Sunday, January 08, 2012

Wikipedia - interesting!

David reports that he has tried to edit the Shark fin soup article and that his revision has been instantly undone.
The history tab reveals this.
Very interesting!
I did some quick checking and it really appears that there's something going on here, with already one dedicated Facebook page and with at least one rather angry sinophile activist, one Clement Tan, using the Wikipedia link in order to corroborate his dislike of recent positive developments in Singapore.

Much ado about nothing?
Personally, I think this is rather alarming.
Wikipedia is clearly very much mainstream and perused by hundreds, if not thousands of people daily, and finding this kind of disinformation makes me doubt what I thought were the advantages of it being a wiki, i.e. a collaborative democratic source of information. I thought that there was some process whereby misleading information was being weeded out, but apparently this ain't so.

The Wikipedia piece is certainly cleverly worded.
It is true that even if one consults the the Red List, the vast majority of Sharks are technically not endangered, and it is probably also true that finning is not the principal reason for their demise.

But that's obviously just quote mining.
It remains true that the current extent of Shark fishing is completely unsustainable and that it poses a grave risk for marine ecosystems. And it also remains true that whereas many non-Asian nations fish for Sharks and partake in the Shark fin trade, much of the fishing is driven by the overwhelmingly Asian demand for Shark fins, and that those fins are being used to make the soup. And I certainly very much doubt that most sharks are caught in European nations!

The way I see it, it behooves us to rectify that article and to ensure that the facts are presented objectively.

I'm technically WAY out of my depth here - but is there some whiz kid that knows how to change a Wikipedia article and make those changes stick? Happy to intermediate contacts to somebody credible who can draft a proper wording - just write to the dive shop!

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