News.com.au reports on the discussions as to whether the infamous MySpace party teenager Corey Worthington Delaney (see here and here) deserves a Wikipedia entry and in the process gives a useful insight into how Wikipedia works behind the scenes:
MELBOURNE teenager and infamous "party boy" Corey Delaney has managed to ruffle a new set of feathers without even lifting a finger.
A heated debate among the contributors of Wikipedia took place this morning over whether or not the 16-year-old wild child deserved his own entry on the website.
"He's a d***head kid. We don't write articles about every d***head kid, even the ones who have been on ACA (A Current Affair)," wrote one user, who voted that the entry be deleted.
A Wikipedia entry for the teen troublemaker, created by a user called Fosnez, was online for 35 minutes before being deleted by other users.
The deletion sparked a debate among contributors to the website, a user-generated encyclopedia that is policed for accuracy and relevance by members of the public.
"Speaking as an Australian – can people outside this country actually tell what is important in another person's culture and then make the rules about deletion?" asked user Bebe Jumea after the page was deleted.
"His advice... when asked by the reporter what would he say to other kids having a home alone party – 'get me to run it' – neatly overturns the powerbase of tabloid television, so please think twice about deletion."
Original author Fosnez appealed the decision and said Corey had become a notable person after his out-of-control party was reported by news outlets such as CNN, BBC and The Guardian.
"This event may cause a change in some laws (or) policies in Victoria, and it would be important for Wikipedia to capture the context of the driving forces behind these changes," they said.
Corey's supporters were eventually outnumbered by contributors who argued he was notable only in connection to an event of short-term interest, which did not satisfy Wikipedia's requirements for an entry.
User Mattinbgn said it was also inappropriate to create an entry to document a single mistake made by an under-age person.
"Is it fair on a 16-year-old child to create a Wikipedia article on him about something that he may look back on and regret?" they asked.
"Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid and editors should remember their ethical obligations when writing about children, even if the press do not."
One user called Dihydrogen supported the decision to the delete the entry but admitted they were biased.
"Apart from the fact that anything that appears on ACA is probably non-notable bulls***, this one actually isn't notable," he or she said.
"Plus, I'm bitter cos I didn't get an invite :("