Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Personally, I don't think the author gets the point. The suggestions he offers - forcing editors to register, demanding references and reasons for changes, clearing copyrights for all materials prior to posting - would only marginally reduce the number of errors (after all, Britannica has almost as many errors) and would create significant barriers to input. Had any of these been in place at the start, Wikipedia would not exist. The point of something like Wikipedia is that it is easy to contribute, and errors are cleared up after the fact by the community. This means that readers will need to be aware that Wikipedia is sometimes wrong. But is this a bad thing? What would be worse, I think, is blindly trusting a source that is sometimes wrong, such as Britannica (or your local newspaper). People should read critically, rather than rely on others to create a (false) sense of security about what they read.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:30 a.m.