March 16, 2007
Tim Melly makes an interesting point about Wikipedia. Since he was fairly meandering about it, I’ll recap it here in telegraphic form:
- Wikipedia is full of claims that are sourceable in principle, but aren’t actually sourced.
- Mainstream journalists use information from Wikipedia, even if it is not further sourced. (He has an anecdote to illustrate the point.)
- Those very articles can be viewed as authoritative for Wikipedia’s own sourcing purposes.
- Thus, unsourced information could, by virtue of having been placed in Wikipedia, grow to be regarded as authoritative by Wikipedia itself.