I disagree that Wikipedia not considering Wikipedia as an admissible source
is indicative of Wikipedia being a failure.



On Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 14:18 Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T&S actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
>
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
>
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
>
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
>
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
> community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
>
> These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
> the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
> most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> inevitably continue to do so.
>
> Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
>
> Thrapostibongles
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