Is Wikipedia Jumping the Shark?

From the beginning, I’ve been dubious of the whole Wiki idea. Most online “communities” go thru the same evolution. One group of people invariably takes over and chases away anyone with a dissenting opinion. I’ve wondered if Wikipedia would go thru the same evolution.

It’s not looking good.

The presently have in their “encyclopedia” several pages complete with charts and graphs about how the 2004 election was stolen. Of course it is titled “2004 U.S. Election controversies and irregularities” but upon reading it, it is hard to take it at face value.

Among their dubious evidence is that in an election with record turnout, some people actually had to wait in line to vote. (The horrors.) They call that “voter suppression.” That is right below the old “but the vote did not match the exit polls” meme.

The fact that the exit polls were wrong is not an “irregularity in the election.” (In fact, after the last 3 election cycles it is the norm.) It is completely separate from the election. If this section of Wikipedia was genuinely about “election irregularities” then this information would have no place.

Basically it is a round up of various allegations, partisan sites and assorted blogs. They even use anonymous sources and Democratic Underground threads as citations. Not quite what I would call “encyclopedia” material.

The disturbing part is that is you look on the Votes for Deletion page, the vote is currently 33 to 4 in favor of keeping it in the “encyclopedia.”

The voting page allows comments on why it should be kept and several read like this:

“The article is well researched, and this information needs to be known, ESPECIALLY with the mainstream media burying the story.”

I’m sorry, but a collaborative encyclopedia so not the place for conspiracy theories that are being “buried” by the mainstream media. (unless of course the entry is filed with other conspiracy theories such as JFK’s assignation and Roswell etc)

The person who suggested the page for deletion makes a powerful case about it not adhering to the established Wikipedia guidelines. My argument is broader. If you allow disinformation in an “encyclopedia” then what good is it? Can a small but vocal group of people rewrite history as they see fit for partisan gain?

If they want to put this information under a “conspiracy theory” heading, that’s fine, but making a theory that is completely irrational a legitimate part of the encyclopedia does a disservice to those who have done such great work on it in the past and does not bode well for its future.

The 10 Spot - Media Gone Crazy Edition
Moonbat Helper

24 Comments

  1. Chad Evans November 11, 2004
  2. Bill from INDC November 11, 2004
  3. Paul November 11, 2004
  4. julie November 11, 2004
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  7. Paul November 11, 2004
  8. Omni November 12, 2004
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  10. Joe November 12, 2004
  11. bruhaha November 12, 2004
  12. Hunter November 12, 2004
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  15. Paul November 12, 2004
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  20. Bob November 12, 2004
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  22. Niko November 12, 2004
  23. -S- November 13, 2004
  24. -S- November 13, 2004