Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wikipedia

Interview: Jimmy Wales Answers Your Questions 146

Posted by samzenpus
from the citation-needed dept.
A while ago you had a chance to ask Jimmy Wales about the amazing growth of Wikipedia, and his role advising the UK government in making academic research available online. Below you'll find his answers to your questions.
Collaboration with National Libraries
by robcfg

I'd like to ask if there's the possibility of collaborating with National Libraries in scanning material (specially +25 year books) and let people access them. I know there's a lot of material just gathering dust and I see a potential for collaboration.

Wales: Our community, particularly through local chapters, is engaging increasingly in partnerships and collaborations with galleries, libraries, and museums, but there hasn't been very much work done to date on scanning per se. In general, we aren't necessarily the right partner for that sort of thing - we are a community of writers, editors, photographers, etc., rather than a hosting service for scanned materials. Having said that, fortunately there are some great projects who are working on this sort of thing. Take a look at http://archive.org/scanning as a leading exemplar.



Editing of Information
by sylivin

Wikipedia has become so large that students and youth in particular deem it the official truth. As such governments, companies, and individuals will constantly try to spin that to their own advantage.

Do you believe you will ever be able to reconcile with governments in regards to information they deem classified showing up on Wikipedia and private citizens that consider articles about them to be libel? Or, perhaps, is that just a fight you will need to struggle against for all eternity?


Wales: Human beings will never stop quarreling. It's part of the glorious nature of our species. Government will never cease being stupid and overstepping their boundaries. That, too, is part of the human condition.

The real question is: can open systems adapt and respond in mostly effective ways to deal with the worst of it? And the answer to that is clearly YES.



SPOF
by Anonymous Coward

Currently, Wikipedia Foundation is a single point of failure. It is not difficult to imagine various Alexandria Library scenarios in which Humanity looses crucial information.Instead of begging people for monetary donations to Wikimedia Foundation, wouldn't it be better to ask for donations of storage and bandwidth to keep the whole thing redundant and de-centralized? Are there any ongoing efforts to change Wikipedia's model in this direction?

Wales: The Wikimedia Foundation is not a single point of failure. There are many people and organizations who do backups which are already redundant and de-centralized, and this is in addition to our own internal backup strategy. If the Wikimedia Foundation were to vanish tomorrow, anyone could take the archives (freely licensed!) and start again tomorrow.

This is one of the key reasons why I've been so firm over the years that Wikipedia must be freely licensed.



Certified articles?
by rjlouro

There's the notion that the information on wikipedia can be edited for anyone, and referencing wikipedia sometimes brings a smile.

I always wondered why Wikipedia does not ask known experts for article certification. For example, you as the co-founder of wikipedia could certify that a section of the wikipedia wiki article (or the entire wiki article for wikipedia) was correct. Maybe you could even pay in some cases.

Has this ever been considered, or do you have any other ideas on how to get wikipedia to be received as a irrefutable source of information?


Wales: This is what I would consider to be a fallacious line of thinking. There's a notion that the way to get the very highest quality information is to have an expert certify it. But there's actually little evidence that this is true. There is far more evidence that the best way to get to high quality information is to have a thoughtful, open, public dialog and discussion and debate. To ask anyone with a concern to come forward and voice it reasonably. And to respond quickly and openly to errors.

So, no, I doubt if we'd consider stepping back to an antiquated way of thinking.



Game of Articles
by AmiMoJo

It seems like most major articles are "owned" by some editors who want to impose their own views and opinions on them. The rules of Wikipedia seem to be designed to facilitate this. The only solution seems to be for other editors to sit on the article constantly undoing the other editors edits. It's a war of attrition and it seems like the bad guys mostly win. A lot of good editors have given up. I gave up, tried it again a few years later and gave up again. Many previously good articles are now full of industry shill references and obviously biased rubbish. The quality of Wikipedia is degrading steadily over time. What is being done to reverse this trend? Can anything be done, or is this as good as a wiki gets?

Wales: Every aspect of this question is false. No major articles are "owned" by anyone. The rules of Wikipedia are designed to prevent this.

There is a bit of a war of attrition in some cases - but it is overwhelmingly the case that the good guys win.

All evidence is that the quality of Wikipedia has steadily increased over time. It is not perfect. It needs more work. There are problems, even problems with people trying to sit on articles. But the ongoing improvement of Wikipedia will continue.

As a side note, usually people who have this complaint fade into the background when asked to justify it, or show me an example - and in the vast majority of cases it turns out that the complaint is really "Why am *I* not allowed to own this article?"



Interactive tours and applications
by MassiveForces

Some of my fondest memories as a child was firing up the old 486 and playing through the interactive quests and games in Encarta. Some of them were timelines and guided learning experiences, others were programs that simulated things like gravity and orbits, and I liked playing with some software that could model particle behavior based on your parameters to describe gas diffusion and so on.

My question is, will Wikipedia ever be able to flex any interactive multimedia muscle, and create a more interactive and guided experience for young learners? People may be willing to devote their time writing out separate articles in the pages of an encyclopedia, but I imagine attracting multimedia development would be difficult (unless you can find whoever has been wasting their time writing a plethora of useless apps for browsers and mobiles).


Wales: I really hope we'll see more of this in the future. One problem that we've had is that for a significant period of time, Adobe Flash, which was a Frankenstein's monster of horrifically stupid and broken and proprietary technology, sucked the wind out of efforts to do interesting open multimedia. The ongoing and glorious demise of Flash is going to help a whole new generation of developers do more interesting things, in a freely licensed way. At least: I hope so.



Editors Dwindling
by Kagato

Back in 2011 the AP reported that you commented that the ranks of Editors was slowly dwindling. "We are not replenishing our ranks...it is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important." What's have you and Wikipedia done to address that? Do you see problems do you think need to be addressed with the editor population? What do you think is working well with Editors? How hands on are you with the editor population?

Wales: Things have mostly stabilized. It's still not a crisis, but I still consider it to be important. One of the most exciting developments is the visual editor, which I hope will bring in a whole new class of editors who were turned off by the complexities of wikitext. As I put it: there are lots of geeks who aren't computer geeks.



Wikicurriculums & Wikitextbooks
by PortHaven

When can we see this be developed? I know there is a start with Wikitextbooks. But they seem sporadic. I think we could create an entire curriculum and support library (textbooks) to accompany said curriculum. And have it freely available for all...

Wales: I agree, but it's a really big job. :-) I think it will come in due course, but leadership is needed. I hope something awesome emerges, possibly from the fast-growing MOOC movement.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Interview: Jimmy Wales Answers Your Questions

Comments Filter:
  • by Bruce66423 (1678196) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:16AM (#44477397)
    One of the features of the academic world is that we students sweat over our essays, only to see them read 2 or 3 times before never being seen or heard of again. If teachers got their classes to write essays on areas needing a Wikipedia article but presently lacking it, there is the potential for good quality new items to enter Wikipedia. And of course once started, additional material, references and corrections can easily made. And the original author gets a sense of ownership of the topic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296)

      More likely you'll teach the students why wikipedia should never be used by anyone, ever, the very first time they get into an argument with an admin and out comes the corrupt behavior and [[WP:OWN]] issues and instant unthinking banhammer attitude.

      And the original author gets a sense of ownership of the topic.

      The worst problems on wikipedia right now are the same as 5 years ago. Small cliques of users or single users who have friends/pet admins who "own" various articles, playing defensive games and provoc

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Gee, so sorry your POV/marketing edits got reverted. Maybe you'd be welcome at Conservapedia.

        • by Moryath (553296)

          Yawn. I see the wikitrolls are farming modpoints again. Marketing edits aren't something I do. POV edits aren't something I do. In fact, I gave up on bothering correcting anything on shittypedia ages ago. And like me, they've run off user after user after user who tried to improve and contribute with their petty behavior and the corrupt, tin-pot dictator attitude of the incestuous clique of admins running the place.

          • Would you mind pointing a few articles where we can see that happening?
            • by Moryath (553296)

              Ask yourself why Phyllis Schlafly's sons, under the username of "Schlafly" and IP sockpuppets, are allowed to take a [[WP:OWN]] attitude towards their mother's article with help of a couple of friendly admins despite the obvious nature of conflict-of-interest and the widespread media coverage of her vile, racist and bigoted statements.

              That's just one case that came up recently.

              • by melikamp (631205)
                Didn't you read what Jimmy said? Please identify your concrete concern and give links to the history. If there is a problem there, we'll fix it. If I could, I'd be betting money right now that you won't. Citing a statement and judging it racist is clear-cut NNPOV. Citing some zine which calls her racist is irrelevant. You are just asking too much from an article about a living person, while hinting at some IP-related conspiracy (say what?). Just chill and let the history judge her.
                • by Moryath (553296)

                  I don't really care what that shitwitted liar Jimbulb says, or for that matter what lying assholes like you say. "waah we will fix it", I gave up editing in 2008 and I occasionally check it when a result comes up in google search, you assholes ran off people left and right back then and you're still doing it today.

                  Here's an idea, you go back and look at the shit that was done on wikipedia in 2007: http://parkerpeters.livejournal.com/ [livejournal.com]

                  Now, look at what happens on wikipedia today.

                  Same.

                  Exact.

                  Shit.

                  You have your

            • by Moryath (553296)

              “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” - Isaac Asimov

              Wikipediocracy [wikipediocracy.com]:1. Wikipedia disrespects and disregards scholars, experts, scientists, and others with special knowledge. Wikipedia specifically disregards authors with special knowle

            • by Moryath (553296)

              Here's one blatant rule violation that somehow continues to remain despite being a sockpuppet farm:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Conservatism [wikipedia.org]

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Exactly and this is why I tell people to trust what the Wikipedia says about as much as they trust the gas station attendant down the road with 3 teeth and a junior HS education, because too many with an agenda have taken over the place and a handful of mods pretty much own the place, I'll use my own personal anecdote as an example...

        When I first heard of Wikipedia i thought it was a good idea, a crowd sourced encyclopedia where you could take each bit of knowledge that each person knows like the back of th

      • The whole point of using a good academic standard essay is that it will provide solid references to reliable sources of information. Of course nobody in their right mind uses Wikipedia as an academic reference, and every school should teach kids what sort of online resources are reliable and which should be treated with great suspicion. However one of the virtues of a GOOD wikipedia article is that it provides a list of references / bibliography which allows further research / information gathering on a top
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:37AM (#44477693)

      There's an active program for that [wikimedia.org], which has had some success, particularly in attracting student editors from countries that are lacking in Wikipedia editors compared to the US and Western Europe.

      They do have to be written in an encyclopedia-like way, though, with proper references, a neutral overview, relatively broad view of the subject, etc. Occasionally students will paste in an essay not originally written as an encyclopedia article, and those are often poorer fits. The most common problem with a pre-written essay of that sort is that they start with a thesis statement that focuses on a specific view of the subject, and then support it with an argument; but a Wikipedia article should typically be both broader and less argumentative, and not organized as an argument for a thesis.

      • You're right, but why on earth do school essays have to be argumentative? It seems that our educators decided that having an adamant opinion on a given subject and supporting it by all means is more important than being able to see things clearly and from a neutral point of view.

        No wonder the world is full of assholes with opinions different than mine. :-)

        • by Trepidity (597)

          I agree, especially for lower-level classes. Students often don't have any idea what they ought to argue, because they don't yet have enough immersion in a subject to have intelligent opinions about what to advocate. This leads to bad essays, because they end up having to make up some random B.S. they don't even necessarily believe, just because they need a thesis statement.

          A good survey of the literature is probably a better learning tool, and has the added bonus of perhaps actually being useful, whereas a

        • Because defending a thesis is better at demonstrating an understanding of the source material than simply summarizing in a neutral point-of-view.

          • I seriously doubt that.

            See the irony?

            • M: Oh look, this isn't an argument.
              A: Yes it is.
              M: No it isn't. It's just contradiction.
              A: No it isn't.
              M: It is!
              A: It is not.
              M: Look, you just contradicted me.
              A: I did not.
              M: Oh you did!!
              A: No, no, no.
              M: You did just then.
              A: Nonsense!
              M: Oh, this is futile!
              A: No it isn't.
              M: I came here for a good argument.
              A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
              M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
              A: It can be.
              M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended

    • by melikamp (631205)
      I am doing something like this on Wikibooks. I am typesetting exercises for the Calc textbook right now, and have students proofread them, with extra credit for catching typos and mistakes. They loooooove it.
    • A sense of ownership over articles is one of Wikipedia's most cited problems. It's one thing for it to devolve naturally, but these are people who are by and large going to be naturally defensive of their work to begin with.
      • That's the pessimistic interpretation. The optimistic one is that a student will recognise that there WILL be others out there able to improve on his contribution and so welcome changes that genuinely achieve that, whilst maintaining a watch for vandalism in a corner of Wikipedia that might otherwise go untended.
    • by Khashishi (775369)

      Wikipedia isn't a place for essays, but for facts. Academic essay writing is mostly about defending a thesis or some kind of original research. That's not what wikipedia is about.

  • If not, I'll just edit it and no-one will be any the wiser...
  • by Camembert (2891457) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:18AM (#44477437)
    Over the years, my love for Wikipedia has grown and grown. This is really one of the most beautiful examples of international collaboration over the internet, sharing universal knowledge with the whole planet. Thank you, Jimmy.
    • Indeed. It has failings and isn't perfect, but damn if it isn't immeasurably better than anything that's gone before.

    • by Moryath (553296) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:38AM (#44477721)

      And over the years, my respect for wikipedia has dwindled to a tiny speck. It's a corrupt place, and nothing on it can be trusted.

      • ...nothing on it can be trusted.

        I thought that was the point. Isn't that why you are supposed to have references?

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        All institutions worthy of the word create opportunities for corruption, and it's more surprising when it doesn't appear to take advantage of them than when it does. Wikipedia is still enormously useful in spite of the trolls and the trolleditors. You can't trust anything you read (or hear) anywhere without confirmation, really, unless you're getting it from a source you know will have sought that confirmation.

    • Agreed. My appreciation, and use, of Wikipedia has surged in recent years as well.
      .

      I am a little disappointed that Mr. Wales didn't choose to comment on the criteria for adding someone or something to Wikipedia. I chose "Tom Hopkins" as an example of someone who is a relative "giant" in the motivational field yet is not in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. There seems to be a very low barrier to entry for reality show "stars", though. Is Tom Hopkins really less significant to life than this monster [wikipedia.org]?

      I'm confused, Jimmy, an

      • Who is Tom Hopkins? What has he done?

        Never heard of him.
        • Wrote "How To Master The Art Of Selling". Amazon lists 16 titles [amazon.com] on his page.
          .

          I should point out that I don't care about T.H. one way or the other. It just happened that one day I was trying to find out a bit about him via wiki, and came up empty.

          I sympathize with the challenge wikipedia has of selecting a large number of things from an even larger number. I'm just curious how they determine what gets in.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Waiting for reply from AmiMoJo :D

  • by Kagato (116051) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:32AM (#44477645)

    The answers were mostly disappointing, and I thought he was more than a bit evasive when it came to any of the operational questions relating to editors. It's pretty clear to me he's quite fine with how the current lot of editors carry things out on a day to day basis. While the WYSIWYG editor is LONG overdue I think they are diluting themselves if they think it's going to solve the dwindling editor issues.

    • by Jeff Flanagan (2981883) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:46AM (#44477795)
      If they're "diluting" themselves, they obviously have a solution.
    • by wbr1 (2538558)

      The answers were mostly disappointing, and I thought he was more than a bit evasive when it came to any of the operational questions relating to editors. It's pretty clear to me he's quite fine with how the current lot of editors carry things out on a day to day basis. While the WYSIWYG editor is LONG overdue I think they are [[WP:MINOR]]deluding themselves if they think it's going to solve the dwindling editor issues.

      FTFY, I don't think that you meant they were making themselves thinner by adding liquid. :)

    • by melikamp (631205)

      I thought he was more than a bit evasive when it came to any of the operational questions relating to editors

      What is the issue? You didn't even say what the issue is, you just said his answers (which ones?) are disappointing. I bet if we ask you to point out a concrete and ongoing abuse of editing privileges, with links to the relevant article and its history, you will disappear just like so many trolls before you.

      • by Kagato (116051)

        The context is the question I posed in the original interview thread that Jimmy "answered". It related to Jimmy stating he was concerned that the editor pool was dwindling. I asked about why that was and what they were doing about it. It was a line of questions that was quite fair to him and gave him a lot of latitude to lay out the problems and solutions.

        As far as I could see all he did was blame the complexities of WIki markup. There will be a WYSIWYG editor soon. Is Wiki markup obtuse? Sure. Is th

        • by Moryath (553296)

          And yet melikamp, inbred retard extraordinaire, continues to just insist that nothing is wrong at corruptopedia...

  • "There's a notion that the way to get the very highest quality information is to have an expert certify it. But there's actually little evidence that this is true."

    Certain areas of human knowledge are advanced and enhanced by an open forum leading to something approximating the truth. But there are other areas, especially technical ones, where I don't see this being applicable, not by a long shot. How many people apart from an expert would be qualified writing an article on quantum optics or c++11? Reall

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The "man on the street" is not going to edit the article on some topic like quantum optics. Or read it. Or even know that it exists.

      The non-experts who edit the article will mostly have done their research, making use of sources written by experts. Of course they will not be right 100% of the time, but they will do a pretty good job and that is Wikipedia's model. Of course, a handful will be cranks, but crank edits generally don't survive in the harsh world of Wikipedia.

      No, the place you really have to worr

      • by korbulon (2792438)

        I put forward an extreme example to hammer the point home that you still need experts to write about many many topics. Yes, there is a high degree of self-organization involved with technical articles in that there is a very high correlation between readers and potential authors. But what happens as this correlation decreases, when it reaches that interesting grey area where the proportion of experts and lay-readers breaks even? And what happens with regards to articles on mildly controversial topics? And t

  • Not notable (Score:4, Informative)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:41AM (#44477739) Homepage
    I see many articles delete because of various reasons rhyming with "Not notable" But this seems to be randomly applied. The smallest details of some 3rd rate TV episode might get an entry but then some small town hero is deleted. Seeing that the entire back and fourth of creation and deletion is stored why can't articles be marked as "Not notable" but then left in place. If the local pizza place puts up an entry it certainly isn't notable but the data is probably factually correct and useful to a few.

    I get this feeling that certain editors are way way out of control on some pedantic mission often with an axe to grind.
    • Notability has an objective criteria. Non-trivial non-fiction published works about the subject. Without meeting that base criteria, everything in the article loses another crucial aspect: verifiability. It's about establishing wikipedia's credibility, not about limiting breadth for limitation's sake.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Notability has an objective criteria. Non-trivial non-fiction published works about the subject.

        Unless you provide an objective definition for "non-trivial", that criteria for notability is still subjective.

        • I think we can make a fair near-objective distinction between printed-at-kinkos, and published to an academic journal. There are only a few edge cases that would really raise doubt about that.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            I think we can make a fair near-objective distinction between printed-at-kinkos, and published to an academic journal. There are only a few edge cases that would really raise doubt about that.

            How about printed to a local newspaper? Those aren't exactly printed at kinkos, but such references are almost impossible to verify.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      If the local pizza place puts up an entry it certainly isn't notable but the data is probably factually correct and useful to a few.

      But is a global encyclopaedia the best place for that information? The key criteria about notability is "are people likely to come looking for this in Wikipedia"? Do you expect Wikipedia to list your local pizza place, with menu and opening times, and expect it to be better, more accurate and more up to date than your local pizza's place own website? If so, who do you expect to keep it in that state?

      Wikipedia is not just a sub-set of the internet. It's an encyclopaedia. There is a lot of information i

  • Game of Articles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Monday August 05, 2013 @11:43AM (#44477759) Homepage

    Okay Jimmy, here is some evidence for you. Look at the Nuclear Power [wikipedia.org] article.

    It's been heavily spammed by two editors who own the article. Whenever anyone else tries to improve it their edits get reverted. Boundarylayer is particularly bad, inserting loads of industry shill references. I tried to improve it but eventually gave up, and now it has degenerated into a poor quality article with lots of very obvious bias and weasel words.

    If you look at Boundarylayer's edits he has a history of doing this sort of thing, along with several others he associates with (or may even be). The situation is the same every time: attack an article and keep going until they either win and take control of it or get driven away by bans and other sanctions.

    To pick another total unrelated example look at the naming fiasco for Japanese manga/anime related articles from a few years ago. A group of editors decided to troll by renaming them all to the western version names. We ended up with, for example, the article on Detective Conan, one of the longest running and most well known series ever, being renamed to "Case Closed" because some shitty American company re-wrote a few episodes and dubbed them into English. I really do mean a few, compared to the 500+ that have been produced. A lot of editors objected but in the end the trolls won and drove all the good guys who added all the well referenced and well written information in the first place away. Unsurprisingly the articles then stagnated and degraded.

    Being in denial doesn't help. Wikipedia is supposed to be a community, but actually it's just factions playing some kind of MMORPG by conquering as much of it as possible.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      LOL @ you being modded troll. What a sad state Slashdot has become.

    • by korbulon (2792438)
      There is an interesting and valid point being raised here. Maybe does not apply to all articles, probably not even to most, but it seems to me that there is not only potential for abuse, but actual abuse of Wikipedia by people with political and commercial agendas. And it should be discussed.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Monday August 05, 2013 @12:35PM (#44478263) Homepage

        Thanks. I forgot to mention the deletionist movement, which seems to run contrary to the idea that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopaedia and thus there is no reason to delete obscure but reasonable quality articles.

        • by kindherb (194395)

          Both of your points are spot on and the are reason I refuse to give any money to Wikimedia as well as contribute to it. And Jimmy's response/attitude just reinforces that my feelings are justified. Seriously Fark that guy!

          The deletionist movement in particular runs contrary to the whole idea of a crowd sourced informational website.

          I rarely post here, but I just wanted to offer my support to your observations, since I have noticed them as well.

    • Re:Game of Articles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AJH16 (940784) <aj@gccafBALDWINe.com minus author> on Monday August 05, 2013 @12:54PM (#44478449) Homepage

      Not trying to detract from your concerns, but could you mention more specific revisions that you think show the problem. I'm genuinely curious, but am having a hard time digging through all the revisions to find the problems you are talking about. It is certainly clear that Boundarylayer edits the page a lot, but I didn't see anything that seemed out of place, at least in the recent edits. (Granted, my own knowledge of the topic is limited.)

      • by melikamp (631205)
        No, of course he isn't going to show you the revisions. He would have to show his own edits, for all of us to judge how stupid they are. Why would he want to do that?
        • by AJH16 (940784)

          Persistence paid off. This appears to be one example of what he is referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nuclear_power&diff=518539478&oldid=517112638 [wikipedia.org], though it is worth pointing out that that content no longer appears in the article either. Mojo-chan appears to be the editor. Looks like it was mostly a referenced content vs being irrelevant to the section it was included it and insufficient investigation in to why the references were bad that degraded in to a simple conflict bet

        • by Moryath (553296)

          except he did and you are a lying sack of shit...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nice, so your evidence that the article is "owned" is that somebody edited it back in June. Way to go with that.

      Jimmy already explained to you what the problem is here: You want to own the article, other editors won't let you. so you're frustrated. But that's not Wikipedia's problem, that's your problem because you're a fuckwit.

    • by ak3ldama (554026)
      I hate to say this: but what if that is exactly as intended and that the "industry" wants it this way? What if they give lots of money for this kind of typical preference? After all: it works in politics, and the campaigns to sway public opinion and frame the dialog. Maybe Mr Jimmy thinks that an article on Nuclear Power being commandeered by the industry is the way it is supposed to work - just like everything else.
    • Give some examples of changes you would make.

  • Bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've corrected spelling errors where there is no possible debate. Literally added one letter or removed an apostrophe. Those edits get reverted by the article's owner within minutes. Fuck Wikipedia and fuck this faggot Jimmy Whales who boldly states this is no problem at all. People like me "fade into the background" because there is no point in wasting any time contributing to this ivory tower bullshit. About 20 seconds is all I'm going to spend correcting something like this. And since Jimmy Whales

    • I've corrected spelling errors where there is no possible debate. Literally added one letter or removed an apostrophe. Those edits get reverted by the article's owner within minutes.

      [citation needed]

      (for the humour impared that was a joke)

    • You wrote:

      Those edits get reverted by the article's owner within minutes.

      What may have happened: Those edits get reverted by an editor who is acting like he is the article's owner within minutes.

      What did happen: Those edits get reverted by another editor within minutes.

      --
      Dear Slashdotter:

      The proper place to complain about other editor's on-wiki behavior is almost always either in a private conversation with them or to do it on-wiki, either on the editor's talk page, the article's talk page, or in one of the project ("Wikipedia:...") pages created for this purpose. Sl

      • by OverlordQ (264228) on Monday August 05, 2013 @12:19PM (#44478109) Journal

        > The proper place to complain about other editor's on-wiki behavior is almost always either in a private conversation with them or to do it on-wiki, either on the editor's talk page, the article's talk page, or in one of the project ("Wikipedia:...") pages created for this purpose. Slashdot is not the proper place.

        Aahgahghaghaga, sorry, as a formerly active admin, ENWP bureaucracy is out of hand.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Yup. Maybe if dissent weren't so effectively squashed on wikimedia-owned sites, there wouldn't be nearly so much expression of it on sites that they have no control over. I think there was actually a policy on WP to discourage discussion of policy outside of WP sites, usually using terms like "attack sites" to describe them.

          Just another example of the Internet treating censorship as damage and routing around it. If you censor Talk:whatever then you'll just find talk about whatever elsewhere.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You are truly deluded if you believe that. Wikipedia admins have turned the whole thing into one giant e-penis / pissing contest. People with zero knowledge in a field can sit at as reverse editors on pages where professors enhance and fix subject, only for a the same pillock come back and delete everything done since they took unofficial ownership of the pages. Admins themselves are in a clique that circle the wagons as soon as anti-edits and overzealous deletionists are flagged.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          People with zero knowledge in a field can sit at as reverse editors on pages where professors enhance and fix subject, only for a the same pillock come back and delete everything done since they took unofficial ownership of the pages. Admins themselves are in a clique that circle the wagons as soon as anti-edits and overzealous deletionists are flagged.

          The thing is that this kind of behavior tends to be self-reinforcing. Experts already tend to be skeptical about WP. If one goes in and finds themselves in a revert war on their first contribution chances are they'll just walk away. They're not going to round up a cadre of support for their edits and have a showdown on the talk page with some long-time editor and his 47 friends.

          The same applies to article deletion. If somebody takes the time to write up an article, about the most certain way to discoura

    • by gsslay (807818)

      If your edits are anything like your clueless argument here, I'm not surprised they got reverted.

      Speaking of clues;

      First clue; his name is Wales, not Whales. Second clue; calling someone a "faggot" makes you sound like a 12 year old having a tantrum.

  • There's a notion that the way to get the very highest quality information is to have an expert certify it. But there's actually little evidence that this is true.

    Basically he's claiming (perhaps unintentionally) that peer review is worthless. That's a pretty bold claim and he doesn't really back it up. While peer review certainly has its flaws, I don't think it can be dismissed out of hand like Mr. Wales is doing here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's the opposite of what he said. Wikipedia strives on peer review. But not necessarily expert peer review. The idea he was replying about was to get certification from a single expert. What you want is for experts to have special accounts with special authority. It might work, but it would be expensive to implement (credentials would need to be verified, and you would need a system to scope the articles to different fields). It would also not likely solve any issues. Most of the articles that cause prob

  • Pedantic versions of material seem to win over plainly written material. I have often turned to Wikipedia for some math help. Yet you might take the article on the parabola. At first it would make for great homework help for a student in grade 10. But in a snap of the fingers it has jumped into university level and then is pushing into graduate level in no time. Much of that material could have been better explained. But instead it is filled with specialist notation with plain English diligently excluded. M
  • by mcmonkey (96054) on Monday August 05, 2013 @01:08PM (#44478597) Homepage

    Jimmy,

    You really couldn't tell Clark Kent is just Superman with glasses?

  • by T.E.D. (34228) on Monday August 05, 2013 @03:37PM (#44480019)
    HTH did the "Certified articles?" question get enough upvotes to warrant an answer? Anybody with even a cursory knowledge of the history of Wikipedia knows the answer to this. (Hint: Its been tried before. [wikipedia.org] That's how we got Wikipedia in the first place)

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder

Working...