Our beloved Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit, is having an identity crisis: does it include all knowledge no matter how trivial, or does it adopt a more stringent editorial guideline to enhance its reputation as a credible reference?
These two conflicting visions are at the heart of a bitter struggle inside Wikipedia between “inclusionists”, who believe that applying strict editorial criteria will dampen contributors' enthusiasm for the project, and “deletionists” who argue that Wikipedia should be more cautious and selective about its entries.
In practice, deciding what is trivial and what is important is not easy. How do you draw editorial distinctions between an article entitled “List of nicknames used by George W. Bush” (status: kept) and one about “Vice-presidents who have shot people” (status: deleted)? Or how about “Natasha Demkina: Russian girl who claims to have X-ray vision” (status: kept) and “The role of clowns in modern society” (status: deleted)?
What? The role of clowns in modern society was deleted? Travesty!