It must be awful to be important enough to be in Wikipedia.
Imagine being at the mercy of a pack of largely anonymous editors (some of them spooks?) who can – and often do – perform the most comprehensive character assassination imaginable on hapless victims who have little or no chance of redress.
For that reason, Dr Michael Flood of Wollongong University has my sympathies. Even though his role in promoting Internet censorship disgusts me (Flood has collaborated closely with prominent pro-censorship ‘intellectual’ Clive Hamilton on that issue), I wouldn’t wish a dud entry in Wikipedia on anyone.
But I have a little gratuitous advice for Dr Flood. Even though he seems to churn out academic papers at a furious rate, he might take time off from his frantic schedule to sort out his Wikipedia entry, if he can.
The entry for Dr Michael Flood, dated December 4th, 2008 makes him seem rather foolish (emphases added):
Michael Flood is an Australian sociologist. His research includes work in men’s studies, a field which formed largely in response to , and as a critique of , an emerging men’s rights movement. Flood’s research focuses on men, heterosexuality, interpersonal violence, and gender and gender-related topics.
Flood is the coordinator of a pro-feminist website, XYonline, that provides a range of commentary and research on men and masculinities, male sexuality, gender feminism, violence perpetrated by males, and the men’s movement from a gender feminist perspective. He received a PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2001.
Flood opposes sex-positive feminism, men’s rights, and father’s rights.
He is currently a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Wollongong. Previously he was a Postdoctoral fellow at La Trobe University’s “Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society”, conducting research on the sexual and reproductive health of young heterosexual men.
On the principle that the best antidote to convoluted nonsense may be an equal and opposite force of incorrigible anti-intellectualism, I think I’ll forward this to Bob Katter and see what happens.
Here’s my suggested Questions in The House (sadly they must await the new Parliamentary year):
Is the Prime Minister aware that one of the foremost proponents of his compulsory Internet censorship scheme is an academic who, according to Wikipedia, opposes both men’s rights and father’s rights?
Does the Government fund Dr Flood’s academic pursuits, given that he is apparently hostile to at least half the human species?
How can the Rudd Government justify associating with Dr Flood, given it’s supposed commitment to ‘working families’?
Does the Government favor only single-parent or lesbian working families?
Does the Government agree with Dr Flood that sex-positive feminists should be opposed – and does it have a policy of positive discrimination in favour of sex-negative feminists?
The most interesting pages in Wikipedia are often the ‘Discussion’ pages. Each entry (eg. Michael Flood) has a front page which is what you usually view. But at the top of that page are a few tabs. One says ‘Discussion’. Click that tab to see what discussion – if any – has ensued over the main entry.
Some discussion pages are lengthy and reflect extended debates between editors. In other cases, there’s no discussion at all. Michael Flood’s discussion entry is not null, but it is very short. Someone asks whether Dr Flood is truly notable enough to be in Wikipedia and seeks a secondary source to prove it.
I can help out there. This ‘secondary source’ affirms that Dr Flood is indeed ‘notable’. I’d say he’s notorious. He definitely merits an entry in Wikipedia – and if anyone ever starts a rival called ‘Dikipedia’, he should probably be in that too.
UPDATE (June 6th 2009): Furher to the comments on this article by Dr Flood and myself dated December 2008, there’s a significant article in New Matilda – see ‘Net Nanny’ Advocate Does Back Flip by Rachel Maher.
Dr Flood notes what he perceives to be dangers of compulsory Internet censorship:
“I am much more convinced of its technological problems and I am much more convinced of its political dangers”
It’s a welcome clarification, for which Michael Flood should be congratulated.