Koman Coulibaly, refereeing and the electronic scrum over ‘truth’

For almost two hours at least 21 users, shielded by their Wiki handles, pass judgment for posterity. Some interventions are heroic. Some, such as appeals to Wikipedia standards governing poor sourcing, bias and lack of context, are fruitless.

I tracked most entries, minute by minute, by referring to the master list of revisions and then followed links to individual user histories. To Wikipedia’s credit, the detective work is easy.

USA Today characterizes the Wikipedia vandalism as creativity. Read below, see what you think.

(All times GMT)

15:45 (anon) Adds: “Well known for arbitrarily ruling out a legitimate goal for the US against Slovenia.”

15:46 (anon) Deletes above

15:47 (anon) Adds: “He ruled a perfectly valid goal against the US as offside.”

15:48 (anon) Deletes above

15:48 (anon) Adds: “Scientifically proven worst referee of the century.”

15:49 (anon) Revises: “Scientifically proven worst referee of the century. The worst.

15:49 (anon) Revises existing text: “He has been an awful full international referee for FIFA since 1999. Medical records indicate his eyesight is 20/40 vision, yet he cannot afford spectacles. Although not confirmed, rumor has it he had to offer copious amounts of oral sex for this position.

15:49 (Mahanga) Deletes additions above

15:49 (Mahanga) Institutes Wikipedia vandalism protection

15:55 (JelloSheriffBob) Adds: “His officiating in the game between USA and Slovenia was roundly criticized by television commentators at the time.”

15:58 (PepsiMax181) Adds: “Speaking on the game, Chris Moyles said ‘I’ve just seen that disallowed goal for the US again – and not only was there no foul by a US player, there are probably two penalty-kick offences being committed by the Slovenian defenders. Shocking decision.’ ”

16:01 (Perspixx) Revises existing text: “Rapist|referee.” [Ed.: Word "rapist" does not appear in Wikipedia page display, perhaps an automated security feature. "Rapist" remains in page’s source code, however, until 16:56.]

16:01 (Redman1974) Adds: “Koman even gave out a yellow card to Robbie Findaly [sic] in the same game, after he was hit in the face with … the ball? Koman definetely [sic] stole the show in the US-Slovenia game.”

16:02 (Redman1974) Revises above to "Findlay [sic] (of the US)"

16:04 (Boozinf) Adds: “Coulibaly negated a late U.S. goal with an offsides [sic] call, which replays have shown to be inaccurate. The goal would have capped a US comeback from a 2-0 halftime deficit to Slovenia; instead the game ended in a 2-2 tie.”

16:05 (Mtngorilla) Adds: “Coulibaly is rumoured to hate the United States of America with the burning passion of a white hot sun.”

16:07 (Boozinf) Adds: “Coulibaly’s exploits have drawn comparisons to such sporting pariahs as Jim Joyce, Don Denkinger, Tim Donaghy, and even BP CEO Tony Heyward [sic].”

16:08 (Hugo.arg) Raises Wikipedia POV query, adding annotation: "(easy, easy.. americans)"

16:09 (Ronnotel) Changes Wikipedia protection level based on "excessive violations of the biographies of living persons policy"

16:11 (Ronnotel) Removes quote from Chris Moyles, comparison of Coulibaly to "sporting pariahs" and comment about Robbie Findley with annotation: "unsourced"

16:12 (Ronnotel) Removes reference to Coulibaly negating goal for offside and to Coulibaly hating USA with annotation: "unsourced"

16:28 (Darwinek) Changes Wikipedia protection level based on "excessive vandalism

16:29 (Murderdan537) Deletes reference to Coulibaly’s work being "roundly criticized"

16:31 (Darwinek) Adds: "He was preselected as a refree [sic] for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He led the match between Slovenia national football team and the United States national football team." Adds link to FIFA’s list of prospective referees for the 2010 World Cup.

16:36 (Britwriter) Fixes typo "refree" to "referee." Adds: "Coulibaly is a blind clown who makes poor decisions during crucial World Cup matches. His name appears on the Slovenia government’s payroll."

16:38 (Sertel) Deletes above. Restores typo "refree."

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