Wikipedia stupidities

Would you believe that Wikipedia long had a policy which says that plot summaries – a core part of encyclopedic coverage – are something that Wikipedia was not? After this misbegotten thing was changed to a weaker version – which simply said they were highly discouraged without other content – goodbye any articles discussing the plot of the work from cited sources – there’s now a movement to restore the ARRGHUTTERIMBICILITY version.

Don’t believe me?

They’re currently voting on it.

The old version they want it changed back to says:

Wikipedia is not….

* Plot summaries: The coverage of a fictional work should not be a mere plot summary. A summary should facilitate substantial coverage of the work’s real-world development, reception, and significance. See also Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction).

This option is leading, beating out slightly more sensible wording, and the option of deleting the whole misbegotten thing. Evidently, Wikipedia wants plot summaries are to be officially declared to be useless in themselves – even what Wikipedia is not – unless someone writes lots of analysis which most readers aren’t interested in.

Pity that they’re also the most useful part of an article for someone trying to find out about a fictional topic they aren’t familiar with.

One reply on “Wikipedia stupidities”

  1. I doubt they want somebody to write an analysis. Rather, the definition you quote seems to suggest that a plot should act as an illustration to points raised in the rest of an article. These points should presumably be attributed to some outside and trustworthy source, where trustworthy stands for “vetted by deletionazis.”

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