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Happy 20th birthday, Wikipedia – last outpost of the 'utopian' web

19 January 2021 11:03 AM
Tags:
Advertising
Internet
Wikipedia
World Wide Web
Refilwe Moloto
internet privacy
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
cookies
utopian
dystopian
Douglas Scott
Wikimedia SA

Wikipedia – one of the last big websites where you are not a product sold to advertisers – has turned 20.

Much of the internet in 2021 is a hellhole.

Wikipedia, however, remains as one of the last few places that still every-so-slightly resembles the utopian early web.

© jarretera/123rf

For one, you and I are not products to be sold to advertisers - it remains a not-for-profit website, the only one in the top-10.

There is no advertising, privacy intrusions, or stoking of tempers merely to raise “engagement”.

The world’s largest encyclopaedia is far from perfect (read “Wikipedia is not a reliable source” on Wikipedia – lol) and it needs more diversity.

But it is OK – and it is now 20 years old exactly.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Douglas Scott, a board member at Wikimedia SA.

Wikipedia is different from all the other internet titans out there… Donations keep the service running…

Douglas Scott, board member - Wikimedia SA

Peer review makes Wikipedia work. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as we can get…

Douglas Scott, board member - Wikimedia SA

There are knowledge gaps in South Africa… There’s a lack of diversity of editors… Some types of information are well-covered… But there are few articles on, say, Xhosa clan names…

Douglas Scott, board member - Wikimedia SA

We need area experts… to contribute… But I don’t want to discourage people who don’t have credentials… Often when you’re very knowledgeable about a subject, you can’t explain it to people who aren’t…

Douglas Scott, board member - Wikimedia SA

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




19 January 2021 11:03 AM
Tags:
Advertising
Internet
Wikipedia
World Wide Web
Refilwe Moloto
internet privacy
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
cookies
utopian
dystopian
Douglas Scott
Wikimedia SA

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