Wikipedia’s role in Sen. Deeds’ nomination.

During Marc Fisher’s live discussion last night, two comments submitted by members of the public stand out:

I voted for Deeds. The WaPo endorsement really helped. I started doing the research this weekend and was disappointed that the WaPo did not have a quick guide the issues. I searched for a half an hour and did not find a quick rundown of the candidates and the issues.

Also, Deeds had a wikipedia page about his past stances. That really helped. The other two did not have similar pages.


[T]he candidates should’ve had a Wikipedia page that listed out what they’ve done and the stances they’ve taken in the past. Deeds had such a page and as opposed to a campaign Website, a wiki page gives you a quick run down without the gloss.

What each person is referring to is “Political positions of Creigh Deeds,” a Wikipedia entry created in February by Venu Katta. Though it’s nothing fancy, and certainly not complete, this entry provides a simple, factual, unbiased (to my eye) cataloging of Sen. Deeds’ positions on important matters, thoroughly supported with citations.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Wikipedia is going to play a large role in year’s Virginia elections. The campaigns that a) understand that, b) harness that and c) do so in a fair, unbiased way will reap the benefits. The campaigns that ignore Wikipedia or attempt to manipulate its information in a way that is anything less than fully truthful will be penalized accordingly.

Thanks to B.K. for the tip.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

2 replies on “Wikipedia’s role in Sen. Deeds’ nomination.”

  1. OK, Waldo, you inspired me to put up this:

    though a “Political positions of Greg Marrow” would be premature. (I wonder, though, how far down the hierarchy of candidates for elected office you have to go before Wikipedia editors will complain that the entry isn’t significant enough? Should C’ville City Council candidates have Wikipedia entries?

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