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Some more context:
I thought this was old hat, even when I was in school we were also told not to use Wikipedia as a source since nearly anyone can edit it and their credentials could be suspect, therefore the information could be as well.
Some areas have gotten a lot more scrutiny and are better than they used to be but are still bad (ex history and politics as others mentioned).
Science stuff on there is still rather superficial and over-simplifies a whole lot (issue that was there say 10yrs ago), but its a lot more branched out than it used to be.
For internet doomsday scenarios wikipedia is a nice rough reference rather than a definitive guide, it was never meant for the latter as an encyclopedia. It’d be a poor call to teach off it alone vs dedicated websites or various textbooks and so on.
wikipedia is more than advanced enough for any grades I was in. I still use it for technical stuff all the time.
Back when I was in high school in the stone ages of the early 00s it was already running into trouble, and by the time I was in college for anything major-specific it was too broad or (as I said) oversimplifying concepts, so a bit of a risk, few lecturers by professors to the class on such things went students pointed it out. Anything research or even grad lvl it was totally and utterly useless. Still makes me roll eyes on some pages in the current year.
I don’t want to self-dox by specifying area, we’ll broadly say something in the life sciences that’s both highly specialized yet very interdepartmental. Idk the case for other specialties or areas, I’d imagine they’d have similar issues, perhaps not as terrible as the 2010s but still not good. For most laypeople, the intended audience of encyclopedias, this is probably acceptable. For true in-depth knowledge, there are no shortcuts.
Thought of another good one, for non-technical surface-level knowledge Wikipedia isn’t that great about foreign film information.
Few years ago quite a few CN films had bad propaganda-vandalism going on, notably Kalil Blues (thankfully been fixed, beautiful movie). Some wiki entries were as if whoever wrote them had never seen the film in the first place. Said films were so that regardless of language barrier anyone on 21st earth could shut off subtitles, maybe even picture in more dramatic cases, and tell what was written on the Wiki was not what the film was about. Did we watch the same movie?
You’d think the baseline for an encyclopedia would be at least that, but most people I know of for emergency purposes simply truncate the arts and media sections all together. It’s gotten better over the last few years there was well (controlling edits I’d suspect) or at least having entries in the first place.
Another more mundane film example would be a lot of Cantinflas’ films on the English wiki aren’t quite correct (last time I checked was a year ago, was curious about one of the actors) on events within the movie or famous lines/dialogue. Could be a case of randos altering according to memory alone, which we can all admit has its shortfalls.
It’s the same in law and the social sciences that I’m familiar with. It’s not improved. I would avoid Wikipedia if possible and recommend that any students avoid it, too.
If the only problem was that it was too, say, general, as in, misses out some details or nuances, that would be forgivable. More often than not, if you know the area well, you’ll see that Wikipedia is simply wrong.
Any undergrad paper that cites Wikipedia will be lucky to pass. Not because Wikipedia is cited per se, but because it’s usually incorrect. A paper that cites a Wikipedia article as a reliable source usually also contains other significant errors or omissions. If a paper relies on Wikipedia it is probably not relying on other, more appropriate sources, and if it did rely on those other sources, the author would have known not to cite Wikipedia.
I don’t know what you expect tho. It’s form of media with its own issues and advantages.
It saves me time not having to pull up that information myself from other sites. I don’t trust it for anything political but again it’s a resource so just be smart about how you use it.
For computer related stuff I’ve found it can be pretty useful.
The described case ia only one of many problems with Wikipedia. Another problem is that its organization is completely intransparent, with soke anonymous powerusers being able to revert any edits which they dont like. As a result, there is a very strong political bias in articles about politics or history.
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I mean, Wikipedia probably wouldn’t survive if the internet disappeared.
huh? you can torrent a snapshot of the whole thing, and people all over the world do.
in a post-internet world there will be lots of wikipedias. it would be really nice if they manage to fix their data model to use a DVCS before the collapse, to make it easier to do merges between the different forks, but even if they don’t… wikipedia will live on. (As will the factoid that Alan MacMasters invented the electric toaster…)
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Wikipedia is trustworth as any other enciclopedy, it has a community of editors who filter the content and check its veracity. There are always those who publish falsehoods, but this is quickly removed, sometimes in a matter of minutes.
I dont think you read the linked page. There was a completely made up article on Wikipedia for more than 10 years. Any real encyclopedia with professional editors would have caught such nonsense long before publishing.
Wikipedia has more articles as any other enciclopedia, apart of articles which are updated nearly in real time. Even if there is an article about an toaster which is an hoax and which has 0 intrests, among several millons of excelent articles, ut don’t rest any trustworth of the Wiki.
Great, another hitpiece by someone whose claim to fame is trashing on public work.
The tl;dr is someone made a falsey article. This is like saying someone uploaded malware to Github, therefore Open Source Software is insecure.
For further reading, because I cba to defend Wikipedia, see Wikipedia’s Notability or Reliable sources guidelines.
It would be like that if someone had put made-up information on a talk page or their user page. Information in the main namespace is supposed to be patrolled and checked for references, which is the point of the article. Your analogy is dishonest.
[edit: double-posted somehow, sorry]
Or in terms of the GitHub analogy, this would be like malware making its way into somewhere like a distro’s package manager.
So, like npm…
Which is why NPM is such a terrible package manager and devs of mission critical codebases think twice about trusting it to not screw them over.
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