Well, I'd like to offer the following. But I can't be sure where it might belong here, if anywhere, in what namespace, etc, or where to ask, so here it is -- move it anywhere appropriate. It seems like it might belong, to discuss/explain key parameters of various wikis. But it should be modified by someone who knows more, and by someone more sympathetic to the concept.--220.127.116.11 18:19, 30 January 2007 (PST)
Wiki context: WP:V, WP:VER, WP:VERIFY See also: WP:NOR, WP:NPOV
Although the general concept may seem reasonably straight-forward, it takes on special meaning and significance in the context of wikis, because it is a core content policy of Wikipedia -- Wikipedia:Verifiability, and has lead to endless debate there. WT:VERIFY
Although it may seem a pragmatic approach to use verifiability as a proxy for the perhaps unattainable ideal goal of truth, Wikipedia has officially annointed verifiability as a replacement for the truth:
- The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source... Wikipedia:Verifiability is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies. The other two are Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
Taken together, the upshot of this policy is that content conflicts among contributors must be framed in terms of "acceptable" sources (usually mainstream, in English, readily comprehended, contemporary, and accessible online; usually not primary sources); the truth is officially irrelevant.
For another perspective, refer to Jon Awbrey's detailed chronicle of his misadventures at Wikipedia. http://www.wikinfo.org/wiki.php?title=User:Jon_Awbrey/EXIT Although he believes verifiability is an appropriate, bedrock principle of academic debate, his experience there was that it was not effectively implemented. "The problem is that the Wikipedia Community, by and large, does not operate according to the espoused model..."
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