Ooops!

The co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has been accused of offering to edit an entry on the online encyclopaedia site in return for a donation.

Of course, it\’s denied, point blank.

But I really wouldn\’t be surprised if such things went on (whether by Wales or others). A Wikipedia entry can be worth good money, affect a reputation. So there\’s an obvious incentive to pay to get it as good as it can be.

Look at all those Govt departments whose civil servants have been editing entries. That\’s the expenditure of resources to alter entries.

The only possible method of stopping such is reliance upon the good will of those doing the editing. Something which might, err, be a tad hopeful.

Truly egregious entries will be found and changed, but shading and glossing will, I would submit, always go on and simply because there is the incentive to do so at least some people will be paid to do it.

3 thoughts on “Ooops!”

  1. Leaving it as a source of information about science and history etc would not help. People will still put gloss on many aspects.

    Like any information source it should be approached with some skepticism and with awareness of its flaws. That is the key skill of information gathering (and the only really worthwhile thing I learned from history lessons at school)

  2. Students, I want a 1000 word essay contrasting:

    “Wikipedia is far too open to abuse.”

    and

    “a source of information about history, science etc?”

    Bonus marks will be awarded for mentioning holocaust denial and climate change science.

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