Tag: Wikipedia

  • Truths, half-truths and Wikipedia: Tom Melly

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    Tom Melly, on the Wikification of the obituaries of his father, George Melly

    Wikipedia comes in for a fair amount of criticism these days from El Reg and other publications, but I can’t help wondering if we’re missing the real point regarding its status as an encyclopedia. Most of the arguments hinge on its accuracy, or lack of it. But if our criteria for an encyclopedia is a guarantee of 100 per cent accuracy, then there are no encyclopaedias now, … Read More

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  • Wikipedia defends reality against Stephen Colbert

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    TV wit Stephen Colbert has had more fun at the expense of Wikipedia with another deeply ironic prank.

    Last year Colbert satirized the project’s dependence on the consensus theory of truth – which for Wikipedians is a feature, not a bug. The project’s guideline “WP:V” states, “The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth” [their emphasis] – and in practice this means that if you can can find a source on the notoriously reliable truth machine called the … Read More

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  • The DIY encyclopedia

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    Albert Camus, DIY style

    Who can fail to love the can-do spirit and have-a-go enthusiasm of Wikipedia? When the site found itself in need of copyright-free illustrations, one user simply generated his own.

    We were alerted to this cockle-warming tale via a Something Awful forum, where member Stick_Fig, sets the scene like this:

    A group of users has decided that because these promotional photos, which were previously allowed, are copyrighted, they need to be replaced with copyright-free images. Like, images taken by nerds for

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  • Nature journal cooked Wikipedia study

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    They want to believe, too

    Nature magazine has some tough questions to answer after it let its Wikipedia fetish get the better of its responsibilities to reporting science. The Encyclopedia Britannica has published a devastating response to Nature‘s December comparison of Wikipedia and Britannica, and accuses the journal of misrepresenting its own evidence.

    Where the evidence didn’t fit, says Britannica, Nature‘s news team just made it up. Britannica has called on the journal to repudiate the report, which was put together by its … Read More

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  • ‘Take out a subscription to The Register. Then cancel it, and sign it Disgusted Wikipedian’

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    An early taxonomy of excuses. Mostly variations of “It’s the user’s fault.”

    “He who feels punctured must have been a bubble – Lao Tsu

    A funny thing happened last week. Author and broadcaster – and veteran OpenOffice user – Andrew Brown wrote a piece in The Guardian a fortnight ago demolishing some of the more absurd myths around open source software projects. Frustrating bugs went unfixed for years, he noted, giving lie to the myth that simply because anyone could, … Read More

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  • Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems

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    Encouraging signs from the Wikipedia project, where co-founder and überpedian Jimmy Wales has acknowledged there are real quality problems with the online work.

    Criticism of the project from within the inner sanctum has been very rare so far, although fellow co-founder Larry Sanger, who is no longer associated with the project, pleaded with the management to improve its content by befriending, and not alienating, established sources of expertise. (i.e., people who know what they’re talking about.)

    Meanwhile, criticism from outside … Read More

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