Something wrong with the Wikipedia article you just read? Fix it yourself, says the conventional wisdom. Bill Quick says it may be conventional, but it’s hardly wise:
[W]hat this is actually advocating is a supposed unbiased reference work that is the product of the outcome of contests of strength between two warring factions.
In other words, Wikipedia is a perfect example of an intellectual tyranny of the majority.
Rather a lot of topics are marked with the little padlock that means “semi-protection,” which limits edits to presumably trusted individuals. One such page is the one devoted to Elizabeth Warren, where much of the current dustup originated.
A few observations from me:
- I am “presumably trusted,” having contributed at least the minimum number of edits; what’s more, I’m cited as a source on a handful of pages. I am as impressed with this as you are, which presumably is Not Very.
- “Weird Al” Yankovic’s claim to being “White & Nerdy” is partially based on editing Wikipedia (around 1:49).
- I once edited something on Megan McArdle’s page because she asked me to.
- Political controversy is not the only thing that will get one’s page locked, as Rebecca Black can tell you. (And this is all the RB update I have for the week, as the poor girl has had the flu.)
I admit to citing Wikipedia rather a lot in these pages, but it’s more a form of shorthand than it is a means of deceit, at least for me.