[Air-l] wikis and restaurants

M. Cameron Jones mjones2 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 13 13:08:52 PST 2005

On 12/13/05, Barry Wellman <wellman at chass.utoronto.ca> wrote:
> Re the analogy between restaurants and wikipedia by Jimmy Wales:
> All the restaurants in Toronto must pass health inspection (food storage,
> etc.) and must post their pass certificate prominently near the outside
> door.
> While health inspections are always problematic (inadequate measures,
> bribery, etc.), they do give some assertion that the steak will be steak
> and will actually be stored in a fridge with proper temperature.

True, but this is more like the regulations imposed against
traditional media outlets, where the newspaper can get sued for libel
for the actions one of its reporters. Just like the restuarant will
get shut down if one cook doesn't follow health code.

Wikipedia, and other web-sites with community contributed content, are
not responsible (nor should they be) for the contributions of their
users (at least in the US). This is the restaurant equivalent of a
fellow diner walking by your table and spitting on your steak. Clearly
the health inspector would not shut down the restaurant for such an

- Cameron Jones
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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