Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wikipedia, the example of how Collective Action can work, is in trouble

"I think Wikipedia never solved the problem of how to organize itself in a way the didn't lead to mob rule...
And I think a small amount of that goes on. A lot of the behaviors that people associate with so-called social justice warriors today, I remember seeing back in 2001, 2002, with the new arrivals.
It's really hard to lay out what I think is the single biggest shortcoming of Wikipedia, especially if I want to do so in a way that is not going to make a lot of people pissed off at me. I don't want to be in the business of Wikipedia-bashing anymore. But I do think it has a root problem that's social. People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum."

Wikipedia's co-founder Larry Sanger talks about the problems he sees with the site.  And this is a problem that many collective actions have; trolls.  Or just saboteurs even.  How do you let the masses work together to create something good while keeping the bomb throwers at bay?  This is the question that should be asked at creation time, not fixed later.  Because then it might be too late.

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