The World and Wikipedia is the first book to critically examine the complex, often unacknowledged interplay between Wikipedia and the world it purports to describe. Whilst delivering an insight into the behaviour of Wikipedians, this fascinating book also turns the spotlight on those who are provoked into action by its scope and power, from newspapers and university professors to political campaigners and fanatics.
The World and Wikipedia asks what lurks behind the newspaper headlines surrounding Wikipedia. Investigating high-profile media incidents as well as fascinating lesser-known ones, the author exposes what they really tell us about Wikipedia, and the world's feelings towards it. How much is Wikipedia abused by those who seek to further political bias? How successful are they? How threatened does the establishment feel by Wikipedia? To what lengths have people gone to slander it? How much do people secretly use it without giving it credit, or checking further? What effect does the presence of Wikipedia have on university learning, and our intellectual heritage?
Trawling the forgotten talk pages and article histories of Wikipedia's archives, as well as drawing on his own experience as a Wikipedian, Andrew Dalby illustrates how articles change and grow over time, how the Wikipedia community responds (or fails to respond) to extremists, revisionists, self-interested parties and vandals, and how it reacts to good and bad publicity. Prominent editors and influential administrators are followed closely to reveal a surprising array of intentions and - at times - intriguing connections to the real world. The resultant articles are shown to vary from the outrageously and persistently inaccurate to the astonishingly up-to-date and reliable.
The World and Wikipedia tackles these questions by revealing the true extent of the world's interaction with Wikipedia, and what it means for the future of knowledge.