<CPOV> The Wikipedia Cult

Joseph Reagle joseph.2008 at reagle.org
Mon May 31 15:00:52 CEST 2010

On Monday, May 31, 2010, Juliana Brunello wrote:
> This is an interesting interview that compares Wikipedia to a cult. Sam
> Vaknin sees Wikipedia through a very negative lens, but I did agree with
> some of the arguments (though I believe his arguments are mostly
> exaggerated). I would like to read your opinions on that.

Well, I don't think Vaknin has met anyone that he didn't think is a narcissist -- that is his hammer after all -- but this is a wonderful example of the criticism of WP enthusiasm as a cult or religion, many earlier examples of which I describe in my dissertation.

I think there are some very enthusiastic WPians, and some of whom have a high inward-facing community orientation, and some parochialism, particular that resulting from the pressure of having to "defend" WP, but to call it a cult is hyperbolic. Cults ask you to orient you're whole world view within a particular ideology without any possibility for skepticism, to cut off family and friends, extreme parochialism, etc.  WP actually has a nice page on this :-) .

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