[Foundation-l] Paid editing, was Re: Ban and moderate

wiki-list at phizz.demon.co.uk wiki-list at phizz.demon.co.uk
Sun Oct 24 10:22:02 UTC 2010

On 24/10/2010 02:17, Robert S. Horning wrote:
> On 10/23/2010 03:42 PM, wiki-list at phizz.demon.co.uk wrote:
>> If at any moment it can be stood on its head then the information
>> contained in the articles can never be authoritative. Suppose I have a
>> calculator that every once in a while, and quite randomly, adds up two
>> numbers wrongly, such a calculator wouldn't be authoritative in its
>> results, even when it added the numbers correctly.
>> For some things, like who played who in 'West Wing', it is of little
>> importance. For medical issues the accuracy is highly important, and if
>> one can't guarantee that each page load contains the accurate
>> information then one shouldn't be pretending that it is in any way
>> authoritative.
> I would hope that somebody from NASA trying to plot spaceship
> trajectories around the Solar System isn't going to be using data from
> Wikipedia for those calculations either... or an engineer doing some
> structural load calculations using information about material strengths
> from a Wikipedia article.  I don't see medical issues as being anything
> of a unique case or something that needs to be especially pointed out
> other than it is foolish to use information from Wikipedia or for that
> matter any encyclopedia as "authoritative" without at the very least
> checking the sources used to obtain that information.  Wikipedia isn't a
> replacement for the CRC Handbook, nor the Physician's Desk Reference.
> It shouldn't be either although both are excellent sources of
> information for factual data that can be used in a Wikipedia article.

One would certainly hope that engineers weren't copying data from 
wikipedia. The issue though isn't the use put by Engineers and Doctors 
but rather the use put by normal people that are clicking on a search 
engine's 1st link, and where the site is saying Encyclopaedia and there 
is a general assumption that the information that you read is accurate 
baring any cultural bias.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list