Wikipedia Editors Blast Blackout

They prefer neutrality over advocacy
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2012 8:46 AM CST
Wikipedia Editors Blast Blackout
A mobile device shows Wikipedia's front page displaying a darkened logo on January 18, 2012 in London, England.   (Getty Images)

Switzerland: It's not just an entry on Wikipedia—it's what some volunteer editors would like to be in the SOPA ruckus. In a word, neutral. In light of today's SOPA/PIPA blackout, the AP speaks with editors who aren't too pleased with the site's foray into advocacy, which they believe undermines the credibility of their contributions. It's "a slippery slope," says one editor out of Michigan. "Before we know it, we're blacked out because we want to save the whales." That might be a bit of a stretch, but he does have a point.

The site itself lists "five pillars" of conduct. Among them: Wikipedia "is written from a neutral point of view." The site strives to "avoid advocacy, and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them." Founder Jimmy Wales argues that the content can remain neutral, even if the community behind that content picks a side. But not everyone is convinced: The AP notes that some editors have gone so far as to black out their own user profile pages or resign their administrative rights on the site in protest. (More Wikipedia blackout stories.)

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