Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Wikipedia impartiality
January 24, 2007 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft has been caught paying for Wikipedia edits. But wasn't this inevitable? Now that Wikipedia has become the de facto online reference, wasn't it inevitable that it would attract governments, corporates and other groups to create their own version of events. Is this an inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge?
posted by bobbyelliott (52 comments total)

 
It doesn't seem like they really did anything all that pernicious. According to the linked article, MS wasn't allowed to review the what the writer submitted. Anyways, nothing's perfect and the truth will always be fought over.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on January 24, 2007


No. Next.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2007


The problem is not in Wikipedia (or any other news/information source), it is in trusting it implicitly. Same thing goes for Time, Newsweek, FoxNews, etc.
posted by spock at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


If they didn't do anything that pernicious, why is Jimbo Wales up in arms about it?

If you hire someone to write the "truth" about yourself and edit a Wikipedia entry based on that material, whether you vet the finished product or not, it would seem to go against Wikipedia's increasingly tattered image as a neutral (yeah, right!) repository of knowledge.

Which is precisely why some are predicting that Wikipedia will be dead in four or five years.
posted by blucevalo at 12:54 PM on January 24, 2007


The answer to this and nearly every other Wikipedia-related problem remains: require registration to edit Wikipedia articles.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:59 PM on January 24, 2007


bobbyelliott: did Apple pay you to make this FPP? Hmmm?
posted by mazola at 1:05 PM on January 24, 2007


Metafilter: An inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge.
posted by joecacti at 1:08 PM on January 24, 2007


How much did they pay the dude? Yo, Ballmer, I'll go five bucks less, hit me up buddy.
posted by The Straightener at 1:08 PM on January 24, 2007


Is this an inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge?

No, it's an inherent and fatal flaw in all knowledge sharing, be it by word of mouth, printing press, radio/television or the internet. If you don't know who your sources are, or you don't know what motivates your known sources, be skeptical of what you're told.
posted by davejay at 1:16 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


You raise many questions.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on January 24, 2007


Which is precisely why some are predicting that Wikipedia will be dead in four or five years.

The problem with Goldman's logic is that editors can lobby to lock down high traffic pages, to deal with vandalism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:30 PM on January 24, 2007


Is this an inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge?

No, it's a feature. Seriously, if this wasn't open source then the problem would likely have been left undiscovered, which is much worse.
posted by PsychoKick at 1:30 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The answer to this and nearly every other Wikipedia-related problem remains: require registration to edit Wikipedia articles.

How would that change anything? Then Microsoft would pay someone to register an account and then edit.
posted by mendel at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2007


eustacescrubb writes "The answer to this and nearly every other Wikipedia-related problem remains: require registration to edit Wikipedia articles."

And this would prevent corporations from buying edits from third parties how?
posted by mullingitover at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2007


On the general topic of open source knowledge as far as the academic subjects go, how's this for a partial solution: oversight by credentialed experts who may be anonymous if they wish?

Here's how it would work -

1)For each of the broad science fields (physics, biology..), the WP admins make a request for participation by credentialed experts. Users submit their information confidentially and have their identity and information verified by some official channel of communication. All the verified become members of a college, say, Wikipedia College of Physics. A select number of those verified become members of an interim subject oversight committee. This is the bootstrapping phase.

2)The selected committee, once in place, assumes charge of admitting new experts and assigning nuanced declarations of expertise onto members of that college.

3)So, let's say now that you have a contentious chemistry article. All the basic aspects remain the same as before. Anyone can edit, even anonymous users. Should there be a dispute which remains unresolved after a couple of to-and-fros, then the college is approached to have the final say on the matter. Its decision is final and binding.

4)This system also allows legitimate experts to assert their expertise anonymously. Admitted members can put up a banner/icon/whatever on their user page and committee-restricted pages can list member-rolls for sake of verification. Only the college committee personnel responsible for expertise verification know of identities. For sake of accountability, these personnel may be required to have their identities be public.

5)In addition to dispute resolution, maybe the relevant members can assume charge of specific topics and pages. They then periodically review high-traffic articles within their domain.

6)In order to prevent ideological bias within a college, requirement should be essential but minimal i.e. a graduate or greater degree in that field, or current full-time pursuit of such qualification at an accredited institution.
posted by Gyan at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2007


let's see, very soon there will be a clear clash between people who get paid to edit Wikipedia (the shills) and people who don't get paid to do that (the Wikipedants we all grew to love).
get paid to deface vs. clean up for free? it's not difficult to figure out which side will get tired first
posted by matteo at 1:43 PM on January 24, 2007


At the risk of sounding dramatic, it strikes me that this is the same sort of clash of sensibilities as caused the Cold War. Basically, it boils down to capitalism vs. a sort of socialism, in this case open source. The fact that Microsoft can disrespect another organization in this way is pretty apalling, imagine what would happen if a Wikipedia staff member were caught giving out MS products for free, as a sort of "turnabout is fair play" act. Things wouldn't go so well for wikipedia.
posted by eparchos at 1:49 PM on January 24, 2007


Since for some reason it doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone to actually link the articles in question:
(OpenDocument)
(OOXML)
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:00 PM on January 24, 2007


Great idea Gyan! It is a win win situation. It would save interested parties (like MS) the trouble of searching for competent editors, and would give experts a means to increase their income.

Real life example, I have credentials that would make me an expert in some areas, and I am also short on cash. As soon as I am admitted to the Wikipedia College of Obscure Expertise , I will submit my information confidentially to interested parties, who may verify my influence on Wikipedia via an unofficial channel, and start charging them to edit and lock high traffic controversial articles.
posted by Dataphage at 2:06 PM on January 24, 2007


Gyan,

This is assuming that academics aren't at odds with one another, that they don't have biases or conflicts of interest, or even that they are more 'expert' than real-world practitioners without the same academic credentials. This 'tyrrany of the expert' is usually rejected by the grass-roots, open-source philosophy of legitimacy not through the ivory tower but rather the collective experience of all people. I've read some utter shit that's supposedly academically peer-reviewed.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:06 PM on January 24, 2007


We've always been at war with Linux.
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:09 PM on January 24, 2007


And this would prevent corporations from buying edits from third parties how?

It wouldn't prevent it, any more than the threat of bannination here prevents self-linking. But it would provide for greater accountability, the lack of which is the source of a great many of Wikipedia's problems.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:17 PM on January 24, 2007


I scare small children by going up to them and yelling "MICROSOFT!".
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 PM on January 24, 2007



This has happened before in the entries related to the abusive behavior modification/boot camps for kids that I write about. The programs try to edit out the accounts of abuses.
posted by Maias at 2:24 PM on January 24, 2007


Dataphage: It would save interested parties (like MS) the trouble of searching for competent editors, and would give experts a means to increase their income.

My proposal's limited to academic subjects, notably, the sciences. Articles on Microsoft's business practices or products won't be under the purview of any college.

This is assuming that academics aren't at odds with one another, that they don't have biases or conflicts of interest, or even that they are more 'expert' than real-world practitioners without the same academic credentials.

In the subjects I'm talking about, it would be next to impossible for real-world practitioners to not have academic credentials.

The college system doesn't impose a tyranny, because it's not a single voice (in the adjudication process). If a dispute is brought to the college for adjudication, then there can be a publicly transparent venue where any collegian can argue on the matter. The college can also be made to assert a modulatory role rather than being a gatekeeper i.e. only intervene in case of dispute, only review periodically.. instead of vetting each submission or restricting who edits an article.

There are two ways to look at Wikipedia

1)as an experiment in open-source collaboration to be participated in i.e. the democratic perspective of the editor

2)as an open-source resource of useful true information i.e. the utilitarian perspective of the reader

There are clear conflicts between the two visions. My proposal aims at a compromise which serves both visions.
posted by Gyan at 2:26 PM on January 24, 2007


Is this an inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge?

Sort of. It's just a manipulation of an existing flaw. Forget about Microsoft's bribe, and you've still got Microsoft employees and IBM employees (and probably Apple employees) edit-warring over an article about which they're all biased. What difference does money make? It might make Microsoft's hands dirtier, but it doesn't affect Wikipedia's credibility.

it would provide for greater accountability

How? The only requirement to register an account on Wikipedia is any valid e-mail address, including an anonymous Yahoo or Gmail account. Create a Wikipedia account, and the only thing you've accomplished is to mask your IP address from everybody except developers. It seems to me that a registered Wikipedia account offers less accountability than simply editing under an IP address.
posted by cribcage at 2:28 PM on January 24, 2007


I've always been a bit bothered by Wikipedia's conflict of interest guideline, because in an ideal Wikipedia, it shouldn't matter if representatives of a corporation edit articles about that corporation, or politicians edit articles about themselves, etc.

If Wikipedians would actually enforce the verifiability policy, and delete with extreme prejudice any statements which weren't properly cited, then it would be just fine and dandy if people/corporations edited their own articles. Uncited statements would be deleted quickly, and cited statements from the article's subject would be just fine, since they can be verified by anyone. Deletions of already cited statements unfavorable to the article's subject are easily reverted.

But no, we have to be all touchy-feely and don't bite the newbies so we shouldn't just go in and immediately delete uncited statements. At the least we have to go and stick "citation needed" and "this article or section does not cite its sources" tags all over everything and give the people who put it there a chance to cite it, and even after that you're likely to be attacked, or just plain reverted, for being hostile if you delete the statement. And as a result the subjects of articles can come in and add erroneous or misleading information about themselves, and we can't just delete it because we have to play nice, and sure, it's publicized if it's caught, as in this case, but who knows how many times it hasn't been caught? And exactly what is Microsoft's incentive not to try the same thing again, just hiding its tracks better this time? None that I can see.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:34 PM on January 24, 2007


if this wasn't open source then the problem would likely have been left undiscovered...

According to Information Week:
A blogger on a popular technology Web site says Microsoft has offered to pay him to post information on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.com to "correct" what Microsoft claims is erroneous information about a key software standard.

On his blog on Oreillynet.com, blogger Rick Jelliffe on Monday posted an entry titled: "An Interesting Offer: Get Paid To Contribute To Wikipedia." In the blog, Jelliffe writes: "I was a little surprised to receive e-mail a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance on Wikipedia concerning ODF/OOXML."
Emphasis mine. The guy announced it on his blog. Wikipedia being open source had nothing to do with it.
posted by cribcage at 2:42 PM on January 24, 2007


I'm not sure what the problem here is. Right-wing nutjobs routinely equate money with speech, so Microsoft was just talking to the guy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:47 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia is a reflection of popular true belief. There will be a correlation between the sales force of a belief and the distortion of that belief against its detractors. Mormonism is golden on Wikipedia, with every criticism buried in apology.
posted by Brian B. at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2007


The more information on Wikipedia; the more users it attracts (due to the long tail), and thus the more valuable that information is. As that information gains value, the ability to manipulate that information is more valuable. At some point the page becomes so valuable that a company, or other organization will pay writers to go in and push information to their advantage. Due to easy editing (the very thing that made Wikipedia such a huge store of informaiton); one can easily bypass attempts to ban users. Conversly if Wikipedia locks down the ability to edit anything other than the big pages; we would see decline in the value of the information resulting in a spiralling circle of doom. Therefore much like usenet, wikipedia is doomed. Except for a few highly moderated pages; which will continue on with a narrow group of custodians who continually haggle over edits. The information will be mediocre as a result. Thus returning us to the initial state Rule Britannica!
posted by humanfont at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2007


This will all be solved by changing the rules so you can only write on WikiPedia every two weeks instead of one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with the pessimistic comments. The bigger something gets, the more likely that money will triumph.

I've become a bit disillusioned with Wikipedia because of the red tape involved in banning anonymous IPs and in solving edit wars. I can't imagine that too many people will have time to authoritatively deal with it, and that will erode quality as more people come on board.

Also it's just a matter of time before Wikipedia becomes a hot target for lawsuits. That could permanently change the site, unless they protect theirselves by offshoring it.
posted by rolypolyman at 3:25 PM on January 24, 2007


Most people posting here seem to forget one thing - who cares where the information comes from if it is accurate?

Yes, I know, knowing the source is a part of the equation for evaluating potential bias, but beyond the potential for bias is the reality of facts. Wikipedia should be in the business of facts, and if there are facts supporting different points of view, so be it.

What should be discussed here is the fact that someone, Microsoft, viewed information on Wikipedia and found it to be false, yet Wikipedia's flawed editorial process did not allow for corrections.

This is not new - Wikipedia doesn't necessarily contain content from those that actually know what they are talking about. No, instead it contains content from editors that, through Wikipedia's magic of selection, gain preferential treatment for their posts.

You could have Stephen Hawking trying to edit on physics topics, but if his Wikipeida credentials don't rank above the 14 year-old Star Trek fanboy down the street, Hawking won't be heard.

I don't see how you can blame MS for its actions if it was trying to correcting errors. Wikipedia should be ashamed, not MS - and that is exactly why Wikipeida is throwing a fit. They've been caught, again, with their pants down.
posted by Muddler at 3:41 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Muddler:

If the facts were "false", then all MS would have had to do would be to point that out to an interested third party, say by issuing a release to that person. So, one must ask, why did they offer to PAY someone to do it? The obvious answer is that they wanted to avoid the perception of bias. And why would they care if the facts stood for themselves?
The problem with your argument is, basically, that Microsoft seemed to be the only party which found these facts to be false, and they're clearly biased. The reason we can blame MS for its actions is because MS was clearly trying to sneak around Wikipedia's policy. If I were to somehow get a copy of one of Microsoft's products before release and then distribute that product, that would be violating Microsoft's policies. So, then, would you defend my right to do that? After all, it is just information we're talking about here.
posted by eparchos at 3:55 PM on January 24, 2007


cribcage:
The guy announced it on his blog. Wikipedia being open source had nothing to do with it.

I beg to differ. Its open source nature means that one must try to influence multiple independent contributors, with no reliable way of knowing in advance which ones will or will not keep their mouths shut about it. This in and of itself greatly raises the chances of word getting out. Which is exactly what happened here.


Muddler:
What should be discussed here is the fact that someone, Microsoft, viewed information on Wikipedia and found it to be false, yet Wikipedia's flawed editorial process did not allow for corrections.
...
I don't see how you can blame MS for its actions if it was trying to correcting errors.


Oh please. As painfully flawed as Wikipedia is, two wrongs don't make a right.
posted by PsychoKick at 3:56 PM on January 24, 2007


Eparchos, that's terribly naive to think that all MS had to do was tell the world the truth. It's also naive to think that there is a whole host of experts who happen to have good enough Wikipedia credentials out there that would, without compensation, spend the time and energy to listen to MS and then edit accordingly. I mean, the story never said MS was paying to alter the guy's opinion - the opposite in fact. That means that, OH MY GOSH, MS was willing to pay someone for their time and effort. They WERE NOT BEING CHEAP!??!!! CRUCIFY THEM, THOSE INFADELS!

The web is full of MS bashers, so much so that the minute MS says something, even if absolutely accurate, people pounce to denounce.

It doesn't take long to find this anti-MS bias, and it sucks the life out of honest conversation about anything related to the company. Luv' 'em or hate 'em, but do it on facts - not as fun as bashing, but more honest. From the article posted, MS tried the correction route and was ignored. What would you have them do if nobody listens due to bias?

It seems to me that the bias here is actually against MS, but nobody wants to admit that.

And PsychoKick, "two wrongs don't make a right?" That's a nice saying, but it doesn't explain what you'd have MS to do when facts are misrepresented.

Look, people, maybe the thing to do for the sake of conversation is back off from "who" was doing this and look at the "what." If MS wasn't the company, and instead it was someone completely different, would you be having the same discussion or holding the same point of view?
posted by Muddler at 4:23 PM on January 24, 2007


cribcage:
From the article posted, MS tried the correction route and was ignored. What would you have them do if nobody listens due to bias?
...
And PsychoKick, "two wrongs don't make a right?" That's a nice saying, but it doesn't explain what you'd have MS to do when facts are misrepresented.


As maddening as it may seem, they can just man up, get in line and try again, just like everyone else. Just because Microsoft is unpopular doesn't mean we're all obliged to give them a free pass to employ underhanded methods.

If MS wasn't the company, and instead it was someone completely different, would you be having the same discussion or holding the same point of view?

Absolutely yes.
posted by PsychoKick at 4:45 PM on January 24, 2007


Muddler, what's "terribly naive" is to think that there are facts which ONLY MS KNOWS OMG! and that they're doing the world a favor by sneakily paying some guy to put them out there.
Or, we could go with the REASONABLE explanation, which is that they're trying to promote themselves without it looking like it's them.
Naivete, hah!
posted by eparchos at 4:54 PM on January 24, 2007


eparchos: sneakily paying some guy to put them out there

The guy announced what he was going to do on his blog, MS did NOT ask him to sign a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), and in fact let him blog about it. This must be a definition of sneaky I'm not smart enough to understand.

I LOVE my Wikipedia, use it every single day (not an exaggeration), but effecting change on it can be a huge hassle sometimes. Just as there are benign editors and vandals, there are some Admins on Wikipedia who are VERY control-happy, and not particularly objective. It's just a fact of the Wikipedia social structure. Microsoft was unable to make changes it felt were inaccurate. They have the right to get their viewpoint heard as much as anyone else, and I doubt they would have thought to pay someone if they hadn't already tried the cost-free approach.
posted by potch at 5:48 PM on January 24, 2007


Its open source nature...greatly raises the chances of word getting out. Which is exactly what happened here.

No. What happened here has absolutely nothing to do with Wikipedia or its "open source nature." What happened is, Microsoft e-mailed a guy and that guy announced it on his blog.

The other part, you misquoted. I didn't write it. Muddler did.

Wikipedia is a reflection of popular true belief.

Well, it's a reflection of the popular beliefs among those who participate. I suspect your example has less to do with a prevailing view about Mormonism in wider society and more to do with an unrepresentative sample among those who choose to participate in Wikipedia.

one can easily bypass attempts to ban users

Wikipedia's attempts to ban users constitute some of its funniest moments. They spent years trying to block one kid who proved so persistent that they eventually relented and gave him a new account, at which point he resumed vandalizing the site.

You could have Stephen Hawking trying to edit on physics topics, but if his Wikipeida credentials don't rank above the 14 year-old Star Trek fanboy down the street, Hawking won't be heard.

Amen. See here. This is good for a laugh, too. Watch the sausage being made, and then try not to laugh the next time you hear somebody describe Wikipedia as a serious work of reference.
posted by cribcage at 5:54 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


cribcage, who wants a "serious work of reference"? Come on. It's 2007. George Bush killed half a million Iraqis because Saddam didn't have WMDs. Serious works of reference are 20th century. Wikipedia works because it satisfies the market's criteria for truth. Nobody is interested in paying for anything more; "serious works of reference" literally aren't worth it.

This whole affair just demonstrates that corporations looking to deal with Wikipedia are better off going for the backlink. If Microsoft had gone in and added links to their official site nobody would've batted an eye. If the MS guys really had balls they'd have put up their own page accusing the Wikipedia article of bias and untruths. Credibility attacks can be very effective against Wikipedia where there is no real author to defend herself. MS' only tactical error was to assume that (1) the Wikipedia brand has more authority than Microsoft and (2) bad press is a bad thing. Corporations will soon learn how to handle Wikipedia and this sort of thing will be second nature to the web. A million tempests in a thousand teapots and all that.
posted by nixerman at 6:44 PM on January 24, 2007


cribcage: No. What happened here has absolutely nothing to do with Wikipedia or its "open source nature." What happened is, Microsoft e-mailed a guy and that guy announced it on his blog.

Since by now we're both just repeating ourselves on this particular point, I'll just agree to disagree. And I apologize for the other earlier misquote.

Watch the sausage being made, and then try not to laugh the next time you hear somebody describe Wikipedia as a serious work of reference.

It does raise the question though: what exactly goes into the other leading brands of sausage? Perhaps what is most interesting about Wikipedia isn't so much its content and process, but rather that its growing presence and influence may provide a constant, highly visible pressure for other "serious works of reference" to "suck less than Wikipedia does."
posted by PsychoKick at 7:57 PM on January 24, 2007


Luckily, this is the first time this has ever happened, and clearly after this it will never happen again!

Thank goodness.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:40 PM on January 24, 2007


what exactly goes into the other leading brands of sausage?

Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of nerd fights between Britannica editors, just like probably happen at OED and NASA and anywhere smart people spend too much time indoors; but there's 20,000 leagues of difference between two double-PhDs arguing about how to spell an Aztec name versus some professor's revision being overrun by the night crew at Kinko's because they've amassed enough edits to earn a Level 70 adminship.

Despite its rhetoric, Wikipedia functions on a simple hierarchy: Those who spend the most time editing, win. They are also, by and large, the least qualified to contribute to an encyclopedia — because the process of earning and maintaining said qualifications necessarily precludes you from having enough free time to "babysit the Internet."
posted by cribcage at 8:47 PM on January 24, 2007


The ways in and degrees to which I am coming to hate Microsoft (despite being a defender of them in the past) mirror in some ways, I have noticed, the ways in and degrees to which I moved away from belief in a benevolent, conscious deity in my youth.

What god will save me now?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:20 PM on January 24, 2007


cribcage: Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of nerd fights between Britannica editors, just like probably happen at OED and NASA and anywhere smart people spend too much time indoors; but there's 20,000 leagues of difference between two double-PhDs arguing about how to spell an Aztec name versus some professor's revision being overrun by the night crew at Kinko's because they've amassed enough edits to earn a Level 70 adminship.

However, the question remains, are there enough of those double-PhD nerd fights, with enough qualified participants to ensure a wide cross-pollination of ideas, and anyway why can't we plebians watch if only to ensure the barest modicum of intellectual honesty? The general public is certainly not qualified to have an editing hand in such nerd fights, but I think there would be a great deal of educational value to simply having them easily available to read in real-time, if only to help acclimate the layman to the valuable habit of being interested in How Books Are Argued and Decided. Frankly, given the horrendous state of scientific awareness and intellectual apathy these days, we need all the help we can get.

Honestly, I don't believe that Wikipedia itself holds much more value than it's displayed so far. Rather, the true value is that as flawed as it is, it's an excellent "proof of concept" that can prove especially useful when applied to more narrow fields and with editing privileges restricted to more discerning pools of contributers. This may actually prove to be the case, what with more wiki-style sites popping up. Much like how Usenet petered out but its spirit lived on in numerous smaller-scope web forums, Napster died but P2P barreled on, I think that something similar is inevitable with Wikipedia.

Despite its rhetoric, Wikipedia functions on a simple hierarchy: Those who spend the most time editing, win. They are also, by and large, the least qualified to contribute to an encyclopedia — because the process of earning and maintaining said qualifications necessarily precludes you from having enough free time to "babysit the Internet."

And despite those very real problems, I'm still astounded that the figurative hordes of unwashed monkeys pounding on typewriters have produced something as halfway coherent as Wikipedia. It bit off more than it could chew, but it's nevertheless proving to be a great experiment, and it would be a shame for it to stop until it's inevitably, thoroughly, and unarguably run into the ground. I don't think that's happened yet.

/ this got a bit wordy and rambling, sorry.
posted by PsychoKick at 12:25 AM on January 25, 2007


Eparchos, actually, MS is full of some of the best and brightest, so I wouldn't doubt that they are the best experts on a great many topics...but that aside, if the facts on Wikipedia are incorrect and MS has tried to do corrections, the fact that maybe someone else also knows the correct facts but they weren't posted only shows another failure of the system.

I say again, so far nobody has any indication that what was going to be posted would have been false - not even a hint that it was misleading, or that it wasn't what the poster himself believed.

In light of that evidence, I'm still left wondering what anyone is truly to do about Wikipedia. The answer seems to be to stop using it as it can't be trusted for a great many things.
posted by Muddler at 8:18 AM on January 25, 2007


This is a much more egregious practice.
posted by Gyan at 1:29 PM on January 25, 2007


Luckily, this is the first time this has ever happened, and clearly after this it will never happen again!

Thank goodness.


Umm...
posted by owhydididoit at 2:06 PM on January 25, 2007


ohwhy: Umm... if you aren't able to detect sarcasm in this obvious of a context, one wonders how you go about managing it in real life.
posted by tehloki at 6:56 AM on January 26, 2007


Just citing your sources, tehloki.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2007


« Older As radicals of the 60s tried to find their place i...  |  Prince's Hot Chicken. Three w... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments