Response Post #7

23 Mar

Wikipedia – Editors or Nazis?

Like anyone else, I find Wikipedia useful for little things – What Monticello is, where Papa New Guinea is located and who exactly is Robert Scoble – other than that, I think it is a rather useless, sub-par website that tries to make average people super cop-like dictators trying to control their own little portion of the world wide web.

Now, that may sound a bit harsh, but have you ever tried to edit a post on Wikipedia? Something that only really matters to a small number of people? An entry that, in it’s current state, is factually incorrect? If you have, then you can probably relate when I called Wikipedia editors dictators. Because that’s what they do – they dictate the content they want posted – nothing more and nothing less.

Wikipedia itself has good intentions, and grand ideas, but their editors (not all, but a lot) have less honorable intentions it seems.  They hunt, stalk and aim to kill when protecting their portion of Wikipedia. I have to admit, I picture some wacko loser sitting in his (or her)  basement tenting their fingers and petting their cat ala Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget whenever a newbie edits part of their domain in the Wikipedia empire. With a Moohahaha-like sound thrown in for good measure.

Much like Dr. Claw – or Hitler– depending on how strong you feel – Wikipedia editors decide what exactly can and cannot be posted to a entry. While Dr. Claw’s attempts at controlling the world usually failed at the end of the episode, Wikipedia battles can go on for months or even years, depending on the zealousness of those involved. Disputes listed on Wikipedia can number in the thousands, and lawsuits have been filed. I don’t think that’s what Jimbo Wales envisioned when Wikipedia took off. I’m not arguing the success of it, Wikipedia has proven its usefulness many times over, however, why do editors have the “all powerful genie” attribute? If the editors watch over the posters, who watches over the editors?

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