Jun 2, 2009

Putin’s Headshot Controversy Stirs Wikipedia

Wikipedia’s decision to ban Scientologists from editing the wiki page on scientology (Wikipedia to Scientologists: Edit this, suckers) prompted us to check up on the never-ending controversy over Vladimir Putin’s English language Wikipedia entry.

Strangely, most of the hot-button issues are not that crazy. Take for example the dispute over whether Putin is “widely credited for reduced corruption and lawlessness” in Russia – or just the opposite. Also, some wiki nerds worry that Putin’s entry omits any mention of allegations he (or, by extension, the FSB) were behind the 1999 apartment bombings across Russia. This was the official casus belli for the Second Chechen War, and broadly reported in mainstream western media outlets.

However, the most intersting debate, by far, revoles around something that really matters: What photo to use when depicting Putin? Here are a few choice comments from Wiki contributors:

"This photo in my opinion makes Putin look more like an office manager than a president.” -- Russavia

“It makes me vomit for some reason.” -- Colchicum

“I do not like the picture, it makes me shiver. Putin here looks like a zombie or a wax figure or Michael Jackson after nth plastic surgery." -- Anonymous

Follow along in all the Putin glory...



Watch this satirical Georgian music video, you'd see familiar faces, including Putin. For description look here

Mrta said...

Wow. I mean, wow. So as a sovietologist, PD, can you read between the lines of the comments and come up with the deeper meaning behind the chatter?

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

I don't know.

But it has to be the first time that Putin and Michael Jackson have EVER been used in the same sentence.

www.tarragona-3d.com said...

Thanks for this article, pretty helpful piece of writing.

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