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Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Re: Clarification (fwd) - COOL!

From: Jimmy Wales
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Re: Clarification (fwd) - COOL!
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 20:06:14 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.2i

Mike Warren wrote:
> Unless this project will be a ``FDL-licensed document resource'' and
> not another ``encyclopedia'', then there is absolutely no reason to
> have another project. You mention a ``moderation system''; Nupedia has
> one in place which appears to work quite well. Why make another?

Even though I'm obviously a Nupedia-advocate, I can answer this for the
GNE people.

There is some reason to be concerned about the idea of a single uniform
"moderation system".  Will biases creep in?  Will this amount to censorship?
What if an unpopular point of view is inadvertantly or deliberately supressed?

Now, much of this is a moot point for a true _encyclopedia_.  Even controversial
views can be presented in a spirit of openness and fairness to all serious 

But still, bias is possible.

Having different moderation systems can act as a check against bias.  Of course,
it can also allow people to view the FDL texts through a filter of their *own*
bias.  Alice may only wish to view articles which do not challenge her Christian
beliefs.  Bob may despise articles which speak kindly of communism.  Christy
may only want articles that are suitable for children.

For this reason, it can make a lot of sense to have a general repository of
FDL texts, over which can be placed many different filters.


A totally separate class of reasons might exist, too.  It might be argued by
advocates of collaborative filtering technologies that a traditional system
(like Nupedias) whereby experts in a field are recruited and consulted to
approve and edit articles is too _expensive_ (in terms of time and effort),
when readers themselves can filter the articles by voting, etc.

This might be viewed as a "cathedral versus bazaar" argument, although I
don't personally see it that way.

None of these points are completely invalid.


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