from the depends-on-who-you-ask dept
However, perhaps an even more interesting discussion is somewhat buried at the end of the Forbes article linked above: the question over whether or not anonymity is a good or bad thing for Wikipedia. The article quotes Marc Rotenberg, the director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, complaining that Wikipedia needs to do a better job protecting individuals' privacy. Griffith responds that removing anonymity should improve the quality of Wikipedia:
"I would say that if people are anonymous, the quality of their contribution is probably much lower. Wouldn't you want Wikipedia users to be held accountable for what they change?"This brings up a few interesting questions. Rotenberg's complaint seems misplaced. The fact that your IP address is revealed with each edit is a known fact. Anyone editing Wikipedia should take that into account. That's hardly Wikipedia's problem. But anonymity can also be an important factor in getting content out. And so far, it appears that all of the "scandals" associated with Wikiscanner were related to biased parties changing info in their favor -- which certainly suggests Giffith has a point: catching those who are changing Wikipedia with ulterior motives does seem to improve the reliability of the site.