Industry, Technology and Politics
Edited By Alec Charles
Gavin Stewart I cant belive a war started and Wikipedia sleeps
: News by Online Encyclopaedia If you had been reading the newly-created Wikipedia article entitled ‘2008 South Ossetia war’ at exactly 21:47 UTC on 7 August 2008 you would probably have seen two very short sentences saying that a war had broken out between Georgia and South Ossetia. You might also have seen a short- lived plea, in bold, that read: Admins. I am a new User but at the Russian TV right now they show it. Right now a few hours ago Georgia started a War on Ossetia. The western media yet published it, the Russian intensivly publishes and that brings confusion with the sources. Those who now Russian, Osseatian, Georgian, please come in. I cant belive a war started and Wikipedia sleeps. This somewhat awkward call-to-action is interesting as it defies a number of the norms of an encyclopaedia article. Indeed, the direct address to the administrators of Wikipedia, the call to certain ethnic identities, the use of the first person, the unusual grammar, the non-standard spellings and the lack of any references or information will no doubt do much to confirm many deeply-held prejudices about the overall reliability of the writing in Wikipedia. However, this short-lived paragraph is also significant as it clearly draws attention to the fact that this editor believed that Wikipedia should be ‘covering’ an on-going war. The notion that Wikipedia had a role in reporting current events was not an original one; in fact, this idea has been expounded by a number of...
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