Wiki-wars

The New Republic has an article on edit wars at Wikipedia on the pages for Clinton and Obama. (Via The New Editor, via Instapundit.) No surprise: both sides have some juveniles. But the key point is here, I think:

The battles over Hillary’s and Obama’s pages have been so heated because the stakes are so high. The candidates’ Wikipedia pages are their second Google hits, right after their official campaign portals.

Wikipedia almost always comes near the top on Google. Why? A friend at Google once confirmed for me what I suspected, that it’s not simply the result of their page ranking algorithm — they put it there deliberately. “People like Wikipedia,” he said.

True enough, people like Wikipedia, but it tends to be of limited use for controversial subjects. Moreover, you can be surprised by what turns out to be controversial; I once read their article about the “alleged moon landings.” (This has long since been fixed.) I’d rather they simply applied their algorithm and let the chips fall where they may.

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