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The Loudest Internet Voice on Hurricane Sandy Doesn’t Believe in Climate Change
The Wikipedia page for Hurricane Sandy received over half a million views in the past week, and one Floridian man named Ken Mampel has dedicated great time and effort to maintaining the page himself. The trouble is that Mampel doesn’t believe in climate change. As a result, any information regarding the link between the hurricane and climate change is conspicuously missing from the page.
As of November 2, Mampel had edited the Wikipedia page twice as many times as the next editor. PopSci editor Dan Nosowitz contacted the man to get an understanding about why he was so heavily involved in editing the page. Mampel told Nosowitz that he didn’t believe in climate change. “It’s still in debate in the world community Dan… even if EnviroGore thinks there is no need for debate,” he said. Editing out information about climate change, then, was his effort to keep the page as factual as he felt it should be. However, Mampel has no particular knowledge, by his admission, about climate change or weather.
The bedrock of Wikipedia is built on allowing any contributor to edit, remove or add elements to a page. However, Wikipedia isn’t meant to allow for one editor to carry greater editorial weight than another and Mampel’s edits has created controversy between himself and the other contributors. While Mampel may feel that he is making these edits in good faith, the question remains: how can those 500,000 readers get the full story if certain aspects of it are withheld? Luckily, the open nature of Wikipedia means that eventually contributors will succeed in providing all of the facts about the hurricane, but until then, Mampel is making sure that climate change isn’t a part of that story.
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