Talk:Criticism of Wikipedia

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For critical examination of Wikipedia by Wikipedia itself, see Wikipedia:External peer review/Nature December 2005 (40 science articles) and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-10-31/Guardian rates articles (7 articles of general interest).

Article on Wikipedia in the Harvard Educational Review[edit]

This article may be related to this page:

Fall 2009 Issue of the Harvard Educational Review

High School Research and Critical Literacy: Social Studies With and Despite Wikipedia by Houman Harouni

"Drawing on experiences in his social studies classroom, Houman Harouni evaluates both the challenges and possibilities of helping high school students develop critical research skills. The author describes how he used Wikipedia to design classroom activities that address issues of authorship, neutrality, and reliability in information gathering. The online encyclopedia is often lamented by teachers, scholars, and librarians, but its widespread use necessitates a new approach to teaching research. In describing the experience, Harouni concludes that teaching research skills in the contemporary context requires ongoing observations of the research strategies and practices students already employ as well as the active engagement of student interest and background knowledge."

Proposed merge with Racial bias on Wikipedia[edit]

Per arguments made in AfD here: Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Racial_Discrimination_On_Wikipedia Padenton|   18:04, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment Pinging all editors from AfD. @NawlinWiki, CrazyAces489, ABCDEFAD, Joseph2302, Bosstopher, EvergreenFir, and Winner 42: @Davey2010, Lukeno94, Niteshift36, NinjaRobotPirate, Dai Pritchard, and Vanjagenije: Padenton|   18:10, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Prefer separate - This article is already close to being WP:TOOLONG (Prose size (text only): 43 kB (6763 words)) and the Racial bias on Wikipedia article seems solid/sourced enough to stand on its own. Criticism on Wikipedia is quite ... disjointed? or perhaps trying to cover too much at once and so there's a lot of topics covered briefly and I worry that adding a substantial section like this would exacerbate that. That said, I'm not terribly opposed to a merge either. PS - Thanks for the ping Padenton!EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 18:29, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose The article not only details criticism of racial bias of wikipedia, but attempts to discern its origins and describes ways in which people are combating it. It is not just a simple subset of the Criticism of Wikipedia article. Also as already mentioned in the AfD the Criticism of Wikipedia article is ridiculously long as it already is, and cramming more stuff into it is not a good idea.Bosstopher (talk) 18:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - per my arguments in the AfD. 43 kB isn't really that excessive; it's still shorter than, say Criticism of Microsoft (48-49kB) or Criticism of Apple Inc. (85kB, something I would say is too long). Compared to Criticism of Facebook, which is grossly oversized at nearly 170kB, it's relatively tiny. Quite frankly, given the sweeping nature of some of the prose in the Racial bias article, it needs a lot more sources to be valid. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 18:42, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • oppose Prefer sseparate as per EvergreenFir. If sourcing is the issue many sources are already in existence in previous versions of the article.

"Wikipedia editing disputes: The crowdsourced encyclopedia has become a rancorous, sexist mess.". Slate Magazine. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f "Meet the Editors Fighting Racism and Sexism on Wikipedia". WIRED. Jump up ^ "Why is Wikipedia so sexist?". New York Post. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e "Bustle". Jump up ^ Deanna Zandt (26 April 2013). "Yes, Wikipedia Is Sexist -- That's Why It Needs You". Forbes. ^ Jump up to: a b ^ Jump up to: a b "Sexism". The Other Sociologist - Analysis of Difference... By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos. Jump up ^ Amanda Filipacchi (30 April 2013). "Sexism on Wikipedia Is Not the Work of 'a Single Misguided Editor'". The Atlantic. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f "Black History Matters, So Why Is Wikipedia Missing So Much Of It?". Co.Exist. ^ Jump up to: a b c Jump up ^ "PEOPLE v. BAUDER". Findlaw. Jump up ^ "Wikipedia's edit wars and the eight religious pages people can't stop editing". ^ Jump up to: a b "Wikipedia editing disputes: The crowdsourced encyclopedia has become a rancorous, sexist mess.". Slate Magazine. ^ Jump up to: a b "The 'Five Horsemen' Of Wikipedia Paid The Price For Getting Between Trolls And Their Victims - ThinkProgress". ThinkProgress. Jump up ^ "Editors to Make Black History Wikipedia Entries More Inclusive -". Jump up ^ Jump up ^ "Growing Army Of Women Take On Wikipedia - Business Insider". Business Insider. 15 February 2014. Jump up ^ ^ Jump up to: a b "Edit-athon aims to put left-out black artists into Wikipedia". philly-archives. Jump up ^ "Can ‘Black Wikipedia’ Take Off Like ‘Black Twitter’?". COLORLINES. CrazyAces489 (talk) 18:49, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

A lot of those were removed for a reason. e.g. ThinkProgress and even far worse, ― Padenton|   22:07, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. This article isn't too long. It makes complete sense to put it here, along with the other common criticisms, than to put a paragraph and a hatnote here that goes to another location. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments at the AFD - "Admittingly Criticism of Wikipedia is long but personally I don't think we need articles on every detail here so why not shove it there instead". –Davey2010Talk 18:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Racial bias on Wikipedia is a topic that merits its own page that goes into details...that would be purged in this article. -- Moxy (talk) 19:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, inspired by Special:Diff/660521433 on {{Wikipedia}}. –Be..anyone (talk) 09:19, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Racial bias is above and beyond criticism; if the topic is deemed notable enough and is supported by reliable sources then it merits its own article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tarc (talkcontribs)
  • Oppose - Racial bias on Wikipedia is serious and distinct enough to merit its own page. Readers deserve to know what is going on on the website. Middayexpress (talk) 02:19, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Racial bias on Wikipedia is a problem, if you were African or non-White, especially Muslim or other minorities you would feel it. And it goes beyond just say "Black" references, to a bias against positions held by authentic representations. Or Africans with African centered views which the dominant race class is uncomfortable with. And it is a problem that should be open, and not hidden. Wiki is Eurocentric to the core. --Inayity (talk) 08:26, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - clearly separate topic, with reasonable amount of information. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per the numerous reasons mentioned above. AcidSnow (talk) 20:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Dougweller (talk) 12:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There's a danger that the Criticism of Wikipedia article just becomes a disjointed collection of only vaguely related issues, and there appears to be enough source material for a separate article on racial bias. Cordless Larry (talk) 07:27, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - no reason to have articles on each of the reasons Wikipedia is criticised. They should be covered in one article. Zacwill16 (talk) 19:34, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
    • We don't have separate article on each of the reasons. We do have a separate articles on topics which produce big articles. This is how wikipedia works. Please read Wikipedia:Summary style. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:56, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
      • Yes, but at the current length, that is not the section that needs to be spun out. 20:02, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • support for now while a spin out of the topic may be appropriate at a future date, right now there is not sufficient content in Racial bias on Wikipedia that it cannot be included here. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:02, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - For all the reasons cited by others; plus, and I know this isn't meant to figure into the decision, but how will it look if Gender bias on Wikipedia has its own article but Racial bias on Wikipedia is folded into Criticism of Wikipedia (and content will inevitably be lost under the justification of "not relevant to Criticism of Wikipedia" or "we have enough examples" in that scenario)? I will try to find more reliable sources to add. (Yes I'm an IP, no I'm not a sockpuppet.) —2601:19A:4000:4A02:6D37:4742:8E96:A82F (talk) 14:35, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - For reasons cited above by others. In particular that racial bias on Wikipedia is within the realm of criticism of Wikipedia in general. I say "Aye" to this one. UnitedStatesCentralIntelligenceAgency (talk) 03:11, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - and I'll remove the tags in a day or two if nobody objects @Padenton:. I count 12 opposes to 7 supports so it should be clear at this point that it's not going to get a consensus to merge. My personal oppose is based on the fact that this is not just a criticism of Wikipedia, but a social issue as well, reflecting on society and racism as a whole. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:26, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Removed Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:19, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Content removed[edit]

Tarc removed content with part of the summary being

The "OMG TEH LEFTISTS" point...

The editor removed content supported with an article from Western Journalism Center. Perhaps it can be better summarized, or more neutrally worded. But it is criticism of Wikipedia, which is the subject of this article, and to remove it outright based on weight, is IMHO a poor argument.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:02, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The opinions of fringe think tanks founded by Joseph Farah belong in articles about fringe think tanks founded by Joseph Farah. Nowhere else. Tarc (talk) 13:19, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
It is "fringe" because Tarc said so?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:50, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
It is clearly a non-notable blog criticism.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:55, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
The article already has several quality sources...the Guardian, the National Post, support the assertion that the Wikipedia and much of its political articles lean left. Why supplement the critique with a bad source? Tarc (talk) 19:06, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

You failed to notice that the deleted text is not 'criticism'. An best it is a McCarthy-style whistleblowing. How the heck support of Obama is "criticism of wikipedia"? Staszek Lem (talk) 00:50, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Criticism by users[edit]

[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sakiph (talkcontribs) 08:19, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

@Sakiph: This blog appears to contain many articles that were copied and pasted from other websites. Does it contain any original content? Jarble (talk) 19:29, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
This is blog, and as such it cannot be used as a reference in wikipedia. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:09, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Arrangement with paywalled science publisher Elsevier[edit]

[2] Rupert Loup (talk) 15:29, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Hoax articles and fake information that failed verification[edit]

I think the "Exposure to vandals" section could be updated. There seems to be a lot of fake information on Wikipedia. See Criticism of Wikipedia#Exposure to vandals. QuackGuru (talk) 23:11, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

The Atlantic - How Wikipedia Is Hostile to Women[edit]

Suggested source.

Cirt (talk) 18:34, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Please discuss the issue in the single place: Talk:Gender bias on Wikipedia#The Atlantic - How Wikipedia Is Hostile to Women. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:40, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
P.S. Aren't we canvassing around, eh? Staszek Lem (talk) 19:44, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
User:Cirt and User:Staszek Lem, I summarised the source. Not sure why is was deleted. QuackGuru (talk) 22:21, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Section Allegations of biased treatment[edit]

@Cla68: I deleted the following text:

female editors have alleged that they have been harassed by male editors."

Reason: no evidence stated that it was a biased treatment. A biased would be that females were harassed more than males. Which I doubt, judging from numerous flame wars. At least I doubt anybody collected this stats. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:44, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Here you go. Cla68 (talk) 05:35, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
And another. Cla68 (talk) 05:41, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a valid reference for wikipedia, so I didn't even read it. You did not provide required evidence from reliable sources that females are statistically harassed more than males. The article cited does not state this either. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:37, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
The cited article's title is "Wikipedia's Hostility to Women", with the subtitle "Some female editors have been the target of harassment from their male colleagues—and the gender bias has spilled over into the site’s content, too", clearly asserting there is hostility to women and harassment based in gender bias. It adds, later on, that "To avoid becoming targets of harassment, some editors use gender-neutral pseudonyms and avoid linking any personal information to their usernames" – because using a female pseudonym attracts harassment. So I would respectfully disagree with your argument; I see no problem with the addition proposed above by Cla68. --Andreas JN466 12:03, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. MarkBernstein (talk) 17:24, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, disagreed. "clearly asserting" is your personal opinion based on your interpretation of the text. Let me give you a comparative example. In a heat of the battle one can write "don't be a dick" But is the OP is known to be a woman, he will write "don't be a cunt". Now, taken separately, "don't be a cunt" may be interpreted as gender-based harassment. But in fact, this is rather rather akin to the "he/she" distinction. That said, please provide research which says, basically, that "don't be a cunt" is more frequent than "don't be a dick" (of course, with normalized to the male/female wpedians' ratio. "Some female editors have been the target of harassment from their male colleagues" is of no significance in this context. Just the same I can easily find that "some male editors have been the target of harassment from their male colleagues". So, where is bias? Staszek Lem (talk) 01:18, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
And of course he said no such thing. Lightbreather states that she had not interacted with EC before, and therefore he had no reason to suppose that she was female. Lightbreather states that she even missed the so-called attack the first time she read his comment. It was only (again she says) when one of her wiki-enemies characterized it as "brilliant" that she decided that it must be bad, and treated it as an attack.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:25, 27 October 2015 (UTC).
re: avoid linking any personal information to their username - In my book this is a common sense advise everywhrere in the internets. Already 25 years ago there was an advice "if you don't want you face in a porn pic, don't post your graduation photo on the internet". Staszek Lem (talk) 02:09, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
re: "some editors use gender-neutral pseudonyms" - Some male users use female names. Some female editors are quite aggressively assert that they are women, they politely state they would not tolerate the tone, and they are quite successful in that. Some male editors slap WP:NPA on the slightest occasion. - So what? Of course, it is perfectly clear that a woman is much more vulnerable to off-line harassment than a man, but this goes with any online place. Wikipedia has its share of stalkers, sexual predators and whats not. Moreover, English-language wikipedia has a wide diversity of editors. No offense to particular ethnicities, but many a part of the Earth and even of English-speaking world still treats women as a secondary creature. But I assure you the phrase "you women don't have a clue" will quickly gets you blocked. Of course one may keep their mouth shut, but still act with prejudice. But again, in this case what's your problem? Wikipedia talk pages are supposed to discuss how to improve articles using references from reliable sources, right? If the discussion slips away from this, just try to put it back on track. I am doing this 3 times a day. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:09, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Adding "female editors have alleged that they have been harassed by male editors" to a sentence about arbcom that's followed by more about arbcom seems a bit messy. Also, since it seems like we're presenting a separate sub-topic (harassment as part of biased treatment rather than arbcom, which is the subject of the rest of the section), I think we'd want more than one source talking about harassment of women editors by other editors. It's alluded to elsewhere in relation to Gamergate, but mostly referencing an extension of the off-wiki GG-realted harassment. Adding Paling to what the other sources do touch upon, and staying within the context of ArbCom, would it be more appropriate to change that sentence to "The English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee has been criticized as unfairly targeting female and feminist editors and ineffectively responding to claims of gender-based harassment"? Here "claims of gender-based harassment" includes all claims of gender-based harassment, whether using Wikipedia to continue harassment against people off-wiki (GG) or harassment on-wiki. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I am against using Paling as a source. The article is riddled with errors, the writer is a virtual unknown, having maybe written another article for Catrca Livre/Brasil Post O 'viagra rosa' vem aí para resolver um problema que talvez não exista. Given that there is no apparent fact checking or editorial oversight on the content, that the writer did not contact the subject of the piece, and that even the corrections have errors, it does not seem like a reliable source. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 02:25, 27 October 2015 (UTC).
the atlantic is a reliable source, so use it until knocked down at RS or blacklisted. which i would not be surprised at. i can report that this article accurately reflects the attitude of mainstream librarians who say: "Might impact gender imbalance, tho won’t help w/race. It’s sending women into a cultural buzzsaw tho.", and "would not touch wikipedia with a 10 foot pole." [3] Duckduckstop (talk) 21:49, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Please read carefully shat WP:RS is. RS is publisher+author+text. The article poor quality in several places is proven. It is an opinion piece rather a systematic study, therefore is you cite anything from it, you must always qualify "Paling wrote that some ladies claimed that...", i.e., we cannot generalise sociological statements based on random journalist. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:22, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
except you would not be making "sociological statements": you would make statements that quoted people were harassed. not even "sources said". you seem to be making quite an effort to keep criticism off of wiki. do you think that helps or harms the wiki? is not the harrassment an open "secret"? you of course understand that the outside world believes the atlantic, and not the navel gazing of wikipedians? Duckduckstop (talk) 23:27, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
re: you seem to be making quite an effort to keep criticism off - I am not calling WP:AGF and WP:NPA only because I understand what you mean and I understand your confusion. Since I believe my last edit resolved the issue I was worried about, I can only tell you: you are badly mistaken, colleague. As for what outside world believes, IMO it is a problem of WMF awash of monies cannot hire a decent staff writer, so that Paling being criticized seen by the world not by a bunch of sore navel gazers here. Basically, we are a sitting duck for any wikipedia-hater, and the only thing we can do is to resist bulshitting of wikipedia to enter into wikipedia articles. I am not saying that wikipedia must be unconditionally loved by everyone; people gut hurt here, but where is a decent analysis: how many there pricks and how many are decent contributors. So far reading American press about wikipedia is like reading Russian press about America. Sad. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:12, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Paling wrote that some ladies claimed? You're kidding us, right? MarkBernstein (talk) 22:33, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Nope, just being polite. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:45, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

It finally dawned upon me what was wrong with the section in question: it was ridiculously misplaced. Fixed. In the new place the phrase I contested at the beginning of this talk, makes sense. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:45, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think that works. Well done. Andreas JN466 22:48, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Sanger quotation tag[edit]

I've slapped {{undue-inline}} on the Sanger quotation for POV and undue weight. It may merit inclusion in the article, but not in the intro, and not without a balanced discussion about it. For example, his statements suggest that collectively, active Wikipedians are trolls engaged in mob rule. Mindmatrix 19:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It is a statement from the creator. It merits due-weight. QuackGuru (talk) 19:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Larry Sanger does not get to label active Wikipedians (such as me or you) as "trolls". He is in no way an expert with respect to contributor histories, lifestyles, subject expertise, or any other aspect of their lives. He is more than welcome to offer opinions about Wikipedia and how the project is run, but not about the contributors. Mindmatrix 21:02, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Part of my comment got mangled as I was editing it - Sanger's unqualified opinions about editors do not get to be included without balance. He is certainly entitled to express his opinions, of course. Mindmatrix 21:41, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Of course he -and anyone else- does. Outside of Wiki's Nanny State, people can often say what they damned well feel like. That said, a good deal of the point about calling editors trolls is more a question of "if the shoe fits" than of blanket condemnation. Anmccaff (talk) 22:15, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
PS: Just to make it explicitly clear, the idea that someone who created something has no particular insight into its development is not credible to me, and I'm damned if I can see who's viewpoint might counter this. Certainly not Mr. wales, him being still inside the tent. The tag should go. Anmccaff (talk) 22:30, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Sanger's criticism is presented prominently in the article text. Article lede is article summary . If you think Sanger a prominent to be in the lede, plese summarize his views in a NPOV, rather than sensationalist way. This is encyclopedia, not yellow press. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:23, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

OK. I have read around and first thing I see that the quote "People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum" AFAIU is taken grossly out of context. IMO Sanger was speaking about 2001, when the literal trolls indeed were a plague (and AFAIK it continued to be for quite some time). In our article it reads as if it is applied to the today. This must be fixed ASAP by someone more English-capable than me. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:34, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

P.S. I don't have time right now to check whether the article has due coverage to the rebuttal of criticism or all of it is just shades of black. Bye. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:37, 18 November 2015 (UTC)