Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Designing for Spreadability P1

Posted by katemilner9 on April 6, 2017

The debate over Wikipedia’s credibility has always been one I never understood. While, yes, user contributions are welcome, I remember trying to add something myself in seventh grade, to prove a point. The sign up process to be able to edit a page was too much on it’s own, especially for just a joke, and I’ve heard the stories of people getting banned from the site because of their untrue contributions to pages. It seems unlikely that the information on Wikipedia could be as harmfully incorrect as people like to think, but there’s still a war waged against it. Why is it that in this case, user-generated is automatically synonymous with bad or untrustworthy? Why are we conditioned to think user-generated content is inherently less trustworthy than any other source?

The idea of putting ethics in conversation with circulating media is particularly topical right now, I think. I don’t know if there’s a better time than now to really consider what the content you’re spreading really means, where it’s coming from, and the significance of that source. We live in this digital age where it’s so easy to click to share without thinking, and almost more important than checking the validity of Wikipedia pages is being conscious about sharing news, and deciding what constitutes as real news. Like the essay said, this is a time both producer and audience have a new kind of power, and it’s gonna be tough to continue to test the waters of what exactly that power means.

3 Responses to “Designing for Spreadability P1”

  1. connorfrederick12 said

    I really like this blog post. I’ve always though people react too hostile towards Wikipedia just because you can add content. These same people don’t realize the fact that there are moderators that watch every single page on the site. Posts or changes are also looked at my a moderator before they are published on the site as well.

  2. cameronbrooks3 said

    The blog was nothing but facts. It’s like people don’t understand the power they have when it comes down to using Wikipedia for a source, knowing that all the information you say may not be true.

  3. vene131 said

    My feelings regarding Wikipedia is that it is totally credible. Like you said it takes a lot to change any of the information on the site. Also, you don’t even need to cite Wikipedia when you can just use the sources at the bottom of every Wikipedia page. That way the information can’t be claimed as not credible by professors.

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