From Strategic Planning


I have found that the following points of the critism cited (originating with Citizendium):

"The following criticisms of Wikipedia’s actual quality come from the Citizendium website, which claims that Wikipedia has the following quality issues:

  • Too many articles are written amateurishly
  • Too many articles are mere disconnected grab-bags of factoids, not made coherent by any sort of narrative
  • In some field and topics groups “squat” on topics in order to make them reflect a certain bias [...]
  • The people with the most influence are those with the most time, not the most knowledge"

to be quite accurate, at least in some places (Wikipedia is certainly not homogeneous)

Also the report on vandalism has certainly been presented in the best light. The actual findings were that of the vandalism that was found and reverted as such, the revert time was such-and-such. This has been presented in the press as "vandalism was reverted in such-and-such a time", as if there were no undetected vandalism. In my experience it is not exceptional for even fairly prominent vandalism to sit there for a long time, even years. This goes for anything that is less obvious than the "Dick is the Greatest"-type of vandalism. Brya 16:37, 6 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The critisicms are valid, but the evidence (e.g. in the case of Citizendium) shows that addressing them results in less coverage and thus less overall accuracy. Some people have been banned because they were trying to study how long incidental vandalism typically lasts, so we don't have good data on the full vandalism question. 04:02, 8 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh yes, the coverage of Citizendium is less, but quality tends to be less as well. - Brya 10:39, 8 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Politically controversial topics

Thank you for an interesting and orderly analysis of quality considerations for Wikipedia. I have this criticism: The analysis suggests that poor quality is more or less randomly distributed throughout the Wikipedia. While this might be the case for some types of poor quality (lack of documentation, poor writing, for example), there are other issues that affect quality of some topic areas, and in particular, political controversy.

I work frequently in the area of Middle East articles. Several independent reviewers have noted the overall poor quality of articles in this area, and it is no wonder: many of these articles are rivven by constant edit warring, and straghtforward attempts to promote a political agenda.

I believe that this lack of quality - which has occluded the overall quality of Wikipedia in the minds of many readers - is inherent in the way Wikipedia is edited and managed. At the risk of blatant self-promotion, I would like to suggest that you read an essay I wrote on this subject, at

I welcome your comments, and offer my own services to develop structures that can improve articles in this and in other controversial areas. Thanks. User:Ravpapa on English Wikipedia