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.
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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 great.Wikipedia

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 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 Because of this, some articles can contain outdated information.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]