C2 Wiki Wars

“Trust – This is at the core of wiki. Trust the people, trust the process, enable trust-building. ~ Anonymous (C2 Wiki)”

This lofty principle isn’t working well for the Wiki that started it all, the C2 Wiki. According to the site:

“It would appear that trust has now broken down. People are accusing others of scripts, double deletes, double edits and disagreeing by deleting. Presence or absence of evidence notwithstanding, people no longer trust that contributions, edits and deletes are being made in good faith.”

Some of the members of the C2 community are even calling for mutiny. I’m an occasional visitor to the C2 Wiki rather than frequent contributor and I don’t know the historical details of the problems that have been occurring. According to information on the site, C2 has been the target of vandalism, spamming, and other forms disruption for at least several months. The openness of the C2 Wiki has been partially replaced with IP address banning, secret edit keys, automated scripts to clean up vandalized or spammed topics, voting for page modifications, and discussions of additional security mechanisms. Violators are judged according to a ranking of Wiki sins (WikiSinRank) .

There is a vast quantity of useful information on the C2 Wiki so it would be a shame if this resource were not available. On the other hand, many of the topics are a jumbled potpourri of ideas seldom resulting in any conclusion. The Wiki also appears to be used for purposes for which it’s not well suited. For example, the ThreadMode pages often lose the chronology of discussion and it’s difficult to know who said what as the discussion progresses. This type of information is better represented in a conventional threaded forum or mailing list form.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the Wiki experiment and consider other ways to support collaboration and organize the results of that collaboration. In any case, the C2 Wiki wars currently in progress provide an interesting opportunity to evaluate human nature in the context of these unstructured collaborative activities.

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