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Is Wikipedia A Reliable Source Of Knowledge

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Ahsaniqbalkmc

Wikipedia is the biggest source of free knowledge on the internet. Almost all of the material of the website is available for free use but the question is that can the information available on this website be considered as coming from reliable sources. To answer this question one must know the source of the knowledge available on the Wikipedia website. The content available on the wikipedia website is written by simple users like me and you. In fact any one who wants to add content to the wikipedia can add content to it. But why people write such long articles and content for wikipedia. Are they wasting their time or are they writing addicts? The best answer I found to this question is that wikipedia is ranked very high in google and if you you can get a back link from this website you can increase your Page rank as well and this help you greatly in your websmaster campaign. As far as the reliability of the content on wikipedia is concerned there are possibilities of wrong knowledge present there however if you go through their numerous pages you will find hardly any mistake or wrong information. How come that ? This is because the content for a title is selected and made from many numerous works and since many people become involved with it the chance of mistake becomes less and less.What do you think?


yordan

There are also some moderators, each of them being quite aware of a given subject. As a new article appears, or as soon as a given article is modified, the moderators receives a mail, he has a look and deletes the wrong info!


Ahsaniqbalkmc

There are also some moderators, each of them being quite aware of a given subject. As a new article appears, or as soon as a given article is modified, the moderators receives a mail, he has a look and deletes the wrong info!

Yes there are moderators (like you in Xisto Forums) on wikipedia and yes that most of the knowledge on the wikipedia website is very very accurate but as far as the reliability is concerned, nobody can believe the information available there and that is why students are not allowed to use wikipedia as a reference source while they do some research on the internet.

yordan

The first question was "is this reliable", the answer seems to be "yes".A second, completely different question, would be "can Wikipedia be used as a valuable reference?"I would not be so strict as your teachers.I would accept it as a reference, provided that the student also gives several other "valuable" references. A valuable reference is an article published in a technical review, in which each article is fully reviewed by a committee. These committees are made of specialists of such questions, and are able to decide if a scientifical work has been correctly driven and if it's conclusions can be trusted. These articles can be stated as "true", or "correct".Wikipedia articles are "most people are stating this", "this can be supposed to be true", "you can try this", they are not "this is true", nor "this has been proven".


Ahsaniqbalkmc

The first question was "is this reliable", the answer seems to be "yes".A second, completely different question, would be "can Wikipedia be used as a valuable reference?"
I would not be so strict as your teachers.
I would accept it as a reference, provided that the student also gives several other "valuable" references. A valuable reference is an article published in a scientifical review, inwhich each article is fully reviewed by a committee. These committees are made of specialists of such questions, and are able to decide if a scientifical work has been correctly driven and if it's conclusions can be trusted. These articles can be stated as "true", or "correct".
Wikipedia articles are "most people are stating this", "this can be supposed to be true", "you can try this", they are not "this is true, this has been proven".

It seems that you are a big fan of wikipedia that is why you have comments for which I cannot produce any answer. You are absolutely correct in your post that it is a valuable reference and who can regret from this fact that wikipedia is in fact a very very valuable source. (dont mind if the words are not of the quality in my posts as thaey should have been because I have a tendency to forget words).
I think there is misunderstanding in the understanding of the concept of the post. The concept behind the post was the reliability of the wikipedia articles not their quality. In my dictionary and as far as my use of words and their meanings are concerned, reliability means how others can believe the trueness of the source. (I admit that I might be totally wrong because my English is not so strong) You have pointed that there are moderators that keep the quality of the articles and content found on wikipedia but the fact that anyone can edit and enter information on wikipedia makes it a bit unreliable. I hope that this concept will diminish with time and the value of the content on wikipedia will get full marks deserved by it.

Quatrux

To make it short, personally I think that most of the information which is moderated and etc. is not false, but I believe that it cannot be "reliable" due to the fact that subjects can be edited by anybody and not all moderators can't know everything, even references can be bad/false.Nevertheless, I still say YES, because most of information on the Internet, on TV, on Radio, in Newspaper and etc. is not reliable, due to it can be false. But it's hard to control it, one year they say that coffee is bad for your health, after a year or so they say coffee is good for your heart and they all say that they have somekind of scietific test which they never refer too :)Most of people believe in information, in articles written by somebody without any proof or reference. As much articles as I read in Wikipedia with the knowledge I know, I don't remember false articles.


Ahsaniqbalkmc

To make it short, personally I think that most of the information which is moderated and etc. is not false, but I believe that it cannot be "reliable" due to the fact that subjects can be edited by anybody and not all moderators can't know everything, even references can be bad/false.
Nevertheless, I still say YES, because most of information on the Internet, on TV, on Radio, in Newspaper and etc. is not reliable, due to it can be false. But it's hard to control it, one year they say that coffee is bad for your health, after a year or so they say coffee is good for your heart and they all say that they have somekind of scietific test which they never refer too :)

Most of people believe in information, in articles written by somebody without any proof or reference. As much articles as I read in Wikipedia with the knowledge I know, I don't remember false articles.


"the Q" you have made a really very good point here. I totally agree with you that almost everything we come across in our daily life is not reliable and so is wikipedia however I would like to make a comment here that in some things there is more probability of being non reliable as compared to others. And in my opinion this on a great extent depends upon the background. If we consider knowledge and information as the subject (that is in fact the subject of this post) then the probability of being more reliable or less reliable depends upon the source of the knowledge and information. If the sources are more reliable then the knowledge and information is more reliable but if the sources are probable of being non reliable then obviously the knowledge and information also becomes non reliable.
It is simple.
In case of wikipedia (I must tell you first that I am not against wikipedia rather I am a big fan of it but here I have to say the fact) the source of content is mostly unknown. Unknown in the sense that you do not know the person who entered the information is capable of giving the correct information or not. I admit that there are a number of moderators there but since their database is such a huge one that at any instant there may lie false information unobserved by the moderators.

But still wikipedia is the best source of knowledge on the internet.

Quatrux

Yes, in fact a newspaper article can be written by not telling all the truth due to somebody got paid to publish it, or some scientists can be paid to say partly the truth about something.. so it's quite false information, but people believe in it if it's quite logical or they don't know other facts..Some scandal can appear that that specific food can bring cancer, but really it doesn't, but people stop might buying it and will buy something else, it's hard to control information. ;]


Ahsaniqbalkmc

Yes, in fact a newspaper article can be written by not telling all the truth due to somebody got paid to publish it, or some scientists can be paid to say partly the truth about something.. so it's quite false information, but people believe in it if it's quite logical or they don't know other facts..
Some scandal can appear that that specific food can bring cancer, but really it doesn't, but people stop might buying it and will buy something else, it's hard to control information. ;]

I am very impressed by your point "LOGICAL". The most superior factor in determining whether the information is correct or not is that whether the information makes sense or not. I will give an example that even if the Nobel prize winner for mathematics say that 2+2 = 5, obviously no one is going to believe him and people might think that his mental balance has been disturbed and he needs to be treated by psychologists. Here in this case the Logic of knowledge has over-valued the source of knowledge. So you made a very good point Quatrux

mahesh2k

Looking at the way, religious & political people edit and manipulate things i think wikipedia is no longer a reliable resource. Not just religion but it applies to many other topics. there are many pages on people too early even though they don't have milestones. People need to use it as pointer and for better solid references they need to look for something else. I have seen many articles manipulated at wikipedia and because of which i think it's better to keep wikipedia as salt+imperfect knowledge resource. There are some references for some articles that proves most of the articles are reliable but then again this doesn't apply to everything. Though there are moderator and libel control inside wikipedia but to some extent information is manipulated and is not what people expect, this is because if one starts to write about something cotroversial on which talk page goes long and long and the discussion ends without resolution and in such cases articles goes live without agreement ir even proper citation in many cases. There are many reasons to this but i think overall, it's worth a read if people are not aware of some terms and want to contribute about something on village pump.


Ahsaniqbalkmc

Looking at the way, religious & political people edit and manipulate things i think wikipedia is no longer a reliable resource.

I totally agree with you. I am a Muslim and one reason why I do not like wikipedia is that inspite of strong protests from muslims against the pictures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) they did not take any notice of it. Now my point is that if you haven't seen a person, not even a picture of him, how ca you draw a portrait for him and say that it is a good one. Ain't it completely rubbish. In our community we give the most sacred of love and respect to our Holy Prophet and we believe that none in the world has been like him and none will be like him. SO in this case what is the meaning of drawing the portrait for such a personality even if your intent is not of making humor of muslim beliefs. That is why I say that as far as this thing is concerned, wikpedia has gone wrong.

mahesh2k

I totally agree with you. I am a Muslim and one reason why I do not like wikipedia is that inspite of strong protests from muslims against the pictures of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) they did not take any notice of it. Now my point is that if you haven't seen a person, not even a picture of him, how ca you draw a portrait for him and say that it is a good one. Ain't it completely rubbish. In our community we give the most sacred of love and respect to our Holy Prophet and we believe that none in the world has been like him and none will be like him. SO in this case what is the meaning of drawing the portrait for such a personality even if your intent is not of making humor of muslim beliefs. That is why I say that as far as this thing is concerned, wikpedia has gone wrong.

If islamic people are this much conservative and extremist about their faith and views then surely they're threat to open mind and freedom of speech, expression. And i feel that art is freedom of expression in it's own way. Though i've my experience with extreme action from islamic people i can say that this issue from islamics is overrated. I mean does anything happen from god just because someone drawn prophet in right or wrong way. I mean people are too much sensitive. I don't how such people can care about freedom of speech and expression. I think there is no freedom to begin with if people are trying to take objection to little things like that. It's just opinion maybe few people in islam agrees with me if not all (which i'm sure all will never agree on point of freedom). Wikipedia is open resource and they did their best to keep or give knowledge to people, if islamics think that there side of religion is not supposed to be shared or discussed then they should make it clear to the world that they want solitude life. I'm sure no one will waste their time documenting islam in good or bad way and any part of it if people are such extremist.

yordan

Now the discussions seem to be deviating rather far from the original topic's subject.If you want to continue discussing about Wikipedia's reliability, staying in the present topic is OK.If you prefer exchange your opinion concerning Islam, you should rather open a topic in the "religion and philosophy" sub-forum.RegardsYordan


mahesh2k

Lol, yeah we diverted a little but i still think it's related to topic. I mean wikipedia village pump and talk sections are loaded with religious objections and content. So wikipedia and political and religious debates are quite common. I don't know if it totally diverts the thread but hey we'll try to stick with wikipedia and these issues.


yordan

OK, my mistake.I just realized that I use Wikipedia for a lot of things, except for religion.Because I know that religion is a matter of faith, so talking about religion means talking about one's own feeling.And of course, when somebody talks about his own feeling, the only reliable fact is that this is a personal feeling.So, now we come to a very philosophical question. Wikipedia is probably very reliable ; however for things concerning religion, the topics must be considered as a matter of faith, or as a matter of personal feeling. So it shall not be considered as proven.Exactly as the guy who claimed "I have seen God today". Probably he is right ; however, if he was alone at this moment, nobody else can confirm his vision.


H.O.D

wikipedia has made life much easier for a lot of people who wanted to know about few things in a much faster manner. before wikipedia came on the scene the internet was used for research but the few good sources that people had were not so good, and the sites that had goo information were largely unknown to people. besides that, based on the type of research, people had to look for different kinds of sites. wikipedia came and solved all these problems. now the best possible information (in most cases) is brought together and put in a single site so that everyone can find it much easier. and no matter what the topic of research might be, people can look for the common site which is wikipedia.

 

the question of whether it is reliable has been asked from when the site was started. i would say its definitely reliable, but again i would add the tag, in most cases. i won't use wikipedia for sensitive topics like religion, politics, etc because here there is a higher chance of wrong information being fed. for safer topics like mathematics, science, technology, etc it is a good source. and i use wikipedia as an entertainment portal too. it has all the movie reviews, tv episode summaries (in most cases each episode has its own page with ratings) and dvd release dates, etc which is very good info for someone seeking to kill time.

 

so i would just say wikipedia is a great place to be and for most of the topics we can be sure that the information being provided is definitely reliable. for sensitive topics, you have to keep your eyes open for what you're reading.


mahesh2k

Now that we're talking about public encyclopedia's like wikipedia. People need to understand following encylcopedias are not at all credible. - Uncyclopedia - ConservepediaUncyclopedia is loaded with humour and satire, sarcasm content. So don't take things as they're it's just for fun from those who are bored and want to have fun with information. Conservepedia is run by creationist and if you check their references at the end of articles they're self serving. It means that these articles are referenced by relative creationism content. Make sure you never fall for information from conservepedia as it's not peer reviewed and even peer accepted. Comparing these two encyclopedia's wikipedia seems to be more credible atleast. Especially when we compare conservepedia and wikipedia, wikipedia is more credible with references and if there is any clash of manipulated information then it is discussed over talk and village pump. But in case of conservepedia their mission and content don't bother digging deep about their claims and content.


H.O.D

uncyclopedia gets boring after a while, although it's good for a few quick laughs. i don't think it even deserves to be compared with wikipedia. conservepedia scares off non-US people people with its logo! as for the articles in there from what i've seen it's nothing compared to what wikipedia has to offer. so let us stick to talking about wikipedia for now. it's got millions of articles ranging from highly useful to totally meaningless and if you compare it with those other two sites you mentioned, it deserves a few more points for not losing its roots in order to face the competition :) and since a lot of people use wikipedia, its easy to catch people who use wikipedia articles in their research directly without mentioning the source. so lets not doubt the credibility of wikipedia and enjoy it while it lasts!


Quatrux

I used to read uncyclopedia for a while, it's quite fun, usually I got to such links posted on a forum or in a chat. I also like to look around encyclopedia dramatica as you can find very funny articles :P But you need to understand that those kind of sites are for fun :)I stopped trying to write in topics about religion, politics and etc. too and just sometimes read the news or some articles which usually or longer or even watch some documentary movie from the "New World Order" series :P which sometimes are scary and sometimes funny ;)Usually there is no point to be involved in discussions about religion and politics in some kind of a forum as it goes nowhere, of course it depends on members who are posting there, I usually for several years now try to avoid them :PI don't even read about religion or politics in wikipedia, unless I search for something specific, about history of something or for some facts I need for something. It's good that wikipedia has references. :D


H.O.D

Many people keep saying that its good that wikipedia has references and I think we must applaud the people who take the time to update the article and mention the references as well. some articles seem to have over 50-100 references that makes the article seem too long!

Usually there is no point to be involved in discussions about religion and politics in some kind of a forum as it goes nowhere, of course it depends on members who are posting there, I usually for several years now try to avoid them smile.gif

yes actually there is no point in discussing these topics after a while before it leads to nowhere and usually the members involved just keep flaming at each other or end up irritating the whole forum. so such topics, although important, should be kept in control at all times. that is best for all the members involved and maintains a safe environment in the forum.

as for such topics in wikipedia, its best to steer clear of them too because anyone has the power to edit them, and although there is a good chance that they will be reverted back to their original state, in the time the fake news is posted it may be a bit damaging. so its best to stay away from them at wikipedia too!


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