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By Sage Ross

Der Spiegel looks at how the sausage gets made on German Wikipedia

An article that appeared in last week's edition of German magazine Der Spiegel is available online in English: "Backstage with the Wikipedians: Inner Workings of Global Encyclopedia 'Better than a Soap Opera'". As an example, the article examined a controversy over a single word in the German Wikipedia's article about the Donauturm (a tower in Vienna, Austria), which began last fall and produced over 600,000 characters of discussion (assembled, tongue-in-cheek, into a 440-page book available from Pediapress). Der Spiegel interviewed several Wikipedians and also quotes sociologist Christian Stegbauer.


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The court case articles illustrates how dumb journalist and lawyers/judges can be, plenty of examples in that one article but they left a real gem of ignorance for right at the end referring instead of .org (a reflection on a lot of things, one ignorance and secondly an underlying assumption of wikipedia as a business rather than an organisation perhaps...). Mathmo Talk 13:05, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I think it's likely a general ignorance about the internet as a whole (do they know the difference between .org, .biz, .com, .gov) that extends to irresponsible use of Wikipedia. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:50, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, I'd much rather WP: does NOT become a source of crucial evidence used to make such life-changing decisions, as it was here (usually it's used for background info). Remember the Taner Akçam case back 2007? My countries official clearly needs to better learn to sue their sources. Circéus (talk) 14:32, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]
If you look more closely at the Taner Akçam case, you'll note that the nonsense that was used to detain him was an old revision from about 3 months before he was detained. While there is a strong case for not using Wikipedia in court decisions for the obvious reason that it's (non-pre-moderated) user-generated content, this particular case isn't nearly as strong. You have (infamously paranoid) airport security being given an old revision that claims he's a terrorist, which was likely fed to them by some Turkish critics of his work (some of which examines the contested Armenian Genocide). A source from our article on Akçam, this CBC piece, says of Akçam that in "the University of Minnesota article he wrote in March after the event, he suggested that outside groups critical of his research might have sent the entry to border officials in anticipation of his arrival." {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|⚡}} 15:56, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Even high school and college students are smart enough to use the sources that Wikipedia cites - that way they have the same information and they're not directly citing Wikipedia. It drives me a little crazy when I see people ignore the sources from which we get our information. ALI nom nom 16:31, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]

How cute: Larry Sanger tries to plagiar^W imitate Platon. In his dialogue Phaedrus, Platon wrote about an Egyptian king called Thamus, who claims that writing is a remedy for reminding, not remembering. And it gives the appearance but not the reality of wisdom. --h-stt !? 14:17, 27 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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