Feeding the Trolls

Are you looking for a quick, easy way to drive yourself absolutely insane? Well, speaking from experience, I can tell you that trying to create a Wikipedia article for a radio show with questionable notability is one way to place your brain on a non-stop flight to Crazy-Topia.

Cort and Fatboy is a program I’ve been listening to over the course of the past few years. Despite the absolutely terrible title, which, at first glance, looks like a primo example of everything sick, sad and wrong with terrestrial radio, the show is actually quite witty. Hosts Cort Webber and Bobby “Fatboy” Roberts are a couple of charming bastards who were chewed up and spit out by corporate radio in 2009. Undaunted, they took their program onto the internet and eventually landed onCascadia FM, an internet station in Portland. Free from the shackles of the FCC and the late, not great KUFO FM, they’ve spent the past few years entertaining thousands of listeners every Monday – Friday with their thoughts on things likeGame of Thrones and local politics.

Back in March, Roberts was lamenting on air that the show’s article on Wikipedia had been removed by the site’s pedantic editors. Operating under the assumption that I could get it to stick with the addition of credible citations from The OregonianWillamette Week and The Portland Mercury, in addition to Cinematicaland the Associated Press, I dived into the fray. I assumed that the project would take, at most, an hour of my time. It was the least I could do in exchange for the hours of free entertainment Cort and Fatboy have provided over the years.

I was wrong. Very wrong. Instead, I found myself embroiled in a never-ending and very terse battle with a group of Wikipedia editors hellbent on forever banishing Cort and Fatboy from their precious online repository for 3,000 word articles about obscure video games. I found myself getting further and further pulled down a strange rabbit hole ruled over by hypocritical gatekeepers with usernames like “Eagles 24/7” and “Beeblebrox.” It was a lost cause but I was determined to defend the show because, simply put, I was right and my opponents were wrong (Cort and Fatboy more than qualifies for a Wikipedia page, according to the site’s policies).

This dragged on for months, with me spending a few minutes every day defending the show’s page like a hapless security guard trying to protect a jewelery store from the world’s most determined diamond thieves. Why a handful of Wikipedia editors cared so much about something so silly, I’ll never know, especially when the site is filled with literally thousands of terribly written and edited articles on subjects with less merit. Then, again, why was I stubbornly willing to devote my own time to a project this ridiculous? I suppose, for all involved, it had become amatter of principle.

In the end, the efforts of myself and a few of the show’s other fans led to the duo being completely banned from Wikipedia altogether. I guess I can always take comfort in the fact that it was hardly a fair fight. Roberts, the show’s co-host, wrote up his own take on his mess, which can be found over here.

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