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using provenance is really a cultural issue

From: Paolo Missier <Paolo.Missier@ncl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 08:45:33 +0000
Message-ID: <4F5871AD.3040200@ncl.ac.uk>
To: "public-prov-wg@w3.org" <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Hi,
   please allow me a brief non-technical intermission.
  I have been fascinated by the fuss around wikipedia being controlled by " CIA, the British Labour Party and the Vatican" [1]. I 
happen to have some friends who revel in conspiracy theories and who really dig this stuff.
What I find frustrating is that I am having a hard time explaining that wikipedia is one of the few sources of collective knowledge 
which is actually provenance-rich. You don't know whether an editor works for the CIA but you know who they are, what is being 
edited, and when. you can discuss with them and expose them if you think you have an argument. The discussions are traced (am I 
being too naive?)
But people trust the content blindly, only to discover later that it's been written by someone with a vested interest in doctoring 
information, and that's their point on conspiracy proven.

It seems to me that the "oh yeah" button is right there already but no one uses it. So maybe there is a relevant cultural and 
educational angle to provenance studies as well.

-Paolo


[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-08-16/program-shows-cia-behind-wikipedia-entries/642224

-- 
-----------  ~oo~  --------------
Paolo Missier - Paolo.Missier@newcastle.ac.uk, pmissier@acm.org
School of Computing Science, Newcastle University,  UK
http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/people/Paolo.Missier
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2012 08:46:06 GMT

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