Fact repository

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This is a proposal for a new WMF sister project.
WikiFacts or WikiKnowledge
Status of the proposal
Statuswithdrawn
Details of the proposal
Project descriptionA wiki of structured abstract knowledge base of facts, each fact will have an id number. It allows sharing knowledge on point, accurately and concisely. Allows verification and pointing out factual errors thus fighting misinformation.
Is it a multilingual wiki?Yes, similar to Wikifunctions
Potential number of languagesAll. Multilingual and Translated, similar to Wikidata & Wikifunctions.
Proposed taglineAn entry with fact-id for every fact! / The free fact base that anyone can improve
Technical requirements
New features to requireFeatures already used by Wikidata and Wikifunctions will be used.
Development wikiscifacts.fandom.com

Proposal[edit]

A Wiki of Facts, as part of or along with Wikifunctions. WikiFacts will be a structured base for facts, and each fact will be given an id number. WikiFacts allows sharing knowledge on point, accurately and concisely. It allows verification and pointing out factual errors precisely, thus fighting misinformation.

Features[edit]

  • A bulleted, structured facts wiki
  • Each fact will get its own entry with a fact-id, so that people can share the id to support claims made in discussions elsewhere.
    • The entry provides every fact with space for "buts" and clarifications to convey the exact degree of to which it hold true.
    • Abstract Wikipedia currently gets an Z-id similar to Q-id of wikidata. This proposal requests fact-id for each statement or facts.
  • WikiFacts would change the way people quote facts. Instead of inefficiently linking to a whole book-page to cite a fact, the fact-id can be used which will point to just the fact.
  • References from verifiable sources will be added to it to support the claim. It can contain more references for a specific statement than any of the existing projects.
  • The main aim of this project is to share knowledge statements and facts as it is, rather than phrasing it in article, encyclopedia, book or Q&A format.
  • Each page about a topic will list bulleted list of fact entries, with each facts having its own id. Every page is a collection of list of facts.
  • It presents Facts directly without hiding it in verbose prose. Cut to the chase!
    • In a sense WikiFacts can be viewed as Wikipedia broken down in to facts.
  • A fact-id is given for every fact: e.g., the statements made in abstract Wikipedia, Wikidata statements, etc.
    • Wikidata statements also can get a fact-id. e.g: "Potato (Q16587531) is a (P279) vegetable (Q11004)"
  • A sub-id can be given for different phrasings of same facts and for combined statements.
  • Fact statements are smartphone friendly, easy to share, quick and suitable for social media like Twitter, fb, Pinterest, etc.
    • This will attract more new readers and contributors as it is very well suited to be shared in popular social media.
  • It will act as an intermediatory between WikiData and Abstract WIkipedia. Data → Facts → Articles

Need[edit]

"It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires." —Hilary Mantel

Facts are the finest form of knowledge and factual knowledge affects the decisions made.

Facts are cited very inefficiently in the present world. Often people have to refer to an entire page to cite one fact, as there is no mechanism to link directly to facts. This also results in varying degrees of misinformation. This is especially amplified in this smartphone era.

Often searching for a needed knowledge fact is like finding needle in a haystack. It is often covered in distractive long-winded phrases. WikiFacts points directly to the fact.

A facts website is very essential to the humanity but none has been set up yet. The project is within the core of WMF mission: it allows sharing the knowledge straight to the point.

WikiFacts can also provide umbrella for "Factchecking" and "Q&A" projects.

People use different formats of websites to collect and learn facts. This project will cut to the chase and give facts, straight to the point!

Example facts[edit]

  1. Each statement of a list like this Abstract Wikipedia/Examples/Jupiter will get its own id and entry space.
  2. A page will list facts like this : w:List_of_common_misconceptions and each fact-entry in it will get its own id. It should be written like abstract Wikipedia using Wikidata in a language independent way.
  3. Facts will be compact and can be shared like Massimo's fact tweets on twitter.

Facts can be of many types: scientific facts, historical facts, news events. Strictness qualifiers can be added: general statements, strictly, consensus, some, sometimes, often, estimates, opinions, etc.

Future[edit]

  • The facts/statements that are confirmed and stable may be page-protected.
  • Other proposed wikis such as Structured Wikiquote, Wikifactchecking wiki, etc. can be made a subset of this project. The Q&A forums (Wikiask) can be setup along side to answer and formulate facts.
  • Every research paper published can be scavenged for finding new claims. So this also provides a way to extract information without copyright issues as data cannot be copyrighted.
  • This will become a go-to site to learn, find, link, support and verify facts/statements/claims.
  • It will allow also the smartphone users to efficiently contribute to the free knowledge, as this project is apt to be edited from mobile devices more than convensional wikis are.
  • Levels of importance, interestingness, wow-ness, usefulness, etc. can also be specified. Facts will be categorized based on type, topic, and many other ways.
  • Avoids truncating information as Wikipedia cuts-down information to prevent straying away from topic.
  • Other knowledge formats focuses on topic and omits some facts for keeping content on-topic; this project will instead be focused on Facts.
  • Over time, WikiFacts will have more reliability and credibility than any other format of knowledge.
  • Fights misinformation

Similar Proposals[edit]

People interested[edit]

Add your name below.

  1. Vis M (talk) 15:32, 1 June 2021 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Your inputs, suggestions and modifications to this proposal are welcome!

From my point of view what this suggestion brings with it is a checking of statements in Wikidata and this is something I support but I dont think that there needs to be locking of checked statements and no extra ID for facts. Maybe it is possible to create a filter report for that. From my point of view there should be more support for people if they want to add information in Wikidata. A plan I have is that I go to a library if this is possible again and then take there books and add statements out of the books I have found there and then add the books where I have the information extracted of as the source of the statements. This is something where I currently dont know how to correctly add it. If your proposal is not succesful I think it could be possible to do it without having a own ID. Improving the data quality and make sure that something is correct is a important goal and necessary to be a trusted source.--Hogü-456 (talk) 19:27, 2 June 2021 (UTC)

Agree. This project aims to extract information from books and simply list it under a topic. Fact-id was proposed to give focus to the facts than topic, and also to allow easy and precise citations. Thanks! -Vis M (talk) 17:08, 3 June 2021 (UTC)
I'm not really clear - we can't use Wikidata as a replacement for reliable sources and Verifiability. And what's a facT? Millions say that it's a fact that Trump won the election. Also see this section in enWiki's article on "Fact". [1]. Doug Weller (talk) 15:30, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
As described in #Example facts, qualifiers can be add to denote scientific facts, historical facts, general statements, strictness, consensus, estimates, opinions, etc. The main purpose is to breakdown articles into statements, and give focus to individual pieces of facts & statements than topic. Vis M (talk) 07:06, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Doug Weller. To have an open-ended "wiki of facts" suggests humans have evolved to the point that we now have unlimited access to facts on all subjects and knowledge has become immutable, insulated from the potential of paradigm shifts. Since that's not true, what we will really have is a wiki of majoritarian viewpoints versus a wiki of facts. To quote the late Michael Crichton, "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled ... Science ... requires only one investigator who happens to be right ... In science, consensus is irrelevant." [2] The application of our normal consensus model in this format, in which "facts" are presented as concise absolutes and no room for context or nuance is offered, is extremely anti-intellectual, in my opinion. Chetsford (talk) 15:30, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have chosen a different name for the proposal as the name "WikiFacts" is loaded. "Wiki of facts" is what it aims to be, but the name of project should not imply that whatever is presented in it is fact. concise absolutes and no room for context or nuance is offered room for it is exactly what I wanted to provide, an entry for every fact with space for "buts" and other modifiers to convey the exact degree of factness. Vis M (talk) 16:36, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
Stripped of context, facts are called "trivia". Perhaps "WikiTrivia". ApLundell (talk) 16:37, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
  • How are the "facts" added? Is this automated, or are things supposed to added manually? Just about every sentence in a Wikipedia article contains at least one fact. What's the point of turning them into a database? I have to say I don't find this proposal likely to be useful or popular. Johnbod (talk) 21:25, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
    • Manually. Ok, thanks. Vis M (talk) 02:50, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
  • I'd much rather the WMF spend money on fixing actual problems which haven't been solved in nearly a year than proposing farcical projects. Is this April Fools or something? RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 02:39, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
Here's a fact. Per Wikipedia policy, Wikis aren't reliable sources. Any 'facts' cited to this project would be subject to immediate deletion there. And if it happens often enough, the URL would have to be put on the blacklist. To treat this proposed wiki any other way would be a PR nightmare, and do substantial damage to the largest Wikimedia project. And regardless of its intended use, it is a fundamentally flawed proposal. Knowledge does not consist of isolated, decontextualised 'facts'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:54, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
  • As someone who edits in a war-torn area of Wikipedia, I can see with 100% certainty that this proposal would create yet another place where the topic is fought over. Few areas of human knowledge can be conveniently divided into "facts" and all such divisions lose the connections between them. Often the way that something is expressed is more subject to abuse than the thing itself. To be blunt, I disagree with almost every point in the proposal. If an assertion cannot be assessed, along with the "buts and clarifications" and supporting sources, by visiting the relevant Wikipedia page then the Wikipedia page should be improved. Creating a new project with a less satisfactory structure will not help. Also, AndyTheGrump is correct that this project would need to be banned for use as a source on Wikipedia and I would support even banning links to it. Zero0000 (talk) 05:44, 12 June 2021 (UTC)
  • While a noble idea, this has the potential to become a disaster. Wikipedia has its WP:V policy for this exact reason. The major problem arises when arguing what exactly constitutes a fact. One would think in scientific subjects, this would be easy, but even then, there will be an infinite amount of data that would be questioned, outdated or having different theories. This is also a problem faced by fact-checkers, which are often treated as gospels of truth but are time and time again naturally wrong too, or disagree on details. --Loganmac (talk) 18:22, 17 June 2021 (UTC)

Ok, considering the criticism, I am withdrawing this proposal. Vis M (talk) 09:22, 12 June 2021 (UTC)