How is Wikipedia Trustworthy? Why? or Why not?

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  • Bill answered 5 years ago
It's not trustworthy, and that's not just because there are people out there putting in false information, such as implicating journalists in presidential assassinations and claiming such and such senator married his right hand.

There are a lot of people out there with misconceptions about certain topics and they don't even realize they're enshrining their mistakes into Wikipedia. Maybe common misconceptions have been rooted out of Wikipedia, but what happens if you have a misconception, type it into a Wikipedia article and no one else edits that article in months?

It's true some articles have lots of citations. But who checks those citations really back up what the article is saying? For example, there might be the statement "Charles Darwin was gay[3]," but when you actually look at footnote 3, it's a newspaper op-ed piece that mentions neither Darwin nor gays. It's worse when a footnote points to a 40-page essay in an academic journal but doesn't tell you the page number where you will actually find the statement that supposedly backs up what Wikipedia says. Do you have time to read a 40-page academic journal article to find the one page in it relevant to the topic?

Then there is correct information that is kept out of Wikipedia. To gain any power on Wikipedia, you must engage in some very dirty smear tactics against your opponents. It gets to a point that the factual accuracy of any statement is completely irrelevant: if it was added by your enemy, it must be deleted, and your enemy denounced as a vandal, a troll, a sock, a score-settler, or whatever idiotic insults Wikipedia's keyboard warriors can manage. Also, the information itself can be insulted as being non-notable, cruft, POV, spam, etc.

The end result is that each Wikipedia article is a mixture of true facts, misconceptions, and subtle falsehoods, and some relevant facts get left out. When you want to know everything there is to know about a given topic, Wikipedia is the last place you should look.


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  • Fraud answered 5 years ago
    NO. It is one of the worst information sites on WWW. If you depend on it for information - you are bound to be misinformed and go wrong. You trust Wikipedia and you lose. It is a most frivilous and undependable sites - as to the accuracy of information.
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  • Diana B answered 5 years ago
    The question is moot. Because you can edit (almost) any article on WP, WP itself is not a single person who can be trusted.

    To their credit, the people who run WP constantly remind us of this - and even provide a range of mechanisms to warn the unwary that WP is not a primary source (or any other kind) of information.

    Remember that story a few months back about the reporters who relied on a WP entry that a famous movie composer had died? That mistake could only have been made by the Dependal Morons of Entertainnment Media. If you research hard news, you know that you need good sources; if Paris Hilton and Perez Hilton are your idea of newsmakers, then WP is obviously your game.
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  • Eddie answered 5 years ago
    Wikipedia is the online "encyclopedia" that any troll, vandal, fanboi, spammer, propagandist, revenge-seeker, political hack, conspiracy theorist, tinfoil-hatted nutter, narcissist, power-tripper or libeler can instantly edit. What's not to trust?


    Having been there, but escaped with my sanity still intact (mostly)
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  • The Cosmic Voyager answered 5 years ago
    I believe it's a pretty trustworthy site for casual information and maybe even a small research paper or two, provided you have other sources. Wikipedia requires research to be cited; hence those little numbered rectangles you see at the end of many sentences. Clicking one leads you to the site where the information was learned.

    Funnily enough, I did a small study where I determined that most people read right over those rectangles and don't even realize they exist. This is why people claim Wikipedia is unreliable--they don't even notice the sources! Isn't the brain weird?


    Both Wikipedia, and my own research
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  • Em answered 5 years ago
    Anyone can write stuff on wikipedia so you can't be sure, everything I read on there sounds pretty true though, you know, big words and complicated explanations, you'd be a bit sad to publish it on wikipedia if it weren't true anyway.
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  • ? answered 5 years ago
    I think it is trustworthy to a certain degree, but because most of the content is added by users and not admins you can never be sure. I know of some Wikipedia pages with false entries, such as this:
    Hope I could help!

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  • ScoaR answered 5 years ago
    Wikipedia is sometimes deemed as an inaccurate source because it is an open edit wiki.
    The fact of the matter is, hardly anyone out there is just some sick soul with the cruel intent of posting invalid information on a wiki.
    Plus, there are hundreds of other people monitoring each page to make sure it is accurate.
    Don't listen to your teachers when they say it's not a valid source.


    A non-ignorant brain.
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  • Madihah answered 5 years ago
    I don't think wikipedia is trustworthy because it is edited and put up by the public and people who surf the net like us. If it was put up by proper experts then i would appreciate it. But you don't know who put what information up. So it is hard to see if the information on wikipedia is trustworthy or not.

    This doesn't mean i don't use wikipedia. Sometimes i do use it. :D

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