Why Is Wikipedia Considering Deleting The Article On Abortion ‘House Of Horrors’ Doctor?

Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor, faces multiple murder counts over this practice involving illegal late-term abortions, allegedly including several babies born alive whose spinal cords Gosnell cut with scissors, as well as the death of a 41-year-old woman who died from an overdose of anesthesia administered during one of Gosnell’s abortions. Gosnell’s clinic also allegedly employed unqualified staff, including teenagers and unlicensed medical personnel. After operating for almost two decades without ever being inspected by the state’s Department of Health, Gosnell was finally arrested in January 2011 and the trial began last month.

The story, curiously, has gone largely ignored and unreported in the mainstream media.

The Wikipedia article on Gosnell is also “being considered for deletion.”

[screenshot of ‘Kermit Gosnell’ Wikipedia entry, April 12, 2013]

The problems flagged in 2012 claim to be the article’s: lack of compliance with the site’s layout guidelines; that the it may be ‘confusing or unclear to readers,’ and that it contains ‘too many or too lengthy quotations.’ But a review of the article demonstrates that, while there may be some helpful, minor edits that could be made, it is largely in accordance with the site’s standards and similar to other articles elsewhere on the site whose errors are, in contrast, not flagged as problematic.

This month (perhaps as recently as this week), a further editor’s note (entered on “April 2013”) was added that noting that the article’s ‘History’ section’s “tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.” Again, however, a review of the section demonstrates it does, in fact, mostly use a neutral, ‘encyclopedic’ tone.

Wikipedia editors, a volunteer group, have been accused of bias in the past. In addition to editors’ discretion, readers may also create accounts and flag articles as problematic.

As the country awakens to the news of the gripping trial, the possible deletion of an article about the “House of Horrors” abortion practitioner and his trial — on a site relied on by millions for information — is sure to raise questions.

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