Wikipedia editor problems have been the bugaboo of the online resource ever since the beginning. Charges of liberal bias and incompetence have dogged the community and rendered it a source of lessening credibility as time goes on. They are implementing posting rules changes on the site which unfortunately do not address the main problem.

wikipedia editor

Wikipedia Editor Bias: Recent Changes Address Only a Symptom

And that is too bad. There is a place for a user-managed encyclopedia of knowledge on the internet. But Wikipedia as a source of information has proven unreliable and easily manipulated by bias, especially on political issues where passions often trump reason.

But rather than address Wikipedia editor bias, they are instead addressing the other problem which is that any idiot can add information about rocket science or any other highly specialized topic. They are specifically addressing the issue of deliberate pranks, such as the ease at which bored juveniles prematurely announced that Robert Byrd was dead, and that Ted Kennedy died. These inadequate and weak-kneed changes can be read about here and here and here.

Right Pundits itself, one of the leading political blogs in the country, recently had its Wikipedia entry unceremoniously erased by a Wikipedia editor. As usual the action was done without warning or adequate documentation. It just sort of happens in the Wikipedia world where the main job requirement of a Wikipedia editor appears to be an interest to work for free and time on one’s hands.

That is not meant to diminish what to some is undoubtedly a profound calling and service. But in the grand scheme of our information age, it renders the information contained in Wikipedia to be of suspect origin and dubious utility. So much so that our own writers are asked to never link the site as an authoritarian source for any knowledge.

That is the main problem with Wikipedia. It’s main strength as that of a mass-supported resource turns out to be its demise. The premise is that a zillion people all updating topics would result in the greatest sum of knowledge amassed in human history. Such powerful potential, however, is undermined by the average humanness of a typical Wikipedia editor and the model itself.

When a zillion people are allowed to update topics, you end up with a mush of sometimes brilliant and often incorrect information put there by people who do not know what they are talking about. And the unpaid citizen editors are not skilled in subject matter to know the difference between good information and bad.

This is especially true of political topics which are inherently more subjective by their very nature. Articles about our leading politicians are manipulated by Wikipedia editors, usually innocently because of bias but often enough maliciously because of their own political agendas. For political topics, “convervapedia” turns out to be more reliable as demonstrated in the video below.

On the Barack Obama Wikipedia page, for example, the liberal keepers of that page have purged the terms “birth certificate” and “socialist” repeatedly from the page in an overboard Orwellian effort to market his political persona in the best light. The word “controversy” does not exist in the page except in a footnote they mistakenly left after purging the related entry. On the George Bush page, various issues of “controversy” appear five separate times while “impeach” George Bush appears an astounding eleven times even though that was never a serious issue for anyone outside of the fringe left wing, which unfortunately counts among their ranks too many Wikipedia editors.

And so Wikipedia announced changes this week that will once again attempt to address their disappointing failings as a source of useful information. They are disguising the posting rules changes as something that will correct “false information” inherent in their populist model but they do nothing to address the problem of reliance on the unqualified Wikipedia editor himself.

Wikipedia Problems (Video)