Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I - Wiki, whaty, hoochie?

Wikipedia: No longer the Wild West?

OK, so Wikipedia, the anyone, anywhere encyclopedia is adding a layer of oversight to (some) postings. Why does this make any kind of news? Anyone who has given it even a minute of thought knows that the ability of virtually anyone with an anonymous e-mail to change entries makes the site weaker, not stronger. This whole idea is long past due and shouldn't raise any eyebrows.

What does raise my eyebrows is the attempt to draw any sort of parallel between Wikipedia and YouTube. That's definitely a logical disconnect. The only things that make the two cases even remotely similar is that they are both on the web, and they both allow users to post content. It somehow seems to have escaped the attention of the writer that one purports to disseminate knowledge and facts while the other purports to show, well, videos. And a fine job of showing videos it does too! But really, who's using YouTube to determine what that rash on their leg is? Or where their elected officials stand on something? Or even assumes that anything they see on YouTube is remotely accurate?

Given all of this it is ludicrous to try to draw any comparisons between the two and how they moderate what is posted. The Wikimedia Foundation is doing what is necessary to help preserve the concept of Wikipedia. It's not about censorship, it's about the purpose of the site. When I look something up on Wikipedia it's nice to know that there is at least one small layer of accountability in place.

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