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Essay:Why RationalWiki is not so great

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Essay.svg This essay is an original work by Martin Tournoij.
It does not necessarily reflect the views expressed in RationalWiki's Mission Statement, but we welcome discussion of a broad range of ideas.
Unless otherwise stated, this is original content, released into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, Permission is granted to any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.
Feel free to make comments on the talk page, which will probably be far more interesting, and might reflect a broader range of RationalWiki editors' thoughts.

Inspired by Wikipedia:Why Wikipedia is not so greatWikipedia's W.svg.

Technical issues[edit]

  • Infrequent updates; responses to technical problems are usually slow or non-existent.
  • Talk pages are clunky and difficult to use. Edit conflicts may result in accidental removal of other people's comments.
  • Wiki markup can be difficult to use for non-technical users. While there is an edit toolbar to help, there is no "true" WYSIWYGWikipedia's W.svg editor.

Social issues[edit]

  • RationalWiki is an anarchist mobocracy with no leadership and very few rules. While this works reasonably well in many cases, it sometimes hampers decisive decision-making.
  • Like most wikis, "activity is might" on RationalWiki; this does not necessarily mean that person is also right.
  • Personal insults are tolerated in a higher degree than most other communities.
  • Most prolific editors are male, and a disproportionate amount of those people are "geeks" or otherwise technical minded.
  • There is a lack of users with dissenting viewpoints on some topics. For example, the overwhelming majority of editors are atheists or agnostics (although there are a few active theists).
  • RationalWiki only has a small number of active editors, compared to a much larger wiki like Wikipedia.

Style and content issues[edit]

  • RationalWiki's Snarky point of view may be off-putting to some.
  • RationalWiki is not neutral, and some pages show a lack of understanding of the opposing side's position and/or world-view.
  • Anyone (even unregistered users) can add subtle nonsense or erroneous information to pages, which might take days, weeks, or even years to get corrected.
  • Similarly, anyone can remove reasonable and constructive text from pages, ruining another editor's work.
  • RationalWiki suffers from "trend editing" where popular current issues gain disproportionate attention in comparison to other possible articles. Because of this, some articles can contain outdated information.

See also[edit]