The Truth of Wikipedia

Nathaniel Tkacz


What does it mean to assert that Wikipedia has a relation to truth? That there is, despite regular claims to the contrary, an entire apparatus of truth in Wikipedia? In this article, I show that Wikipedia has in fact two distinct relations to truth: one which is well known and forms the basis of existing popular and scholarly commentaries, and another which refers to equally well-known aspects of Wikipedia, but has not been understood in terms of truth. I demonstrate Wikipedia's dual relation to truth through a close analysis of the Neutral Point of View core content policy (and one of the project's 'Five Pillars'). I conclude by indicating what is at stake in the assertion that Wikipedia has a regime of truth and what bearing this has on existing commentaries.


Wikipedia; Neutral Point of View; NPOV; Truth; Collaboration



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