Welcome to Digital History › Forums › Weekly Discussion Topics 2018-19 › Week 14 Discussion Question
- This topic has 7 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 5 months ago by elisagalloro.
January 7, 2019 at 10:07 am #3221Sean KherajKeymaster
What are the benefits and weaknesses of Wikipedia’s NPOV policy?January 10, 2019 at 10:53 am #3222YuanParticipant
The Neutral Point of View Policy is beneficial that it protects Wikipedia to step into a “controversial vortex” and to face unnecessary lawsuits. Besides, contributors can express their factual interpretations without having to worry about being attack by others on the platform. While the NPOV policy is beneficial, there are also weaknesses that the policy contains. Firstly, often one of the main reasons that visitors visit the website was that they wanted to seek opinions and heard two sides. Thus, it can lose many website visitors. Although the policy had implemented, over the years people also found that not 100% of published articles were NPOV, further evaluating taken place and it is time-consuming. Lastly, being neutral is hard for Wikipedians as people are inherently biased, which is true for evaluators also that they are using their judgements objectively or subjectively to assess an article. Thereby, being “neutral” is complicated as it has many variations.January 10, 2019 at 11:49 am #3223Connor PantaleoParticipant
Neutral point of view policies have many benefits especially in environments such as Wikipedia. They allow the information of sensitive topics to be displayed factually without bias. This is important because it allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. It can also hinder the content if some information is intended to be presented in a way that’s violates the policy.January 10, 2019 at 11:58 am #3224sarahmolentParticipant
One of the benefits of the NPOV policy is that it allows contributors to express themselves more freely because information is able to be posted without preconceived notions or bias. Due to this users, are able to freely understand information because factual evidence is present and sensitive topics are not removed. However, although there are many benefits to this policy, there are also some weaknesses. Since information is able to be posted freely, users who are viewing their search pages may be confused. Since the website just contains facts, the contributor does not add any conclusions or synthesizing which can weaken the overall flow of information from website to reader.January 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm #3225rheajaipersaudParticipant
Wikipedia’s NPOV policy allows for a larger user interface. Users can easily access controversial points of view with a click of a mouse. However, this can be frustrating if you are writing an essay on a certain point of view, and cannot filter the information to find what you are looking for. I think overall, the idea behind the NPOV was decent but did not account for the ‘ease of use’ aspect of the website. It would take extra time for users to find the information they are looking for and ultimately, everyone is biased!! Is it really possible to be 100% neutral?!January 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm #3226veronicapettaParticipant
Wikipedia’s NPOV policy tries to encourage a biased and judgement free zone for readers of the article. The benefit of this aspect is that readers are not presented with only one side of the story, or influenced by the authors beliefs. Readers are able to form their own opinion of what they are reading. However, this policy is challenged when outside people edit the article with their own thoughts and opinions. Evidently, as the article states, “there is no objective in history” but quick research historical events is possibly one of the main reasons people use Wikipedia in the first place. However, young students researching the events of World War I were not around during those years to know if what they are reading is even true, therefore the NPOV is important for all authors (legitimate or not) to write within it. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, which a weakness of the NPOV. By asking authors to not write in their own opinion, it can been seen as a restriction of this right.January 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm #3227Sean KherajKeymaster
You have raised some good points about the relative merits of Wikipedia’s NPOV policy. It does raise questions about how you write “objectively” and eliminate opinion or subject position. As Sarah notes, one weakness might be that the writing offers no conclusions, synthesis, or analysis.January 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm #3228elisagalloroParticipant
Wikipedia’s NPOV policy encourages a non-bias, non-judgmental space where subjects can be written that do not favour a certain point of view. This allows the audience to grasp a better understanding of the topic in general as apose to learning about a one sided view of it. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has a right to that opinion. As soon as outside sources start editing Wikipedia pages with their own personal opinions, the NPOV policy is no longer existent. This will always be something to consider as long as Wikipedia remains a site where anyone can have access to editing.
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