December 17, 2008

My _Guardian_ column on Wikipedia, Sex, Scandal, and problematic material

Sting in the Scorpions tale is the exposure of Wiki's weakness

"Anyone who needs to use an old album cover to make a Wikipedia sexual controversy is not trying very hard"

[I didn't pick the title, though I like it for the wordplay - I would have been more pragmatic myself and gone for more SEO-friendly phrasing]

I didn't do the IWF-is-absurd article, as that's been done extensively. (there was one recently by Cory D., and I certainly don't have anywhere near the platform he has). Instead, I used this event as an opportunity to write about the reality of Wikipedia's very real problem with "determining the boundary between provocative and profane."

This column will not further endear me to the Wikimedia Foundation.
But they know the material is true.

[For all columns, see the page Seth Finkelstein |]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in press , wikipedia | on December 17, 2008 08:15 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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The P2Pfoundation blog is quite thorought in documenting the wikipedia governance failures. You might find these articles interesting: Is something fundamentally wrong with Wikipedia governance processes? , Update on the Bagley Wikipedia controversy, Is it time to go beyond Wikipedia?, Banning the Wikipedia bans as a governance tool.

Posted by: Zbigniew Lukasiak at December 19, 2008 09:17 AM

For those of us who have been involved with the internet (before google) and even after have seen this awesome potential wiki has for leading the direction it has chosen. I agree with the "anyone can edit" point you make in the article. Very professionally addressed and articulated.

"the structural problems of accountability and responsibility, which are intrinsically poor in Wikipedia." - very well put!

Posted by: Amber at December 24, 2008 10:22 AM