[WikiEN-l] Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Wed May 17 05:15:54 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:
> I can NOT emphasize this enough.
> There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of
> random speculative "I heard it somewhere" pseudo information is to be
> tagged with a "needs a cite" tag.  Wrong.  It should be removed,
> aggressively, unless it can be sourced.  This is true of all
> information, but it is particularly true of negative information about
> living persons.

There are vast swaths of articles on Wikipedia that are completely
unsourced right now. While I in no way dispute that this is a bad thing
and it needs to be corrected, IMO it'd be a worse thing to simply go
around _deleting_ all that stuff. Deleting "unfinished" stuff can often
greatly hinder the eventual creation of "finished" stuff. Wikipedia's
not done yet.

There are nights where I do nothing but cruise around on random article
patrol, doing little bits of tidying on subjects I know nothing about
and which I don't care to research in-depth. One of the things I do is
add {{citation needed}} when I hit statements that look particularly
significant and unsupported, in the hopes that someone who _does_ know
about the subject will be prompted to check them and fill in the blanks
at some point later on. How is this "wrong"? Seems like perfectly
straightforward collaborative editing to me, dividing labor between
proofreading and doing the actual problem-fixing work.

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