(Note: I'm creating a new thread which references several old ones; in the
most recent, "Profile of Magnus Manske," the conversation has drifted back
to Wikidata, so that subject line is no longer applicable.)

Andreas Kolbe has argued in multiple threads that Wikidata is fundamentally
problematic, on the basis that it does not require citations. (Please
correct me if I am mistaken about this core premise.) I've found these
threads illuminating, and appreciate much of what has been said by all
parties.

However, that core premise is problematic. If the possibility of people
publishing uncited information were fundamentally problematic, here are
several platforms that we would have to consider ethically problematic at
the core:
* Wikipedia (which for many years had very loose standards around citations)
* Wikipediocracy (of which Andreas is a founding member) and all Internet
forums
* All blogs
* YouTube
* Facebook
* The Internet itself
* The printing press

Every one of the platforms listed above created opportunities for people --
even anonymously -- to publish information without a citation. If we are to
fault Wikidata on this basis, it would be wrong not to apply the same
standard to other platforms.

I'm addressing this now, because I think it is becoming problematic to
paint Wikidata as a flawed project with a broad brush. Wikidata is an
experiment, and it will surely lead to flawed information in some
instances. But I think it would be a big problem to draw the conclusion
that Wikidata is problematic overall.

That said, it is becoming ever more clear that the Wikimedia Foundation has
developed big plans that involve Wikidata; and those big plans are not open
to scrutiny.

THAT, I believe, is a problem.

Wikidata is not a problem; but it is something that could be leveraged in
problematic ways (and/or highly beneficial ways).

I feel it is very important that we start looking at these issues from that
perspective.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
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