By Agahnim and TDA
Unlike other ‘Top Ten’ websites such as Google and Facebook, Wikipedia has no corporate hierarchy to maintain control. The well-funded Wikimedia Foundation exerts no authority over its content, instead leaving the site’s loose-knit community to govern everything. Wikipedia’s editors create and control its content through a continual series of conflicts and wars of attrition, governed by a system of inconsistent and vague policies and rules where one rule may be negated by another rule. Should these factions fail to settle their differences, then Wikipedia’s highest authority, known as the Arbitration Committee, settles disputes based on its evaluation of the parties’ conduct.
The Arbitration Committee, also known as ArbCom, is officially leaderless and its membership is changed in part every year by elections and resignations, leaving its longest-serving members with substantial influence over its operations. Its cases are decided by discussion on the Committee’s secretive mailing list and the Committee is kept
…continue reading Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator
By Andreas Kolbe
A factoid regularly cited in the press to this day is that a 2005 study by Nature found Wikipedia to be almost as reliable as Britannica. While the study’s (if that is the right word – it wasn’t a peer-reviewed study, but a news story) methodology and conclusions were disputed by Britannica, the result of the Nature comparison has become part of received knowledge for much of the media. As the saying goes, a lie told often enough becomes the truth.
A meme is born
The problems really began as soon as the Nature piece was published. Many news outlets failed to mention that in its survey, Nature looked at hard science topics only – subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and paleontology – despite the fact that Nature clearly said
…continue reading Wikipedia: as accurate as Britannica?
Once upon a time, Gomi of the late great Wikipedia Review compiled an introductory survey of criticism that is intended to provide the public with a range of different reasons to shun Wikipedia as an authoritative source of information.
1. Wikipedia contains incorrect, misleading, and biased information. Whether through vandalism, subtle disinformation, or the prolonged battling over biased accounts, many of Wikipedia’s articles are unsuitable for scholarly use. Because of poor standards of sourcing and citation, it is often difficult to determine the origin of statements made in Wikipedia in order to determine their correctness. Pursuit of biased points of view by powerful administrators is considered a particular problem, as opposing voices are often permanently banned from Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s culture of disrespect for expertise and scholarship (see below) makes it difficult to trust anything there.
2. Wikipedia’s articles are used to spread gossip, abet character assassination, and invade the privacy of the general
…continue reading A Compendium of Wikipedia Criticism