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Is Wikipedia a reliable and socially beneficial resource?

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM
  • 12 Replies

Wikipedia is a free, multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a blend of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia. Launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, it is the largest, fastest-growing and most popular general reference work currently available on the Internet.

 

It is, by far, the largest encyclopedia in the history of the world, twenty times larger in its volume of words than its closest counter-part, encyclopedia Britannica.

 Wikipedia attracts 683 million visitors annually reading over 10 million articles in 253 languages, comprising a combined total of over 1.74 billion words for all Wikipedias. The English Wikipedia edition passed the 2,000,000-article mark on September 9, 2007, and as of May 28, 2008 it had over 2,390,000 articles consisting of over 1,034,000,000 words. The amazing success of Wikipedia and its implications for the future of knowledge exchange have prompted many to critique and question its model, its reliability, and its future.

 Is Wikipedia reliable as a reference work? Is it as reliable as Britannica? Is it better than Britannica? Is Wikipedia's openness to editing by anybody around the world a source of strength or vulnerability to non-experts, misinformation, and vandalism? Is its overall model of consensus over credentials valuable or susceptible to a kind of tyranny of the majority? Do these policies tend to cause Wikipedia to suffer from a systemic bias that gives too much priority and attention to popular, albeit insignificant topics. Is Wikipedia's policy of Neutral Point of View (NPOV) a strength or a problem?

by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MAXnBRYCESmom
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Wikipedia, IMO, is NOT a reliable resource. Anyone can add anything, true or not, and people take it as fact. There have been several instances where people have written blatent lies and mis-information in Wikipedia, some are seen and erased (but not before thousands of people see it), and others are under the radar an go posted for long periods of time.

-Annie-


     


margroc
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Anyone can go into wikipedia and type in anything they want so no - I wouldn't call it reliable at all.  Interesting - yes, reliable - no.

IhartU
by Gold Member on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Is there another site you feel is more trustworhty to get over-all information from?

margroc
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 11:56 AM


Quoting IhartU:

Is there another site you feel is more trustworhty to get over-all information from?

I like snopes

morningdove831
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Wikipedia is reliable on SOME things, but definitely not all.  When I need information I can really count on from an encyclopedia, I go to an encyclopedia or other trusted source.  But when I'm just curious about things, sometimes I use wikipedia. 

    

IhartU
by Gold Member on Jul. 21, 2009 at 12:02 PM


Quoting margroc:

 

Quoting IhartU:

Is there another site you feel is more trustworhty to get over-all information from?

I like snopes

I've heard that as well as factcheck.org are biased and have false information on them as well. Perhaps we should go back to investigating and researching on our own!

hsteele
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Wikipedia is definitely not a reliable souce. To prove my point, we were not allowed to use Wikipedia as a research source as of graduation from college 2 months ago. I like to use wikipedia as a jumping off point, then cross reference it with other more reliable sources online. Depending on what you are looking for I like other encyclopedia websites like britannica online, snopes is a good one for political and pop culture fact checking, university articles (those included on websites to major universities like Harvard etc.) most .org websites can give good info.

Heather
Proud Pagan Momma

"Fighting for Peace is like screwing for virginity."

margroc
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM


Quoting IhartU:

 

Quoting margroc:

 

Quoting IhartU:

Is there another site you feel is more trustworhty to get over-all information from?

I like snopes

I've heard that as well as factcheck.org are biased and have false information on them as well. Perhaps we should go back to investigating and researching on our own!

as far as I know snopes is okay - could be that whomever you heard that from didn't like the info it gave?

Eilish
by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Wikipedia should be taken with a grain of salt, and it is definately not an academically acceptable source .... neither is snopes.


Della529
by Matlock on Jul. 21, 2009 at 6:11 PM

I use Wiki as a jumping off point.  Most of the time references are included.

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