Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wikipedia Tightens the Reins

From the article: "The website hopes that the registration requirement will limit the number of stories being created, Wales said.

'What we're hopeful to see is that by slowing that down to 1,500 a day from several thousand, the people who are monitoring this will have more ability to improve the quality,' Wales said Monday. 'In many cases the types of things we see going on are impulse vandalism.'

Wikipedia visitors will still be able to edit content already posted without registering. It takes 15 to 20 seconds to create an account on the website, and an e-mail address is not required."

Wikipedia is a wonderful thing, but I'm wondering if they are tightening the reins far enough? Some entries seem very good, but looks may be deceiving. It is hard for a Wikipedia reader to sort out the bad, the mediocre, and the good.

I love free speech, but without reviewing someone's curriculum vitae before allowing someone to post, can quality be assured? Editing should allow for misinformation or disinformation to be weeded out but obviously it isn't working all that well.

So, take what you read and find on Wikipedia with a grain of salt. I would not use it as an authoritative source, especially for that term paper that was due yesterday. With its ability to have speed and flexibility it also has the liability of being written by folks who may not be properly qualified to do the job -- we have no way of knowing if they are or are not. For that assurance you need a less flexible, and most importantly, a critically reviewed encyclopedia.

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