Faculty Publications

Title

Transparency and social responsibility issues for Wikipedia

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Corporate social responsibility, Ethics, Higher education, Information, Transparency, Wikipedia

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ethics and Information Technology

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

133

Last Page

144

Abstract

Wikipedia is known as a free online encyclopedia. Wikipedia uses largely transparent writing and editing processes, which aim at providing the user with quality information through a democratic collaborative system. However, one aspect of these processes is not transparent-the identity of contributors, editors, and administrators. We argue that this particular lack of transparency jeopardizes the validity of the information being produced by Wikipedia. We analyze the social and ethical consequences of this lack of transparency in Wikipedia for all users, but especially students; we assess the corporate social performance issues involved, and we propose courses of action to compensate for the potential problems. We show that Wikipedia has the appearance, but not the reality, of responsible, transparent information production. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Original Publication Date

5-6-2009

DOI of published version

10.1007/s10676-009-9193-y

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