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On Wikipedia and Deletionism

"Maybe the time has come for Wikipedia to amend its famous slogan. Maybe it should call itself "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit on the condition that said person meets the requirements laid out in Wikipedia Code 234.56, subsections A34-A58, A65, B7 (codicil 5674), and follows the procedures specified in Wikipedia Statutes 31 - 1007 as well as Secret Wikipedia Scroll SC72 (Wikipedia Decoder Ring required)."

A very interesting article by Nicholas Carr which you can read here. It talks about the rising scourge of Deletionsim on Wikipedia. </Trotskyist language>

I must say I notice this to be a significant problem. On Wikipedia, space is cheap. IMNSHO, as much as possible should be included on Wikipedia. There are well over 6 billion people on this planet; some significant percentage will be very interested in a topic another group considers "obscure." Sure, quality and NPOV need be followed*, but that's why anyone can edit Wikipedia. Deletion of an article should be akin to capital punishment in criminal law: only used where it is thought absolutely necessary. Else, the knowledge base that is Wikipedia can't grow.

*A note: I've always wondered about ways of including "popular perceptions" within articles while retaining NPOV. I understand they are sometimes at loggerheads, and often the main page should simply be facts. I also understand the perception can be hard to measure and balance. But often, especially with historical periods, people, ideas, actions, and things, changing popular perception is an important component (at least to this person with a more-than-passing interest in Cultural Studies). Perhaps a second page is required, or perhaps an entirely separate wiki. But it is an idea that I believe is worth exploring.


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