There’s an interesting piece about Wikipedia from the Wall Street Journal Online. It seems that Wikipedia volunteers are leaving faster than new volunteers are joining. Could it be that this unaccountable and self-appointed repository of public knowledge is on the verge of imploding?
In an article that I penned earlier this year I exposed some of the corrupt policies that reward volunteers that delete articles in order to increase their standing with the organization. A venerable MUD called Threshold was adversely affected by the shenanigans of these Wikipedia deletion happy scoundrels and almost had its Wikipedia entry deleted if it were not for the public outcry that ensued.
One of the best comments so far comes from Nicole Hamilton:
The problem of the so-called “deletionists” is totally out of control on Wikipedia. These are, so far as I can tell, completely self-appointed topic police who go from one article to another deleting pretty much anything they don’t like. Now, certainly, if they were making these decisions in topics where they actually had some particular domain expertise or knowledge, I’d say, fine. But that doesn’t appear to be what’s going on. To me, it just looks like a plain ol’ power trip for idiots who know basically nothing about anything except Wikipedia’s rules, which, also as pointed out in the article, are getting to be about as labyrinthine as the IRS code. Bottom line, Wikipedia is falling over of its own weight.
There are many other spot on comments as well. Anyone interested in educating themselves about the abuse of power, politically correct politics and cliques that dominate Wikipedia would do well to read the entire thread.
The information age promised us increased democratization and empowerment of the citizenry. The old axiom knowledge is power is certainly true but what of those who decide what is knowledge? These gatekeepers of facts and history hold the real power. This is why Wikipedia can not be trusted by anyone interested in objectivity and the truth.
Here’s a free video report from WSJ Online which gives the viewer a good overview of Wikipedia’s problems. Also here’s another WSJ Online video link of an interview with Andrew Liu the author of The Wikipedia Revolution.
Just a note, the WSJ Online is a pay service. However, the first couple of paragraphs of the article are free as are the comments.