Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Battle For Wikipedia's Soul

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the deleting-inclusions-or-including-deletions dept.

Social Networks 471

njondet recommends an article at The Economist that sheds light on the identity crisis faced by Wikipedia as it is torn between two alternative futures. "'It can either strive to encompass every aspect of human knowledge, no matter how trivial; or it can adopt a more stringent editorial policy and ban articles on trivial subjects, in the hope that this will enhance its reputation as a trustworthy and credible reference source. These two conflicting visions are at the heart of a bitter struggle inside Wikipedia between 'inclusionists,' who believe that applying strict editorial criteria will dampen contributors' enthusiasm for the project, and 'deletionists' who argue that Wikipedia should be more cautious and selective about its entries."

cancel ×

471 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wikipedia as Advertising (5, Insightful)

commisaro (1007549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697790)

Personally I get annoyed when I see a comment in a Wikipedia article which was obviously added by someone promoting some product, or some stupid viral video attempt they posted on youtube which was peripherally related to the article in question. I feel that deletion of these kind of trivial things is important to maintain the integrity of Wikipedia. Sure, it could strive to be a record of all human knowledge... but then, some humans have some pretty useless "knowledge" which I don't really want to read about.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (5, Insightful)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697826)

Just delete the blatant advertising.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (5, Insightful)

SausageOfDoom (930370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697854)

I agree with that, but I've seen a lot of interesting pages that get deleted just for the sake of "Oh, it's not of interest to a wide enough audience" etc. That's absurd - it's not as if each new page costs a significant amount of money to maintain, and who is in a position to decide that anyway? Besides, look at how many pages on obscure sci-fi characters there are, and then tell me that's of relevance to a wide audience...

If it's advertising or devoid of information, delete. Otherwise, live and let live - surely more information has to be better.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (4, Insightful)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697936)

The thing is, most new articles began "devoid of information" - or, in WP terminology, a stub. If that stub is sourced, it usually stays, if it's not it goes. Articles don't pop into existence in a full state of being, so the line between delete and keep is much more fluid.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698112)

Maintaining those pages does cost... if not money... then the time of good editors who have to police it for idiocy/vandalism/neutral point of view. Effective editors put in a lot of time and effort. Effective trolls and vandals can do their thing with little effort at all. Wikipedia burns through good editors like they are an infinitely renewable resource.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (1)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697880)

OK, but then, what do you do with non-blatant advertising? And what is blatant, and what is not blatant? How do you define it?

If it were that easy, these arguments about whether to delete or retain something would not exist, and AFD [wikipedia.org] would not be the hellhole it currently is.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (4, Interesting)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698108)

And also, how do you determine what is "trivial" and what isn't? I am all for the inclusion of every bit of human knowledge.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698256)

this article is a bit strange , since wikipedia has always existed on the balance between inserting new information , and replacing other information.

But what some might find to be useless information , others might find usefull . That is , however , not a problem , since the information is split up in articles . You search it , you find it . Most articles are structured in such way that you can easily find basic information , and more trivial information divided in chapters .

advertisment is pretty difficult , since any information about a product , is advertisment in every sense of the word. But that doesn't mean people won't be interested in it . It seems normal to me that the page of Coca Cola tells me what products they have .however , spreading that information is advertisment.

It becomes a problem when it's no longer neutral information . A list of the products should be fine , but we don't need stories about how great the product really is.

Why can't it be both? (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697896)

A few years ago, no one imagined that we'd have accomplished what we did here on Wikipedia. Compared to the entrenched encyclopedia companies, we were far behind, and we always knew the climb would be steep. But in record numbers of entries, we came out and wrote so many articles. And with these articles and discussions, it was made clear that at this moment - in this fight for intellectual freedom - there is something happening on the Web.

There is something happening when men and men pretending to be women in Des Moines and Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out of their basements to write and rewrite and edit and correct because they believe in what this medium can be. We can be the new majority who can lead this world out of a long intellectual property darkness - Communists, Free-marketeers, and Furries who are tired of the high prices of Britannica and the inadequacy of Funk and Wagnalls; who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that's stood in our way to knowledge and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there's no obscure minutia we can't illuminate - no minor character we cannot flesh out.

Our new Web encyclopedia can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable encyclopedias in our time. We can bring doctors and patients; workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together for discussion and consultation; and we can tell the big name encyclopedia players that while they'll get a seat at the table, they don't get to buy every chair. Not this time. Not now.

All of the inclusionists and the deletists on this site share these goals. All have good ideas. And all are valuable contributors who serve this website honorably. But the reason Wikipedia has always been different is because it's not just about what I or they will do, it's also about what you, the people who love knowledge, can do to increase it.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the years to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of the world false hope and bad information. But in the unlikely story that is Wikipedia, there has never been anything false about participation. For when we have faced down increasing attacks on our credibility; when we've been told that we're not a valid source, or that we shouldn't even try to be the be all and end all, or that we can't, thousands upon thousands of Wikipedia authors have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a free and liberated people.

Yes we can.

Re:Why can't it be both? (2, Interesting)

jiadran (1198763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697956)

thesis -> anti-thesis -> synthesis, or something.

They could introduce a rating system. That way the now deletists could ensure that high-value articles are recognizable as such, while the inclusionist could include everything.

I like the idea of finding information about everything on Wikipedia, but sometimes it would be really useful if you could see whether an article is the opinion of a single person or accepted general knowledge, without having to look at the discussion pages.

Re:Why can't it be both? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698000)

Hear, hear, loose change we can belive in.

False dilemma (was Re:Why can't it be both?) (5, Insightful)

traveller.ct (958378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698016)

I don't see the reason why Wikipedia cannot document every trivial human knowledge and still be a trustworthy and credible reference source.

Re:Why can't it be both? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698188)

Have it both ways -- if you think something should be deleted, send it to an overflow _deleted_ area. People can choose to look there if they want to and there's no issue about complete deletion.

If there's no such mechanism, the fucking commercial interests and spammers will take over, just as they have in the newsgroup, mailing list and email worlds.

If the material is still available, it can still be accessed by those who want it, just as you can set the level of replies you want to read on slashdot, so no one can freak out about "censorship". Sure it may lead to second-class-citizen kind of article, but, get real, these are articles, not people. It also avoids the problem of having the moderators or whatever they're called not being accountable.

For what it's worth, there has long been such a practice in writing e.g. ship's logs. If you want to make a correction, you're not allowed to obliterate the original entry. You draw a single line through it and add the new entry below. That way, the original is available for future review and evaluation against the replacement entry.

Re:Why can't it be both? (4, Insightful)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698238)

I'd agree with that; just because something's "trivial" doesn't mean it's not credible. The compromise is to allow articles on anything, but to hold all articles to the same editorial standards.

I do think that Wikipedia shouldn't be considered a valid source for reference material in itself, but I don't think any other encyclopaedia should be either; on the upside, the last copy of the EB that I saw didn't have a list of external authoritative sources attached to each article.

Re:Wikipedia as Advertising (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698146)

Sure, it could strive to be a record of all human knowledge.

The internet itself, with the wayback machine, is the record of all human knowledge.

Google, Yahoo Search, et al are its indexes, while Wikipedia is the executive summary.

Then don't read it (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698268)

Isn't that the best solution for you deletionists? If there's something that just isn't up to your uppity standards, then simply don't read it. It's not like Pokemon articles are spam; they don't get delivered to your inbox, and they don't come knocking on your door. If you don't like a particular article, then simply don't read it. There may be thousands of people who would read it, though.

I find it funny and sad that Wikipedia is moving towards a state where content is controlled by a few editors. Isn't that the whole model that Wikipedia was trything to get away from in the first place? c.f. Encyclopedia Britannica. Call the deletionists what you will. I call them overly-anal folk who, perhaps for the first time in their lives, have achieved some level of power and are trying desparately to keep the unwashed Pokemon fans out.

It seems to be there... (2, Funny)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697798)

I found it, it's here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul [wikipedia.org] .

No, but seriously...this is an issue that's really not all that easy to decide. Those in control (the admins) have the right to remove "insignificant" entries, but they boast a wide set of rules about non-censorship and such. Overall, the admins have the say, and can change the rules or strictly enforce them (remember the Muhammad article issue?). Now, whether they think it'll affect readership or whether they carefully calculate how it will affect it - that's a whole different story.

Re:It seems to be there... (3, Interesting)

mmyrfield (1157811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698034)

Don't misunderstand the playing field; "the admins" (or as some might say the evil cabal) do not have the right to remove insignificant articles, nor can they change the rules/strictly enforce them to their whims. Wikipedia operates on the idea of reaching a consensus among good-faith users who understand the current mechanisms.

What frustrates me lately is the attitude of a large number of editors who follow the mantra "Either facts are sourced or I delete them on sight, and if an article has fewer than x sources, it gets the axe one way or another". To me, that's a destructive attitude and non-condusive to covering the wide spectrum of knowledge.

Re:It seems to be there... (1)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698134)

I would just like to point out that citing an encyclopedia, online or hard copy, paid or free, is not academically acceptable. College profs and peers alike prefer that you go right to the source of the bias for your hard information instead of using many people to the vetting (and admittedly research) for you. Fair enough... find the works of others and draw your own conclusions. Still, snooty intellectuals cannot deny that as an encyclopedia, WikiPedia consistently serves up more information, and on non-controversial subjects is more up-to-date and accurate than a dusty rack of books in a library. Maybe we should all go back to microfiche.

Well I guess I'm an inclusionist then... (5, Insightful)

PO1FL (1074923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697808)

Because I really like the trivial and sometimes weird articles on Wikipedia. I like the articles that probably would not make it into any other resource.

Re:Well I guess I'm an inclusionist then... (5, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697894)

I have to agree. I often explicitly search wikipedia for reasonably structured information on neo-culture subjects like characters in TV shows, books or cartoons.

Much of wikipedias usefulness stems from it's inclusivity; if any given subject had to have a related doctorate, we'd have to wait 50 years until academia decides to catch up.

Re:Well I guess I'm an inclusionist then... (2, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697978)

Yes, I think there is not too much harm done this way. There are already importance scales, there is a release version [wikipedia.org] . It's not like Wikipeda is a mess of various data having no structure.

Trivial is relative (5, Insightful)

addie (470476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697812)

That which may be trivial today could end up being very important in the long run. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one single painting in his lifetime, as he simply wasn't very popular. If we leave out articles on certain people or events based on our perceptions of their current importance, that information could be lost forever. Let history judge what is or is not trivial, we're just too biased to do so in the present. I'm a fan for inclusion, all the way.

Re:Trivial is relative (4, Funny)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697924)

I agree. What better way to leave evidence of Goatse for future generations?

Re:Trivial is relative (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697944)

What better way to leave evidence of Goatse for future generations?

I propose we leave a handful of obfuscated links with tantalizing names like "not a rickroll" and "more info here" in random Slashdot replies.

Re:Trivial is relative (4, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697972)

Not only that, what could be "trivial" for one people is really informative for others. There is some knowledge that does not "belong" to other sections in an article. This is knowledge that may not be large enough to fill a paragraph but is still information. Even if this information is that X character in a movie was based on Y or took some lines from Z. To some people that might look trivial but other people might find it useful for a research of say, the influence of "oldies" 1990s movies in the new 2050 movies.

Moreover, I do not find "trivial" and "trustworthy" as conflicting approaches. You can have a very trustworthy place with Trivia (like your typical neighbour woman who knows about *everything* that happens in the neighbourhood, you know her information is trustworthy, although some of it may be trivial). I think what they should be aiming for is to improve the quality of those articles that seem "trivial". Yes, even the thousand of Anime/Manga articles, they are not tririval, they are information.

Re:Trivial is relative (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698222)

Not only that, what could be "trivial" for one people is really informative for others.

True, but surely there is a limit. Are the contents of my lunch today 'informative'. Sure if I happen to become a celebrity on the scale of Lincoln someday, scholars will delight in knowing I had 'Kraft dinner' for lunch because my 4 year old wanted it more than anything... and that will somehow reveal to them something profound... but it doesn't belong in an encyclopedia today. Hell, even a page about me or even my entire immediate family probably doesn't belong in wikipedia -- although there is certainly plenty to say, and some people would probably even find it interesting.

And one day, maybe, if one of us becomes pivotal in history, we'll be glad its there... but while any of the billions of people alive today could become pivotally important in the future... we really don't need 6 billion articles covering what we all had for lunch, or thought of sports, or what music we liked...

deletionists (0, Troll)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697822)

are the scum of the earth
watch as they mark every article relating to Gundam for deletion (easily the single most influential anime of all time), including the main
but then they leave bucketfuls of TIE Fighter variations untouched

good job biased assholes

Re:deletionists (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697922)

Ironic post? Personally wouldn't consider Gundam the most influential, reserving that for things like Astro Boy (bringing anime to the forefront), Evangelion and Akira (for people belabouring them incessantly), Macross (for popularising mecha), Pokemon (for infesting kids everywhere), Dragonball (for the concept of saving on animating/plot by repeating screaming scenes), etc. To each our own bias.

Re:deletionists (1)

Nirvelli (851945) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698024)

Well I'd have to disagree with you on that. I really don't know much about anime, but when I think of anime and robots, I think of Gundam. Meanwhile, I've never even heard of "Macross" before.
So as an external obsever, I'd say that Gundam is a pretty influential anime.

Re:deletionists (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698162)

you're so wrong it's laughable

the list is this:
Tetsuwon Atom
Tetsujin-28
Mobile Suit Gundam
Space Battleship Yamato

those are the anime
everything you listed is awful modern shit that just steals heavily from these shows

Re:deletionists (4, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697952)

Excellent. It took fewer than 20 comments to go from "interesting discussion of an important if abstract philosophical difference" to "ad hominem attack on anyone who disagrees with me". No wonder human discourse is so rarefied and refined these days!

"And furthermore, you're ugly!" Yeah, that rhetorical flourish really adds to the logical cohesion of a point.

Deletionists (5, Insightful)

apankrat (314147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697824)

I guess I fall under the "inclusionist" type as I wholeheartedly believe that
nuking the content in a favor of a formal compliance with a policy du jour
is a wrong thing to do. Deleting is easy, creating is hard. And re-creating
is nearly impossible. If you tried resurrecting a deleted Wikipedia article,
you know what I mean.

Re:Deletionists (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698068)

Verifiable reliable secondary sourcing isn't exactly a "policy du jour" on Wikipedia, and it's generally the best way to determine the notability of a subject. Easily the most frequently deleted types of articles are spam/advocacy articles, self-bios, and articles about garage bands. In all three cases, the articles are often placed in hopes of increasing the fame of the author/subject, and in all three cases, sources are rarely if ever provided, hence the articles' eventual removal.

If you have an article topic that is well-researched and well-sourced, by which I mean the subject has received attention in reliable mainstream media, then write the article and cite the sources. But just remember that you don't own that article, and it will be ultimately judged by the Wikipedia community to determine its suitability for inclusion (or modification, merging with another article, etc.).

Re:Deletionists (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698156)

and re-creating is nearly impossible. If you tried resurrecting a deleted Wikipedia article,
you know what I mean.


No, no I don't. Having edited an article that's been deleted over a dozen times, it's really not that hard. This is even *after* the page has been salted.

Very, very old news (4, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697828)

This is being reported as if it's a new thing. It's not. Far from it. I've been at Wikipedia for nearly 5 years now, and this debate has been raging as long as I've been there. In 2003/2004, it centered around high schoolers. By 2005/2006, it was individual Pokemon and TV shows. Now it's individual TV episodes and characters thereof.

Re:Very, very old news (1)

J44xm (971669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698216)

This timely for me as, by chance, I just today discovered that most of the characters from Mama's Family have their own Wikipedia entries [wikipedia.org] . And I can honestly say that I'm not sure what or how to think about this either. I suppose the existence of the information is hardly so detrimental to Wikipedia. (My spirit, on the other hand...)

What's the deletionist justification? (4, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697834)

I can understand why someone might want lots of strange and "trivial" articles on Wikipedia. They want it to be a resource that they can always turn to for pretty much any and all information.

Why do the deletionists care if there are trivial articles on there? If they consider an article trivial, isn't it fairly easy to just not read it and not contribute to it?

Do they base their stance purely on how "trivial articles" may affect Wikipedia's public image, or do they have some sort of technical concern about having too many articles?

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (4, Informative)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697906)

More of a social concern about having too many articles; monitoring articles takes time, and having articles on topics that they consider worthless, but that still need to be monitored, causes the amount of eyes watching each article to decrease. This allows, in theory, more vandalism to sneak by, and decreases the average quality of Wikipedia articles, or so I've heard

You may want to read the Deletionism page on Metawiki [wikimedia.org] for more info.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (4, Funny)

Mex (191941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698246)

It's the difference between having no entry for Planet Earth, and having one that says "Mostly Harmless".

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (2, Insightful)

plnrtrvlr (557800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698258)

If that is their only concern, then the simplest solution is to divide Wikipedia up into "Knowledge and Culture" and "Subculture and Trivia" sections and then give the job of policing the areas back to those who have the respective opinions. "Inclusionists" can monitor the sections they want included and "deletionists" have the stuff they don't feel important under it's own heading where they can ignore it.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (4, Interesting)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697908)

The justification is as follows: an encyclopedia is a generalized collection of information for easy brushing up on a subject or to begin research. It's a giant summary of what other people say. Because WP decided to use the encyclopedia template, all those weird trivial articles that nobody reports on in media deserve the hatchet. Had it not and been a collection of everything, they would have a home, but then you have to deal with a bunch of people creating articles on their friends discussing how gay they are with no reason for deletion (similar to Everything2).

It's not based on technical reasons, nor on "trivia" - if Bob's Local Cheese Statue was discussed in the newspaper a bunch of times, and that's cited in the article, that article will definitely stay. It's more based on "can you back this up using a real source, not yourself", to both preserve reliability and make sure that if someone wants to use it for research they can figure out who said what.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (3, Interesting)

PO1FL (1074923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698022)

I think the "discussed somewhere else and available online (for a link)" standard is a good metric for deciding what stays and what goes. (Hypothetical) examples: #1 Small restaurant starts up. One customer enjoys his/her meal and writes an article on Wikipedia. Under this metric (and by common sense) that article should be deleted, unless the restaraunt is in some other way notable,but for the sake of argument it's not. #2 Small restaurant starts up. A review of this restaurant is written in the local paper. An article about the restaurant is then written on Wikipedia. Under the metric that article should stay. Perhaps later, the online version of that article is no longer available. Then, (because by that time the restaurant is presumably no longer notable) the Wikipedia article could be deleted.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698038)

What purpose would deleting old articles serve? How is that even relevant?

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (2, Interesting)

PO1FL (1074923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698160)

Because in the above hypothetical, its no longer notable. If, for some other reason the small restaurant became notable, like it grew and is now well known in the area for fine cuisine, and now has a zagat rating, and other reviews, etc. then, its article should stay. But if the only reason its notable is because of one article in the local newspaper (for the sake of argument, let's say its a small non-notable newspaper, i.e. not the New York Times), than after a certain period of time (maybe a year or two), its no longer notable.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697988)

If they consider an article trivial, isn't it fairly easy to just not read it and not contribute to it?

It's a question of context.

Take any Wikipedia article. It would be quite easy to divide it up, and give every trivial point it's own article. However, making such a distributed list of facts makes the information largely useless.

How would you feel if you watched the news one day, only to find they start listing names and what they did that day? It's not very useful to know that Abu Suwab Alzahari died today, unless you know he's the leader of a country, how old he was, what this means, etc.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698026)

> Why do the deletionists care if there are trivial articles on there?

It's because they don't want that junk on their Wikipedia.

IMO, deleting and banning certain types of information is a pretty lame course of action.
"Trivial" topics should not be excluded. In what way do they hurt Wikipedia's credibility, anyway?

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (4, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698058)

Do they base their stance purely on how "trivial articles" may affect Wikipedia's public image, or do they have some sort of technical concern about having too many articles?

I suspect that the main reason is a lot less noble: "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and petty power corrupts completely out of proportion to the actual power." Destroying someone else's work is using power, and that is a rewarding activity in itself, so people with nothing to contribute do so to make themselves feel important.

That's why I've made a principal decision to never again contribute to Wikipedia: doing so would mean engaging in petty power games with deletionists and other control freaks, so why bother ?

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (1, Troll)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698064)

My problem is that it often goes beyond what is just "trivial". Many (most that I have seen) wikipedia editors end up getting a huge power fix on being able to decide what knowledge does and does not belong in the human knowledge base.

For example, until VERY recently, there were no mentions anywhere on wikipedia that there was any controversy on what happened on 9-11. I came to wikipedia to get my facts straight, but instead, everything was one sided. Everything that got added mentioning the existence of the controversy got immediately deleted as conspiracy theorist nonsense, even though there are huge articles on things like Roswell and Bigfoot.

Also notice, there is no mention of the GNAA on wikipedia. There are mentions of less significant groups that are far more sketchy, and also many pages about less significant hacker groups from history, as well as many pages for other groups with initials GNAA, even though when you search google, the troll group is far more relevant. The fact is that they trolled wikipedia, pissed off some editors, and the editors decided to take it upon themselves to will the group out of existence.

The worst kind of censorship comes from groups that claim that their goal is freedom of information.

Re:What's the deletionist justification? (2, Informative)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698204)

Why do the deletionists care if there are trivial articles on there? If they consider an article trivial, isn't it fairly easy to just not read it and not contribute to it?

The most reasonable justification I've heard is "the criteria for notability is verifiability". That is, wikipedia doesn't need unverifiable articles because thanks to vandalism, there's a good chance they aren't true.

Therefore, the only articles wikipedia wants are those that can be verified. They also prefer verification come from someone credible - such as a newspaper, magazine, academic journal, etc - rather than something like a blog post which could easily be fabricated by vandals.

If I start a Wikipedia page about myself saying "Mike1024 is a well known athlete, porn star and rock band guitarist" it should probably be deleted because, though all those things may individually be true, I have no evidence they are true.

Penis Bird Giveaway!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22697836)

Oh boy oh boy, another giveaway brought to you, by me, featuring the fabulous PENISBIRD! Wow!
10 to give away, 1 in 6 clicks wins. Click here if you want one. [dwarfurl.com]

Point of a wiki (1)

proudfoot (1096177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697844)

Isn't wikipedia designed to cover the things that a normal encyclopedia may be unable to cover?

Re:Point of a wiki (2, Insightful)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698010)

Um... no. The point of Wikipedia is to make a free encyclopedia that can be referred to easily. If Wikipedia can cover things that a normal encyclopedia can't, well, that's just a happy side effect of its method of expansion. As Jimbo Wales has stated many times, the fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia (and add garbage or trivia) is a means to an end, not the goal itself.

To Hell With Wikipedia [citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22697848)

Fucking wikinazis bicker about anything and engage in masturbatory pseudo-bureaucracy over hair-splitting details which nobody in their right mind could give a flying fuck about. [citation needed]

[citation needed] [youtube.com] [citation needed]

Captcha: kawaii [citation needed]

Wikipedia is amazing (1)

rainhill (86347) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697850)

I have noticed lately that I was subconsciously searching google with keyword + wikipedia, such as web based cms wikipedia [google.com] because i was getting better results that way.

I'm definitely in the inclusionist's camp (4, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697858)

What makes wikipedia worthwhile is the amount of information available. Wikipedia credibility isn't in peril because it contains TNG episode descriptions (and it does). It's in peril because it contains inaccurate information. The one time I corrected wikipedia was the removal of some disguised claims to perpetual motion. The information had a few web page citations backing it up. I followed the links, because what they were saying intrigued me, and ended up at some crackpot's website. So I deleted that information. If it had been wrong on star trek related information, it would still be unreliable. If it didn't have any star trek information, it would still be providing wrong information on that topic.

What that tells you is that the current system works. Any encyclopedia works like that. I wasn't allowed to cite hard-copy encyclopedias when I was doing projects in school, they were meant as a starting point to gather information. Same thing I do with wikipedia. When I want quick information, I go there (and I go there quite often). If I need the extra reliability, I may look at the papers cited at wikipedia and decide if they're good reputable starting points, or go elsewhere.

Wikipedia is tremendously useful if you use it as an encyclopedia is meant to be used. A repository of tons of information for quick reference. If editors continue doing a good job requiring citation sources and checking for accuracy of information on topics they understand, it will continue to grow. If editors start removing information because "it's not worthy" I'm going to have to start going elsewhere for that information and they've accomplished nothing to increase their reputation.

Re:I'm definitely in the inclusionist's camp (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698070)

Encyclopedias generally aren't ever cited. I mean, that's why the articles contain references to the actual information sources, right?

Why can't it be both? (4, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697860)

In reality, Wikipedia is too large to have cohesive policy of this type. Rather, it is very fragmented with a large number of groups and projects, each with its own standards of quality, reliability and notability. In Mathematics, Wikipedia has become the de-facto first reference for definitions. I wouldn't use it for research results, but if you need to know what a contravariant functor [wikipedia.org] is, or the basic construction of Hausdorff measure [wikipedia.org] then starting at Wikipedia works. The same holds for some fields of theoretical physics. And this is perfectly compatible with there being large swathes of the encyclopedia devoted to debating the special power sof minor characters in little-known Japanese manga, written using in-universe language. The point is that most users can easily tell the difference between the two kinds of pages.

Trivial is a matter of opinion (4, Insightful)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697868)

Just because some random people determine something is "trival" doesn't mean it is.

There are a lot of things that are marked as such, that I don't think they are. Episode lists of TV shows for instance. Watch a show, want to know what season it was in, Wikipedia can tell you...at least for now.

I've always considered that the whole IDEA of Wikipedia. A site with every meaningful and meaningless piece of information you want. You need to know the particulars of the 1980 Presidential election? Wikipedia. You want to know the in-depth backstory of G-Man in Half Life? Wikipedia will tell you that as well. The latter may be called trivial by some, but I'm sure a lot of people have read it as well.

The fact that there ARE all these types of pages mean two things. People want to write them, and people want to read them. If wikipedia starts to delete them, there will be another wiki that will host them.

Re:Trivial is a matter of opinion (1)

eremos (526869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697948)

Good example, but I don't think the in-depth backstory of G-Man in Half Life belongs on Wikipedia. It would make much more sense to have that on a separate wiki dedicated to Half Life, as we're talking about a fictional world. Have an article on Half Life, absolutely. But in the main space, stick to things that exist in reality.

Re:Trivial is a matter of opinion (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698092)

Your comment seems somewhat self-contradictory to me. You support the information on G-Man as being useful and that it would be beneficial to preserve it for posterity, yet you greatly "raise the bar" on the ability to preserve this information by making it possible to preserve it only if some sponsor can be found to produce and manage that "separate wiki".

Or did I misunderstand, and you were suggesting that the Wikimedia Foundation should start to fragment its server space for every notable fictional universe? That seems particularly impractical. Not to mention what would happen if someone suggests that "since the Bible is fiction the characters therein should be relegated to a separate wiki".

Your suggestion would be much more interesting in a future where it would be easy (and preferably, trivial) to run a robust distributed wiki (or wiki-like environment) hosted by the members of the community interested by the Half Life universe, themselves, on their own personal computers. Some kind of hybrid between P2P and wiki. I'm not familiar with any software like that (but I wouldn't be surprised if it exists, if only in a nascent state).

Why can't you have both? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697874)

Have a "core" set of articles which is held to very high standards, and an "extended" set which is less stringent and which allows additional information on core content as well as completely unrelated non-core.

Isn't the whole point of doing this collaboratively allowing people to experiment, and breaking the bonds of the traditional encyclopedia?

Re:Why can't you have both? (2, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698182)

This would be an excellent idea. There could be a number of ways on rating articles, from the number of times accessed (likely to have a number of false positives in amusing trivia and miss esoteric encyclopaedic articles) or a "dig" style thumbs up/thumbs down rating for encyclopaedic relevance. Perhaps the best would be a 1 to 5 rating from "trivia" to "core encyclopaedic contents". This would allow changes as history progresses, e.g. cold fusion would have started somewhere in the middle and tailed out to trivia. Who knows what might happen in the future....

Wikipedia has bigger problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22697884)

...other than the inclusionists and deltionists.

My biggest issue with Wikipedia has been bias and conflict of interest. Far too many times I've run into situations where information I had seen before was removed by someone closely guarding the article, almost obsessively so. Be it anything critical (but factual) about the topic at hand, you'll see pages upon pages of bickering in the talk section about it. More often than not, those who absolutely refuse to allow critical information in these articles were either associated to who/what the article is about... or, even worse: associated to who/what the article is about AND a Wikipedia admin.

A great example is the Fark article. Obsessed with eliminating provable, citeable information that would be "negative" about Fark itself, the same people who throw their weight down and use their privileges to enforce what they want left out of the article... end up being Fark moderators as well.

The conflict of interest involved in this one specific example prevents any person's ability to remove bias and lack of neutrality from the article. Instead, information that 20+ people are trying to keep into the article are overruled by one administrator who desires to keep something potentially seen as negative out of the article itself.

My example in this case: How Fark Shadowbans paying users and continues to solicit for subscription renewals without telling them that nobody can see their posts but themselves. Very similar to the Conventry mode in vBulletin [vbulletin.com] .

WP is probably beyond fixing at this point (3, Interesting)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697886)

The solution to this mess would seem to be to trash everything unsourced or transwiki it to a place that doesn't care about reliability, but that's not going to happen. Wikipedia sets down all these rules and then tries to weasel out of them in any way it can anymore - anyone (esp. an admin) that attempted to actually follow its rules to the letter (delete unsourced content on sight) would get blocked within a couple hours. If you're an established editor and you add something unsourced, it's fine, but if you're an IP it gets rolled back. The whole thing is silly and I don't edit there anymore.

In addition, nobody really understands the point of an encyclopedia anymore. It's to condense and collect information into a generalized mess so that someone can come along, find a snippet or less deep version of the info they need, then follow the source. The "OH MY GOD IT'S THE WEB WE CAN ADD ANYTHING WE WANT LET'S MAKE A BUNCH OF TV SHOWS" mentality snuck in pretty fast. Wikipedia has put way more emphasis on "wiki" and thrown the "pedia" part out the window years before, and *surprise* it's an issue!

Re:WP is probably beyond fixing at this point (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697998)

I source stuff and it still gets rolled back. Stopped doing it, too.

Re:WP is probably beyond fixing at this point (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698004)

Part of the issue to is that simply having a source doesn't necessarily make an article more or less reliable. At least 50% of the sources used in wikipedia are at least just as suspect as those without.[ citation needed [wikipedia.com] ]

False dichotomy (1)

Shirakawasuna (1253648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697912)

What's so hard to imagine about the idea of having two sites that people always have to bring up this false dichotomy? The foundation could simply start another project that borrows directly from Wikipedia. They could even rename the old Wikipedia to Wikipedia Beta or the new one to Wikipedia Verified and sound snazzy (in a geeky way) in the process. In fact, just doing a google search I found Veropedia.com, which seems to be attempting just that.

Looking for information I wouldn't find. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22697916)

It was sad to go to wikipedia to look for an article or subject I was hoping would have information and sources I had not yet seen - find the article, and find that it was being deleted.

Slashdotters are mostly inclusionists? (5, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697920)

And if so, why?

I'm all for including every little piece of info as long as it's possible to organize, and right now it seems to stay quite stable having all kinds of "minimalistic" pieces of data.

However, what called my attention upon entering the commentaries is that most people here were "inclusionists". Is it the aversion to censorship? The interest in unpopular areas of human knowledge?

I think a poll about this in Slashdot would be interesting.

Re:Slashdotters are mostly inclusionists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698184)

Well slashdot-the-website is inclusionist. For example my post is pinned at -1, but it can be seen if you click on "More" a bunch of times and then click on "1 hidden comment" and then click on the snippet.

They should fix their own (3, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697926)

ranks before handling content. As it is now there are strong evidence of bias among editors, causing deletion of useful information - and you can't restore deleted articles, information is lost forever.

One example is the YATE (telephony) article. It got deleted by an editor who is tied with Asterix. On top of that, the user original writing the article had a copy on his own journal - that also got deleted. Now the article might have been substandard, but instead of letting problems being fixed it got downright deleted by someone with a very biased opinion.

I for one have stopped using wikipedia.

Re:They should fix their own (0, Flamebait)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698106)

A software package that rates 3 google hits? And you say your not just doing it for free adverstising?

Re:They should fix their own (1, Offtopic)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698200)

Search for "Yate" returns well over 2 million results, with the telephony engine ranked highest. Yate telephony returns 281.000 results.

Nice flame bait though.

Both at the same time (1)

FreeDisk.nl (1181167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697950)

I think the solution is fairly simple. Just add an option to filter out the ones that are not marked by Wikipedia as 'significant' or 'trustworthy'. That way, you'll have the best of both worlds. It will also encourage people to write better articles, because they want their's to be of 'premium' quality. In short, the answer is: don't delete, just filter.

It's the accuracy, stupid! (2, Interesting)

unitron (5733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697958)

It doesn't matter how many articles Wikipedia has or what subjects are or are not covered nearly as much as whether what they say is true. If all nine million articles are full of mistakes and/or lies, no one is going to say "Yeah, but they're still a trustworthy and credible reference source because all of the articles are about serious subjects."

Trivial? (1)

Ungulate (146381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697964)

Would you rather our youth learn about cameltoe [wikipedia.org] on the streets?

Re:Trivial? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698090)

Yes.

Exclusionsists Miss the Point. (2, Insightful)

Hellad (691810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697966)

The whole point of Wikipedia is that it has something about everything. If I want to know about a random 1980's toy, I go to wikipedia. The lack of respect for wikipedia isn't because of the inclusion of other things. It is the distrust for the entry writers. If you get rid of pop culture entries, that problem still exists. I am an editor for my school's law review. Law academia differs from most departments because everything is student edited rather than peer reviewed. Even in this case, students are unwilling to allow wikipedia sources. Either Wikipedia will change who can make entries or people will finally accept the wikipedia paradigm before it will be a valid source. This is a shame, because often academics are slow in figuring out what the hell they are talking about. This is most obvious when sources are needed for technical/scientific information. The geeks who write the updates know what they are talking about much quicker than Dr. English Phd who can't even use Word...

Middle ground (2, Interesting)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22697980)

If you want to have a minimalistic but lengthy and well-written index of fundamental concepts, you need a traditional encyclopedia, not Wikipedia. If you want a searchable database of all human knowledge, you need a search engine, not Wikipedia.

Personally, I think of myself not as a deletionist or an inclusionist but as a AWWDMBJAWGCAWAIFDSPBATDMTDist [wikimedia.org] . For example, I like the articles that outline specific, well known mathematical proofs (like the proof that e is irrational [wikipedia.org] , but I think many of the articles like "List of Magical Aliens in [insert random series here]" need to be merged (but not necessarily deleted).

Surely there must be some compromise. (5, Funny)

Gldm (600518) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698006)

If only there was some way to include the "trivial" information yet not see it unless specifically looking for it. Maybe if there was some sort of ranking system that could be used to filter what information was deemed trivial, like a score or rating system. Possibly even some kind of description tags to aid in this, like "insightful", "funny", "interesting", or "troll". Then those who were not interested in the trivial information could browse at a higher filter level, and those who were searching for it could still find it when desired.

Nah that would never work.

Wikipedia needs annotations (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698008)

A lot of the stuff people write in Wikipedia that gets deleted could be put into annotations or a comments section. Then, inclusionists could, in fact, include a lot more stuff, while the main body of an article still fulfills the purpose that an encyclopedic article should fulfill.

Freebase (1)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698028)

In many mays, I believe Freebase [freebase.com] is a better platform for different kinds of trivia. Not only do they not delete data that isn't "important", they also organize the data semantically, and have fancy API:s to get the actual information, not just the text, from the database. This makes it easy to write applications on top of that data. The semantic data seems to be incomplete quite often (there is also a plain text description imported from Wikipedia that of course is quite complete), but that isn't something that couldn't relatively easy be fixed with a few more users.

I'm not saying Freebase is The Best platform, just that if Wikipedia doesn't want the content, give it to someone who actually do want it. And you get some extra benefits in the process.

Time for a fork (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698040)

When an open, collaborative project faces a major division in the pursued goals, an option allowed by the open license is following both goals. Deletionists shouldn't strive to destroy any content provided by inclusionists, but these in turn shouldn't expect to have all their contributions regarded to the highest standards. Both positions have their merits, and the advantage of digital media is that it's possible to have the best of them, given a basic agreement to collaborate instead of fight.

What is trivial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698046)

If WP is to be for everyone, nothing is trivial. Why should an article written well and informative be deleted if the main editors are not interested in the subject? Or just let google decide?

Like most articles on WP, wrong or misleading (1)

ObsoleteHuman (99166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698052)

I agree that we are fighting a battle for the soul of Wikipedia, but [[WP:N [wikipedia.org] ]] is not it. ([[WP:V [wikipedia.org] ]], specifically what counts as a valid [[WP:RS [wikipedia.org] |reliable source]], and the role of the Wikimedia Foundation board members and WP's de facto God-King Jimbo Wales, are where the battle rages, in my opinion.)

The Economist article is wrong on at least the following points.
  • [[Solidarity [wikipedia.org] ]] is a decent article. It could be much better, but anyone hoping to get an introduction to the movement can get the big picture from WP article and follow the links therefrom.
  • The number of Pokemon character articles is far from 500. Read [[WP:POKEMON [wikipedia.org] ]] for the current thinking on the "Pokemon test" of notability. Also note the inapplicable rationale that because some nn fanwankery has historically existed in WP that any new fancrud is excusable.
  • [[WP:NOTPAPER [wikipedia.org] ]], far from being a rallying cry of the inclusionists, is the first item of one of WP's core principles. I doubt anyone seriously argues that WP's content policies should be just like other paper encyclopedias. Let me quote an important and usually misunderstood sentence from it: [T]here is an important distinction between what technically can be done, and what reasonably should be done.
  • The biggest fault with the article is that it just does not understand WP's deletion process. With few exceptions, things like the manuals of style ([[WP:MOSMAC [wikipedia.org] ]] or [[WP:PEACOCK [wikipedia.org] ]] from the article) cannot be used as rationales to delete. In fact, even straight citations of [[WP:N]] are considered poor !votes on [[WP:AfD [wikipedia.org] ]]. Instead, the vast majority of deletions happen because of the failure to meet specific policies and guidelines such as [[WP:BIO [wikipedia.org] ]], [[WP:V [wikipedia.org] ]] and [[WP:NOT [wikipedia.org] ]]. These policies and guidelines state WP's (at least WP circa 2008's) standards. One can (and many do) argue about the quality of these standards, but it is lunacy to suggest that because some inclusion standards are faulty that we should do away with all inclusion standards. In any case, most of these standards are gradually getting more and more liberal --- and that is a good thing!
  • WP's criteria for speedy deletion [wikipedia.org] are specific. They don't include such criteria as "delete all new (sub)stubs", as the Economist claims. As somone who regularly adds short stubs on various things to WP, my articles almost never get speedied. The article simply has to assert a plausible notability and provide a verifiable source or two. These are not high standards; almost any halfway decent reference will require at least these.
  • [[WP:MW [wikipedia.org] ]] does not list primarily people who have left because of the content inclusion policies. The overwhelming majority have left because of interpersonal conflicts or simple lack of continuing interest.

In any event, the Inclusionist/Deletionist divide is really ancient history. Almost no one is purely one or the other these days, except the occasional troll who gets off on nominating dozens of articles on AfD.

credible reference source (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698110)

Well that's a battle they will never win. Some way along the line it was decided by the average person that Wikipedia is not trustworthy. This idea is strengthened every day by academedia. And it doesn't help that people often link directly to Wikipedia and still not even use a perma-link to so that people get to read what you read when you made the link. And really, one should link directly to the source if it is available online.

The problem is not that people think Wikipedia is trustworthy, but that Britanica etc are trustworthy. At best they are just less untrustworthy than Wikipedia if only because the processes at play are less transparent.

Wikipedia linking (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698118)

If an article is supposedly too 'trivial' to be put in, then the way it will 'suffer' is from not being linked from others pages inside Wikipedia. Might as well leave it in - it won't harm the rest of the encyclopedia.

Inclusion, definitely. (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698130)

Because someday, in the near (or far) future, the birthdate of Smokey may be of critical interest. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/50902 [theonion.com] ;)

Let 'em start wikitrivia if they must be heard (1)

Buscape (1153545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698158)

It's bad enough we gave the prols the vote. But to give them the press too is just too much.

Ignore the Trivial (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698166)

Who cares whether there are articles about trivial subjects in the Wikipedia. If you're not interested, ignore it. For most people, most of the entries are too trivial not to ignore.

As for trivial content inside a less trivial article, that's what the community is for: removing article info that's not good enough to include. Whether because it's trivial, uncited, biased, or just wrong, anyone who isn't barred can clean it up.

If Wikipedia wants to do both, and encourage trivia entered by people who understand its status to be kept out of the main article, it should just add a "trivia" section that's hidden by default, perhaps linked at a separate page. Then people adding trivia can do so without bothering anyone who wants to ignore it. And it will make it easier for later editors who clean it up to move it somewhere from which it's not as likely to be just moved back in.

The standard practice of giving everything that exists the respect it deserves, even if just a small amount, is almost always the solution. Anywhere. On the Internet, we have the luxury of infinite space for everything, and infinite degrees of respect. The Wikipedia attitude started out working like that. It can continue.

Label, don't regulate (4, Insightful)

zestyping (928433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698168)

If the community decides that a page isn't notable, just label it thus and move on. There's no reason to delete the page.

The same thing goes for page locking: although there are still some extreme cases where pages need to be locked, many of the reliability problems would be mitigated by labelling recently-changed parts or frequently-changed parts of pages. Readers can then take responsibility for their own level of trust.

Both cases are about matching expectations to reality: the situation can be improved by changing the content OR by making expectations more accurate.

To fix wikipedia (4, Insightful)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698180)

* require users to have an account to edit- is that so difficult to do? It adds accountability. At least you've gone through the effort to create a gmail account and a wikipedia account. It won't cure vandalism, but might prevent some of the bot vandalism.
* allow users to declare a field of expertise (or multiple fields). As these users make edits, their ranking goes up the longer the edits go without reversion- or some other way for users to say "yes, this guy seems to know about astrophysics".
* Perhaps create a non-profit entity to verify backgrounds (confirm Ph.D's, etc) and add a trust metric which is offset by user rankings.
* on top of the above, have a mode to view a page color coded by the contributor's expertise. Edits by good editors get a certain color in that particular page view. Allow pages to be restricted to users with a certain level of credibility.

the above ideas (only ideas) might serve to help rank pages reliability. Then inclusionists could have their way and the exclusionists have less reason to exclude.

Why not split? (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698192)

I don't see what the problem is.. it should just split off a sister project - the main site will stay more like a real encyclopedia and be a more trusted source of information -- and the spinoff can become a trivia book. Maybe that would even be for the best - articles could start out in MiscWiki, and once the sources have been verified, they can be copied to Wikipedia (in whatever chunks the editors think necessary).

Britannica (3, Insightful)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698194)

What I don't understand is why someone like Britannica doesn't edit pages in wikipedia and cite their own articles. This would serve two purposes-
* Britannica gets relevance
* Articles get concrete data that is reliable

everybody wins?

Trivial solution! (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698218)

Just introduce a rating system where trusted editors can rate the ACCURACY of the information in an entry, and you can screen out entries with low ratings when searching, or just ignore results with too low ratings. This way the 'trivia' is still there and can be found (and later upgraded if nessesary) and is easily ignored if you don't care for it. This way, everybody's happy. Well, except for those (IMHO) morons that would like to censor information just because they don't like it, don't care for it or find it 'useless'.

Face it, information is never useless or trivial. It may be uninteresting to someone but you mileage may vary and one mans useless trivia is another mans treasure - and of course information always wants to be free... :)

What wikipedia needs to do (1)

zuggy40 (951875) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698224)

What Wikipedia needs to do is figure out if it wants to be the Encyclopedia Britannica of the 21st Century, or the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I can see an argument for both. On the one hand Wikipedia could be the easiest to use, most readily available, reliable source on the internet. However, as it currently stands anyone can edit it anytime, anywhere, which makes for a library of information even if it is biased and sometimes inaccurate, but very interesting and unique.

Know what you get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698226)

...when you remove the trivial stuff from Wikipedia?

A standard encyclopedia with a lot more suck.

Huh? (1)

travbrad (622986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22698236)

I don't see how having "trivial" information (whatever that means) could be considered bad. It's not as if you're being forced to read about it, and there will always be people who find it useful/interesting. If you don't want to read about a certain subject then don't search for it or read it, what's so hard about this? It's sort of like buying a book about gardening, then complaining that you don't care about gardening. Maybe you shouldn't have bought the book, eh?

happy medium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22698260)

What if there was some sort of system implemented so that certain articles could be watched over more closely or were restricted to more established contributors. That way, Joe Blow could still create new articles and contribute to articles that need attention, but the more restricted articles would be seen more of as a reliable resource.

Also, the more restricted articles should obviously indicate that they are so by changing the background color slightly, or something.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>