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NP: Scans ‘n’ trans

Here’s my Friday Post column, which Wikiscans a few Canadian institutions and discusses the implications for the reliability of everyone’s favourite online encyclopedia. And here’s a Full Comment follow-up to a Post editorial about the controversy surrounding J. Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen. That entry’s comment thread has unexpectedly become a venue for an interesting mini-debate about Bailey’s hypothesis (which is actually an expansion on the work of the U of T’s Ray Blanchard).


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Comments (7)

This kind of says it all for me about Wikipedia - even with the usual caveats about the "quality" of this article.

Michael Ross:

Sorry, hee's the link to the artcle in question:

Yeah, it's not like you could spend 20 seconds looking for the most recent unvandalized version if you were really interested in the subject matter. Congratulations on DESTROYING WIKIPEDIA'S REPUTATION FOREVAR.

You write that "should a staffer... ignore wrong information.., even when correcting the information might make his boss look a little better? The safest answer is 'Yes.'"

What exactly would be wrong with non-anonymously editing Wikipedia to reflect reality, so long as your connection with the institutional interest is clearly identified on your "User" page? Sometimes people on the inside really do have superior access to information (ie, images usable under Wikimedia's licensing rules because they're able to provide permission) and your prescription seems to rule out any participation by them at all.


Incidentally, this is your groaningest post header ever.

I wanted to share here the thoughts I recently expressed about Wikipedia, and how it is disappointing how that excellent reference source seems to have declined in usefulness.

However, I recently (and finally) signed up for Wikipedia a couple of days ago, and made my first edits... I soon found that it is not as 'open to anyone' for editing, as one may think. While it is true that anyone can change the encyclopedia articles, there are good, fair major editors there, who will very-quickly undo any changes that serve to make the articles less-balanced or slanted, or add anything unnecessary.

So while Wikipedia, due to the fact that more people know about it now, may be less dependable as it was before, it is still a very good source for reference, about a very large variety of current and historical topics.

Sorry to overlook your question for so long, BruceR... I'll note that I said it was the "safest answer," not necessarily the right one. And yes, there are weasel-like whiskers sprouting around my nose even as you read this.


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