Yesterday we discussed the “end game” for various Hoaxtead mobsters—today it’s time to look at our own plans, as a blog and a community, for the time when the Hampstead SRA hoax is consigned to the dust-heap of history.
One of our readers put it this way:
Just a quick question for the community on here….. What is our end game? One idea of putting this all to bed would be to make a separate Wiki entry for this hoax. Then, when people google this nonsense, the top link is to a (brilliantly written) wiki page summarising all of this and acting as a definitive statement.
What do you all reckon?
This is a question we’ve considered from time to time, but usually our ruminations are interrupted by yet another upsurge in fruitloop activity, and we put the discussion to one side while we deal with the latest insanity.
Last month’s judgement in the Rupert Quaintance trial offered us a small taste of what victory could feel like, and we hope it will pave the way for successful prosecutions of other Hoaxtead mobsters, as the CPS realise that such cases can indeed be robust enough to hold up in court. A string of successful prosecutions won’t necessarily spell the absolute end of the hoax; we expect there will be stragglers and latecomers who continue to believe that an entire London community could somehow run a paedophile death cult, complete with infanticide, cannibalism, and babies delivered by DHL, out of a small school in a busy neighbourhood.
Then again, there will probably also continue to be people who believe in unicorns, or think the laws of gravity are a hoax perpetrated by gerbils.
Which is to say, we can’t do much about the diehards who insist on dragging things out long after the train has left the proverbial station.
What will happen to Hoaxtead Research?
It’s hard to imagine our world without this blog, but we think the day will come when the hoax will have subsided to the point where we’ll be able to close up shop, lock the doors, bid a fond farewell, and walk away. Yes, it’s a strange thought, but we expect and trust that it will happen. Eventually.
That doesn’t mean we’ll remove the blog from the internet, though. Taking our cue from excellent hoax-battling sites like the Dysgenics blog, we anticipate leaving this blog online, to stand as an inspiration to those faced with SRA panics and hoaxes in future, and to serve as a warning to those who would perpetrate and support such hoaxes against innocent people.
One reason we built and have continued to add to the FAQ section here is that we want this blog to offer new, as yet unknown readers the full story, in one convenient place. (See? We’ve been planning our exit strategy for ages now!)
What about a wiki?
A wiki is a good idea, and could be an excellent adjunct to the blog.
However, there are a couple of caveats: contributing to a public wiki like Wikipedia can be fraught with issues, as the whole point of such a site is that just about anyone may add to or edit a post.
We can envision our entry about the Hampstead hoax being turned into “the Hampstead coverup” by disgruntled sore losers; it could easily turn into an “edit war”, which is not an unknown phenomenon:
An edit war occurs when editors who disagree about the content of a page repeatedly override each other’s contributions. Editors engaged in a dispute should reach consensus or pursue dispute resolution rather than edit warring. Edit warring is unconstructive and creates animosity between editors, making consensus harder to reach. Users who engage in edit wars risk being blocked or even banned. An editor who repeatedly restores his or her preferred version is edit warring, regardless of whether their edits were justifiable: “but my edits were right, so it wasn’t edit warring” is no defense.
Still, this doesn’t mean that having the facts of the case available on a wiki is unfeasible. There’s an excellent site called RationalWiki which is specifically dedicated to
- Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
- Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
- Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
- Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.
In fact, you might be surprised to learn that there’s already a page on RationalWiki where some enterprising soul has made a good start on a “stub” about Ella Draper. (A stub is a short article in need of expansion, references, and so forth, to fill it out and make it truly useful.)
If anyone is interested in helping to expand the “Ella Draper” article, they should feel free to do so (no, not you, Kristie Sue, sit down and stop hyperventilating!).
And if any of our readers have further ideas on the matter, you know we’ll be happy to hear them.