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Wikipedia as a source?!?!?!

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posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 11:17 AM
Wiki tends to be a pretty reliable source that like with anything else has exploitable flaws. But given its nature these tend to get fixed rpetty quickly in my experience.

I use wiki. However, you should always strive for more than one source for any research you are doing. Its just good practice

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by yenko13

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Can you give an example of info you tried to correct that got you banned?

I wouldn't be surprised if it was more opinion than fact, or maybe historical, but generally they don't do that afaik.

Just curious.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 02:22 PM
Great Question.

I use Wikipedia [aka our new collective consciousness] as a source of information all the time. It's the most robust encyclopedia site I've found on the internet (and I have a GOOD friend who works at Britannica in Chicago who gave me free membership!).

That said, anywhere the information your using is important enough to double check, I would double check it. That's why the New Yorker, for example, has fact checkers.

If I'm writing a blog post, I would use Wikipedia. If I was writing a report for NASA on satellite trajectory, or writing a freelance feature article, I would use Wikipedia, then look to a couple other sources to make sure I didn't make a very costly mistake.

These days, facts are soooo slippery. Not just in Wikipedia, but everywhere. Just look at the recent Oxford study on Vegetarian diets shrinking the brain for a great example.

In advertising, it's called Card Stacking - using massaged stats to back up your point, and it's as old as advertising itself.

I like Wikipedia because I can VERY easily cross reference a TON of material. I love the Footnotes and I really like the links at the bottom of articles. Plus it's great to search dates and names on.

And there's something to be said for a decentralized (I know, I know) encyclopedia built by We The People.

For example, in Wikipedia you can see that George Noory served as a Lieutenant in the Navy's Promotion Department (read propaganda). This is not found in the Britannica article, but to me seems very important given the context of his show.

Thanks for the thread!

Mod Edit: removed link to personal website.
Mod Note: Terms & Conditions Of Use – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 15-9-2008 by space57]

[edit on 15-9-2008 by GAOTU789]

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by NeverSurrender

I agree with both the poster and you. In general I don't use wikipedia, only for basic information. I've seen some real bogus information posted here and wiki used as the source. Banning a persons ip is useless when so many people know how to use proxies these days. Level one will fool practically any website out there except government.

I'm not too much into wikipedia because I just don't trust user submitted information. I just posted fact about Hurricane Katrina on the location and verified the info somewhere else but used wiki as the source.

You will very seldom see me using wiki as a source. Just don't like user submitted info like I already mentioned.

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 03:34 PM
I use Wiki all the time. Great general reference. Then I Google what I learn there to get more accepted sources.
Wiki has yet to let me down. Same info there as elsewhere. People that say, "Wiki isn't a valid source" are those that have no argument to back up their stance.

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 07:55 PM
Wikipedia is good for paraphrasing. It is usually kept up pretty good by each side of whatever issue.
But its the sources & citations within wikipedia that are prime.

It's always a great starting point, and often an easy way to link somebody a huge summary that often has each sides views. But IT alone shouldn't be a source.

But of course people who don't like balanced truth will always turn a wikipedia link into a red herring argument to derail the thread.

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 07:58 PM
reply to post by zorgon

Schools, more often than not, want peer reviewed work. That's why books are often a good choice when doing homework for school.

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:00 PM
reply to post by zorgon

so kids have to buy the textbooks. Again, it all comes down to $.

[edit on 9/15/2008 by JPhish]

posted on Sep, 15 2008 @ 08:08 PM

Some might use this site for a source??!!!


Yeah its true.

Oh Well



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by bwbarrnone

I would say that their source sux too!

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 12:52 AM
Why not use Wikipedia as a source?? perhaps the biggest and best resource of the web by far. At least Wikipedia is subjected to peer review, which can't be said for *many* websites out there, that simply put whatever garbage they want for public consumption.

[edit on 16-9-2008 by mapsurfer_]

posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 12:24 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

Yes, you may be able to do that, but if you don't prove that it is so with some source, it will be deleted!

posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 08:04 PM
When using ANY source you must consider it on an article by article basis.

Remember, encyclopedia often are often filled with incomplete information, or even bias. It isn't one all-knowing person sitting down and vetting every piece of information.

A good example would be the exploits of Christopher Columbus (as if that were his name).

Wikipedia is no different. The fact that users are allowed to expand the content as they find relevant facts is a plus for the user. Users identify problems with the information all along. They point out inadequacies or other inaccuracies, and it gets flagged or removed outright. That happens in real-time. Not like encyclopedias that are printed all at once, as if that's how today's world works.

It's not perfect, but then, nothing is. Or ever can be.

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