“The Church History that ‘Anyone Can Edit’”


Al Gore,
Nobel Laureate, Academy Award winner.
recipient of an Emmy and a Grammy,
inventor of the Internet,
founder (no doubt) of Wikipedia


I’m happy to announce, belatedly — I’ve been in airports and on airplanes! — that Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, has posted yet another new item:  Roger Nicholson’s “Mormonism and Wikipedia: The Church History that ‘Anyone Can Edit.’”


Abstract: The ability to quickly and easily access literature critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been made significantly easier through the advent of the Internet. One of the primary sites that dominates search engine results is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit.” Wikipedia contains a large number of articles related to Mormonism that are edited by believers, critics, and neutral parties. The reliability of information regarding the Church and its history is subject to the biases of the editors who choose to modify those articles. Even if a wiki article is thoroughly sourced, editors sometimes employ source material in a manner that supports their bias. This essay explores the dynamics behind the creation of Wikipedia articles about the Church, the role that believers and critics play in that process, and the reliability of the information produced in the resulting wiki articles.


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