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generally, this project concentrates upon remedying omissions (entire topics, or particular sub-topics in extant articles) rather than on either (1) protesting against inappropriate inclusions, or (2) trying to remedy issues of how material is presented. thus, the first question is "what haven't we covered yet?", rather than "how should we change the existing coverage?" the 22 october 2013 essay by tom simonite in mit's technology review titled "the decline of wikipedia"
|This is a |
Generally, this project concentrates upon remedying omissions (entire topics, or particular sub-topics in extant articles) rather than on either (1) protesting against inappropriate inclusions, or (2) trying to remedy issues of how material is presented. Thus, the first question is "What haven't we covered yet?", rather than "how should we change the existing coverage?" The 22 October 2013 essay by Tom Simonite in MIT's Technology Review titled "The Decline of Wikipedia" discussed the effect of systemic bias and policy creep on recent downward trends in the number of editors available to support Wikipedia's range and coverage of topics.
See § Further reading for studies, statistics, and more information that demonstrate contributor or subject imbalances.
Wikipedia has been accused of
Critics also point to the tendency to cover topics in a detail disproportionate to their importance. For example,
People write on things they're interested in, and so many subjects don't get covered; and news events get covered in great detail. In the past, the entry on
Hurricane Franceswas more than five times the length of that on Chinese art, and the entry on Coronation Streetwas twice as long as the article on Tony Blair.
This critical approach has been satirised "Wikigroaning", a term coined by Jon Hendren of the website
That Wikipedia is chock full of useless arcana (and did you know, by the way, that the article on "Debate" is shorter than the piece that weighs the relative merits of the 1978 and 2003 versions of Battlestar Galactica?) isn't a knock against it: Since it can grow infinitely, the silly articles aren't depriving the serious ones of space.
There are quires, reams, bales of controversy over what constitutes notability in Wikipedia: nobody will ever sort it out.
Still, a lot of good work—verifiable, informative, brain-leapingly strange—is being cast out of this paperless, infinitely expandable accordion folder by people who have a narrow, almost grade-schoolish notion of what sort of curiosity an on-line encyclopedia will be able to satisfy in the years to come. [...] It's harder to improve something that's already written, or to write something altogether new, especially now that so many of the World Book–sanctioned encyclopedic fruits are long plucked. There are some people on Wikipedia now who are just bullies, who take pleasure in wrecking and mocking peoples' work—even to the point of laughing at nonstandard "
Engrish." They poke articles full of warnings and citation-needed notes and deletion prods till the topics go away.
Yet another criticism about the deletionists is this: "The increasing difficulty of making a successful edit; the exclusion of casual users; slower growth – all are hallmarks of the deletionists approach."
Wikipedia's notability policy resembles U.S. immigration policy before 9/11: stringent rules, spotty enforcement. To be notable, a Wikipedia topic must be "the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works from sources that are reliable and independent of the subject and of each other." Although I have written or been quoted in such works, I can't say I've ever been the subject of any. And wouldn't you know, some notability cop cruised past my bio and pulled me over. Unless I get notable in a hurry—win the Nobel Peace Prize? Prove I sired Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter?—a "sysop" (volunteer techie) will wipe my Wikipedia page clean. It's straight out of
Philip K. Dick.
In the same article, Noah mentions that the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer
Wikipedia has a longstanding controversy concerning gender bias and sexism. Wikipedia has been criticized by some journalists and academics for lacking not only female contributors but also extensive and in-depth encyclopedic attention to many topics regarding gender. An article in The New York Times cites a Wikimedia Foundation study which found that fewer than 13% of contributors to Wikipedia were women.
Selection bias occurs when the general cross-section of Wikipedia articles becomes biased due to the often unintended result of subtle shifts against neutrality in article creation or editing — represented collectively by all editors as these biases accumulate over time. In the
The eight major categories of study for maladaptive organizational behavior as they apply to maintaining and supporting Wikipedia are: