I have often edited pages on wikipedia on a whim, in instances where there is obvious bias and the page reads like a press release.
Recently, I have been considering and considerably acting upon editing and watching pages on topics that I actually know something about more than the average person. These tend to be quite fringe areas and thus, watched and checked by few, if any other people.
Wikipedia is not only user-friendly, it is also editor-friendly. I’ve often found some interesting issues about wikipedia pages. Here are some of them as I have come across them:
1. The aforementioned issue concerning bias. Paages on wikipedia , especially when eduited by individuals who have an invested interest in the subject are prone to including personal and non-neutral language. Colloquial language is also present. One potential problem I’ve found (and I don’t know how to resolve this one) is a cat and mouse situation regarding the cycle of removing and adding biased or unacceptable language into wikipedia. Some pages are susceptable to trolling and although one may remove troll references and editing, it seems a constant struggle. Perhaps that is the necessary feature of an openly available encyclopaedia.
2. Discussions: I’ve found that difficult decisions often have to be made. I have had to remove information on some pages because I could not source them. They very well may be true, but editorial standards require proper sourcing insofar as the article may be considered a legitimate source of information on the subject. In that light, I have had to on occaision, remove whole lines and paragraphs and note in the editorial history that they should only be included until proper sources for the claims be found.
3. Discussions (1): Another difficult defcision is to remove wikipedia pages on certain subject matter. There was a recent discussion about revealing and thus making public, the details of rorscharch tests and in essence, making them redundant. Any test wherein the questions or nature of examination are made to be revealed (like past papers or past questions) undermines the genuine ‘testing’ element of such a test or exam. Regarding pages, there are guidelines as to what subject matters are acceptable. Of course, if one is really eager to include some piece of information; they can use less editorially stringent sources like urban dictionary.
That’s it for now. Of course there are many other issues, but it is an uphill struggle to learn more about the policies (and code).