[WikiEN-l] Wikipedia's destiny

charles matthews charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com
Fri Feb 24 13:51:07 UTC 2006

"Jimmy Wales" wrote

>But we should be very extreme in our caution
> that a Wikipedia entry not be used to *drive* the very notability upon
> which the entry is supposed to *depend*.

Couple this with the well-known debate here 'notability isn't policy'.  We 
get a complex picture.

'Encyclopedic interest' should encompass much of what 'it is in the public 
interest to know'; but it need not include all that 'the public are 
interested in knowing'.  This distinction is exactly what gets slurred in 
the public interest defence of 'tabloid journalism', with its slippage into 

I think tabloid journalism in its pejorative sense is always going to fall 
foul of our living persons guidelines.  If not, then the guidelines need 
tightening up, in the direction of coming down harder on sensationalism.  We 
are not here to sell newspapers.

Pedians may be a rather pre-filtered collection of people; but effectively 
we do operate a policy on 'human interest'. At AfD an article found 
interesting by enough will survive, even if the topic is somewhat obscure.

We really do need a tweaked version of the 'notability' discussion, where it 
is laid out that:-

- we have an encyclopedia to write, and there is going to be some cut-off to 
what we take to be reference information;
- we have a media-style duty, which is not to suppress informative things 
within the reach of NPOV-Verifiability, when these are matters the public 
should have documented for them;
- we are also an ethical and voluntary organisation, supported in effect as 
a public service of global reach, and have at all times to be mindful of 


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