Wikipedia: fortunately the bots are neutral

On: October 3, 2010
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About Mathijs Voordenberg
I’m Mathijs, a student New Media at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In 2009 I finished my bachelor Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis about the public sphere of Youtube. In 2009-2010 I worked as vice-president of the Amsterdam student union (ASVA), As vice-president I was responsible for the human resource, the promotion and a couple of projects among which the election of the teacher of the year at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (the Amsterdam university of applied science). Next to my study I work as freelance photographer and filmmaker.


The CoffeeCompany, a Dutch chain of coffee bars, is well known by every Amsterdam coffee drinker. And, because I live next to one, it’s my regular coffee dealer. A couple of days ago I found out they didn’t have a Wikipedia page so I decided, being a wikinoob, to write one. It was the first time I made a Wikipedia entry but after a couple of minutes there it was; a wiki page for The CoffeeCompany. A little pride took over me, contributing to the web always feels good, but the pride soon disappeared because in one minute my article was already nominated for removal. According to user: ‘J.A.R. Huygebaert’ the article didn’t belong in an encyclopedia, my article had a lack of layout and another user found my article too commercial.

Fortunately the wiki bot, E85Bot, stayed neutral; the bot sent me an automated message in which it made clear that it had nothing to do with the nomination for removal – and that, if I had any questions, I should contact the user that did nominate it. In the end I got some support from other users. They wikified the article and after four days, I hardly recognized my own article (being edited by many other users) but it still existed.

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