[Foundation-l] Porchesia

Luiz Augusto lugusto at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 13:57:24 UTC 2006

WikiMedia isn't only WikiPedia. I'm on wikibreak in anothers wikis and now
edit only in Wikisource. I can't find any problem with encyclopedic articles
because my home wiki is intended to host only primary sources.

English Wikipedia have your on mailing list and wikipedia-l is intended to
be a mailing list for global issues on Wikipedia projects. The
question of credibility
is relevant to all Wikimedia projects, but attempts in talk about
encyclopedia credibility is not relevant to all Wikimedia projects.


On 10/1/06, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> While I generally agree with Birgitte, I have to take exception here.
> Porchesia appeared on one of our projects for ten months. It was caught
> quite by
> accident, when someone pointed it out to me. This raises an important
> issue,
> relevant to all major languages and projects--what are we doing to ensure
> the
> veracity of the information we provide. This is especially relevant, given
> the
> other discussion about spamming, which Brad raised. If we can have a fake
> island  with 300,000 imaginary people get through for ten months, we can
> certainly have  a fake company get through for 10 months. This company can
> even get
> people to  read up on them and take their money. And if you look the
> company up,
> it is on  Wikipedia, Answers, and any other mirror. This is a serious
> problem. Wikipedia  provides credibility.
> There are two problems with this. Both are, in my mind,  serious ethical
> issues.
> 1. Given our size and reputation, we are in the process of
> transforming  from
> a medium that reports fact to a medium that can, potentially, create fact.
> Colbert and the elephants is symptomatic of that (for people who don't
> know the
> reference, see Jimmy's opening remarks at Wikimania). In the particular
> case
> of  Porchesia, someone has just argued on the mailing list that it should
> be
> kept  because it is now an internet meme. The fact that it has been on
> Wikipedia for  ten months ensures that
> (_http://mail.wikipedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2006-October/054735.html_
> (http://mail.wikipedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2006-October/054735.html)
> ).  This is worrying. Are we now reporting on what we
> report? Where do we draw the  line between reporting information and
> creating
> information? I believe that this  issue is sufficiently serious to warrant
> discussion among all Wikimedia  participants, not just the people on
> WP:EN.
> 2. The second issue is more sinister. Several months ago we received a
> call
> in the office from a major police agency. Someone created a false identity
> and used it to extract money from unsuspecting victims. When
> people  questioned
> how important he was, they were told, "Just look me up on
> Wikipedia."  Were
> the people who gave him money stupid? Yes. So are the people who
> answer  tragic
> emails telling them that their long lost but fabulously wealthy  relatives
> were killed in car crash in Togo. And yet, people continue to
> answer  those
> emails. The article on EN was quietly deleted, the man was
> likely  arrested, but
> the problem remains. Given our position and the respect we  receive,
> Wikipedia
> in all languages is an open target for spammers and con  artists. I
> believe
> that this is also an issue that should be addressed by the  larger
> community, and
> not just limited to WP:EN.
> There is a tension between accuracy and openness. Citizendium and
> Everything2 are two extreme answers to that tension. If, however, we are
> to  maintain
> both, we must address the tension when it occurs. We must come up
> with  creative
> solutions. And that is something that involves more than just the  English
> Wikipedia.
> Danny
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