Cass R. Sunstein on Wikipedia - Dictionary of Arguments
Wikipedia/Sunstein: Wikipedia originated from Nupedia, which was structured like a traditional encyclopaedia, with experts as contributors and a peer review. Nupedia grew very slowly until Jimmy Wales, the founder of Nupedia, was persuaded to support Nupedia with a new project with freer access rules, Wikipedia. It started on January 10, 2001, had thousands of entries in February, 10,000 in September and 40,0000 entries in August 2002.
As of 2005, 0.7 % of English-speaking contributors - that were 524 - contributed more than half of all entries - worldwide, 2% of contributors contributed 75 % of the texts. That is less than 1500 people.
Sunstein thesis: Wikipedia works because those who know the truth are more engaged in the matter and more concerned than those who believe in something wrong. In fact, however, many pages are subject to vandalism and attempted influence.
But Wikipedia is surprisingly good at dealing with vandalism. The identity of vandals can also be disclosed.
Markets/Hayek/Sunstein: we can understand Wikipedia with Friedrich Hayek's theory of prices in markets. (See Markets/Hayek, Information/Hayek) Individual Wikipedia articles can be seen as prices in the sense of how a price contains information that comes from many subjects.
That is just a metaphor. Wikipedia itself does not use a pricing system.
Reputation/Wikipedia/Sunstein: whoever writes many articles gets a better position within the Wikipedian community and can influence the future development. Therefore, some people write a lot of short articles to get into this position soon.
Democracy/Wikipedia/Sunstein: the last editor of an article can become a ruler. This is a difference from pricing in markets where no consumer has that power.
The Los Angeles Times tried 2005 with a "Wikitorial", but the site was soon flooded with pornography. (1)
1. See “A Wiki For Your Thoughts” (June 17, 2005), available at http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-ed-wiki17jun17,1,1789326.story._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Cass R. Sunstein
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge Oxford 2008
Cass R. Sunstein
#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media Princeton 2017