What Wikipedia Teaches Us about Truth and Beliefs

Katherine Maher

A video of Katherine Maher

11 a.m., July 30, 2023

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Wikipedia is the largest and most-read reference work in history, and has consistently been one of the 10 most popular websites. It’s an online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers who disagree on many of the topics on which they collaborate.

So, how do we unite minds and disparate views? Instead of seeking one key truth, we must shift to a minimum viable truth, getting it right enough, enough of the time to be useful enough to enough people.

The speaker, Katherine Maher, is the former CEO and executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia. In this talk, she delves into the transparent, adaptable, and community-building ways the online encyclopedia brings free and reliable information to the public — while also accounting for bias and difference of opinion.

This 15-minute TED talk was recorded May 2022. You can preview it at https://www.ted.com/talks/katherine_maher_what_wikipedia_teaches_us_about_balancing_truth_and_beliefs


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