Wal-Mart, Exxon, Diebold, several U.S. Congressfolks, the Department of Justice, and the CIA have all been caught with their hands in the wiki jar, juicing their own entries. Sure, sometimes it's to correct inaccuracies, but most of the time it's to make themselves look better. Naughty, naughty, you soulless government and corporate entities. No more cookies for you.
I'm all for a more accurate Wikipedia, especially now that it appears to be the primary source for a few billion student papers each year. But determining what constitutes a neutral point of view for all of humanity? Good luck with that.
As the Wikipedia self-referentially notes:
Critics of Wikipedia accuse it of systemic bias and inconsistencies, and target its policy of favoring consensus over credentials in its editorial process. Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy are also an issue. Other criticisms are centered on its susceptibility to vandalism and the addition of spurious or unverified information, though scholarly work suggests that vandalism is generally short-lived.
I removed the six footnotes from that blurb, but if you absolutely must know the sources you can find them here.
In their own way, the Wikipedians are as cultish and protective of their public image as the group they just banned. And if you don't believe that, ask AndroidCat, GoodDamon, FloNight, BravehartBear, and all the other Wiki high priests who weighed in on the seven-month arbitration hearing on whether to ban the L. Rons.
I also understand that in the Great Wiki-wakening, the almighty and surpreme Jimmy Walu will ride down from heaven in a carriage pulled by a team of perky supermodels to smite the sockpuppets, soapboxers, trolls, griefers, vandals, etc., and bestow a righteous and true edit upon the heads of the chosen. Then again, I think I read that on Wikipedia, so Lord knows if it's true.
Of course, if you don't like Wikipedia, there are a few dozen other encyclopedias catering to whatever belief systems you prefer. There's the Conservapedia for people who believe in conservative Christianity, the Citizendium for people who believe that expertise is spelled "Ph.D.," the CreationWiki for people who believe the Earth is just 6,000 years young, and the Unclyclopedia for people who don't believe in encyclopedias.
Your own personal truth, served up just the way you like it. Isn't that why Al Gore invented the Internet in the first place?
Should Wikipedia ban entire groups? If so, who should be next on their list? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me: email@example.com.