What's new
US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

How trustable is Wikipedia as a source of information?

phoenyx

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
428
Points
140
Location
Canada
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:
 

GLASNOST

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
5,326
Reaction score
737
Points
140
Location
Salle d'attente de la gare
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:
I agree with you 100%. A good starting point ... nothing more.
 

martybegan

Diamond Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
57,517
Reaction score
13,898
Points
2,190
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:

Wikipedia is good for non controversial things and as a 1st lookup to get the gist of something.

For more polarizing topics, take it with a grain of salt, and look at the "talk" page to get an idea of the ideologies behind the people editing the articles.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
14,030
Reaction score
7,611
Points
940
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:
Yes. Good place to start for background. They are usually pretty good and keep their site pretty straight. Have suggested an edit to correct on an article (stair construction, not politics) and you can see who wrote or edited, not that you usually know of them. I happened to at the time, as it was an industry rep I had worked with.
 

rightwinger

Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
222,829
Reaction score
48,579
Points
2,190
I like Wikipedia
Nothing on the internet is even close.

They source their information. They also challenge questionable information real time.

Bad information can work its way in, but it is usually cleansed in a short period of time
 

Prof.Lunaphiles

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
1,904
Reaction score
1,189
Points
938
Location
Transient
For the most part, I do use Wikipedia as a starting point for understanding subjects. There is no reason to cite Wikipedia - it is not copy-righted.

I have been using Wikipedia for research for 12 years. I do not quote from it, but I am not afraid to lift passages and reword them. But my research does not include much citing of any research, because I am the lead in opening the field to a reliable theory.
 
OP
phoenyx

phoenyx

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
428
Points
140
Location
Canada
I like Wikipedia
Nothing on the internet is even close.

They source their information. They also challenge questionable information real time.

Bad information can work its way in, but it is usually cleansed in a short period of time

For some subjects, I agree. For others, not so much. However, one thing that is good- while their page may have bad information, frequently their links actually set the story straight.
 
OP
phoenyx

phoenyx

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
428
Points
140
Location
Canada
For the most part, I do use Wikipedia as a starting point for understanding subjects. There is no reason to cite Wikipedia - it is not copy-righted.

Citing sources isn't just about copyright, it's also about letting others know where you are getting your information from.
 

deannalw

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
14,022
Reaction score
6,078
Points
400
A few years back on another board, far away....

I used the number 147 all the time. Don't know why, but there it is. A lot of other folks started using it and pretty soon, there were jokes about plagiarism and such.

Anyway...one of my friends went to wiki and created an entry that claimed I was the inventor of the number 147. It was funny as hell and eventually got taken down.

Trust them zero
 

TNHarley

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
73,185
Reaction score
21,185
Points
2,180
Wiki is fine as long as you go to the cites at the bottom and check those out.
 

JoeMoma

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2014
Messages
18,015
Reaction score
5,704
Points
360
I like Wikipedia for nerdy technical topics like looking up math/science formulas. There are millions of nerds in the world that create and update such topics and they tend to do a good job.
 

TheParser

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
5,827
Reaction score
3,678
Points
940
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:

I have heard the same thing: People can edit the articles willy-nilly.

So I do not trust Wikipedia when it comes to controversial topics.

In fact, I rarely visit that site.

Like many other people, I go there to get a general idea about a topic and then try to find more trustworthy sources.
 

whitehall

Diamond Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
48,353
Reaction score
11,933
Points
2,040
Location
Western Va.
Wiki will give you the basic rundown on a search but can't be expected to give the whole story. Even the generalized history books contain conscious or unconscious bias and sometimes withhold facts that might not be politically unpopular. It doesn't mean the history books are lying but sometimes certain facts get in the way of the agenda.
 

JOSweetHeart

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
14,970
Reaction score
3,246
Points
255
Location
East Tennessee
My favorite thing about the website is how informative it is where learning about my favorite celebrities are concerned.

God bless you and my favorites who are still here always!!!

Holly
 

alang1216

Pragmatist
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
13,467
Reaction score
1,990
Points
245
Location
Virginia
Recently, some people have been citing Wikipedia as the reason they distrust a person or a website. I have always believed that Wikipedia can be a good starting point for research, but frequently isn't a good ending point. For more on why this is the case, I'll quote the work of an academic on the subject:
**
There are a variety of reasons to distrust Wikipedia.

  1. Anyone can make it say anything he will. Several years ago I was listening to my favorite sports-talk radio station (1620 The Zone, Omaha) and the two hosts were editing someone’s Wikipedia biography live, on the air.
  2. Most of those who create and maintain entries are anonymous. Whatever its virtues, anonymity licenses irresponsibility. Anyone can claim expertise about any topic.
  3. A real, actual, professional reference would be edited by an accredited scholar or even a team of scholars. The entries would be written by scholars. The entries are supposed to be fair, clear, and professionally written. To be sure, this is no guarantee that every entry is completely accurate but Wikipedia does not even begin with these basic protocols and safeguards. It is ostensibly democratic but actually a sort of digital oligarchy.
  4. It is easily manipulated by PR companies and others who have professionals devoted to “curating” and manipulating entries.
  5. The guardians of Wikipedia can be worse than its entries and authors.
**

Full article here:
Every source should be questioned but I think Wikipedia is one of the best. It is policed by EVERYONE, what you find is that anyone can edit a page but the edits will be checked very quickly. What other source even comes close.

If you don't believe me go to Trump's page and make up an accusation, see how long it remains.
 

USMB Server Goals

Total amount
$350.00
Goal
$350.00

New Topics

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top