The Wikipedia debate is only heating up. After the high-profile Seigenthaler incident prompted a rule change (all editors must be registered), the door's been opened to increased scrutiny. The interesting question remains: what happens when information is decentralized? The answer seems to be that it reflects the biases, perspectives and prejudices of the culture at large. Below is one such case...

m. doesn't like what she sees in some Wikipedia articles: "when it comes to something like semiconductors or circuitry, no doubt wikipedia is competent. beyond that, no thanks."

When she looked up woman, here's a part of what she found: 5.2 Vulgar terms:

"i beg your pardon? vulgar terms….?! since when did that become the trademark of a good encyclopaedia article on anything? 'ho, bitch, cunt' … nice, wholesome education for our fifth graders, no doubt. ('where did you pick up that filthy abusive language?' 'why, I read it on wiki ma')"
No such entry exists for man.

Why didn't she just change the article? "because it wouldn't address the problem. editing the article changes nothing. what are the politics behind authorising such an article?"

When she wrote to complain, the response concluded: "It is unfortunate that Wikipeda contains content that some readers find offensive. However, we are (ambitiously) trying to document all human knowledge, and that means there will always be some material included that individuals may object to." Read m's reading [HERE].

Again, the interesting question remains: where do you draw the editorial line when your goal is the decentralizing of information? And who is the line drawer? (Scribble Pad, hat tip: Feministing)

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.