This week I came to the conclusion rather quickly that I would be an ‘inclusionist’ Wikipedian. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is advertised as “the encyclopedia that anyone can edit” (Carr, 2011, p.191). It is now know that there is more of a hierarchical system in place that governs the content that’s added and deleted which has created some controversy on how “open” this platform really is. In controlling the structure of Wikipedia two rival groups have formed; those being the ‘inclusionists’ and ‘deletionists’, of which the ‘deletionists’ have current run of the site. The philosophy of the ‘inclusionist’ that is presented in Carr’s writing is what I would choose to support. The philosophy is that there shouldn’t be any limits set on the amount of information on Wikipedia and keeping it as that open system that anyone can edit. I have found the ‘deletionists’ really only argue one point expressing that Wikipedia needs to remain quality driven and reflect the seriousness of a printed encyclopedia. I asked myself the question, why can’t both philosophies co-exist? Apparently this is not possible and to think so I would be referred to as a ‘delusionist’.
I concluded my choice of being an ‘inclusionist’ once I read that no one topic is of more significance than another (Carr, 2011). This is a philosophy I believe in as part of my central focus of life, coming from Christ. In the first book of Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) we are given a metaphor of the body and all its working parts (i.e. the hand, ear, eye etc.) and that one part cannot say they don’t need the other parts as they are all important to the greater whole. Wikipedia is not limited in its capacity to produce articles like a printed encyclopedia so, besides the detrimental data centers housing this information, I do not see any reason why Wikipedia cannot include any article under the sun. Furthermore, Ford (2011) points out “wiki-lawyering” as “the behaviour of Wikipedia’s self-appointed deletionist guardians, who excise anything that does not meet their standards, justifying their actions with a blizzard of acronyms” (p.263). I don’t feel that in a wiki platform there should be this degree of power over what content meets the standard of a select few.
Due to this control over the content on Wikipedia it has limited its own resources. I would side with the ‘inclusionists’ on their view that as a wiki it should be opened more in a broader sense to a global level and this would mean less control for the ‘deletionists’. Making Wikipedia more global will open it up to a whole new perspective and world of information. It would truly be a worldly encyclopedia. Ford (2011) points out that there are still whole continents that are unexplored on Wikipedia and to make this platform stronger there is a need to expand beyond our own knowledge to that of the worlds.
As I have personally been to different parts of the world and experienced these new and different cultures, I totally agree that Wikipedia would become stronger if they tapped into these resources and were inclusive of all worldly viewpoints. Wikipedia shouldn’t have the power to edit and delete content because it doesn’t follow our way of thinking, but rather embrace the differences of our world and give meaning to what is perceived as the lesser of things.