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)

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