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Call To Halt Donations To Stop Wikipedia Deletions

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) writes | more than 6 years ago

Education 4

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "Howard Tayler, the webcomic artist of Schlock Mercenary fame, is calling on people not to donate money during the latest Wikimedia Foundation fund-raiser, in protest at the "notability purges" taking place throughout Wikipedia, where articles are being removed en-masse by what many see as overzealous admins. The webcomic community in particular has long felt slighted by the application of Wikipedia's contentious Notability policy. Wikinews reporters have recently begun investigating this issue, but are the admins listening? Is Deletionism becoming a dominant ethos on Wikipedia? Are the right people holding the reigns?"

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4 comments

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Really Stupid, Don't Promote this Story. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21179135)

Boycotting Wikipedia won't improve content or protect it from vandals. Shame on people who think shitting on fundraising will help.

Experience (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 6 years ago | (#21179203)

I'm amazed there's anything in wikipedia between the notability purges and the fact that pages frequenctly get AfD'd for being incomplete within a few hours of creating them.

Admins routinely ignore established policies but their decisions are only reviews by other admins which pretty much support each other.

Notability? What's that? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21179407)

Is Wikipedia running out of disk space? No? Then who cares how "notable" something is?

Someone should explain to these guys that the whole idea behind the Internet is that you get the information you ask for. You're not bothered, by definition, by information that you didn't request. The mere presence of an article on Penny Arcade doesn't lessen the stature of an article on Bill Mauldin, does it?

If you insist on maintaining a "notability" standard, then make its coefficient(s) user-editable, like everything else. Add metafields to each article that allow users to enter values from 1 to 10 characterizing the article in areas like "Historical interest," "Timelessness," "Abstraction/concretion", and whatever else you think you might want to query later.

The whole debate seems kind of lame. When in doubt, leave other peoples' trivial contributions alone, and work on ways to keep them from distracting readers who aren't actively looking for them.

Re:Notability? What's that? (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192135)

The difficulty in creating an encyclopedia has never been finding enough paper to store it or enough glue to bind it. Likewise, the challenge before Wikipedia is not to simply find sufficient disk space and bandwidth -- it's to find a way to organize knowledge that maximizes what it offers to readers. Filling it with, for example, 27 different ways to list Pokemon characters [wikipedia.org] is surely a low-priority task compared to the huge deficits still remaining in nonwestern history, literature, and culture articles.

Retaining this information comes at a cost. It must be patrolled for vandalism, considered when categories and articles are reorganized, and watched to ensure that it is kept updated.

Most dispute regarding notability comes from the authors of articles. It is understandable that they do not want to waste effort on articles considered non-notable by the community, but people must come to understand that a good contribution on a topic of low notability harms the encyclopedia more than it helps. The fact that Wikimedia's storage array can accommodate it is of little relevance. Starting with a small core of essential articles and working outward to less notable topics is a wonderful way to ensure that the energy of contributors improves the encyclopedia as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

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