On January 15, Wikipedia celebrated its 15th birthday. They may seem few, but three lustrums for such a domain, are a record. And it is not the only one… 250 different languages, 38 million articles and 7th place in the most visited pages in the world. All of it, with no advertisement, but with crowdfunding and many volunteers. But Wikipedia has two faces.
Side A: Wikipedia in heaven
The empire of knowledge doesn’t need introductions. 15 years of democratic spread of information, publication of really free articles, with no interest, for and accessible to whoever wants. Free access, free content, open source are the key words.
Jimmy Wales, one of the two founders with Larry Sanger, said: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”
The dream of Diderot and D’Alambert is finally realized: an encyclopedia constantly updated, that changes along with its contents, available anytime. Its power is a weapon of democracy, the instrument to have information par excellence, the realization of the principle that wants knowledge as a public domain, not a privilege in the hands of some.
Side B: vandalism of items
But is information always correct? Is this idea of mysterious purity that inspires authors believable? Frankly no. Interests are always there, even in between the wrinkles of the best intentions. Impartiality and truth are just fantasy.
There have been cases of editors paid by politicians and public figures to sweeten up the reality. There is more. The vandalism of items is a serious problem. Contents sabotaged with fake notions, spam, advertisements, obscenity, or cancellation of information. They have been working for years on quality of contents, imposing restrictions to publication. But these reduced the number of contributors. Few people control news read and learned by millions of others. A bit dangerous don’t you think?
Moreover, the Wikipedia Foundation is made mostly by men, and the majority of edits come from just 5 countries (UK, USA, France, Germany and Italy). Is Wikipedia a white west man? Thank God for the neutral point-of-view.
Flick on food: our wiki answer
Too many doubts? Let’s boycott it! No, let’s not joke with this. Wikipedia is a powerful instrument at the service of everyone and has no master. It is us who make it. It’s our mirror. If it looks out of shape, it’s because we are not giving a shape to it. It is the creature of two dreamers that is being raised by the entire world. Not understanding the incredible potential of free knowledge, will be a mistake that could send us back in centuries. It our freedom on stake, we need to contribute, all of us. Or at least, that’s what we, the Dotfarm team, think. That’s why we decided to “risk it all” with Flick on Food, a wiki food focused on ingredients. According to us, the future of knowledge already started, and it is surely crowd-based.
"C’è una sola cosa orribile al mondo, un solo peccato imperdonabile: la noia". Oscar Wilde. Dalla redazione di Dotmug non ci annoiamo di certo. Sempre alla ricerca di notizie, condiviamo, twittiamo, instagrammiamo in costante connessione con il mondo digital.