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The Undue Weight of Truth on Wikipedia - Essay Example

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The Undue Weight of Truth on Wikipedia
Wikipedia maintains a policy of neutrality whereby articles and other scholarly materials existing in the main space represent important viewpoints from reliable sources. Such viewpoints are determined in relation to the prominence of the source. …
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The Undue Weight of Truth on Wikipedia

Download file to see previous pages... In this context, Wikipedia identifies the avoidance of undue weight by, not recognizing minority views as representing widely held viewpoint. This is guided by the view that, minority held views give rise to undue weight, in relation to the truth. Wikipedia requires the minority views to rely on sources from majority viewpoints, and further, avoid reflecting on content sourced from a minority point of view. Wikipedia further suggest that, minority views serve to represent articles focusing on the views of the minority. The intention by Wikipedia in this sense involves presenting competing viewpoints in relation to support from sources considered as reliable (Messer-Kruse). Replacing the truth by adopting a policy of neutrality, may result in the exclusion of true information in the main space. Such is the case that affects recognized experts like Timothy Messer-Kruse, concerning the article “Haymarket affair”. Timothy complained about his contributions concerning the topic, being watered down or scrapped off. Wikipedia focuses on epistemological standards considered radically different compared to other standards. Such standards are unfounded because Wikipedia depends on a Web oriented community. This impacts on scholars whose main aim involves a focus on traditional notions in regard to accuracy and the truth. Objective truth does not form an important aspect of the Wikipedia’s policies concerning determining the truth. Wikipedia recognizes the truth based on the frequency of a viewpoint on other publications. In this sense, as long as a new viewpoint is supported by other publication that exists online, that is enough process for Wikipedia to affirm due weight on a new view point(Messer-Kruse). Contrary to Wikipedia’s assertion of neutrality, an ideal process, entails a fair representation of all views, whether minority or majority point of view. Presenting a subject that does not imply biases, but entails focusing attention on how views, arguments and wordings are mentioned. Messer-Kruse took over a decade researching on the 1886 “Haymaker affair”, but received approval from a minority group of scholars. Wikipedia on its part relied on secondary publications to inform on the same topic. The idea of including the views of others concerning a scholarly article may compromise the originality of the information. This results from views, presented in a different perspective, but relating to the same topic. As noticed by Timothy while editing a Wikipedia article, the consideration of numerous views results in misleading assertions. The process of due weight in relation to truth denies the minority a chance to reflect their views in regard to an issue. Timothy conducted further research concerning evidence provided and added this to Wikipedia’s editing log. However, because of maintaining the policy of neutrality, Timothy’s assertions were not added due to lack of reliable sources as required by the policy of neutrality. The reliance on prominent sources denies scholars the chance to document on concrete views and contributes to relevant information to the readers. Further, the existence of a policy that denies minority views an equal opportunity to provide relevant information to readers may lead to misinformation. In the same light, majority view impact on negatively on research conducted by the minority views since, the minority views are documented on a limited number of scholarly materials. As noted by Timothy, the policy related to undue weight, creates a problem in terms of denying recognition for published articles by minority views. This creates a situation where, biased documentation of scholarly materials do not recognize the views from both sides of the spectrum. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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