Wednesday, August 3, 2011


To read and write about pit bulls on the web is to enter another world; to review Wikipedia articles about pit bulls is to enter a parallel reality.

Wikipedia has a number of articles which discuss pit bulls and other dangerous dogs. They include:

Wikipedia pages for TV Reality shows glorifying the breed which has killed at least ten people this year (Aug 6, 2011) and have mauled dozens of others,  include:

Search the web for "pit bull" and at the top of the search results there will be a Wikipedia page. After years of edit wars between warring factions an uneasy calm has settled over most of these pages. A few diligent administrators are to be commended for ferreting out and deleting the most egregious signs of pit bull advocacy. But the Holy Grail of Wiki NPOV (Neutral Point of View) continues to elude the editors and administrators.

The real Wikipedia dog story is not on the main article pages, but on the discussion and history pages for each of these articles. There a reader can track the relentless attempts that advocates, some of them anonymous, have made to alter the public perception of pit bulls.

We've copied below a brief exchange between an annoying pit advocate and an even more annoying pit advocate. This is excerpted from the "Discussion Page" of the Dog Attack article, and offers a fair example of the banal level of argument on these pages:
There was a study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2006 that ranked German Shepherds and Dobermans far higher than other breeds in number of attacks on children. Is there any reason not to give this equal credence to the Clifton study?    Clockwork (talk) 05:36, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
SRUV note:  31 breeds with small breed populations were not included in the study. The category most likely to bite are described as cross breeds; pit bulls are not named in the results of this study.  The second editor responds:
The study was limited to Australian dog populations rather than American or European populations, I am however willing to give it more credence to the Clifton study. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Fans of Wikipedia will be disheartened by this and other similar exchanges on these pages. But this example pales in comparison to the hysterical edit wars on the List of Fatal Dog Attacks in the US.  From January through September of 2010 the heroic administrator Astro$01 defended the page against relentless vandalism, but was finally overwhelmed. He was then threatened with a denial of editing privileges.

All references to reliable statistical information have been expunged from both pages. We are left to wonder if these pages continue to serve any useful purpose to the public. SRUV calls on the WikiProject Dogs Assessment Department to evaluate these pages and delete those which do not meet Wikipedia standards.

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Related Post: Discredited Sources

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Please do not cut and paste comments or include extensive linking. Comments are moderated but we will post all comments which do not include profanity or ad hominem attacks. Play nice. The SRUV comment section is not a forum for the advocacy of fighting breeds.