<CPOV> The Wikipedia Cult

T.Koenig at surrey.ac.uk T.Koenig at surrey.ac.uk
Thu Jun 3 16:30:25 CEST 2010

> > nathaniel tkacz
> > i don' think the question of whether wikipedia is or is not a cult
> > is a useful one. what is there to add by calling it a cult?
> 	Demystification.
> 	I've been saying "Wikipedia is a cult" for years now, including
> in some columns I wrote for the _Guardian_ newspaper, for example:

The term "cult" might be popular in the press, but it has not caught on in the social sciences, for very good reasons. The best definition I have come across is by William Bainbridge and Rodney Stark, who define cults as groups with novel belief systems (as opposed to sects, which are splinter groups from larger religions). Other definitions include a tension with wider society. Neither is true of Wikipedia, nor is it (for most people, maybe the inner circle of 500-1000 Wikip/media regulars) an ideology that permeates all aspects of life.

You can't "demystify" something with a fairly mysterious concept, such as a cult.


More information about the cpov mailing list