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Wikipedia footsoldiers

7 March 2005

If you ever click on links in openDemocracy articles, you're bound to have stumbled on the Wikipedia website. It's like an online encyclopedia anyone can edit - even you - and we link to it a lot. In the March issue of Wired Magazine, Daniel H. Pink has written a great article with interviews with some of the people who write and update wikipedia entries most obsessively by the hundreds. You'll be surprised to hear who they are.

Towards the end of the (very long) article, it's questioned whether Wikipedia is a reliable source. Compared to what? It's honestly imperfect, in a way that encourages you to think for yourself. See something you don't like? Fix it. I was impressed to learn that wikipedia footsoldiers set up watches on more controversial subjects, and can restore entries within minutes when/if there is wiki-vandalism.

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Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

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Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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