<CPOV> On Transparency

Juliana Brunello juliana at networkcultures.org
Wed Jun 2 11:43:17 CEST 2010

I have recently read a good article about governance in Wikipedia
exemplified by the deletionists vs. inclusionists affaire, which I

I have gathered some of my thoughts on the subject.
Foremost, what I find very important to keep in mind is that “active and
organized minorities often prevail over the uncoordinated majority of
others”. Transparency is not so transparent after all

I believe this is very harmful in a number of ways:
First, people who join the project enter with a false idea and are later
demotivated, which leads to less contributions, not just as a whole, but
especially from people with different interests and opinions. This, I
believe, will end up leading to a lack of diversity and a more “POV”

Secondly, choosing which articles are worthy or not to be included in WP
generates another unbalance. I am not talking about self-promotion or
vandalism cases, but topics that are not popular or “obscure”, but are
nevertheless important for a minority. Should just the majority benefit
from WP?

Third, by choosing articles based on their “notability”, together with the
fact that these decisions might be run by an organized minority, won’t the
effect be that readers of WP will only get the information this minority
thinks is notable, and not “the sum of all knowledge”? Can anyone truly
decide what is notable to belong to this “sum” or not and still be
neutral? Or maybe should the “sum of all knowledge” be called the “sum of
what we think is notable knowledge”?

Lastly, at least for now, I would like to point out to the harmful effect
it has on the world due to its large influence. Is our knowledge going to
be, this way, standardized?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

All the best,

Institute of Network Cultures
HvA Interactive Media
t: +31 (0)20 595 18 66
f: +31 (0)20 595 18 40

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