Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Cycle 2/The Most Respected Source of Knowledge

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What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?[edit]

People would get more knowledge about things. - Tarvmandava, 20 May 2017

@Tarvmandava: 'things' is an extremely broad and abstract word. This question means 'what impact would we have on the world if we follow this particular theme?' Ultimately, each theme leads to more knowledge for people, but that's because of our very mission, not strategy. So, could you please write more about your vision of our future with this theme implemented? SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 20:06, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

The only historical evidence available dictates that verifiable information should be the "only" end result of any form of public media remotely resembling known and trusted entities supplying accurate information. Inaccurate information will inevitably destroy any form of media know to distribute false, or incorrect data. All information should be verified to divert liability for false information to the source. Firepack21 (talk) 01:44, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Correction: All information should be verified, so to re-direct liability of incorrect information back to the source. Firepack21 (talk) 01:49, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

-- Would this theme suit Wikipedia well? The excessive sourcing was discussed at English Wikipedia. The discussion revolves around the freely-editable encyclopedia vs. paper/print encyclopedia. In summary, without enough experts contributing to Wikipedia, adding references and citing sentences with every source are all the skills we have, yet that doesn't make a good- or high-quality article. How reliable are the footnoted references without help from experts? Also, how well written and reliable are articles about current events? Speaking of current events, we end up using mostly news articles as sources to prove Wikipedia as "respectable" source. To be honest, not following the theme well would illustrate how lacking our expertise is and how we may be driving out experts who are very knowledgeable at topics.

Would this theme also suit sister projects well, which are also editable? Commons has various range of pictures, and interpretations of pictures may be more reliable than Wikipedia itself. Wikisource is... mostly all-text and requires text reproduction of published materials. It's reliable, but time-consuming. Wikinews... I don't know how reliable it is, even with its original reporting. Most of original reporting consists of just interviews. Other news articles resemble old newspaper articles. Wikiversity has aging, out-of-date content, even with original research. Not sure whether Wikivoyage would follow the same path as Wikiversity, but in the future, Wikivoyage should be updated, or it will grow outdated. I don't have much to say about other sister projects, but I grew to browse through Wiktionary, which is fun to use.

Again, this theme seems to be too focused on Wikipedia. Probably a revised or changed theme is needed/desired to reflect how the projects operate differently. --George Ho (talk) 01:33, 8 June 2017 (UTC); edited, 01:47, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Almost forgot, unlike other projects, older articles at Wikinews get locked and stay locked permanently. Well, minor edits are allowed and can be requested, but major edits can't be accepted there once published and then locked. --George Ho (talk) 01:47, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?[edit]

Respect and quality is most important because a despised Wikipedia would not be read and would be quite useless. Unfortunately, there are different opinions about quality. Some people think, the more facts and details are written in Wikipedia, the better it is. They think, deleting of bad articles is bad because having a bad article is better than having no article at all. Other people think, the more irrelevant and boring details are written in Wikipedia, the worse it is. They think, deleting of bad articles is good because bad articles destroy the respect of Wikipedia. It has to be discussed what quality means. --Plenz (talk) 15:09, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

As we all know that Wikimedia Foundation is an information intensive business,Wikipedia is of no doubt as is it is one of the most popular information intensive social medias around the world.Wikipedia gives broad definitions and only important things are read by the viewers.Yes but when we compare with other sites,Wikipedia is giving plenty of quite reliable information as it is a free encyclopedia.Unnecessary facts may be omitted from the articles and the wikipedians may think about writing the facts in pointwise format rather than writing paragraphs.Large articles may be merged into different sections and we can also raise the attention of viewers by also designing flowcharts,tabular forms etc which are also used as key weapons in the educational level.Presently most of the wikipedians also provide info by using tables,charts. Abishe (talk) 03:11, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

-- Without including and tolerating other different people as part of any communities (i.e. Theme "A"), content would be affected. Without building good relationships (i.e. Theme "E") as well, content would be affected. I read about Croatian Wikipedia, which was raised back in 2013. I discovered the controversy last year, and I kept thinking about it. Because of more abuse cases (e.g. ones at Requests for comment) and exclusion of others who are very skilled on using reliable sources, the Croatian Wikipedia is now or was considered distorted, unreliable, and poorly written. Then again, even editors using poor references would be also excluded without being given one or another chance to succeed skillfully and/or socially. Maybe the slow development of online communications via wiki is related to the quality of content. Without adequate communication (part of Theme "A" or "E"), quality would suffer. Of course, high quality is possible via solo work, but that lowers chances of improving communication skills. If communication is concentrated too much, how would we improve quality of content? It's not just Wikipedia, but the comparison of this theme and other themes, especially Theme "A" and "E", also applies to sister projects of Wikipedia.

Wikinews has journalists using decent offline communications, leading to successfully published and decent-quality original reporting. Uncertain about Wikiversity as its courses still age poorly, but English Wikiversity has Wikijournal, which is very nifty. However, improving courses and spinning Wikijournal off also take a lot of off-wiki effort and communications to make high-quality original content. Somehow, if Wikijournal is spun off, which I already voted "support", without adequate off-wiki communications, how else can Wikiversity survive by 2030? Wikivoyage still needs more offline research to improve quality as the project is just a travel guide.

Commons still needs more resources, including original photographers, because it is the central free multimedia project for all other projects. Its OTRS service is stagnating and suffering from backlog due to understaffing, affecting the relationships between OTRS volunteers and clients. Also, verifying offline permissions to use any content of any fixed medium, e.g. image, is harder than it looks. Email is fastest method, yet obtaining permission is still hard. Not sure what to say about Wikidata as I don't think much about it other than considering it the "free knowledgeable base" as what people say. I don't know what else to say about other projects, especially Wikisource. They exist because they were created to balance Wikipedia.

Cross-project communication is very essential and important because it helps improve quality of projects. Without such communication, and without enough sister projects, Wikipedia would suffer from imbalance. Of course, what would happen to Wikipedia if Wikinews and Wikiversity cease to exist by 2030? --George Ho (talk) 14:59, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Almost forgot, I read that WMF proposed improvement of the search engine by including search results of terms from Wikimedia projects, meaning that possibilities of cross-project communications and improving quality of sister projects are (slightly) likely. --George Ho (talk) 15:04, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?[edit]

Inventing things which are too big and invent small reliable things.- Tarvmandava, 20 May 2017

Stop doing nothing, and start updating everything in all projects. Also, stop letting information go outdated, and start improving information and keep things up to date. Also, stop treating Wikipedia as if it's the only project to invest in, and start getting into other projects. --George Ho (talk) 01:37, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Furthermore, stop relying too much on websites, including ones providing page previews, like Google and Amazon, and start using offline and/or inaccessible sources more often. For Wikinews, stop relying on websites for article synthesis, and start learning how to be a real journalist. Well, I may not follow what I am suggesting here as I often go online, but this is my answer to this question. I haven't done journalism yet, and I might not plan to be one. However, I hope more journalists can do original reporting. BTW, I have done offline browsing solo, and I found it more time-consuming than teamwork browsing. But it's better than doing nothing and letting info stagnate and degrade. Microfilms are less efficient media to browse than online news articles, but they are cheaper and freer to use as online articles require subscriptions. --George Ho (talk) 02:46, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

For starters, stop making too many local wikis, especially ones using very obscure languages, and start revising the closing projects policy to make closures easier. --George Ho (talk) 11:25, 10 June 2017 (UTC); Moved from Theme C subpage by SGrabarczuk. --George Ho (talk) 17:12, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

How will this contribute to becoming a truly global movement? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:19, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
You're right, Amir. I think this should be moved to another theme page. If that's not possible, then feel free to strike the above suggestion out if I can't. --George Ho (talk) 10:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: what theme should it be moved to? What strategic problem does it resolve? SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 12:34, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm thinking question 3 of Theme D, Szymon. There, it can suggest reducing poorly-run wikis and/or poor-quality wikis. Or it can suggest improving such wikis. --George Ho (talk) 16:16, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?[edit]

I think if we are truly to become "the most respected source of knowledge" then we need to develop a strategy where it is no longer acceptable for there to be a sub standard article on Wikipedia and to start providing consistent, high quality articles for everything. At present the encyclopedia is severely lacking in consistency and readability and tends to have better articles on popular culture/trivia or minor topics which are easier to research and lacking overall on the Vital Articles.

I think Contests if given the support long term could become an excellent method towards getting articles up to scratch and improving consistency. With contests I've run for Wales and Africa in particular, I've seen a staggering level of improvement in a short space of time to articles which otherwise might not get expanded in 10 years. With well-designed contests you can start to reshape the encyclopedia and get work done that needs to be done. I'd love to see a Contest framework in place on Wikipedia and way to start getting all of our Vital Articles up to minimum GA quality and articles which might have featured in the last publication of Encyclopedia Britannica. It's an enormous task but development of every article and a way of peer reviewing the work will be necessary if we're to achieve this. Start at the core of Wikipedia, get those articles all up to minimum GA level first, and let contests be a way of driving us to reach that target and gradually overhaul the entire encyclopedia. We'd be respected a lot more if we made sure that the vital stuff is consistent and of high quality first.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 09:42, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

There are new ways of propaganda these days, which involve mass disinformation, disruptive editing, and ad hominem attacks to wear out bona fide editors. The rules need to guard against such, rather than bind the admins’ hands unnecessarily. Kaihsu (talk) 07:56, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Nothing new about those methods, they are traditional in propaganda. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:55, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?[edit]

I am part of the WikiJournal User Group, and I think the continued activity of this group is very beneficial for this purpose. WikiJournal consists of scholarly journals in wiki space. Works that are submitted to these journals are peer reviewed before publication, by experts in that particular field. So far, there is one journal in medicine, which is the most developed one so far, as well as one in science. This project thereby attracts quality-controlled knowledge, which can subsequently be used across Wikimedia projects. For example, review articles are based on reliable sources for their content, so the material may be used in corresponding Wikipedia articles. The nature of this publication process is somewhere between that of Wikipedia editing and publication to traditional scholarly journals. It is therefore likely to attract scholars by offering a method of contribution that they are more familiar with. WikiJournal of Medicine runs on a relatively low budget of currently a few hundred dollars per year, which is relatively low compared to both traditional journals as well as its impact on the amount of reliable knowledge across Wikimedia. Mikael Häggström (talk) 10:50, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Other topics[edit]

It's just about Wikipedia[edit]

It is clear that whoever formulated this theme thought about Wikipedia and not about other Wikimedia projects. Not all of them have to be neutral. Not all of them use secondary sources, and some of them discourage usage of sources. And so on.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:50, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

@Ymblanter: Which projects discourage the usage of sources? ChristianKl (talk) 12:40, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
@ChristianKl: Wikivoyage, for example.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:29, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, too much focus on Wikipedia. For billions of uneducated internet users, the one-stop shop for information (not necessarily knowledge) is Google or even Facebook. To compete with that, we need for instance to improve Wiktionary so that people find definitions of words (just to simplify). --Nemo 08:36, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

The point of respect[edit]

I think "respected" is a dangerous term. Respect easily translates to passive acceptance and reliance ("Wikipedia said so", "I donate to Wikipedia because it gives me something important and I don't give it anything"). We need "respect" of the free culture and wiki process, as in acceptance and engagement, so that more and more people use the wikis and their content actively (critical reading and studying, editing, external reuse, off-wiki publishing under free licenses etc.).

I would prefer more "respect" i.e. compliance with our licenses. :-) --Nemo 08:30, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

For a long time I've disagreed with this site's rule about "Weight" where mere bodycount plays a role on what makes it onto the page. The fact that all Wikipedia wants ideologically is "For the most amount of people to bow down to these articles" is equally disturbing. Lumbering in thought (talk) 01:20, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, it's not our goal for people to take for granted what Wikipedia articles say. Quite the opposite! Nemo 19:57, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Respect for Wikipedia should be balanced by a healthy skepticism for all unverified information. Wikipedia makes a good start by providing sources. Let the world get into the habit of thinking "{{Citation needed}}". If we can reduce the number of people who can be fooled in any given circumstance we are doing well. This can be achieved by providing good information and encouraging enquiry into verifiability and the meaning of truth and facts. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:04, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Source of Knowledge[edit]

I must remind that WMF projects are open to changes by anyone. Stating that "is a Respected Source of Knowledge" is like saying to a reader which just "stepped in" a recently abused page which was not yet reversed, that (s)he sees a Respected Source about what (s)he was looking for. We cannot guarantee that everything a reader sees is a real thing. So the "call/legend/logo" should be somehow different. Something that will make people understand that they have to inquire the page before attempting to get as true what is there written.

At the moment, if a reader gets in an abused page (abused in such a way that it seems real, with real and existing references etc.), even if the page is immediately reversed by another user to "good" content, the reader will be still reading the false content, and even he/she will quote that content or keep it in his electronic device (PC, mobile etc.).

Many people, even scientists(!), do not understand how fast-flowing is the content of the articles. I have even see many scientific publications referring to Wikipedia's articles as sources (!!!) of their publications. But NEVER referring which revise was. That sounds to me (as wikipedian) like stating "the God says/states/will/did/..." without stating the religion (is it Christianism?, is it Zoroastrianism?, is it Salafism? etc. should I add?: is it Wikipedianism?).

So my opinion is that the basic issue should be to get "all people"(sic!) understand that what we have here is a reliable source as long as they, by themselves, are "comparison shoppers", "searchers" (can't find the exact word...). Unless, of course, we must not care about those unwary, light thinking, fast searching people and we must not take them so seriously. Unless those (outnumbered or not) "light thinking" are not those for which we create this vast database.

Are we just easing the work of researchers? Are we creating a source of knowledge for those who already know or a source of knowledge for those who do not know? That is the main question. And this is might not be answered by strategies concluding that we are "The Source". --Xoristzatziki (talk) 16:42, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from the Central Eastern European Wikimedia Community[edit]

In a Facebook poll, only one person voted for this theme as important, making it the least important theme for the group. Shani Evenstein 20:13, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from the Wikipedia & Medicine Community[edit]

In a Facebook poll, 4 people rated this theme as important, making it the most important theme for the group. Shani Evenstein 20:13, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Countering marketing and commercial editing[edit]

It surprises me that, during the active phase of this consultation, no one has mentioned the increasingly dominant rôle of deliberate biased editing of the Wikipedia projects. In the past decade en.WP has attempted to address egregious examples, such as the U.S. House of Representatives, and others which became popular media stories, such as CAMERA. But fundamentally Wikimedia has chosen not to adapt available technologies (such as WikiScanner) or to develop socio-legal structures (such as enforced TOS involving financial penalties) to prevent harm to its reputation.

In my sphere, use of Wikipedia is widely discouraged not because it is generically inaccurate or bad, but because it is inconsistently wildly biased. It is viewed as an advertising platform, particularly so by pharmaceutical firms, but also by most political and lobby groups working in the fields of health and public health. No doubt this is also the case in other specific fields of interest, and again it will be inconsistent how severe/obvious the level of spin/advocacy may be.

It is clear this strategy cycle is dominated by "let's create aspirational goals!" mentality, but you need to say why a goal exists. You want to be "the most respected source of knowledge" indicates you are not that source now. Why not? - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 13:48, 24 June 2017 (UTC)