Wacky Overstock.com CEO vindicated by SEC, not WikipediaPatrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, has popularized the notion that "naked shorts" are ruining Wall Street. In the process, though, he also popularized the notion that he was a paranoid nutjob — a reputation that he's hardly shed since the SEC issued new regulations governing the shady stock-trading practice. Byrne may have won the battle on Capitol Hill, but he has yet to win the thoroughly bureaucratic, endlessly argumentative hearts and minds of Jimmy Wales's Wikipedia.A refresher on naked shorts: In a regular short sale, a trader borrows shares and sells them, profiting if the stock drops in price; a "naked" short skips the step of borrowing shares. How can you sell something you don't own? A loophole in stock-trading rules that gives traders three days to settle up. "Naked shorts" is also possibly the most hilariously homoerotic term for a trading scheme yet invented. Byrne loudly insists that investigative reporter Gary Weiss, formerly of BusinessWeek, edited the Wikipedia entry on naked shorting. Asked by The Register, a U.K. tech publication, Weiss denied this charge. Byrne's undocumented conspiracy theories have won him few friends on Wikipedia, where editors punctiliously insist on mainstream-media verification of all charges, unless an unproved assertion happens to suit their agendas. And that's where Jimmy Wales comes in. One has to think Wales, a former stock trader himself — though not a very successful one — has got his former colleagues' back. Wales has not visibly weighed into the Byrne argument. But he rarely does so publicly, preferring to use private mailing lists to direct Wikipedia editors, as he did when his then-girlfriend Rachel Marsden prevailed on him to brighten up her entry. So, Patrick, there's your solution: Stop whining on Wikipedia about how ill-treated you are. It's become clear that the only way to get a speedy revision to your WIkipedia entry is a personal appeal to Wales himself. So ring up Jimmy directly. Tell him how much you admire the cheerful cynicism behind his supposedly altruistic work. Brush up on your Ayn Rand quotes. Offer a "donation." Or how about a very graphic, in-person demonstration of "naked shorts," if that's what it takes? Just remember: Wikipedia isn't about the sum of all human knowledge. It's about what humanity can do for Jimmy. (Photo by markjhandel, photoillustration by Jackson West)