On Sat, 29 Dec 2018 at 21:35, Yaroslav Blanter <ymb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have written a long text today (posted in my FB)

Facebook, is that still a thing? Gah, whatever is being posted there,
many of us Wikipedians are never going to see it. It would be nice to
see more people writing decent essays as blog posts rather than as
messages on a closed cynical data harvesting platform that makes a
multi-billionaire even richer.

There is a problem with the emphasis of (en) Wikipedia being on the
glory of ''creating'' an article. As a result many newbies and oldies
are driven to create lots of stubs and mediocre articles which may
never be much expanded. The primary criticism I hear from academics is
that the articrles for their subject area are ghastly, relying on
outdated sources, outdated ideas and seem so badly written that they
remain a concern for any student relying on Wikipedia as a starting
point for finding quality reliable sources for further reading.

Yesterday I was flagged on twitter about potential bias of "Feminist
views on transgender topics". It's a pretty sorry example which gives
an initial impression that the vast majority of feminists positively
hate trans people. However a closer read shows that the sources focus
on inflammatory writings, many sources and quotes being from the
1970s, so several decades out of date. The outcome is a polarised
essay which paints a social war, because that is what
self-aggrandising pundits, newspapers and social media focuses on,
when real life experience is nothing like this. Being a trans or
sexuality related article, sadly means that it is hard for newbies to
understand the special attention this gets on Wikipedia, with most
newbie edits being rapidly reverted and these contributors finding it
frustratingly complicated to talk about what they want to change.

If Wikipedia(s) are to have a revitalising period in the 2020s, there
needs to be more built-in ways to encourage and reward newbies to work
collegiality building up ''existing articles'', and to recognise that
those boldly trying to rewrite and restructure existing mediocre
articles to turn them in to good up to date topics are doing a far,
far more difficult and skilful thing than obsessive old lexicographers
trying to carpetbag red links.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_views_on_transgender_topics

fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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