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The Big Debate: Andreas Antonopoulos On Wikipedia

8 Nov 2014

I objected to the original idea to write an article about me... All the article does is give trolls a public place to play out their petty battles and vandalism. I'd rather it was deleted. - Andreas Antonopolous

Andreas quote 3

So what does it take to be a credible candidate for a Wikipedia entry? Authors, speakers, celebrities and many more have their biographies posted for all to see. Technically, Andreas Antonopoulos qualifies on all these fronts. However, a big debate has erupted arround the Wiki for Mr. Antonopoulos, an inspiring and eloquently spoken bitcoin evangelist.

Antonopoulos himself states:

“I agree with Wikipedia. I objected to the original idea to write an article about me, as I don’t think I am "notable" in any sense of the word. All the article does is give trolls a public place to play out their petty battles and vandalism. I’d rather it was deleted.”

Well said, Mr. Antonopoulos, but it seems the majority of the community feels a lot differently. Bruce Fenton of the Bitcoin Association immediately chimed in:

“I’d most respectfully disagree – you are notable because you have a gift for speaking about this technology and a voice that reaches people like no other. You’ve written an important book and are a great teacher, your Canadian Senate testimony was outstanding. There are people far less notable on Wikipedia -but I completely respect your opinion of course. “

According to Wikipedia it is the notability of Antonopoulos that is being questioned, and whether there is actually enough information in order for the article to be credible. Searching Google for ‘Andreas Antonopoulos Articles,’ returns over 60,000 results. Granted that these may not all be about Antonopoulos, but wouldn’t there be enough information here, that can be diligently applied to the Wikipedia page, in order for it to be credible? Apparently not, according to the guidelines of Wikipedia.

G Maxwell, another notable figure in the bitcoin community and a key developer of the Bitcoin reference software, believes that the page should be deleted. He states that the Wikipedia bar is set high to protect the subject and the readers:

“I was surprised to find that there was an article on this subject, but not surprised that it was only a couple weeks old and proposed for deletion.”

As a long time Wikipedia editor, Maxwell makes the argument that there are not enough independent or secondary sources to support the article. He also points out that there are false claims and, given the niche market of Bitcoin, it could perhaps result in a negative impact on the life of the subject and the Bitcoin environment as a whole.

“Having a wikipedia article about you is no kindness, the majority of people I know who have articles about them that I’ve discussed it with have considered it to be a negative effect on their lives, and the impact is more negative the more niche the interest around you is as the article becomes more distorted and inaccurate the sparser the coverage becomes.”
— – G.Maxwell

Some have a slightly more humorous opinion regarding the matter.

“If this is going to be a proper entry we need to know every single even slightly controversial event in your life to date including (but not limited to) jilted ex-girlfriends, frivolous lawsuits and hilarious wardrobe malfunctions.”, Thewholeisgreater

Due to non-consensus the article still remains, under the condition that it is improved over the next month. The areas of focus are changing the article to appear less advertorial and providing additional references and sources. “This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.”, Wikipedia

B.Holmes, author of The Range of Illusion and The Private Key installments, is currently located in Thailand, researching and writing about crypto. You can follow B.Holmes on twitter @BanteringB, or contact via email: [email protected]


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