Web 2.0 Musings

Who’s story is it anyway?

The problems with Wikipedia as outlined in the article attached http://blogs.zdnet.com/Murphy/?p=1190, highlight one of the greatest problems we face in age of ubiquitous information.

It is the question of “Who’s story is it?”

However this has always been a problem, it is just that in the present age as we all gain the power to tell the story and bend it to fit with our own agenda and feelings, the question is raised with more force.

Ironic really as for years we have not questioned the motives or integrity of journalists, governments, businesses (often disguised as journalists through PR exercises), or campaigners, as they have bent information to their purposes, manipulating minds and memes to serve their own ends.

Yet now when “just anybody” has the power to tell the story, we begin to ask the question “Who’s story is it?” We should have been asking this question all our lives. But whilst the myth of the Expert prevails, at least if we start to ask the question regarding publicly edited sites, hopefully this thinking will spill into the popular domain.

“Who’s story is it?” should be the mantra of freethinking individuals everywhere, it should be a civic duty and responsibility to ask this question.

With respect to the article concerned, yes it should be asked of emotionally fraught topics like global warming. Arguments that we have to scare, patronise, exaggerate, and outright lie in order to achieve the greater good are detrimental to society as they are counterproductive, they also leave us helpless in an actual argument. I like to know that the decisions I make are based on fact, not hyperbole and conjecture before I enter into the fray, on global warming I remain undecided, but act according to the worst case scenario.

In order to have an intelligent dialogue, all facts must be allowed and brought to the discussion, preferably as part of one distilled debate, with everything in one place. If we allow bias to prevail whether it is conservative or liberal, we are denying the genuine freedom of knowledge and informed decision to the public, this is a dangerous path.

With respect to who should control the data, or have editing rights over a page we need to see the editors and who they are. Googling “Kim Dabelstein Petersen” reveals nothing about who they are or why they should be granted such power and control. The right to edit/dispute should be decided by demonstrating a sound understanding of the topic in question outside of Wikipedia, furthermore in instances where a consensus cannot be reached, then both sides of the argument should be portrayed. We need a collective system to guard the guardians of the knowledge pool.

We all have a right to know who’s telling the story!

<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>


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