Why Wikipedia Sucks

September 23, 2010

The wikipedia entry for Elizabeth Medina, a Filipina writer based in Chile that I wrote months ago is GONE.

I should not be surprised because wikipedia  have this strange habit of accepting entries dedicated to lesser significant persons like a barrio chairman in an unknown barrio in Laguna who no one has ever heard of but for some bizarre reason disallow published authors.

The reason why I tried to put up a page for Sra. Medina is so students and researchers can find information about her that can help them. Her perspective on some of the most crucial events in our history is not the usual type you’ll hear from our local historian. She’s got some awesome materials and her work on Retana is invaluable. One of the greatest book written about the hero.

Her “Retana” book, was one hell of a research – it opened my eyes into the reality that we are overlooking very important sources. People like her reveals  historical truths and untruths – there’s much that Filipinos can learn from her.

Sra. Medina’s  contributions to the study of Rizal has been widely recognized and appreciated by the academe. Reason why I was disappointed that my entry was deleted. Her Retana book was presented in the Instituto Cervantes Manila by the Chilean and Spanish ambassadors during the Rizal anniversary in 1999. She has authored several titles that deals with her experiences as a Filipina in hispano land.

Tia Isabel’s books and essays offers  interesting perspectives and analyses. She has been a gold mine of Filipino history information. Her works are clear, concise and honest – I consider myself fortunate because I can go straight to her whenever I need help.

I always tell people not to rely too much on wikipedia for obvious reasons. It provides people quick and simple information that makes it a very useful tool but because its open to all users the information are often unreliable. Its accessibility and visibility still makes it an important internet source. This explains why I’m still trying to put up articles that I feel are important for Filipinos on their site.

I believe that wikipedia is giving way too much power to people who doesn’t really have authority. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff in wikipedia but if the process would eliminate entries for individuals with great potential in contributing knowledge, then there really is nothing new we can juice out of their site. Wikipedia users are making decisions are based on popularity (even this “popularity” basis is inconsistent – how can a barrio captain get one and a published writer gets declined). This is sad because it defeats the purpose of the site — Learning new things.

Seeing the reason why the entry I created was deleted she wrote me:

Wikipedia as the people’s encyclopedia, as a source of information without discrimination especially of those who are not supported by mainstream academia and media, should assist serious individuals such as myself in reaching the audiences we serve — ordinary people who want to learn about new cultural contributions from other ordinary people like themselves, but who are making great efforts to produce works of excellence, for no other reason than because we love knowledge and freedom of thought and expression.

I could not agree more. I’ve given up on this wikipedia sham.

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This one is too bad. I have earlier read that entry of yours in Wikipedia and was also
able to get a copy of of some her works online.
Why not try submitting it to Wikipilipinas.org instead? Suggestion lang po.

Joe Rouse

Here’s a link to her blog: http://salisipan.blogspot.com/