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Critique of Wikipedia

1 Wikipedia has no ads (besides the occasional ones fundraising Wikipedia itself), loads fast, is information dense ― has an excellent user interface with clear menus and clean formatting. People default to it increasingly because a good portion of everything else on the first page of google (switch to searx) is increasingly lacking these traits. Unfortunately this has led to many ― notably journalists under large networks ― to make edits to Wikipedia pages specifically to cite their own articles to get more exposure.

2 In their credit they (the Wikipedia people) has made an effort to remove external incentives for editors to make edits ― notably by making all the links from their pages ‘no-follow’. Normally a search engine like google ranks pages higher if they are linked by other pages that get a lot of views ― websites that linked from popular Wikipedia pages would normally be boosted hugely by the algorithm(s) ― but by making a link ‘no-follow’ Wikipedia is telling google (and other search engines) not to rank the pages that it links to any higher regardless of the fame the Wikipedia page is getting. The thought was that because the links are no-follow and don't give any algorithmic advantage that people would not go out of their way to get their articles linked on the pages.

3 Coding a link as ‘no-follow’ doesn't solve the issue of professors telling their students that it is "acceptable to use Wikipedia for general understanding as long as you take a look at the links at the bottom for reference". Or of the rest of the web being unusable leading people to default to Wikipedia. Large parts of the site still have an extensive ‘systematic biases’ towards groups wanting publicity further negating any miracle of aggregation that supposedly exists.

4 But my thoughts on the supposed ‘miracle of aggregation‘ of Wikipedia: I mean it's not, like, pages would be edited by random by random individuals anyhow? People have always edited pages that interest them and because interests are not uniform across world views and demographic ― the pages would always lean towards one or another framework. And this is not a bad thing by itself. It isn't always possible to take a neutral stance on issues because there isn't always an external and universal reference frame that we all agree on ― talking about a topic at all necessitates adopting at least some basic positions which are held with varying degrees of universally; I don't have an issue of things being biased. I do think that Wikipedia's wording of topics as more dry, "academic", and matter-of-fact gives a false impression of being external to a frame which have a issue with. I think that the major editors names should be placed on the page so it's more obvious to normal people what framework the article is working under and what sphere of influence it is being influenced from.

5 External motives to edit pages like the chance for external publicity adds even more distortion to the project. Don't think that Wikipedia pages or the sites that they link have been created and linked together ‘organically‘. If something can be gamified then it is likely that it already is.

the magician