Thank for the interview, very interesting. However, Eco is not uncritical about
"The computer in general, and the Internet in particular, is good for the rich and
bad for the poor. That is, Wikipedia is good for me, because I am able to find the
information I need; I do not trust it, because everyone knows that as Wikipedia grows, the
errors also grow. I found steep follies written about me, and if no-one had pointed me to
them, they would be there still."
" look at the Italian Wikipedia; I'm not sure that the news is correct, so I go
to check the English version, then yet another source, and if all three tell me that this
gentleman died in 371 AD, then I begin to believe it." - Indeed! If he went to look
for the birthdate of Duns Scotus when until quite recently he would have found at least
three different dates. But at least he is an expert on Duns Scotus.
"Wikipedia, like the whole Internet, has the problem of filtering the news. It keeps
both false and real news; but the rich know filtering techniques at least for the areas
they know how to check. If I have to do a search on Plato, I have no problem immediately
identifying the sites written by madmen, but if I am researching stem cells it's not
certain that I can identify the wrong sites."
"I noticed that in a certain period of Berlusconi's triumph people went looking
for information about me in right-wing books and placed it in Wikipedia: as propriety
prevents me from changing it directly, I left it. But obviously it was an entry made by
the winners of the moment.
Collective control is therefore useful up to a certain point: it is conceivable that if
one gives a false length of the equator, sooner or later someone will come along and fix
it, but correction of more subtle and difficult issues is more complicated And it seems to
me that the internal control is minimal, that is, it cannot control the millions of new
changes flowing in. At most, it can check if a madman wrote that Napoleon is a racehorse,
but there's not too much it can do."
"But I keep saying that I am increasingly exposed to the risk of my inability to
filter the news. Lately I started writing down some false information, some errors that
one can find in Wikipedia. In the same article, for example, there were two contradictory
reports, a sign that there had been an amalgam."