This post on the Wikipedia/Seigenthaler spat at Corante.com contains this excellent comment from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales:
Imagine that we are designing a restaurant. This restuarant will serve steak. Because we are going to be serving steak, we will have steak knives for the customers. Because the customers will have steak knives, they might stab each other. Therefore, we conclude, we need to put each table into separate metal cages, to prevent the possibility of people stabbing each other.
What would such an approach do to our civil society? What does it do to human kindness, benevolence, and a positive sense of community?
When we reject this design for restaurants, and then when, inevitably, someone does get stabbed in a restaurant (it does happen), do we write long editorials to the papers complaining that “The steakhouse is inviting it by not only allowing irresponsible vandals to stab anyone they please, but by also providing the weapons”?
No, instead we acknowledge that the verb “to allow” does not apply in such a situation. A restaurant is not allowing something just because they haven”t taken measures to forcibly prevent it a priori. It is surely against the rules of the restaurant, and of course against the laws of society. Just. Like. Libel. If someone starts doing bad things in a restuarant, they are forcibly kicked out and, if it”s particularly bad, the law can be called. Just. Like. Wikipedia. I do not accept the spin that Wikipedia “allows anyone to write anything” just because we do not metaphysically prevent it by putting authors in cages.