Thanks, Phoebe.  I think I mentioned that I first started editing
Wikipedia in 2005 when it looked like things were going spectacularly
well, except in some of the more controversial articles.  So I decided
to concentrate on those, since I had already been working on some of
the topics involved as a citizen, with mixed results.  I wonder if a
tool like this would have made it easier.  I've signed up for Dispute
Finder and am eager to try it out on cold fusion.

For something like global warming, clearly it would have helped
because that's what they've chosen to focus on first. I'm not sure
whether it would have helped for plug-in hybrids and electric
vehicles, because the problem there isn't with disinformation, it's
with large corporations ignoring -- and sometimes colluding to ignore
-- the huge amount of good information that is out there. However, I'm
skeptical that they would have made it much easier for uranium
toxicity, instant runoff voting, or cold fusion, because there was and
still is a huge amount of disinformation in the wild on those topics
which a lot of people believe without bothering to do any research
beyond some superficial googling.

Cold fusion is the only area of non-ethnic, non-religious,
non-political controversy where I think the English Wikipedia still
has a huge issue.  Mostly because it's been in front of the arbcom so
often, established editors sort of have a knee-jerk reaction to it.
The article and its talk page is locked down, at least five proponents
have been banned (zero dissenters are banned, and several of them
watch the article very closely) but hope springs eternal:

On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 3:44 PM, phoebe ayers <> wrote:
> Potentially of interest to Bay Area people:
> I went to a talk today about one of the tools they are developing, the
> dispute finder plugin:
> it does text mining to find phrases on web pages that are disputed by
> trusted sources. definitely related to theoretical wikipedia problems
> :)
> -- phoebe
> - |
> _______________________________________________
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