Wikipedia's flaws

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

This is a list of the flaws in the English Wikipedia's system, which are not likely to be resolved any time soon, with explanations of why they are a problem, and suggestions of how to limit their effects. Even a fork is not likely to resolve many of the flaws, as they are probably inherent in any wiki of this size. However, we can and should attempt to limit them.

  • Voting: Voting is evil, it allows people to vote for what they want to happen, with absolutely no reasoning. Through voting, you can even keep someone from becoming an admin simply because you do not like the articles they write. And strawpolls always get misinterpreted as votes. We should require reasons for any so called "vote", and ignore or give less weight to silly "votes".
  • Revert warriors: It doesn't take a lot of extra work to keep a revert war going on an article for extended lengths of time without violating 3RR. Admins should block for excessive reversions, and not just blatant violations of 3RR, as 3RR is an electric fence, and not an entitlement. Stricter blocking policies for longer blocks on repeat offenders would be helpful, but controversial.
  • Cruft, inclusionist and deletionist extremists, etc: Wikipedia is not paper. While our goals should focus on the most important subjects which obviously need an article in an encyclopedia, we can afford to have articles on less important subjects, such as video games, video game characters, etc. However, we should avoid permanent stubs, obviously unencyclopedic articles, and articles about every one of the 50,000,000+ Pokemon. Deletion debates on such things hurt the project much more then these articles do. Merging is a great alternative to avoid AFD debates.
  • Role-playing: Many editors and admins are not participating for the purpose of writing an encyclopedia.