Thu 16th February 2012, 11:34pm
This article reflects the general consensus I've seen of those who have only looked rather shallowly into the Wikipedia rabbit hole:
If Wikipedia hesitated to change its article ahead of the scholarly consensus, that is an artifact of academia's own inability to quickly adopt a new consensus, not a failing of Wikipedia.... [T]he whole fracas reflects that though people will rant and rail over Wikipedia's faults, we hold this massive experiment in collaborative knowledge to a standard that is higher than any other source. We don't want Wikipedia to be just as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica: We want it to have 55 times as many entries, present contentious debates fairly, and reflect brand new scholarly research, all while being edited and overseen primarily by volunteers.Emphasis not in the original.
No, Ms. Rosen. We do not hold Wikipedia to a higher standard. No one has demanded that Wikipedia host the insane number of articles that it does. No one truly believes that Wikipedia treats "contentious debates" as anything but an anarchic tug-of-war. No one is demanding that Wikipedia "reflect brand new scholarly research", it's just a problem when the mob runs the scholars out of town on a rail. In fact, this is not our standard. The standard being demanded of by its critics is that Wikipedia-boosters get the fuck down off of their "encyclopedia" horse, that the governance structure acknowledges that Wikipedia is a hosting-service subject to the whims of a fickle and dysfunctional community of predominately anti-social adolescents and kid-ults just like the internet at-large, and that the more seedy characters involved there get their just desserts.
That is all.