Sunday, December 18, 2005

outrageous attack on wikipedia

wikipediaclassaction is trying to force wikipedia to alter the way they do things by legal action.


Meanwhile, here is the link and a quote from the original Nature article about the wikipedia verus Britannica comparison, mentioned earlier:
... Michael Twidale, an information scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that Wikipedia's strongest suit is the speed at which it can updated, a factor not considered by Nature's reviewers.

"People will find it shocking to see how many errors there are in Britannica," Twidale adds. "Print encyclopaedias are often set up as the gold standards of information quality against which the failings of faster or cheaper resources can be compared. These findings remind us that we have an 18-carat standard, not a 24-carat one."

Furthermore, there is a great commentary on the whole Seigenthaler issue and implications by Danah Boyd, who amongst other things calls on academics to contribute more:

I am worried about how academics are treating Wikipedia and i think that it comes from a point of naivety. Wikipedia should never be the sole source for information. It will never have the depth of original sources. It will also always contain bias because society is inherently biased, although its efforts towards neutrality are commendable. These are just realizations we must acknowledge and support. But what it does have is a huge repository of information that is the most accessible for most people. Most of the information is more accurate than found in a typical encyclopedia and yet, we value encyclopedias as a initial point of information gathering. It is also more updated, more inclusive and more in-depth. Plus, it's searchable and in the hands of everyone with digital access (a much larger population than those with encyclopedias in their homes). It also exists in hundreds of languages and is available to populations who can't even imagine what a library looks like. Yes, it is open. This means that people can contribute what they do know and that others who know something about that area will try to improve it. Over time, articles with a lot of attention begin to be inclusive and approximating neutral. The more people who contribute, the stronger and more valuable the resource. Boycotting Wikipedia doesn't make it go away, but it doesn't make it any better either.


Blogger Bill Kerr said...

I found out from leigh blackwell's blog that the class action was a hoax. But he didn't discover this until after
writing an angry letter

I was angry about this one too and am glad to discover that it is a hoax.

However, there is evidence that Seigenthaler is lobbying for Congress to outlaw anonymous speech on the internet. Perhaps a separate issue but an important one.


12:45 AM  

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