The PLAZOID censored from Wikipedia!!!

Apparently, “the PLAZOID” was the subject of an entry on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page), which was deleted. A version of the encyclopedic entry can be found at: http://www.answers.com/topic/the-plazoid, and just in case it too gets censored, it is included below:

“The Plazoid is a ‘zine and online blog (The Plazoid website) based out of Arcata, California that publishes articles related to homelessness, as well as issues of police brutality and social justice. The name is derived from a term used in reference to persons who hang out on the Plaza (Arcata’s town square), Arcata’s streets, the Arcata Community Forest and the Arcata Marsh. The Plazoid uses the term “unhoused” rather than homeless, due to a belief that the word “homeless” is used derogatorily. Since the spring of 2005 the Plazoid publishes and distributes a print version in the city of Arcata. The Plazoid has been, alegedly, hostile to The Arcata Eye, its pages often referring to the paper as the Arcata LEye. However, according to Kevin Hoover, the Eye has allegedly given the print version of the ‘zine free advertising. Plazoid supporters say that the Plazoid never gave permission for this “free advertising” and assume it to be more anti-homeless propaganda. Hoover has allegedly also censored many letters from homeless and nonhomeless readers alike.”

Wow, how controversial!!!

There is more! If you google “plazoid,” you get this interesting dialogue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2006-02-11_Arcata_Eye_Plazoid, including this little gem: “The nature of the POV is such: all of its focused either “against” (the IPs) or “for” (me: in that I’m not against) the newspaper publication the Arcata Eye. Some neccessary history: an online and print ‘zine called the Plazoid was created in reaction to the Arcata Eye’s aritcles and editorials. This controversy is explained, I hope fairly, on the Eye page. I believe that the IPs are either two of the writers who publish the Plazoid, or very close friends (others have suspected this as well, see comments about 1/3 down the page on Talk: Arcata, California). Thus, I believe they have a vested interest in pushing the POV that they do.” and “Please investigate discreetly, I’m afraid my report of this will only inflame matters if known.”

…so let’s take a look at “Talk: Arcata, California“:

“Talk:Arcata, California
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User at 137.150.23.170, please do not edit my comments, reversing the meaning, as you did on Aug 30th. I’ve restored my origional comments, and paraphrased yours inline, as is the usual style, (see Wikipedia:Talk_page) Jrouvier 01:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

In the culture and institutions section, 2nd paragraph, it says:
Work in Arcata consists largely of the dumpster-diving…
Dumpster-diving obviously isn’t “work” in the usual sense, as in employment. Perhaps this should be rewritten and expanded to include details on the unemployment and homeless, as well as high occurance of dumpster-diving. Jrouvier 01:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Dumpster-diving *is* work in the usual sense, as in employment.

I disagree. Usual employment includes a employer and an employee. The employer expects the employee to conduct some work for some amount of compensation, usually money. Since a dumpster-diver does not have an employer, this is not employment, but it might be called an occupation. However, this is all beside the point. The real point of this that at the very begining of the paragraph dealing with employment, dumpster-diving is listed as the first item. This is leads the reader to the conclusion that most people in Arcata are unemployed and spend their days sifting through others trash. While I agree that Arcata may have a higher rate of dumpster-diving than many other US cities, it is my no means what the majority do on a daily basis. I have no objection to the inclusion of a note about dumpster-diving, but feel that it should be in it’s correct context (unemployment), and backed by factual data. Jrouvier 01:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, friend, but that is bullshit. What about the “self-employed”? I do not think that your paradigm of master-to-slave relationship is dominant in Arcata (“prevalant” maybe, but not dominant).

The 3rd paragraph is:
The city is dis-served by a weekly tabloid, the Arcata Eye. The newspaper is noted for its bigoted use of police reports to instigate violence against unhoused people while profiting from the entertainment value of sensationalized hate-mongering. In response, an independent publication, the Plazoid started to document civil and human rights abuses perpetrated against the unhoused.

Use of the word “dis-served” isn’t really appropriate here as it is an opinion of the author which may or may not be a majority opinion. The “dis” part should probably be removed. Additionally, if the paper is, in fact, noted for it’s bigoted police reports, can someone provide links to the notes? Jrouvier 01:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Use of the word “mis-served” is really appropriate here as it is a majority opinion. The “mis” part should probably be capitalized. Additionally, the paper is, in fact, noted for it’s bigoted police reports, and it was disappointing to see the Arcata Eye use Wikipedia to advertise its un-journalistic atrocity.

The Wikipedia:NPOV page, says assert facts, including facts about opinions — but don’t assert opinions themselves. There is a publication called the Arcata Eye, it’s articles are written for and about Arcata, it is printed on newsprint, I am unaware of it’s dimensions. Hence I feel that the statment “The city is served by a weekly newspaper, the Arcata Eye” is factual. However, use of the word “mis-served” (or “dis-served”) is an assertation of on opinion. One may assert that there *is* an opinion, but one should not assert that the opinion is correct or incorrect. Finally, this is a page about Arcata the city, not about the Arcata Eye publication. It should be enough to state that the newspaper exists. Discussions about the newspaper and allegations of bias, might be best placed on a page about the newspaper itself, such as has been done for the NY_Times Jrouvier 01:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, friend, but if you think that the word “served” is nuetral, then you need to check your free on-line dictionary. The Arcata [L]Eye has done a great MISservice to the people of Arcata with its blatant hate-mongering and purposeful distortion of fact to misrepresent targeted residents of Arcata.

Then you don’t use served OR disserved (I have changed the entry to use neither). Wikipedia is supposed to be neutral, an encyclopedia, if you will, not a soapbox. Also, I’ve never heard of the Plazoid. Is it well-known enough to deserve mention? -Reisen

Upon second look, given the fact that you not only ext-linked the Plazoid, but that you spelled out the URL in the article, makes me think that perhaps you own the Plazoid and you are trying to hype it. That is not what Wikipedia is for, and it would certainly explain why in 18 years of Arcata life I’ve never heard of the Plazoid. The Plazoid is not a major part, or even noticable part, of Arcata life, and its mention shall be removed. It would, however, work fine to mention the Plazoid on a dedicated Arcata Eye page.

I appreciate the edits you have made to the main page (I myself am new to this and don’t really know how to do things the “proper” way), however, I do have qualms. You obviously are allowing the Arcata Eye FREE ADVERTISING at this website, which, as you pointed out, is NOT the purpose of Wikipedia, especially given the questionable nature of the content of the Eye. As for the Plazoid (publication, name derived from slanderous term used in the Arcata Eye to disparage unhoused people and encourage violent acts against them), I am surprised that you have not heard of it or read an issue. It is almost always available at the Arcata Co-op, Solutions, and other places. It is only up to about issue number 8 (monthly), but the blogspot has had plenty of comments on it from Arcatans (one post had 42 posts!). Have you heard of the Humboldt Advocate? also a relatively new publication in Arcata. Why does the Arcata Eye deserve FREE ADVERTISING while any mention of these other publications are edited from this website?

The Arcata Eye deserves mention because it is a major Arcata publication. If I were writing a Eureka article, the Times Standard, the Lumberjack (blegh), (and the Tri-City Weekly, blegh blegh) would all deserve mention because they are well-known and generally worth mentioning along with any detailed explanation of the city. It’s not advertising, it’s worthwhile information. Now, if I mentioned the Eye without mentioning a publication of equal prevalence in the community, that would be incorrect. But the Eye and the Plazoid are really not comparable in popularity nor in knowledge of their existence. The Plazoid, it seems, exists mainly as a reaction to the Eye. Thus, it would be a perfect inclusion on an Eye-only page, but makes no sense on the Arcata one. -Reisen

I disagree. On Monday nights, the night before the new issue of the Arcat Eye comes out, look at the Eye vendboxes: THEY ARE FULL! Just because the Eye is well-funded and can afford to create volumous waste doesn’t make it a “major publication.” Look for a moment at the “letters to the editor” section. The Plazoid gets more comments at the blogspot than the Eye gets letters to the editor, and thus is MORE interactive with Arcatan than the Eye. ASK AROUND! I’ll bet you find that alot of people have atleast heard of the Plazoid. Also check out the blogspot yourself (theplazoid.blogspot.com). There DEFINITELY is “WORTHWHILE INFORMATION” at the blogspot, complete with sources citations. Contrast that with the non-informative opinionated “stories” of the Arcata Eye. I don’t think that the Arcat Eye reports “worthwhile information,” or at least not at all ACCURATELY. But, yes, Hoover is well-funded (by advertisers, not interested paying customers!). So if you think that the amount of money behind the publication is more important than the content of the publication, then by all means, go ahead and mention the Arcata Eye. But don’t edit out the Plazoid just because it isn’t heavily funded.”

ok ok ok….there is much more, too much more.
At any rate, it looks like the PLAZOID lost this battle. Oh well. Let me know what you think. Maybe someone can start a new Plazoid entry?

Thanks to the anonymous commentor who exposed this act of censorship.

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8 Responses to “The PLAZOID censored from Wikipedia!!!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Guess what Tad? You can create a Wiki account for yourself and jump right in! No ads, no spam, just the equal right to meddle with this ever-changing encyclopedia.

  2. the PLAZOID Says:

    whether or not tad can “meddle” with wikipedia is not really the issue: the question is about censorship – why was the Plazoid censored from wikipedia? and by who?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The Plazoid is a fucking joke compared to the Eye.

    Quit fucking with Kevin, we are sick of ferals choking our town to death. So Eye rips ’em a bit.

    Arcata is the most tolerant and kind hearted town in america. For you scum to take advantage and piss on them is a joke.

    Come on down to oakland with your houseless and you will start to understand what real suffering is about.

    Stay in Arcata and be grateful, you have the best deal in the state. To keep whining for more is an outrage and an insult. If you show up where i live you will all be robbed, beaten and killed. So appreciate what you’ve got in kind hearted arcata! QUIT BITCHING and do something for a change!
    -oaktown

  4. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you for your comment, “oaktown.”

    A couple of questions: first of all, are you an Oaktowner, or an Arcatatowner? Maybe a little of both? Your comment is not clear on he issue of your residencey.

    In addition, you seem to assert that because thePlazoid is not like the Arcata Eye, perhaps it should not exist?

    Furthermore, you suggest that the Plazoid “stop bitching.” The Plazoid covers abuses of power by our local police department, a model adopted from similar Copwatch programs in Oakland and other metropolitan areas.

    You also suggest that “I” (i guess – who exactly are you referring to? or at least which article?), that I “don’t appreciate what I’ve got.” A bold assumption, and innacurate as well. You also ignorantly assume that myself, or possibly other authors or editors, or maybe just other people in general “aren’t doing anything.” Again, assumption = false.

    I personally have spent a little time in Oakland, and not the rich parts. I was not beaten or robbed.

    thank you for your comment

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve been following the Plazoid’s efforts to have their say on the Arcata page, and I really don’t think that you were “censored”. Your comments weren’t deleted because other editors necessarily agree or disagree with the Plazoid’s feelings about the Eye (in fact, it sounds like they’re not really fans of the local papers either, and neither am I), it was because Wikipedia has explicit policies that prohibit point-of-view, or POV language that puts forward a certain opinion. While it’s awesome that the Plazoid challenges the status quo as promoted by the Eye on its website, the Plazoid’s agenda doesn’t really have a place in an encyclopedia entry, where it’s enough to just mention that the two newspapers exist. I think it would be worthwhile to take the suggestion that discussion of the Plazoid should be promoted on the Arcata Eye’s page, where both sides could be presented in an objective way so that you wouldn’t get deleted and you could convince more Wikipedia readers of your cause.

  6. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you for your comment.

    I’m not sure, however, that we are talking about the same thing. We are not talking about the “Arcata” page, but the page that was an entry describing the “Plazoid.” This was not written by any of the editors of the Plazoid, nor by friends of the editors of the Plazoid. All it was was a mention of what the Plazoid is, for those who might be wondering. For some reason, the whole thing was deleted off of Wikipedia after some one complained or something. I am confused as to why. I don’t believe that the “Plazoid” page was written with any special point-of-view language, and i don’t think that the Plazoid is only relevant when mentioning the ARcata Eye. I also don’t understand who was harmed or threatened by a page about the Plazoid.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Well, I for one enjoy and appreciate the Plazoid and wish there were more contrarian zines like it.

    What with blogs and so on, people don’t appreciate good old samizdat any more. All hail the Plazoid!

    Kevin Hoover
    news@arcataeye.com

  8. the PLAZOID Says:

    “samizdat” – nice one!

    hey, if that really is you, Kevin, why don’t you shoot me an email so I know it’s really you? maybe we could have an interesting on-line discussion about current issues? that could be fun.

    for those who don’t know, anyone can write anything as a comment and sign any name – that’s just the way blogs that allow anyone not “registered” to comment work.

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