Correction: I “buy” it

I was looking over an article in the (Baltimore) Examiner that reads, in part:

“Some things get really bad–histories, politics, gets controversial that doesn’t get settled easily,” said Bernard Huberman, author of a study, which determined that increased edits make Wikipedia articles “superior.”

Not everyone is buying the study, and some even did their own research to test Wikipedia as a trustworthy source of accurate information.

Alex Halavais, assistant professor in the interactive communication program at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., inserted 13 errors into various Wikipedia articles, including a false addition to the periodic table and the definition of “longitude.”

I think it’s pretty easy to read that as saying that I don’t buy the Huberman study (which, I presume, is this one). Of course, I wasn’t asked about the Huberman study, and I would be curious who these “some people” are. Wilkinson & Huberman present an argument that the best articles are the most-edited, generally speaking–I’m not sure how one would even take issue with that. But–just to be clear–I am not among those “some people,” and I would never use my caprice (the “Isuzu Experiment”) as anything approaching substantial evidence. If anything, I would be pleased if it spurred more thorough investigations of the quality of the content on Wikipedia and how that content is accumulated.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 8/11/2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised at the tone and irony of the writer. Even if he is not one of “those some,” the number of “those some” is really big. Wikipedia is one of the best things created on the Web, like everything new; it has to be used cleverly to get its benefits.

    -armine

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