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17 August 2008

The wikipedia entry on Rats is the single worst article I have seen on a major subject. The popular culture section is just as bad as the fictitious pop-culture section in xkcd.

What are your nominations for worst wikipedia article on a commonly-referenced subject? [More:]
In other news, there's a blog devoted to bitching about how much xkcd sucks.
You know that you've made it big when there's a ****sucks site devoted to you/your thing.
posted by dabitch 17 August | 10:25
That Wikipedia article did not tell me enough about how rats figure into the work of Joss Whedon. I mean, there was only one Buffy reference.
posted by BitterOldPunk 17 August | 13:38
Not relevant but I tell people whenever I get a chance about how the "Defecation" article has been tagged as "requiring cleanup".
posted by loiseau 17 August | 14:19
The rat article seems no better nor much worse than most of wikipedia. I generally find most articles there are deficient.
posted by Ardiril 17 August | 17:54
"In popular culture" is a sort of defense that some editors have erected against disapproval of trivia sections. I'm on both sides. I don't see it as having encyclopedic importance, but I do see the usefulness/fun of having a reverse lookup, so to speak. Maybe it just belongs someplace else (my idea is a Wikia devoted to just listing these things for any topic).

Anyway, as a run-of-the-mill Wikipedia article, sans the pop culture section, i don't see anything particularly wrong with it. It's rated "start-class" by the appropriate WikiProject, but it wouldn't take a whole lot of work to bring it near Good Article status. (Featured would take six months, as per usual.) I'd say the only major subtopic that's missing from the article is a discussion of them as vermin.
posted by stilicho 17 August | 18:46
Yeah, it's rated "start-class", which according to WikiProject Mammals, is the lowest class other than Stub.

Substantial/major editing is needed, most material for a complete article needs to be added. This article usually isn't even good enough for a cleanup tag: it still needs to be built.

I pick on this article because I went to that article looking for information on the diet and other behaviors of rats. The article consists of:
1. 6 paragraphs detailing different types of animals meant by "Rat".
2. Rats as pets!
3. Rats in research.
4. Rats as food!
5. Rats in history, including the exclamation "Rats!"
6. Looooooooong and silly list of pop culture references, like "Roland Rat was a major TV personality in 1980s Britain."

Just sayin'.
posted by agropyron 18 August | 08:26
"information on the diet and other behaviors" - If I need that level of detail, I go straight to google.
posted by Ardiril 18 August | 09:59
Signs the end is nigh: || Central Park Danceskaters