This is going to be about Vassula Ryden whom you might remember was one of the first pages I had added skeptical content to. I've used her edits as an example of working backwards, when I found an article in Skeptical Inquirer Magazine by Joe Nickell and added it to her Wikipedia page.
A month ago I received a letter from an anti-Ryden blogger who had read this blog and appealed to me for help. She had been trying to edit the Ryden Wikipedia page and kept getting her edits reverted. I went to Vassula's page and realized that my Joe Nickell edits had been removed. So I put it back in, this nearly started an edit war (something you do not want).
The talk page got heated up with a person or two (they weren't signing their posts so I'm not sure who said what) I'm going to sum this all up for you, but include the links if you want to read all the details.
They said that they removed my edits because Ryden is a living person and you can't put anything negative (or opinion) about a living person. Also Nickell had never met Ryden so he could not comment on her spiritual writings from God.
I said "oh yeah! I don't think so, that is stupid" (actually I was much more professional)
They said, "Yeah! and if you don't like it we are going to tell on you"
So I said "Fine! I just asked an editor to assist us in this disagreement"
And I did. I had never done this before but made a request on the Editor Assistance page, I stated my case and then provided the link to the people who I was arguing with back on the Ryden talk page. The other editors went to the Assistance page and made their argument too.
Then senior editor looked over the page and said.
Not only should the Nickell edit be put back on, but there should be more criticism like that on the page. The page is fringe and it is slanted too far towards Ryden. Editors can not leave their opinion on a page, but the person we quote can leave their opinion, and clearly Nickell was qualified to do so.
The editor then looked at the contributions of all the editors that work on the page and found that these people mostly only work on Ryden's page. Opps! It appears that they are supporters of Ryden and are not interested in improving Wikipedia, only improving Ryden and they need to knock it off.
So time has passed, my Nickell edit has now been moved up to the beginning of the page and not nearer the end where it was before. These people I think have stopped editing.
Lessons to be learned here? Stay calm. Be professional. Clearly state your facts. Allow your opponent to have their say. You might be completely wrong, step back and see the edits from their point of view. Also ask for help, sometimes you are right and they are wrong.
Tim Farley is a very smart man. He has suggested many times that editors need to branch out from editing skeptical sites and edit other topics like your home town page, or your college page. You don't want to be accused of having a single user account.
Link to Ryden talk page (search for sgerbic)
Link to Editor Assistance page (search for sgerbic)
You can see another editor's contributions by clicking on the blue "contribs" after their name.