This is the first in a series of articles aimed at first-time editors of Wikipedia, but also contains tips useful to anyone who spends time on that site. Come back the same time next week for the next article in this series.
In the three plus years that I’ve been recommending that skeptics make an effort to edit Wikipedia, I often hear objections from skeptics who have tried, failed and given up. Some have anecdotes of factual edits they attempted, only to be slapped down by more experienced editors. Others report they attempted to bring some sense to a controversial article about a particular pseudoscience, and ended up battling with believers.
The common element in many of these stories is that these editors assumed that it was sufficient to have science or fact on their side. Surely the others editing Wikipedia will see the truth inherent in their additions?
Perhaps in an just, ideal world. But in our flawed, real world the other editors of Wikipedia are fallible humans who are constantly encountering troublesome edits that must be undone. In order to have your work accepted, you have to be aware of this. You have to earn their trust.
In this first of a series of posts, I’ll give you some tips on how to get started on this.