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April 5, 2005

Wikipedia has negative slant on Terri Schiavo

Topics: Action Items

Email from Drs Pablo and Anna:

PLease help. There is an article by wikipedia that has a very negatively biased article about Terri's story. It can be viewed here.

Fortunately, there is an option to edit any of the material, I've already edited the first two pages, but if you scroll down further you'll see terrible anti-Terri and pro-MS distortions. This article has had the highest number of internet hits as compared with other articles when doing a "Terri Schiavo" search, so I consider this a very major threat to our campaign to get the truth out. Please post this link and invite readers and bloggers to make the appropriate edits in the article.

Posted by richard at April 5, 2005 3:32 PM

Articles Related to Action Items:


This thing definitely needs to be looked at. This article has been tagged as "controversial" and "disputed". I believe it should also be tagged as "inaccurate". That's not a flame, its an actual Wikipedia label. Someone on this team should take this on, only because its coming up so high on google.

Posted by: Teri J at April 5, 2005 4:22 PM

Furhter note from Drs Panda/Anna: The edits I made to this derogatory article have already been reversed by the author. I plan to continue the editing and contacting the author directly. Anyone else interested in preserving the dignity of Terri's name please also become involved. Thanks.

Posted by: Anna_Nordin at April 5, 2005 4:22 PM

The upside of having a thousand authors making changes to the article is that it continues to rate as "controversial". Anna, are you going to tag it as "inaccurate"? Have you looked at the discussion area? The site has a lot of documentation regarding NPOV status, etc. Blasting them with changes is good, but I think there is more that can be done.

Posted by: Teri J at April 5, 2005 4:25 PM

Here are the links to the NPOV articles...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Accuracy_dispute (This is regarding accuracy, which hasn't yet been contested with this article...)

Posted by: Teri J at April 5, 2005 4:27 PM

Teri, sounds like you're more of an expert on how to deal with wikpedia than me. I'll follow your lead.

Posted by: Anna_Nordin at April 5, 2005 4:32 PM

I changed PVS state to TBI and it was removed. This is poor writing to call her PVS unless they clarify that the courts ruled her while doctors disputed it.

This article is biased and error filled. Who do we contact about this?

Posted by: Julie at April 5, 2005 4:52 PM

It is more honorable and more profitable to set a good example than to follow a bad one.

Consider the postage stamp, it secures its success through its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.

Posted by: that woman at April 5, 2005 5:23 PM

Critical thinking is the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well-supported reasons. It is the ability to look for flaws in arguments and resist claims that have no supporting evidence. Critical thinking, however, is not merely negative thinking. It is the ability to generate possible explanations for findings, to think of implications, and to apply new ideas to a broad range of social and personal problems. You can't really separate critical thinking from creative thinking, for it's only when you question what is that you can begin to imagine what can be.

Posted by: that woman at April 5, 2005 5:26 PM

Anna, I will check in on wikipedia and see if I can help. In the meantime, I have found an article regarding how Felos got hired onto Michael's case in the first place! See th4e following:

" Terri Schiavo had sustained a serious brain injury as the result of a suspicious incident in their home in 1990 and in 1992, her husband had filed claims against several of her former doctors, claiming her “collapse” was caused by a misdiagnosis. He received over $1.5 million in 1993 including $750,000 which had been specifically earmarked by the trial jury for Terri’s rehabilitation based on a life expectancy of 50 years.

Mary and Bob Schindler Sr., her parents, consulted a St. Petersburg attorney about removing Michael Schiavo as their daughter’s guardian and discussed the case at length with him.

Unfortunately, the Schindlers did not have the amount of money the attorney demanded as a retainer to take the case.

That attorney then became the judge in the case-----a totally prohibited conflict of interest.

Thereafter, the attorney-judge approved the hiring of George Felos as the attorney for Schiavo to be paid from the trust fund and the stage was set for judicial homicide..

The judge wasn’t George W. Greer of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

It was Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mark I. Shames.

Since the inception of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case in the Florida courts, the fix has been in.


The above was from this site: http://www.theempirejournal.com/53209_schiavo_case_tangled_web_o.htm

The Empire Journal site seems to have a lot of what we are looking for in terms of getting to the root of exposing the criminal premeditation of Terri's murder. That site seems to have already done a lot of the investigation into what Michael and Felos and Greer and Shames did to create the web within which they murdered Terri!

That woman: I appreciated your insightful responses to Mary in previous posts. I like your quote on critical thinking above also, which I looked up and saw came from: Psychology. byWade, C., & Tavris, Carol. (1993).

And I love your postage stamp quote :)

What are you saying exactly? That we should not get off on tangents? Just trying to follow you. Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. I would agree with not getting on too many tangents. Thanks, that woman!

Posted by: juleni at April 5, 2005 5:57 PM

This has got to be one of the oddest things I have seen on the internet. News, where anyone, can edit what is written? And people take these articles seriously? Obviously they do if google shows it so high but gracious ... I made one correction and it was gone in minutes.

Posted by: LifeisPrecious at April 5, 2005 6:02 PM

Are there any attorneys here?. What is the possibility of someone filing a lawsuit against Wikipedia?.

There are clearly pro-deathers manipulating the facts which I can prove are wrong.

Posted by: Julie at April 5, 2005 6:15 PM

There are countless distortions in that article. For example, it's mentioned she suffered PVS and it's mentioned as if it is fact. In fact it is a claim which is disputed and only a court decision decided whether she was PVS (regardless of the truth). In other words, there's no qualifier, just a flat statement. Also the paragraph at the end stating Terri would be buried to avoid a public spectacle is not given the qualifier "according to Michael Schiavo's family."

Those are as good as outright lies because qualifiers are not put in.

Posted by: Susan Nunes at April 5, 2005 6:18 PM

From my experience with Wikipedia, forget about adding/editing material that does not have the 'correct' slant or 'politically-correct' content.

As far as 'hits' on Google et al, might I suggest collecting keywords that work? Using awstats to analyze search phrases, I've modified meta keywords and consistently improved ranking in all search engines. Using this method on one of my sites, search engine ranking went from about 739 to between 1 to 3 in a few months (at no extra cost).

Sorry if this sounds too technical, but playing the wikipedia game is an utter waste of time. That source is unreliable, biased, often woefully mis-informed, and I might add, godless, as well.

Posted by: TuGGer at April 5, 2005 7:05 PM

Here's some important information for updating Wikipedia:

1) You cannot just edit the page on Terri Schiavo, as it has been classified as a controversial topic. This means you have to justify the changes on the discussion board first, or they'll just be replaced. It's been split into a few topics so they're easy to find and dispute.
2) There's a standing policy against putting speculation in the articles because it causes big messes. So when you make an edit you need to include a source or references.
3) There's also a strong disapproval of flaming on the board, so be careful with your language. Accusing others of being "pro-death" or inflammatory statements about the people involved, which I've seen a few times here, will only damage our position.
4) Again, please don't just edit the page or flame. This particular article has already had massive disputes with one user (NCDave) who was banned after doing all of the above. He would edit the article again and again after insulting everyone and was later found to be fabricating evidence. He represented us badly, and we need to show them that we're rational and we know what we're talking about.

Julie - Suing Wikipedia is sort of a ridiculous thing to do. I mean, you can do it, but it will be thrown out quickly unless they committed libel against you, personally.

Posted by: DimeStore at April 5, 2005 7:15 PM

I've looked into the Wikipedia process a little more. The fact that the article is listed as 'controversial' is a good thing, it means they are still in the phase of collecting and considering new information before making a final article. I think it is productive to make editorial changes and make comments at their site, as long as it sounds logical and rational and as you can produce the source of the information. That said, I need sources of news from major newspapers that report the true events and facts about Terri, MS, etc. so I can include them as 'proof' when I/we edit the article. Can readers place post links to positive articles from main stream media papers so we can use them to justify our editorial changes at Wikipedia? Many thanks.

Posted by: Anna_Nordin at April 5, 2005 7:39 PM

If you are still here, That Woman, or if you come back and find this, we still need to postage stamp the judicial thing. We could do it here as it stands, simply by all agreeing to gather under one article in the comment section and sticking there for awhile, constantly refreshing, of course.

It wouldn't be the max efficient but it would work and serve to keep Blogs going, too. One way or the other we need to bring this to conclusion as either viable or not.

As for wikopedia, I don't go there, but if you want my vote, sue them. Class action. I haven't been seeing the ad for on line living wills in the directory today. Thank God and whoever removed it.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 5, 2005 7:55 PM

Troll alert: Mary Rosh

mary et. al. - What would you be suing for? How could it possibly be class action? I don't think anyone is thinking this through.

Posted by: DimeStore at April 5, 2005 8:03 PM

Mary Rosh: That's the first time I"ve ever been accused of not being rational. If you wish to also discredit the 40+ other neurologists who have testified that a diagnosis of PVS cannot accurately be made with the limited amount of testing and examination that Cranford et al did, I'm perfectly willing to listen and consider changing my opinion.

Posted by: Anna_Nordin at April 5, 2005 8:04 PM

Well, DimeStore, I guess you would sue the editors or whoever runs wikopedia, and a class action occurs any time a group of people sue someone for some damage done to them. Perhaps it is moot in this case, perhaps not. I spoke more than half in jest, but perhaps a case could be made that the erroneous message put out by these people endanger all of our lives due to the ongoing death culture which only the truth can stop--or something along that line. And you're right, I didn't think it through, I just threw it out. You may leave it you like. (I jest, ok?)

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 5, 2005 8:31 PM

I just don't understand the significance of this topic.

Also, there is no way anyone could sue Wikipedia for posting public comments in a public forum about this very public matter.

If people posting here want to collectively write about Terri's case, I cannot find fault with that and there are volumes of reliable material to draw from.

You were understanding me perfectly, juleni!

mary, I don't have the answer about the appropriate forum for further discussions perhaps someone could write to the blog king and find out what other options might be made available in this forum?

Posted by: that woman at April 5, 2005 8:48 PM

Also, I support and second TuGGer's insight.

Posted by: that woman at April 5, 2005 8:56 PM

I didn't realize that wikipedia was a comment site; like I said, I don't go there. In that case it would be a frivolous suit. (I jest, I but jest!)

I'm afraid I wouldn't know the blog king if he bit me, but someone else might. In the meantime, I've been thinking about what other possible forum there could be to determine these life or death issues. How about a court comprised of theologians and medical doctors? As lawyers are to laws, the above are to life. It is their field of expertise, if it is anyone's at all.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 5, 2005 10:05 PM

Hi guys! I remember reading on some blog that scumbag Michael wasn't in Terri's room when she died. The poster said that Felos was seen by Terri's brother and sister going into scumbag Michael's room, leaving it without scumbag and going into Terri's room alone with the black bag. I cannot find that post anywhere and wondered if someone posted it here.

Posted by: Marine Momma at April 5, 2005 10:09 PM

Ok, let me explain why I said about the lawsuit. The thought was to make an example of that site and try to discourage others regardless of the ruling.

Mary Rosh-

Outside of the drs, look at the nurses affadavits. A person in a PVS does not and I repeat does not get motrin for their period. They wouldn't be able to feel pain.

It is well documented that the dr who Greer sided with is on board with the pro-death regime. One of his recent patients was an elderly man who could get around with a wheelchair.

Scum bags hang around fellow scum bags.

"The ends must justify the means"-Machavelli

Posted by: Julie at April 5, 2005 10:39 PM

Hey, guys, at the moment we have the judicial system discussion on going in the comments section of Lawmakers Refocus as Pall Lifts. We,ve made a couple more steps, and I am willing to stay up late tonight and work on this. Anyone else?

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 5, 2005 10:55 PM

Completely off the subject, but sort of on, has anyone EVER figured out the signifigance of that black bag? Just curious.....

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 6, 2005 2:03 AM

Marine Momma and alwayschooselife, that black bag is a point. No one has looked into that further, but it was here on blogsforterri that the black bag was brought up, and it was off of a news article, if I remember correctly. Why would Felos need a black bag? Good point. It conjurs up horrible thoughts of new age death rituals or something like that. Not that I know, but I'd like to know more about that. Felos behaves so kookily. He probably thought he had some kind of control over Terri, because he was taking her life on this earth. But he did not. Only the One who holds the keys to life and death truly held her life in His loving hands, and Felos will find out someday in the future how little control he ever had. Very pernicious.

Mary et. al. I will also check out the ongoing discussion you referred to, above.

Posted by: juleni at April 6, 2005 8:06 AM

Back to the wikipedia topic (I'm sporadic here, which is why I'm not volunteering)... I think the only thing we can hope to accomplish, given that it is pretty clear the wikipedia gods are of the pro-death mentality, is to keep the article "controversial". As soon as the controversy ends (meaning, when Terri supporters give up and walk away from wikipedia), they'll finish up the article and call it done. I think all we need is a couple of dedicated folks to keep the thing active, controversial and disputed.

Posted by: Teri J at April 6, 2005 10:52 AM

I'm already familiar with wiki. Here are my mods.

1. Added the information on yesterday's memorial Mass.

2. Removed a stupid comment about Terri's parents.

3. Changed "life support" to "nutrition and hydration by means of a feeding tube".

We need more people on this.

Posted by: extremecatholic at April 6, 2005 12:51 PM

Hi, folks.

I've been on Wikipedia a long time. I've also been active in the Terri Schiavo article. When you look down the article and see that the picture of Terri is there in her disabled (but responsive) state, that's me; I did that. I'm the guy who INSISTED that that picture be included, with an NPOV explanation, when anti-Terri guys insisted it was POV. (Actually I insisted on a previous picture, but there is still one there, at least.)

Please read up on and respect Wikipedia's NPOV policy before doing anything on Wikipedia. NPOV is the treaty that makes Wikipedia work. If you do not understand it, and you are not going to respect it, you will not only find every change you make thrown out of Wikipedia, but you will give a black eye to all of the good folks trying to make sure this article is not biased against the pro-Terri side. In fact, we already have a black eye due to the efforts of some very vocal people who understand Terri's issue, but do not understand NPOV.

Basically, NPOV means that Wikipedia does NOT try to determine and report "truth." Instead, Wikipedia tries to report things in context, so that facts are reported instead of opinions. Here's an example:

"Jesus Christ is the Son of God" is opinion. (Although I agree with it.)

"Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" is fact -- nobody contends that Christians don't believe this. (Well, okay, we could get more complicated and get into non-Trinitarians, etc., but you get the idea.)

Another example:

"Michael Schiavo wanted Terri's life to end so he could keep what was left of her settlement money," is an opinion.

"Some have asserted that the only reason Michael Schiavo wanted Terri's life to end was so he could keep what was left of her settlement money," is the way to say it on Wikipedia; nobody disputes that some people have said this.

Please read up on Wikipedia and follow the rules. Commit to telling the truth about Terri AND making a good Wikipedia article, because if you are only committed to telling the truth about Terri you will not be effective on Wikipedia and will make it harder for the rest of us, who will be on Wikipedia trying to put out the fires long after you are gone.

Thank you.

Posted by: jdavidb at April 6, 2005 2:06 PM

One final comment:

You should propose changes on the Discussion page and seek consensus. If you do not, people will revert your changes without discussing them.

This article is so controversial and so highly watched that probably no progress will be made without discussing it.

NPOV is the only treaty that makes this kind of discussion workable. It is the only way vastly different sides can agree on what should be in the article. If you will not commit to NPOV, you will not help.

Look back into the history archives at the discussion I had about the photograph. People kept taking it out, and good guys kept putting it back in. I argued on the discussion page, from the foundation of NPOV, that the picture belonged there, with an appropriate NPOV caption. And then after getting somebody from the other side to agree, I still had to watch the page awhile and let the reverters know we were coming to consensus on the discussion page.

Posted by: jdavidb at April 6, 2005 2:10 PM

Susan Nunes wrote:

> Also the paragraph at the end stating Terri would be buried to avoid a public spectacle is not given the qualifier "according to Michael Schiavo's family."

I noticed that myself last night and added it in. :)

It now reads, "Schiavo's body was cremated following the autopsy; her ashes are to be buried at an undisclosed location somewhere near Philadelphia, where she grew up. The stated reason was to prevent her burial from becoming a media spectacle."

Posted by: jdavidb at April 6, 2005 2:25 PM

It will be a good idea to allow someone who is familiar with Wikpedia to take up the role of ensuring that the article is not biased in favour of the other side.

I hope that if MS does get charged with various crimes that this will also be included in the article.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 6, 2005 5:19 PM

Wikipedia is the people's encyclopedia.. It can be edited by anyone and sueing it is ridiculous and outragous. The site is ranked controversial which people will see and can read accounts from both sides and make up their own mind. Remember, just because 40+ neurologist, nurses, etc side with us, doesn't make us 100% right. Maybe she wasn't PVS but brain damage really screws things up in terms of diagnosis..

Either case, trying to destroy any traces of criticism is bad in all cases.. It's pretty much censorship..

I find sites every day that are against our cause but do I try to shut them down? No, it only makes me look fanatical..
For instance, http://durrrrr.blogspot.com/ seems to be forwarded between people at college campuses as a joke..

Posted by: CriticalThinker at April 6, 2005 6:32 PM

extremecatholic is right, we need more people on this. jdavidb - do you have other "wikipedians" who are supporters of terri, who would be willing to lend their time and efforts to this project? If there was an identified group of supporters who could take this on, as you are, then the rest of us could (hopefully) focus efforts elsewhere and not hinder your progress. also, how would you recommend spreading the word to other supporters to leave wikipedia alone?

Posted by: Teri J at April 6, 2005 7:25 PM

Teri J,

My recommendation is to get people to read the links about NPOV that someone posted above. If they are willing to assent to NPOV, then they can do a great job helping on Wikipedia! If not, then they need to look for more productive ways to contribute to the cause.

Posted by: jdavidb at April 6, 2005 11:43 PM

Hi, folks,

Here's some more reading about NPOV. This reading should absolutely be done by anybody who wants to edit Wikipedia. I noticed the links above, but I just realized those aren't the main articles about NPOV.

Please read:

Again, this should be required reading for any Terri supporter who wants to help on Wikipedia. If you do not, 1) your edits will probably never be allowed to stay in Wikipedia, and 2) you will give a black eye to those of us who are trying to follow the policy and trying to better the article.


Posted by: jdavidb at April 7, 2005 9:19 AM

I added the fact that Michael intended to exclude the Schindlers from the burial.

I have been active in the talk page asking for some
consensus over what can be added to the page.

"How was entering the results of the Zogby poll vandalism, but the results of the CBS News poll not vandalism? patsw 15:02, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)" is an example of the conflicts going on over there.

Posted by: extremecatholic at April 7, 2005 10:14 AM

Hello, Pat.

I added back in an earlier version of the Zogby poll paragraph after noting on the talk page that it is not up to us (Wikipedia) to decide whether the poll is scientific or not, as well as the fact that consensus did not appear to be reached on the talk page before taking it out.

The tack to take now is to press them to refine the text in the article if they have a problem with it, rather than simply deleting it. The anti-Terri people have gotten very reflexive on this article after going through a lot of heavy edit warring. We do have to be willing to compromise on wording, but I do not think we should have to compromise on inclusion. IMO, the only two standards that can be used to out and out remove material are 1) unsubstantiated (N/A here), and 2) non-encyclopedic. I can see someone trying to make a case for non-encyclopedic, but if they do, point out to them that this poll was widely reported in the news, and so it is significant. (That was the tactic I took to get the picture of Terri being responsive kept in the article.)

Nice job bringing the issue into the discussion. Focus on one issue like this at a time, building consensus from the NPOV policy. You will find that at the same time you are building respect from the other side and they will be more willing to listen and discuss rather than react in the future.


Posted by: jdavidb at April 7, 2005 12:44 PM

34,500 bytes in the article and they decided that 40 words from Fr. Pavone linking the death of Terri to the Culture of Death is bloat

Posted by: extremecatholic at April 7, 2005 2:53 PM

I am from Wikipedia. Please feel that you are all welcome to edit there, but keep in mind that others are too. Some hints: avoid personal attacks, include references to facts that you include in the articles, discuss controversial edits on the talk pages before you introduce them into article, and, believe it or not, be patient and loving. While you will never be able to make the article reflect your particular point of view, it is important that your view be included.

Posted by: Fred Bauder at April 13, 2005 8:03 PM