Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wikipedia Wars

I just came across an article on CNN talking about a big virtual scuffle that's broken out on Wikipedia, where some of Newt Gingrich's staffers are doing their darndest to keep his Wikipedia page shiny and clean. Read the article, then come back here:


It's fascinating to me that this sort of thing is now commonplace, and it highlights one of the biggest problems with Wikipedia. In a world where anyone can contribute to a resource that so many people turn to for "facts," there can be trench warfare over what constitutes a fact and what doesn't. As I read it, his aide is trying to downplay elements that might be damaging to the candidate, while others are trying to highlight them.

It's for situations like these that publications need impartial editors. (But then again, are editors really impartial--this same process also has me wondering and thinking about the way editorial power has been used over the years to influence public opinion. Perhaps this is just a new version of an old phenomenon--just more public now that it's happening on a public forum.)

In any case, I don't really have anything more to add to the discussion. Just thought this real-world application of a problem I talk about to students in classrooms all the time was fascinating.


No comments:

Post a Comment