On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:09 PM, Michael Snow <wikipedia(a)verizon.net>wrote;wrote:
Sage Ross wrote:
From my experience talking with people (mostly
academics) who have
Wikipedia articles, they are often unhappy with their articles but
also either don't want to interfere in a community they aren't part
of, or don't want to be seen as complaining on their own behalf and
thus risk seeming vain. Most often it's not that there is something
really wrong or negative, it's just that the article is so incomplete
or imbalanced that it gives a misleading impression of who they are
and what they do. I'd go so far as to say that the significant
majority of BLPs for academics (at least) are not appreciated by their
I'd guess that it probably holds across a fairly wide swath of people.
I'm not sure what should be done about it, though. And another thing to
consider, for those who have been the subject of media coverage, how
many feel that was really representative and balanced? Dissatisfaction
is common there as well, it's hard to say if we're qualitatively
different. Especially when those are the sources we often draw upon.
I think you're right that such dissatisfaction is common. Newspapers and
magazines in particular, seem to get this kind of stuff wrong all the time.
Encyclopedias probably ought to be held to a higher standard, though, and in
theory Wikipedia with its neutrality policy ought to be held to an even
higher standard than that.
I have no idea how Wikipedia can get there. Flagged revisions might be able
to reduce the blatant defamation, but it's not likely to address issues of
balance or incompleteness (and might actually make things worse in that
In this space, I think Citizendium's "approved articles" is the best a wiki
can hope for. That has its own problems, and the articles don't always turn
out well balanced, but at least you know who to blame.