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Wikipedia - Why not?

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by

Kenton Armbruster

on 3 May 2017

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Transcript of Wikipedia - Why not?

Wikipedia - Why not?
Wikipedia even says so...
“[W]hile some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. … use [Wikipedia] with an informed understanding of what it is and what it isn’t.”

-This means that although some information may be true, other information may be tampered with.
1. You must never fully rely on any one source for important information
a. Everyone makes mistakes and you should take a skeptical approach to everything that you read. b. Finding more than one reliable source on a subject will help in forming the whole picture.
2. You especially can't rely on something when you don't even know who wrote it
a. Most writers on wikipedia do not use their real names or tell much about who they are.
b. From our website validity checklists we know that we need to be able to answer the questions, "Who wrote this?" and "Are they qualified to write about this?"
c. We can't properly answer these questions with wikipedia.
3. The contributor with an agenda often prevails
a. Contributors or writers that want their works posted will often do whatever is necessary to get their works posted.
b. Even if that means re-posting it many, many times. Writers are able to do this on wikipedia.
4. Individuals with agendas sometimes have significant editing authority
5. Sometimes "vandals" create malicious entries that go uncorrected for months
6. There is little diversity among editors
7. The number of active Wikipedia editors has flatlined
8. It has become harder for casual participants to contribute
9. Accurate contributors can be silenced
10. It says so on Wikipedia
a. In 2003, a wikipedia administrator wrote or re-wrote thousands of articles.
b. He also banned over 2,000 wikipedia contributors due to their opposing views.
a. Since wikipedia can be edited by anyone, contributors can write false information.
b. This false information can go unnoticed for days or even months.
a. According to a study, 87% of wikipedia editors are male with an average age of 26.8 years.
b. This demographic does not give the broad perspectives that a more diverse group would bring, and therefore may be a little biased in the information that is presented.
a. The number of editors has stopped growing and it is unknown if the ones left will be able to keep updating the website.
a. Some editors are deleting changes as soon as they are being made.
b. This prevents the diversification of information, which may lead to biases in the information.
a. Even the accurate information may be questioned since it is from an "unreliable source".
a. Wikipedia says, "We do not expect you to trust us."
b. And also that it is "not a primary source".
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