Larry Sanger, who co-founded the site with James Wales, was speaking two weeks after he started up a rival online information source Citizendium. The new site has articles checked and contributed by accredited academics and specialists, but will also accept publicly-written articles, once they have been checked.
He spoke out after the Education Secretary Alan Johnson praised Wikipedia at the annual conference of the National Association of Schoolteachers and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), saying it opened up knowledge that was previously unavailable to those who could not get access to copies of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
“I’m afraid that Mr Johnson does not realise the many problems afflicting Wikipedia, from serious management problems, to an often dysfunctional community, to frequently unreliable content, and to a whole series of scandals,” Sanger told The Times.
“While Wikipedia is still quite useful and an amazing phenomenon, I have come to the view that it is also broken beyond repair.”
Last month a Wikipedia editor who claimed to be a theology professor at an American college was unmasked as a 24-year-old college drop out.
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