Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Wiki Wars"

Though I love Wikipedia and use it often, I recognize the downfall of a site that can be edited by anyone... Back when I directed your attention to the entry about Iraqi man allegedly killed by U.S. Marines, and the fact that Wikipedia said the Marines had killed him -no use of the words "accused" or "allegedly" I began to wonder how the site is regulated. (BTW, it was awesome how someone went in and edited that entry with a quickness...)

Now with the November elections creeping closer it seems the blog wars have seeped over and become editing wars:

"... Along with blogs, meetups and other `Net innovations, 2006 is featuring full-scale "Wiki wars," as partisans from right and left edit candidate information on Wikipedia biographical entries to gain political advantage at the popular reference site.

Candidates across the country have been caught doctoring their own entries, erasing politically embarrassing facts and spinning their positions on issues. But their political opponents also change information online, straining Wikipedia's strength as a reliable resource.

"Our primary goal is neutrality," said Wayne Saewyc, a Wikipedia spokesman in Vancouver, British Columbia. "In election years especially, people don't want the articles to be neutral."

Wikipedia is more popular online than Disney, Wal-Mart and ESPN. And as more people view it, its offerings grow more extensive. But its open-source approach creates problems when it is applied to controversial topics, as contributors use sites to push their versions of "the truth."(Read the entire article)

This may be the healthiest way to record history though --with contributors from both sides of the aisle and all walks of life keeping checks on each other.

No comments: