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54263Wikipedia (WAS: A question about peace)

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  • Chris Laning
    Sep 9, 2006
      At 9:35 PM -0400 9/7/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
      >You've kinda missed my whole point; SPECIFICALLY Wikipedia is open-source
      >material, able to be modified by ANYONE, regardless of their knowledge of
      >the topic. My assertion is that it therefore has limited validity, since
      >there's no way to restrict posting and rewriting by anyone for any reason.

      Not quite true.

      Wikipedia does have rules and limits, though as one might expect with
      such a large body of information, enforcement is sporadic. In many --
      but of course not all -- areas there are people who do keep an eye on
      articles in their field of interest, and who jump in when
      misinformation is posted and promptly correct it. There are also
      rules about what sorts of information may and may not be added to
      Wikipedia articles -- for one thing, they would prefer only to have
      previously published information with the source cited -- and in the
      areas I look at, the monitors have been fairly prompt to flag, if not
      remove, things that don't meet those standards. Another big no-no is
      violation of the "neutral point of view," i.e. slanting the
      information to advance one view over others. These violations, being
      more apt to draw complaints, tend to be jumped on even more promptly.
      In some cases, an article may be "frozen" and future edits
      prohibited, either permanently or until disputes are resolved. Repeat
      offenders can also be banned.

      So it's true that if you only look at a Wikipedia article this
      Thursday at 4:00pm, it may be outrageously wrong in some aspect. But
      if you check back next Sunday, it may well have been corrected. This
      does not make Wikipedia "reliable" but it explains why its accuracy
      overall is able to be rather higher than is sometimes assumed.

      O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe , Shire of Windy Meads
      + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
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