In an interview with German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Wales, who launched Wikipedia with partner Larry Sanger in 2001, said it needed to find a balance between protecting information from abuse and providing open access to improve entries.
"There may soon be so-called stable contents. In this case, we'd freeze the pages whose quality is undisputed," he said.As an example of vandalism, he cited how, after the new pope's election, someone substituted the Pope's picture with the Evil Emperor character in Star Wars (I wonder why).
This reminded me of Dilip's recent post regarding the changing description for the entry on the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts. And this led me to ask myself the question, "How does Wikipedia ensure accuracy of it's articles anyways?" When Wales says "we'd freeze the pages whose quality is undisputed", what are his criteria for determining the indisputability of contents?
And on what basis do people trust the contents of Wikipedia more than they would trust the word of say, any average blogger in cyberspace? Even if Wikipedia has someone fact checking everything that pours in, as we know nowadays, even truth can have different versions, depending on the angle you are viewing it from. So, coming down to it, what makes Wikipedia a credible source of information if it's knowledge base is being populated by average humans whose idea of the truth is demonstrably biased according to their political / religious / social leanings?