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What If...part II
Get Informed! About Wikipedia
Why Should I Look for Sources Other than Wikipedia?
1. Wikipedia says:
“We do not expect you to trust us.” It adds that it is “not a primary source” and that “because some articles may contain errors,” you should “not use Wikipedia to make critical decisions.”
Wikipedia notes in its “About” section, “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information.”
2. You can’t rely on something when you don’t even know who wrote it.
Very few Wikipedia editors and contributors use their real name or provide any information about who they are. In order to properly evaluate information on the Internet, there are three questions you must always ask; the first two are “Who wrote this?” and “Why did they write it?”. Wikipedia is written by largely anonymous volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity.
3. Who Does the Edits?
Administrators on Wikipedia have the power to delete or disallow comments or articles they disagree with and support the viewpoints they approve. For example, beginning in 2003, U.K. scientist William Connolley became a Web site administrator and subsequently wrote or rewrote more than 5,000 Wikipedia articles and used his authority to ban more than 2,000 contributors with opposing viewpoints from making further contributions.
Adapted from: http://www.findingdulcinea.com