Wikipedia caught in podfather turf war
The simmering feud between podfathers Adam Curry and Dave Winer has exploded into a turf war, and Wikipedia’s credibility has been caught in the crossfire.
It’s not so much did Adam Curry slant a Wikipedia entry his way but that anyone can change Wikipedia entries and there’s no central editing review process. Thus, biases and deliberately slanted viewpoints can get posted and stay for months.
A real encyclopedia has a review process. Nothing is printed until ok’ed by the review board. Wikipedia has none of that. Edits are instantly printed with no review and, equally important, no fact-checking first.
I’m active in the ANSWER Coalition and thus know quite a bit about it. The Wikipedia entry on ANSWER seems biased to me, with almost as much coverage given to critics of ANSWER as to ANSWER itself. A real encyclopedia wouldn’t do that. They would not even give the appearance of an editorial slant.
Others have mentioned obvious bias in various Wikipedia entries. The problem is the lack of review. This is similar to Indymedia, who has an open publishing policy. Anyone can post to IndyMedia. And frequently does. Much as the semi-anarchists at Indymedia would wish it, open publishing does not guarantee coherent, accurate news and viewpoints. Quite the contrary, sometimes.
Wikikpedia needs a central review process. Yes, this would change the entire structure of the organization. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Wikipedia entries can not always be relied upon to be factual and unbiased. And if that’s true, then what’s the point of relying upon it for information?