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Wikipedia: The world of heavily edited unfacts

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Or “troo” facts. From APS Physics:

Focus: Wikipedia Articles Separate into Four Categories

But do we know which category we are reading?

Wikipedia allows anyone to contribute to its millions of articles and doesn’t exert any central control, yet striking order has emerged, according to an analysis of the entire editing history of the English portion of the website. Researchers found that articles fall into four main categories based on the way they are edited and that a relatively small number of editors have a major influence on the site.

Sure. You would think the multiverse was Settled Science, to listen to them.

The four distinct categories found point to a persisting inequality of influence—with a small number of super-editors controlling the form of many articles. The model results, says Yasseri, imply that editing inequality is increasing with time, with fewer editors gaining an ever more dominant role.

Translation of APS study from the science-ese: The Wikipedia editor could be an utter flaming nut but there is no desk that deals with that fact.

Yun emphasizes a similar message: “There are already reports that the growth of Wikipedia is slowing down,” he says, “and our observation indicates that this will continue unless something is done about it.” He suggests the encyclopedia needs to recruit more new participants to sustain rich, collaborative environments and to avoid the monopolization of content by a few people. More.

We’ve said stuff like this for years, but we seldom heard of tests before, just anecdotes.

Teachers should not be telling students to do their homework on Wikipedia unless the topic is What Trolls Think About This Subject.

See also: How Wikipedia can turn fiction into fact (Sourced enough times, the fiction becomes “troo”)

Wikipedia hacked by elite sources now (The main problem is that the people who use Wikipedia do not care whether it is false or true. “Wikipedia is my library” is the new diagnostic for irresponsible laziness.)

Mathematician complains Wikipedia is promoting “pseudo-science” of multiverse (Then there were the minor revelations that core articles “don’t earn even Wikipedia’s own middle-ranking quality scores” and that some “editors” are paid by outside sources.)

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6 Replies to “Wikipedia: The world of heavily edited unfacts

  1. 1
    goodusername says:

    Sure. You would think the multiverse was Settled Science, to listen to them.

    ?
    I doubt anyone has read the Wikipedia article on the multiverse and come away with the impression that it’s “settled science.”

  2. 2
    News says:

    goodusername, you must have read a later version.

  3. 3
    Zachriel says:

    News: goodusername, you must have read a later version.

    Here’s are archived versions of the first lines of the Wikipedia article.

    1/29/2016: The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of finite and infinite possible universes, including the universe we live in.

    2/16/2015, 2/14/2014: The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of infinite or finite possible universes (including the Universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them.

    1/25/2012: The multiverse (or meta-universe, metaverse) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them.

    1/27/2008, 3/4/2006: A multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including our universe) that together comprise all of physical reality.

    All of these versions include the word “hypothetical” in the first line.

  4. 4
    EnSantiago says:

    Nice to read about. Some days ago I edited the Wikipedia Spanish entry of the term ID, I have been trying to arrange some lines for a specific concept were attributed exactly to an autor, but misrepresented.

    My short corrected content, references, style…, it all were OK, but, after several attempts, it was impossible at all to still see my changes the next day. They even deleted my independent control corrections in separate misprints.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: All of these versions include the word “hypothetical” in the first line.

    You should take a page from that book Zachriel.

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    There are many stories of editorial abuses, including editorial squatting. What started out as a utopian ideal for popular involvement turned into a dictatorship, just as it seems inevitable in governments.

    What I find amusing is the prevalence of appeals to the infinite: billions and billions of stars for alien life, of years for Darwinism, of many-worlds for quantum mechanics, of multiverses for cosmology.

    So, what’s the scientific significance of the many worlds interpretation of the multiverse?

    -Q

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