Bircham University reputation & Wikipedia
Bircham International University reputation was affected by an article in the Wikipedia that was quite negative and biassed. Fortunately Bircham International University reputation was not damaged, but on the contrary it motivated many improvements along these years.
Wikipedia is often considered as a credible source of information. Here we intend to explain why the brilliant idea of an online free encyclopedia has not yet reach high credibility levels, and we will use Bircham International University reputation issues at Wikipedia as a clear example.
The Wikipedia dream of a "Free Encyclopedia" was brilliant.
The reality has turned out a bit different.
Wikipedia looks like a "Free Encyclopedia" but it is really a forum of opinion where thousands of anonymous users edit what they think that is correct and according to some rules set by Wikipedia. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, both right or wrong. Just try it. Pick any article and edit something. For most articles you do not even need to be a registered user to be able to edit its content. There is no need to be qualified in any topic to write about such topic.
There are continuos and even major mistakes in the Wikipedia articles due to volunteers editing without any proper qualifications, background or supervision. There are many edit wars at Wikipedia due to the confrontation of the different editors point of views, being Bircham International University reputation one of them. The content that prevails shall be the one that meets common consensus. Consensus is established by Wikipedia senior editors or administrators. Wikipedia senior editors or administrators are volunteers that dedicate thousands of hours of their free time to edit Wikipedia. Again these rulers of Wikipedia do not need any qualification except devoting their time to Wikipedia work. Do you know any qualified professional or academic with such amount of spare time to become a Wiki administrator? Probably very few.
Some of the Wikipedia senior editors have set a watch campaign against diploma mills and unaccredited institutions. Bircham International University reputation was caught in the middle of this crusade. The editors from this watch campaign have been doing an active work to establish a questionable reputation for Bircham International University through a Wikipedia article since 2007.
Bircham International University reputation analysis.
We are using this forum to explain the veracity and credibility of the statements published in Wikipedia affecting Bircham International University reputation. Any articles in Wikipedia should follow a NPOV (Neutral Point of View) and be based on reliable references among some other guidelines. The different edit conflicts around the Bircham International University reputation may be checked at the Wikipedia Talk Page or by exploring the article history. Here is a summary of some references that have been systematically discarded by the Wikipedia editors that seem to have some interest in damaging Bircham International University reputation.
Ignored or minimized references:
For a long time the editors have been neglecting to include any third party links that may endorse Bircham International University reputation and education quality. When they have been forced to agree to some, they have minimized the presence and positive impact of these institutions such as: EFQUEL (European Foundation for Quality in eLearning), IARC (International Accreditation and Recognition Council), EQAC (Education Quality Accreditation Commission), IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training), or the European Commission Portal on Innovative Learning. Other references from the Spain Government itself like the Ministry of Consumer Affairs or the ICEX from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are simply considered not relevant or reliable.
Twisted or outdated references:
In those cases where a negative and a positive references do confront, the editors choose the option that will minimize any positive outcome.
- Nairobi Business Daily reported that Bircham International University was operating in Kenya without authorization, "wooing unsuspecting students to its distance learning classes". This article was not only deleted by the publisher but a correction was also published. Still Wikipedia editors try to give more weight to the deleted article than to the correction. Read more...
- Oregon Office of Degree Authorization: In 2004 the Oregon Office of Education corrected previous references about BIU linked to Oxford International University or diploma mills. Since then, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization listed Bircham International University as a Foreign Degree Supplier operating in the U.S. This listing actually disappeared in 2013. Wikipedia editors still have considered more relevant any statements before the 2004 correction despite of the deletion of the complete listing in 2013. Read more...
- John Bear's guide: This reference is not only inaccurate and outdated (2003) but it was deleted from the web by the publisher itself. John Bear even wrote a review about Bircham International University reputation in 2013, but that new entry is not even considered. Read more...
- CityLink magazine an other publications: This article barely mentions BIU. It is outdated (2003) and it was deleted by the publisher but the editors insist it is relevant to define Bircham International University reputation. Read more...
Initially, any references in Spanish language were not accepted because they could not be understood by the Wikipedia editors community. Later, and only after a negative reference about BIU came up in a Mexican newspaper, the Spanish references came into play. Under this new parameter, the editors were also forced to include other Spanish references, i.e. the consumer protection granted to BIU by the Spain Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Apparently, this was included at that time because there were many other "reliable" negative statements about BIU that still remained unchallenged. Surprisingly, once the amount of other negative references was challenged and reduced, the reference from the Spain Ministry of Consumer Affairs turned out to be a commercial trick, and thus no longer relevant for the article. Otherwise the current negative tone of the article could be lost. Some of the other Spanish sources that were systematically neglected are: ANCED (Spain National Association of Distance Learning), endorsement letter from the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce, or a certificate from the Spain Ministry of Economy. Those sources were also considered not relevant.
In short, according to Wikipedia editors it is more reliable to link to deleted and outdated source of incorrect and damaging information than accepting any renovated and positive input about Bircham International University reputation.
The credibility and reputation of Wikipedia
There are over 13 million entries on the Internet on Wikipedia mistakes.
The UK Register Newspaper:
"Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems
Yes it's garbage, but it's delivered so much faster!"
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, recognizes that people should not cite Wikipedia because of the error rate. Quoting Business Week: "Online encyclopedia Wikipedia is awash in controversy... Incidents have cast doubt on the credibility of Wikipedia, which lets users anonymously create new articles and edit existing entries". According to the USA Today, there have been cases of false biographies. According to the UK Register: "Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems". New York Times explains how students get in trouble because some of Wikipedia entries are flawed. Here is a list of ten notorious wikipedia scandals.
Why is this brilliant idea loosing all its credibility.
Because of the editors.
Canada National Post Newspaper:
"Editor scandal rocks Wikipedia. The anonymous user-driven encyclopedia Wikipedia is struggling to regain people's trust after one of its most trusted and prolific editors, who claimed to be a professor of religion, was exposed as a 24-year-old from Kentucky."
Arizona Daily Newspaper:
"Wikipedia articles' quality may be able to be determined by looking at who contributes to them"
All Wikipedia contents are contributed by voluntary editors who follow certain rules monitored by other volunteer editors, called administrators. Anybody can become a Wikipedia editor (you just need to log in with a user and password): a 10 years old kid may be editing Wikipedia content. How do you become a Wikipedia Administrator? You just have to spend time contributing here and there without confronting other administrators and then request it.
Who supervises the Wikipedia administrators community?
Nobody! Just a set of rules.
The administrators manage themselves: Anarchic democracy based on their personal interpretation of Wikipedia rules. And they do not likes rules.
NY Daily News:
"Wikipedia grew because of the lack of rules. That has been forgotten. The rules are regarded as irritating and useless by many contributors."
The University of Berkeley (USA) states that Wikipedia contains millions of articles that are written, edited, and maintained by volunteers. Due in part to the open, collaborative process by which content is generated, many have questioned the reliability of these articles. The high variance in quality between articles is a potential source of confusion that likely leaves many visitors unable to distinguish between good articles and bad.
The editors of Bircham University reputation
In 2007, Wikipedia published a negative and not very encyclopedic article about Bircham International University reputation. Some part of what the article addresses is correct, i.e. the fact that BIU is a provider of higher education not accredited according to USA CHEA standards, but other negative assumptions stated by this article are not correct. Since then, BIU has been trying to reach an agreement with Wikipedia editors for an article that is accurate, reliable, neutral, and that follows Wikipedia Policy. Here is what we found within the Wikipedia editors community in charge of Bircham International University reputation:
The "neutral" attitude.
Quoting Wikipedia administrator Guy (extracted from Wikipedia Talk Page archive): "The long and the short of it is: you run an unaccredited institution that apparently sells degrees... You are identified as a diploma mill, a substandard institution or outright fraudulent by pretty much everybody who ventures an opinion... I am sorry, but Wikipedia can only reflect what the outside world thinks, we cannot fix it."
Bircham provided a lengthy list or arguments, reliable links from third party sources and documents. Here is the answer received by this administrator: "I don't believe the argument holds much water... As for the Spanish sources, these don't strike me as convincing in any policy-wise manner... so I frankly don't care what the legal interpretation is; I also don't feel like attempting to decipher it myself..."
Editors background and profile.
The identities and personal information of the editors and administrators of Wikipedia are confidential, but sometimes there are clues to draw a profile of the person assessing any concern. Once, BIU requested a conflict resolution mediation to the Wiki community. We found out that the supervisor of this conflict was a first year college teenager from India.
An editor named TallMagic who edit much against Bircham University reputation was expelled from Wikipedia because of using multiple users to serve his own interests. Read more... TallMagic edited often in collaboration with Wikipedia administrator Orlady. Orlady does not speak Spanish but considers herself qualified to interpret the relevancy and validity of any Spanish sources.
Bircham University reputation editing attempts
BIU contracted a lawyer to defend the rights and honor not only of Bircham University reputation but of all the graduates and students whose motivation, efforts and investments may be jeopardized by the Wikipedia article. Mr. Mike Godwin, General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, explained that Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is just a forum of opinion and as such it is legally responsible for any of the information posted by a community of anonymous editors. Wikipedia editors are supposed just "neutrally" refer to other existing links and consequently they can not be blamed for what other people say. Mrs. Cary Bass, Wikipedia volunteer coordinator, suggested that BIU should edit and provide any additional references to the article in order to achieve a NPOV (neutral point of view). There are clear rules to edit Wikipedia that apply to everyone, although nobody watches how Wikipedia administrators and editors interpret those rules.
The truth is that most references provided about Bircham International University reputation are disregarded and that any attempts to edit or argue with the current editors community leads to the systematic blocking of BIU users or anyone editing in favor of Bircham University reputation.
Check Bircham International University reputation list of available references and judge for yourself. In 2014, The European Union Commission established a portal that includes all innovative learning initiatives and institutions with the EU. Bircham International University was listed here and classified as a university, although for the Wikipedia editors community this official website from the European Union Commission itself is not a reliable source of information but a promotional trick!
We invite you to contribute them to the article... if this is possible, and arrive to your own conclusions. Note that any attempts to edit this article in a positive manner have been blocked by the editors watching this article.
Thank you for taking your time to learn new perspectives about Bircham International University reputation.
We also want to thank all the students and graduates that provide their support and testimony, and who follow their own judgment despite of biassed entries like the article in Wikipedia.
A final advice to future students
Use your common sense. Traditional and formal degree programs can not adapt so easily to the actual needs of the adult professional students. Flexibility does not necessarily confront quality. If common sense, all the references and evidence provided are not enough to relieve any distrustful feelings about Bircham International University, we suggest you to wait and watch our progress and improvement. Time is the only way we can demonstrate our institutional integrity and academic quality. Your motivation is the key to the success in distance learning higher education. If you feel that your educational effort may be useless you will surely loose the will to complete our online university degree. Bircham International University does not want you to enroll but to graduate, to earn your deserved online diploma and to achieve your goals.