well-known; infamously only 16% of biography articles are female. It was shown that <1% of footballer articles on Wikipedia are for female players.

There is a hard-core rump of 1970s-style bigots at Wikiproject Football fighting a furious rearguard action to keep it that way.

With a few honourable exceptions, the membership of this shamed Wikiproject seem to exist on a sort of continuum; running from 'harmless dork' right through to some real, real degenerates.

Stewing in their proverbial mom’s basements, they angrily batter their filth-encrusted keyboards. In a way this is probably just as well, since in the real world they may well present a serious danger to women.

A handful of the very worst – following the Peter principle – have chased away more capable editors and attained ‘administrator’ status due to their morbid longevity.

This puts them in a position to wield even more unhealthy influence, wreaking more havoc on an already-discredited corner of Wikipedia.

==At least the swarm of repressed man-babies on Twitter and BBC online get challenged, at Wikipedia they enjoy free rein==

Any women’s football article ‘tweeted’ out by the BBC is invariably polluted with a string of comments from sexist gargoyles.

The level of sophistication is usually: “Yah, boo, sucks. Get back in the kitchen.” Or the old favourite: “Who cares?”

What these prospective Mensa candidates probably don’t realise is that with every inane comment they are only increasing women’s football’s social media ‘footprint’.

Yes, every outburst means that the article appears in the Twitter ‘timeline’ of all the culprit’s followers. Then if a boneheaded pal ‘likes’ or ‘re-tweets’ their drivel, all their followers get the article too.

And so on and so on, furthering the inexorable reach of women’s football. Cheers lads!

Nah, seriously, we can all laugh at these pitiable clowns and their impotent bigot-rage. It’s hard to imagine the serious journos at the Beeb losing any sleep over them.

BUT over at Wikipedia, in the absence of any editorial standards or professionalism, the sexist gargoyles hold the whip hand.

Yes, these selfsame lunatics are running the asylum.

==The entire concept of ‘Fully Professional Leagues’ on Wikipedia is a sham, dreamed up by a handful of no-marks to lend a spurious objectivity to their biases==

In the FourFourTwo article, Wikipedia’s notability guideline is pompously declared a “simple” matter of fully-professionalism. Well yes, it’s simple all right, but it’s also disingenuous nonsense.

Perhaps recent saturation coverage of the Premier League has muddied the waters for these imbeciles. Think Sky Sports’ Gary Neville roaring in coital ecstasy because Watford have equalised at Bournemouth.

Consider the modern player: ludicrously-coiffed man-boys, gormless mediocrities strutting about in, say, Huddersfield Town livery – and boasting the turnover of a medium-sized multinational corporation.

But it hasn’t always been this way. In the post-war years, times were ‘ard for almost everyone. The idea that every player in England’s top four divisions in the 1950s was “fully-professional” is preposterous.

But that’s what Wikipedia’s guideline is based upon. Not only is there a myopic, parochial and xenophobic conception of relative ‘notability’, it’s uncritically projected into the distant past.

Toffs who supposedly played in the early years of the FA Cup all have articles, although their ‘notability’ extends to being a line buried somewhere in a dusty old stats compendium.

Despite being sparsely-referenced and perpetually-incomplete, Wikipedia’s list of “Fully Professional Leagues” enjoys exalted status among Wikiproject Football’s creepy rank-and-file.

Conceived as a suggestive essay, it has congealed into a dogma. In their minds, anyway. Presume to question it and feel their vindictive wrath!

To point out its gaping inconsistencies is to invite a barrage of well-worn excuses. Excuses of wildly-varying credibility and relevance.

==Here’s tae us. Wha’s like us? Damn few, and they’re aw “Fully Professional”==

The Scottish second tier, for example, is not and never has been full-time professional. “Um, er, well, ‘the media’ covers it,” they stammer, as they sneakily ‘edit-war’ it back into their risible essay.

In the late 1980s Clydebank played in the Scottish Premier Division as a completely part-time club. When the Scotland Semi-Pro national team cleaned up at the 1985 Four Nations Tournament, half the squad was drawn from the top tier, the rest from the second tier.

The Scottish ‘Juniors’ – a violent sub-genus of non-league football – enjoys extensive Wikipedia coverage despite its clubs not competing ‘at a national level of the league structure’ and being definitively non-notable.

Meanwhile articles about much more notable female athletes are ruthlessly culled. Absurd deletion votes are policed by Wikiproject Football’s all-day-every-day brigade, whose knowledge of women’s football would in most cases comfortably fit on the head of a pin.

Nevertheless they robotically parrot their “Fully Professional” mantra and nine times out of ten it does the trick.

The French Wikipedia, to their credit, ditched this “Fully Professional” pretence, due to its overt sexism. They brought in a convoluted quota system instead.

Ten appearances in the Frauen-Bundesliga, 20 in the Damallsvenskan and you’re Wiki-worthy. Or something. Far from perfect, but hey, at least they’re making an effort. It’s not an exact science.

Look, a bit of honesty might go a long way here: “Okay guys, we’ll level with you. There’s hordes of pampered wee white boys and until they get girlfriends they’ve nothing else in their lives other than updating Brechin City and Alloa Athletic statistics on Wikipedia.

“Let’s not take that away from them eh? Let’s all just pretend it belongs in an encyclopedia. We’ll use that ‘Fully Professionalism’ wheeze to give it a fig leaf of objectivity.”

Only the hardest heart could say no to that. But let’s extend the same courtesy to the Irish, the women, and all the others you’ve been excluding because of your ideological fanaticism – you sad, blinkered bigots.

==Don’t just read this, get over to Wikipedia and muck in==

Yes, yes but “Does any of this matter?” I hear you cry.

Well, yes. Love it or loathe it Wikipedia is important. Not least because it’s the first port of call for notoriously lazy mainstream sports journalists.

So this isn’t (just) a moan, but a call to arms. Sign up here and get involved.

Articles about notable women are being deleted now, for the sake of just a few more even-handed contributors speaking out. Dear reader, do you realise that ”’YOU”’ are the makeweight to tip the scales?

==TL;DR==

Wikipedia’s Wikiproject Football is a cesspit of childish sexism, trying to artificially hold back women’s football.

==Credits==

Article helped/inspired by our friends at Women’s Footy.UK and dedicated to all the stalwarts of the women’s football/soccer taskforce.

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