Now, why shouldnt we trust Wikipedia

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Sven, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    A Wiki walt? Good grief.

    At least he's no longer doing admin tasks and was removed swiftly. I like Wikipedia but never take it's information as definitive or without a hefty pinch of salt.
  2. Wikipedia has always been a double edged sword.

    I think I've actually seen some of this blokes stuff in passing before. While it suprises me that he's a fake, that there people using false credentials to add weight to their input doesn't suprise me at all.

    There are hundreds of em out there that engage in petty falsehoods, especially around religious articles. Some of the discussion pages on evolutionary related entries are entertaining in and of themselves with all the petty bickering.
  3. dpm sheet hits the nail on the head wikipedia is great research tool to be taken with a pinch of salt and used in conjuntion with other resources as you don't really know who it is written by and their credentials.

    It's like a bigger cleverer arrsepedia. Interesting often funny but not always the truth
  4. Feck me..there are two blokes I know, names of Tony and Gordon one reckons he's a Prime Minister the other claims to be a financial whizz kidd persojnally I reckon they are about as believable as Grandads stuny double............some bloke called Minger
  5. "you don't really know who it is written by and their credentials"

    Surely what potentially downgrades the exercise to 'virtually useless' is the fact that even if a piece is written by someone who knows their stuff, anyone can then edit, augment and junk it - as they often appear to do.

  6. Well, you could never, ever use Wikipedia as some kind of "authority".

    And all polemical matters (religion, Iraq, global warming, Britney Spears' waxing) should be taken with a load of salt the size of a supertanker.

    But I confess I love it -- provided you have some knowledge and a little common sense, it's a wonderful tool.

    And it's so marvelously free! Before the Internet age, I had two 15th ed. Britannicas, a 1978 printing and a 1990 one. I could only buy them second-hand, and even so they cost me a small fortune, at least in Brazilian terms. (I still have them, by the way. You never know when nuclear winter or an asteroid will leave you with a really bad broadband connection.)

    Anyway, if you want something a century old, but still quite scholarly, well written and entertaining, there's always this, this and especially this.
  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I prefer to quote 'unnamed sources' for my vitriolic, one sided, ill-thought diatribes. Them or the Grauniad (just following Sven's lead).
  8. Wankipedia can be a great source of information or a great source of bollox.

    The problem is just seperating the two. Doing some research on Bobby Sands' eating habits I came across much information about 'The Troubles' that seemed to have been written by a Mr Adams. I'm not sure who this Mr Adams is but he has got a slight bias towards the republican point of view.
  9. Just heard on radio 4 that a group of Conservative Americans are complaining that it is too liberal and are going to set up a Conservative version - 'Conservapedia'! Some of the complaints are that it is anti Christian, and has loads of spelling not in US English which is wrong since most users are from the US!
  10. A credible source, not something you're on nodding terms with Sven.

    I bet your real name is Steven but you looked on wikiwankipedia to see how to spell it and came up with Sven.

    I looked up "Sven" on winkiwonkpedia and it came up with "Sven: Commie pinko Guardian reading fag"
  11. Wikipedia is great for objective information such as the sciences, engineering, maths, etc, and is a good credible source for that.

    It's more iffy for subjective subjects and should be used with supporting sources. In contencious issues though, who determines what source is credible. You can have two respected sources that argue opposing viewpoints. On many subjects I have found Wikipedia to be very good because it tends to have both viewpoints displayed. If you find something that is wrong, or that you disagree with then write and tell them about it. It won't change if you don't.

    They do seem to be learning from their mistakes, after the last uproar they restricted the ability to modify entries. Now I think they will ask for proof of qualifications for it's writers.

    It's improving. It wasn't that long ago that they tested it for factual inaccuracies and found it compared favourably to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  12. I do the Sunday Times wherewasi? competition each week and find most of the answers to the clues are in Wikipedia.

    However, I do find a number of 'howlers' in the darker recesses of the site.

    Depends on whether you want facts or opinions.