Wikipedia again avoids facts by “policy”

Philip Roth, author of The Human Stain, wanted to correct the Wikipedia entry about his novel. I have written about this before and still find Wikipedia’s approach less than helpful in this regard. When you have actual primary sources, why not use them? Sure, they might lie and authors have been known to do just that, but why not include the statement, “Many believe the novel is based upon X, but the author insists it is about Y”?

Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

via An Open Letter to Wikipedia About Anatole Broyard and “The Human Stain” : The New Yorker.

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