Wed 23rd January 2008, 11:02pm
QUOTE(badlydrawnjeff @ Wed 23rd January 2008, 10:45pm)
Give credit where it's due - Gerard is 100% correct on this. Not only is Usenet a reliable source on a variety of different subjects, but so are other areas of the internet that Wikipedia moronically shys away from.
To not use Usenet as a reliable source on Scientology issues is not smart. But, then again, the Reliable Source guideline on Wikipedia has always left a lot to be desired.
While I'm sure that reliable sources did quote Usenet on articles on Scientology, and those RS articles could be referenced as sources on WP, I don't see how your assertion holds water.
Do you understand what a reliable source is in the context of publishing Wikipedia? How is Usenet any different from Wikipedia Review in that regard?
Usenet is/was an electronic bulletin board where anyone could post anything. To directly reference it as a reliable source and be allowed to do so would render WP's attempts to adhere to its own distinctions on what sources have editorial oversight, etc, an even more chaotic mess than it even is.
But if anyone can show that Usenet meets WP's, or any other publisher's, criteria for a reliable source, than maybe all those nekkid shorting folks can post their Freedom of Information Act requests showing stocks that have been nekkid shorted up their wazzoos from the SEC to usenet, then quote from the links as a reliable source.
If someone posted an "article" (Usenet doesn't publish articles, it's a dumb relay service) from a Usenet group that itself references a real article from a reliable source (book, newspaper, etc), then you go and find the primary source and use it, not the bulletin board it was copied to.
I'm interested in hearing more from you Jeff on how an internet message board of anonymous contributors with no oversight can be a primary source for an encyclopedia. On the articles that I edited, even those with good intentions trying to post information they gleaned to be right as rain, such reasoning would not hold water to other WP editors' scrutiny.