I've studied this question using the same framework I use to track the
WP:SPVA changes. I'm convinced that the English Wikipedia can, given
enough time, handle every kind of controversy except:
(1) religious disputes (e.g., "Historicity of Jesus... Not to be
confused with Historical Jesus."
(2) international political disputes (any number of disputed borders
and islands, Israel/Palestine etc.),
(3) economic disputes pertaining to http://talknicer.com/ehip.pdf
The issues regarding (1) don't have a material (world) impact; (2) are
intractable outside of Wikipedia, so why even bother; but (3) has
profound real-world political and economic impacts which affect the
Foundation's Mission by altering the extent to which free educational
content can be created and effectively disseminated. However, if
assertions that the issues pertaining to (3) are a result of systemic
bias are met with ridicule.
So what we have is Wikipedia perpetuating the "fake news" promoted by
trickle down economics that tax cuts for the rich are good. How might
that affect electoral outcomes, for example?
The best example at present is at
which has stood for months with no interest expressed by any
Wikipedians in addressing the problem.
On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 8:22 AM, Pine W <wiki.pine(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Agreed that what we're seeing are Internet-enabled
implementations of old
practices. I think that there has been a recent renewal of awareness of how
effective these dark arts can be at generating revenue and perhaps
affecting political systems.
Over the years, a number of people and organizations have tried to
manipulate the neutrality of Wikipedia content for political, financial, or
PR advantage. I have the impression that the community's human resources
capacity and technical tools are currently insufficient in comparison to
the scale of the problems. I'm hoping that some of the tools that are being
developed as a part of the anti-harassment initiative will help a little.
I'm also thinking that a good exercise for students in Wikipedia in
Education classes would be to identify content that is noncompliant with
neutrality and verifiability standards, and either change that content
themselves or flag it for review by more experienced editors.
On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 5:53 AM, James Salsman <jsalsman(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I'm finding it encouraging to see that a number of researchers and
journalists are taking these problems seriously, trying to understand
I'm encouraged by the studies, but confused about why the fake news
phenomenon is considered novel, rather than continuations of age-old
disinformation, yellow journalism, aggressive public relations,
manufactured consent, astroturfing, propaganda, and deceptive
marketing. There's nothing new about it other than the term.
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