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The Debacle of the Lightning Network and Wiki Editors

A slew of Wikipedia editors would like to delete the Lightning Network (LN) Wiki page because the subject matter does not hold notability.

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Wikipedia editors use notability as a test to find out if a topic warrants its own article. The LN article debate on Wikipedia is still raging as a few editors believe the subject is “dredging for mainstream press coverage” while highlighting that the article does not have reliable third-party sources.

The controversial Lighting Network scaling solution for BTC is being discussed on Wikipedia because a group of Wiki editors would like to delete the Lightning Network article for lack of notability. The discussion among Wikipedia contributors shows there’s a disagreement about the validity of the LN article.

“There is a problem with notability of the subject: the citations in the article refers to self-published texts that are not acceptable for notability,” explains the editor Ladislav Mecir. “Other sources found also do not qualify as significant coverage by sources independent on the subject,” Mecir added.

A few people came to the LN article’s defense and said that they think that the LN page “is sufficiently notable for WP.” “It’s fair to say that it’s one of the most important initiatives in the Bitcoin ecosystem and seems to be the only viable path for Bitcoin,” Wiki contributor ‘Jimd’ wrote.



Developers on the Tingle

After this comment, Bitcoin Core and Blockstream developer Greg Maxwell stepped into the conversation. Maxwell is well known for contributing to Wikipedia but some Wiki contributors have called him an editor who “regularly makes personal attacks.” Maxwell believes the LN article should be kept.

“My only point there was that effort debating the boundary of cryptocurrency notability would be better spent on things that weren’t close to obvious keeps,” Maxwell remarked.


The debate continued with a few more editors throwing in their two cents about the LN article on Wikipedia. It seems a good portion of the contributors believe the sources used in the article were not up to standards.

Throughout most of the commentary, there were issues about the validity of sourced content. Besides the source problem, an editor named ‘Kjerish’ believes that the LN subject “has enough notability as a data structure alone.” “The subject potentially applies to several chains (not just Bitcoin),” the editor added.

The Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a multilingual online encyclopedia created and maintained as an open collaboration project by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web, and is one of the most popular websites ranked by Alexa as of October 2019.

It features exclusively free content and no commercial ads, and is owned and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization funded primarily through donations.

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined its name, as a portmanteau of “wiki” (the Hawaiian word for “quick”) and “encyclopedia”. Initially an English-language encyclopedia, versions of Wikipedia in other languages were quickly developed.

With at least 5,981,443 articles, the English Wikipedia is the largest of the more than 290 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 40 million articles in 301 different languages and by February 2014 it had reached 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors per month.


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