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The Internet

Submission + - Authority from nothingness at Wikipedia

CurtMonash writes: ""Everybody knows" that Wikipedia shouldn't be regarded as an authoritative source on anything. Well, Tom Relly of Register makes a compelling case, by way of anecdote, that mainstream journalists don't know actually this. And that makes for an interesting circularity:
  • Wikipedia is full of claims that are sourceable in principle, but aren't actually sourced.
  • Mainstream journalists use information from Wikipedia, even if it is not further sourced.
  • Those very articles can be viewed as authoritative for Wikipedia's own sourcing purposes.
  • Thus, unsourced information could, by virtue of having been placed in Wikipedia, grow to be regarded as authoritative by Wikipedia itself.

This phenomenon needs a name, and I am helpfully offering one: Circlesourcing. So how long will it now take for Wikipedia to have an entry of that name?"

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan