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Skyrail's avatar

Why don't you edit that Wikipedia article?

Asked by Skyrail (1695points) August 24th, 2008

A question that I’ve been thinking about for sometime and that leads on from something I asked in this question here.

I’m just wondering. You see an article, you know it’s down right wrong and incorrect, and have sources elsewhere of correct information. Besides limitations due to time, why don’t people edit the articles (the whole idea behind Wikipedia) to ensure that the articles are actually correct and people are getting the correct information?

You wouldn’t accept an incorrect answer on Fluther, you would point out the problem and correct it, therefore improving the knowledge of both the person who asked the question and the person who answered it incorrectly (and possibly others who read the answer). So why not do the same on Wikipedia and improve the quality of information that is provided by this free, community editable encyclopedia?

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16 Answers

girlofscience's avatar

I do. Not sure why other people don’t.

Harp's avatar

I’ve done considerable editing on the “chocolate” article, correcting lots of erroneous information, only to revisit it a couple of months later and find it screwed up again in new ways. I’ve given up on trying to be the guardian of chocolate truth.

mirza's avatar

Because I have a life and simply do not have the time and energy to do so

Babo's avatar

Babo feels guilty now…

loser's avatar

Do you?

Skyrail's avatar

@GofS that’s good to hear

@Harp ‘tis also good to hear, although a shame that people re-edit it back sadly

@mirza I never said you had to remove your life and become a Wikipedia hermit. I’m talking about, spending the same amount of time you may spend on a decent Fluther answer and editing a small section of an article

@Babo hehe, no one should feel guilty about it, it’s just that surely if it’s so open and free to edit, what’s stopping you from doing so??

@loser no I don’t because I’ve yet to find any inconsitencies in any of the articles because I’m still young and I know very little in comparison with others, therefore I can not differentiate from one source (wikipedia) whether it is correct or not.

Maybe one day I’ll be knowledgable enough in a field to provide better knowledge to the world, for now, I just wished others who did have the time and the knowledge would provide a more stable base for people to push off from (i.e. Wikipedia being reliable for the basics and providing useful and reliable citations that allow someone to research further with much more detail)

loser's avatar

Well, okay then.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I’m under a lot of time constraint.

loser's avatar

I’m too busy Fluthering…

PeterM's avatar

Because of the “no original research” rule, more than anything else. It’s not enough for me to know something from personal experience; I have to find and cite a webpage to back up each point, even if I have (and quote) an original printed source instead.

Skyrail's avatar

So time (although being the only thing I wanted to omit) is the main factor why people don’t edit the articles? Mhmm, okay. I was just wondering because I hear a number of people telling me it’s wrong, so why don’t they just edit it if it’s so blatently wrong? Ah well, wikipedia will never improve in quality at this rate.

Skyrail's avatar

I don’t think you have to find a webpage do you? I’m sure you can reference original printed sources and such, otherwise it’d be useless. Actually I’m just reading here that you don’t have to find a webpage and can cite books (and other things, see here).

Please anyone bear in mind, I’m not trying to put out that Wikipedia is a good solid research source, I’m not, I’m just trying to understand it it’s so flawed, and if people see that it is so flawed why don’t they try and help and change things. I would if I could but I lack enough knowledge to do so sadly.

benseven's avatar

Fluther makes it easier. You also know that your contribution cannot be directly edited by anyone but a Mod.

To successfully get people to contribute on the web, you have to remove as many barriers to contribution as possible. While it may technically be easy to post on Wikipedia, it’s not necessarily as easy to cite your sources (maybe you heard it from a reliable friend, but they didn’t tell you the source), or fight it out with anyone who doesn’t agree – it’s time consuming.

On Fluther, your two cents stays, wrong or not, and it’s up to other commenters to prove you wrong in the conversation that follows.

Skyrail's avatar

Fair enough :) ‘tis certainly a good point. Thank you for your input.

benseven's avatar

I always feel a bit guilty though, not sharing knowledge. We take it for granted a little I guess, that there’s all this info there that just happens to make it without our input!

dland's avatar

Unlike those who condescendingly claim that they can’t because they “have a life”, I have a life that includes Fluther, Twitter, Wikipedia (and, I have to admit it, Facebook, where I am running a just-for-fun campaign to revive the high five).

Some of my life involves people in the physical world, another part of it happens right here, on line, and some of that includes updating Wikipedia articles.

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