Market economy truth on Wikipedia

There was a time when Wikipedia was interesting and could be trusted. Sadly, I think we have moved beyond that .

The ease with which anonymous, non-moderated comments can be posted has not only attracted cranksters to create their own version of the truth on any subject, but lately has also seen  political party appointees, CIA officers, ad otherspaid to create ersions of the truth. The end result of this model is whoever cares most gets their version of the truth known – at least momentarily.

Market-economy truth?

As Lauren Weinstein puts it –

The fact that such editing can usually be undone (and redone later for that matter) doesn’t change the fact that Wikipedia can never be an authoritative source while it is subject to this kind of anonymous abuse — whether by jokesters out to get their kicks or well-meaning contributors simply unwilling to check their facts.  Such events can easily turn Wikipedia pages into rumor and defacement billboards rather than encyclopedia-quality content.  The damage is already done.

If Wikipedia expects to really be taken seriously in the long run, it needs to rethink its standards for item creation, modification, and attributions.


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