Wikipedia… To Use or Not to Use? That is the Question

Week Four – Question Two

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia created by a series of individuals working collaboratively to inform the community. Anyone who has a registered account can create, publish and edit a document. However, you do not need a profile to edit a document anonymously. This is the major reason why Wikipedia is not a valid and credible website.

Although Wikipedia was intentionally created to expand audience’s knowledge on various topics while using the web. Unfortunately, over time Wikipedia has become one of the least trust worthy sites academically. “People rely on Wikipedia, and a lot of it is wrong. But because there it is on the Internet, they assume it’s right. Rumor gets printed as fact.” Ben Mezrich (n.d)

Often authors will not cross check their sources before writing on a topic or not supply references at all.  As there is no consistent checking of each page, often information can be bias or untrue. For instance, an individual can change information about a topic that they are not certified in to present something that they believe to be accurate, in relevance information can also be left (deleted) if it doesn’t suit an individual’s motives.

For these reasons above a student can understand why Wikipedia is not a reliable source of academic information. Nevertheless, Wikipedia can be used briefly as a base of information. Rather than taking direct reference from the document, using it as a starting point to help branch out into trustworthy sources.

 

Wikipedia_Homepage_1
Figure 1: Wikipedia, 2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_page

 

References:

Feature Image; Evan Mills, 2015 https://www.wired.com/2015/12/wikipedia-is-using-ai-to-expand-the-ranks-of-human-editors/

Ben Mezrich. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benmezrich494217.html

Fogg, B. J. (2003). Credibility and the World Wide Web. In Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (pp. 122‐125). Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

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