Can You Trust Wikipedia?

By  |  Monday, August 31, 2009 at 10:05 am

Wired has an interesting story about Wikitrust, a new technology that will color-code material in Wikipedia in an attempt to indicate how trustworthy its author is. It’s an intriguing solution to a real problem, although like all articles on Wikipedia accuracy, Wired’s piece makes a reflexive-but-misguided reference to Encyclopaedia Britannica being the paragon of reference-work trustiness. (Which it isn’t–or at least wasn’t when my father reviewed it back in the 1970s and found some jaw-dropping errors.)

Anyhow, I feel a T-Poll coming on…


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Peggy Says:

    Wikipedia is not perfect, but anytime I see something in an entry that causes me to raise an eyebrow, I immediately seek verification.

    I have been complaining about the fact that almost every place name in the article on Ancient Egypt is the Greek name, and they say “then fix it”, despite the fact that it is a feature article, and thus, un-editable.

  2. tom b Says:

    Wikipedia usually does a good job of providing citations.

  3. Dave Barnes Says:

    Wikipedia is great (perfect) for science-type items. For example, an article on benzene. The facts are not in dispute and the article does not attract flies.

    Other articles are more problematic. For example: any politician since 1000 AD. Flies are drawn to shit.