The Culture Wars Look Different on Wikipedia

Source: The Atlantic
by Noam Cohen

“Wikipedia has long represented a fundamentally unique form of information production — it isn’t credentials based, or top-down like Britannica. That’s not to say that it’s perfect; the site has all the secret hierarchies, obscure rules, and confusion we’d expect. At times, it has been a vector of misinformation. But as the site takes on thornier edits, what it means to be a Wikipedia editor is changing too. By wading into factual dilemmas instead of deferring to secondary sources, editors have assumed a new level of authority. The results will be choppy and contradictory; proposals for tweaks will come from ordinary readers and editors who have been moved by offense, and questions will be decided through deliberation, often with great self-seriousness. After all, these small decisions do have real consequences.” (01/22/23)