— I just ran across the Disinfopedia. It's a wiki apparently published by the Center for Media and Democracy, the sort of left wing organization dead sure that there is indeed a vast right wing conspiracy (and of course there is!). Anyway, Disinfopedia collects info on corporate shills, PR firms, think tanks, and other sundry sources of “disinformation”. Now, this is all fine and good. But I wonder how they think this is going to work well in the long run. Wiki pages can be edited by anyone who looks at them. It's hard to believe that wingers won't soon enough start edit wars. Surely some conservative would love to have a crack at the Ronald Reagan entry. I just edited a paragraph in the think tank page, for the fun of it. See if you can spot the bit I changed (if they haven't already reverted to the previous version). Wikipedia works because of its ethos of neutrality on contentious issues. If somebody writes something biased, somebody comes along and balances it out. It will be interesting to see if an overtly ideological wiki can survive.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center