[WikiEN-l] The new verifiability policy

The Cunctator cunctator at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 06:01:16 UTC 2006

On 2/28/06, Matt Brown <morven at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/27/06, The Cunctator <cunctator at gmail.com> wrote:
> > What I'm interested in is the behavior that the new policy permits and
> > encourages--namely, aggressive deletion of other people's
> > contributions, which can be backed up by The Official Policy.
> Agreed.  This is policy wording driven through on the basis of
> controversial, edit-warred articles.

Here's some further thoughts:

I have only mild disagreements with the "policy in a nutshell":

{{Information on Wikipedia must be reliable. Facts, viewpoints,
theories, and arguments may only be included in articles if they have
already been published by reliable and reputable sources. Articles
should cite these sources whenever possible. Any unsourced material
may be challenged and removed.}}

However "The Policy" is a different matter.

a) The Policy says nothing about controversiality.
b) The Policy says nothing about making challenges.
c) The Policy says nothing about asking for a verifiable source.

Instead, the policy as stands says that unsourced entries can be
immediately and officially deleted. The policy should reflect the
"policy in a nutshell" that *all* editors have a responsibility to
cite a source whether or not they were the one adding material.
Removing valid information just because it wasn't sourced smacks of
distrust of fellow editors and paranoia. I think that both neutrality
and full sourcing are critical ultimate goals--that is, the Platonic
Wikipedia is one which is perfectly comprehensive, perfectly written,
and perfectly sourced. But the Wikipedia in actuality is only an
imperfect approximation, but as long as the statistical effect of all
edits is in the right direction, we can be happy (if not satisfied).
We don't expect that *every edit* improves the encyclopedia, but we
expect that most will. And our policies should reflect that approach.

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