Vor einer Weile habe ich hier schon Gedanken zu den Zukunftsaussichten verschiedener Enzyklopädie-Modelle veröffentlicht, und bin dabei auch kurz auf die Faszination der Auseinandersetzungen zwischen aktiven Benutzern und Gruppen auf Wikipedia eingegangen. Anlässlich eines eskalierten Streits über Artikel rund um Scientology berichtet die NYTimes und liefert damit noch ein paar interessante Facetten zu meinem älteren Artikel:

Hier zunächst das Ergebnis vor Wikipedias Schiedgericht, der höchsten Instanz dort:

And it can be hard to expect neutrality on some topics. For example, the 430 Wikipedia articles about all aspects of Scientology represent a free-floating civil war, a “miasma,” in the description of Ira Brad Matetsky, a corporate litigation lawyer in New York. He is a member of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, which last month waded into the sniping over the Scientology entries.

In a sweeping ruling with little precedent in the eight-year history of Wikipedia, the committee blocked editing from “all I.P. addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates, broadly interpreted.” The ruling did allow users from those addresses to appeal to be reinstated on a case-by-case basis.


The decision has a range of sanctions for dozens of users, including outspoken critics of Scientology and Wikipedia administrators, from mild chiding for poor behavior to bans on editing about Scientology to total bans. Among the violations were name-calling and repeated nullifying of the editing of others without any discussion first.


The Church of Scientology accepted its ban in that spirit, saying in a statement: “More importantly is the fact that Wikipedia finally banned those who were engaged in unobjective and biased editing for the purposes of antagonism as opposed to providing accurate information. We hope the decision will result in more accurate and useful articles on Wikipedia as the site evolves.”

Die Entwicklung in Wikipedia gibt Anlass zu soziologischen Überlegungen:

The discovery that Wikipedia is not the anarchic paradise some might imagine can be a shock. Others see hypocrisy, evidence that there is a class of users who control what appears there, people who benefit from Wikipedia’s huge public clout with little public scrutiny.

But taking the longer view, it is apparent that in its brief history, Wikipedia is quickly replicating the creation of society, from an Eden (no rules, no need for rules) to a modern entity.

“Bureaucracy is inevitable,” said Joseph Reagle, whose Ph.D. thesis was about the history of Wikipedia and collaborative culture, crediting the German sociologist Max Weber. “Even if you have a supposed anarchy or collective, that doesn’t mean the rules aren’t there, just that they are implicit.”

Datum: Montag, 8. Juni 2009 15:18
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