In response to the wave of negative publicity resulting from Seigenthaler’s editorial, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales introduced new measures designed to prevent such incidents, including a four-day waiting period before editing possibly contentious articles. Of course, while there are those who are in favor of increased restrictions, others clamor that it disrupts the whole point of the collaborative encyclopedia: tapping into the world’s consciousness.
“As Wikipedia has tried to improve its quality, it’s beginning to look more and more like an editorial structure,” said Nicholas Carr, a technology writer who recently criticized Wikipedia on his blog. “To say that great work can be created by an army of amateurs with very little control is a distortion of what Wikipedia really is.”
For my part, I still use Wikipedia to look up information, and while I certainly wouldn’t cite it in any serious work, I do find it a good jumping-off point for topics I don’t know anything about. I’m always sure to take things there with a grain of salt, since you often don’t know who’s doing the writing. Could be
, for heaven’s sake.