Re: More on Wikipedia (was existentialism and luggage to RN Rank abbreviations

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Posted by Adam Quinan on September 21, 2007 at 17:14:01 from user Adam.

In Reply to: Re: More on Wikipedia (was existentialism and luggage to RN Rank abbreviations posted by Mike Dennis on September 21, 2007 at 16:29:04:

Certainly at any individual moment, there are deliberate inaccuracies, abuse or arrant nonsense in many Wikipedia articles. In prominent or controversial articles these are also rapidly fixed by more responsible members of the community and rarely exist more than a few minutes. So the "flat earth" statement would probably begone before anyone had a chance to copy it down and put it in their homework.

The less viewed an article is, the longer a bad entry could last. An article which is patrolled by only a few editors may have an error persisting for a while. However, by definition these also tend to be less viewed articles so fewer people are likely to see the error. That could still be a problem if someone simply copied the Wikipedia article stating that the population if Lesser Witherington is 246 when everyone in the know is aware that it is actually 184. Of course your reliable book will reflect the results of the 1991 census and tell you that it is actually 517.

Of course if it is the Mike Dennis article that is the one vandalised, you feel aggrieved no matter how few the number of people exposed to the libel. You may well make a fuss about it and perpetuate the belief that Wikipedia is a completely untrustworthy eneterprise with no merit.

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