The Decline of Wikipedia

The Decline of Wikipedia

By Tom Simonite (October 22, 2013). MIT Technology Review.

This article is worth some attention if you’re at all interested in the world’s most popular free online information resource.

The community that built the largest encyclopedia in history is shrinking, even as more people and Internet services depend on it than ever. Can it be revived, or is this the end of the Web’s idealistic era?

…Among the significant problems that aren’t getting resolved is the site’s skewed coverage: its entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive, but its pages on female novelists or places in sub-Saharan Africa are sketchy.

You may have followed recent news on Wikipedia‘s investigation of so-called sockpuppet editors this week. Sockpuppets are site editors paid by third parties to promote products or conduct public relations campaigns through the site’s articles. Editors are required to be volunteers, so engaging in this banned form of deception is against the site’s usage agreement. The organization has acted to remove about 250 editors this week, but you may sense that there are broader problems. It’s a long read with many good comments appended…worthwhile in my opinion. As is (I still believe) contributing or editing important, factual material on Africa to Wikipedia.

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