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Why Have People Problems With Wikipedia?

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posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:12 PM
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posted on May, 9 2014 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: NoRulesAllowed

Because anyone can say anything true or not. Just becasue its there doesnt mean its right. Youtube either. Those 2 are the worst. Both are unchecked and user-generated content.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 09:12 PM
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originally posted by: Hellhound604
a reply to: EvillerBob

If I refer to an obscure article in an obscure peer-reviewed journal here on ATS, that nobody would be able to get hold of, would it contribute anything to the discussion? I dont think so. Take for example a discussion on insects, and I refer you to a peer-reviewed article in the "Norwegian Journal of Entomology". Would that contribute anything to the discussion? On the other hand, if I refer to Wikipedia, anybody who has some interest can read more, and if they really are interested they can follow the references in the wikipedia articlle.


You make many excellent and valid points.

Would citing that article add anything? Yes, I believe it would. It might not to me, but to the people who are in a position to give a more critical analysis, it is more likely that they too will be able to access it.

In fact, even if I had access to the article, there is probably very little that I could get from reading it as someone with no subject-matter knowledge. It is the fact that you can provide a reference that provides the validity to your statement.

I must admit, I approached the initial question without really considering it within the framework of ATS. Your point is well made and I'm not sure if I can readily think of a decent counter to it. If we consider Wikipedia as a useful summary tool - a public-facing and public-accessible front-end to the world of academia - then it certainly has a very useful place on ATS.

I also think that most people would be able to recognise Wikipedia as an "untested summary". The problem lies with the people who are not able to distinguish it, thereby preaching Wikipedia entries as gospel truth. The general dislike of Wikipedia as a source certainly helps to limit the damage caused by those people, but at the expense of greater flexibility for all.

Is that an appropriate trade-off? Perhaps it is.

Wikipedia has its place - I believe that many of the issues raised here actually have their roots in situations were a person hasn't understood what Wikipedia's place actually is. Perhaps the way forward isn't to look at allowing or disallowing Wikipedia as a source, but to encourage people to recognise it for what it is - an unvetted second-hand information aggregator.



posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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a reply to: EvillerBob


unvetted second-hand information aggregator


i'll be thinking about flyin' purple-people-eaters for the rest of the day now, thanks



posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:08 AM
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Wikipedia is easily spammed. It has good general information for the most part, but you can't take what it says as gospel. I use it along with other sources that back it up. That's the best way .... IMHO.



posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: NoRulesAllowed


I myself will get my information from Wikipedia first..as opposed to some "shady" sites where usually always someone or a group is pushing an agenda. There is nothing wrong with getting information from Wikipedia. My $0.02


Wikipedia is often (usually?) great - BUT - when someone is pushing an agenda, they often delete great reports and rewrite the Wiki entries.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 12:47 AM
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Two reasons no-one has mentioned yet.
  1. All Wikipedia pages are not equally reliable. The ones about science mostly are, because they're carefully policed by real subject-matter experts. The ones about history and current affairs are usually trustworthy with regard to facts, but of course you get a lot of opinion, and sometimes opinion disguised as fact, which is not. The ones about very obscure subjects, about which little is known, can be dodgy. And the pages about pop-culture subjects are often rife with errors.

  2. This is Above Top Secret. A large percentage — almost certainly a majority — of people who post on this site cherish a belief in things that are not true, or for which there is no solid evidence. This probably means you, gentle reader. Obviously people like that are hostile to the truth, since it explodes their false beliefs. Conspiracy theorists all have Wikipedia pages they love to hate.



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