Friday, February 1, 2013

"This Article has Multiple Issues" [Phantom Cats]

Since our assignment to contribute to Wikipedia is due on February 25th (which happens to be my birthday), I decided to read the article on Phantom Cats more critically than I did originally. What I found: I have a lot of work to do.

Having read it, I can see why the article has been tagged as unbalanced. Even though it's an overview of phantom cats, highlighting ones that have been sighted multiple times and have their own names, most of the cited resources are about the Australian big cats (even though, perhaps, Britain is more famous for big cat sightings). Yes, the phantom cats in Britain have their own article (one that's free of warnings), but it doesn't change the imbalance of the main article, particularly when, of the five named phantom cats in Australia, two of them have their own articles. Personally, I don't think they're necessary, since they're very short. A third leads to a more general article about cougars in Western Australia. Closer to home, in the U.S., seven states are listed as having sighted alien big cats - but none of them have their own article.

On the warning of inadequate citations, I looked through the article and noted that the claims of big cat sightings in Australia were cited, but others weren't: more evidence of the article's imbalance.

Looking at the edit history of the article, I notice that there have been fairly continual edits to the article over the years, and yet the warnings from 2008 and 2009 remain. So I have my work cut out for me.

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