WikiAnswers on questionable content.

Today WikiAnswers made an appearance on The Red Tape Chronicles, an MSNBC blog. Bob Sullivan discussed the issue of how Q&A sites handle their questionable content – and if they do at all.

WikiAnswers differs from Yahoo! Answers, for instance, because there is a “Catch All” system in place for dealing with questions that may be inappropriate or even dangerous:

[On WikiAnswers] a set of 500 volunteers create a list of “Catch All” questions which aren’t allowed on the site. When a user asks such a question, a generic reply developed by the company is shown. The question “How do I build a bomb?” elicits the response: “WikiAnswers does not provide information that will aid or support criminal activity.”

The question “How do I get high from household items” redirects the asker to the question “What household items can kill you?”

The site also publishes its list of forbidden questions.

Bruce Smith, chief strategy officer of Answers Corp, commented on the WikiAnswers way of handling questionable content:

“There is no hard and fast rule. We have a lot of debates,” he said. Certain questions, however, are unambiguous, he said.

“Nothing is perfect. But the bigger the community, the more effective the monitoring,” Smith said.

Check out the complete article here.

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