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Notability

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Tim Noah:

But the terms of eviction from Wikipedia raise a larger issue than the bruised ego of one scribbler (or Jungian analyst or anime artist or Finnish security consultant). Why does Wikipedia have a “notability” standard at all?

First, the fact of Tim Noah’s eviction from Wikipedia makes me despair of ever achieving the honor of an entry; Noah is a pretty well known guy, and if he could only save his entry by launching a head long attack against the notability standard, what chance do I stand?

More to the point, the reason for the notability criterion seems relatively obvious to me. Wikipedia is a community operation, with each entry depending on continuous correction and revision. If Sven, the weird guy down the hall, writes an entry on himself, there’s likely no one who knows enough about him to contradict anything that he says. Wikipedia does have a commitment to accuracy, and their method of achieving accuracy is through drawing on the communal expertise available on the internet. Excluding subjects through notability criteria is a way of saying that no community exists capable of checking the assertions in a particular entry, and thus that Wikipedia lacks the means necessary to stand by those assertions.

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