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Old 09-03-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,813 posts, read 13,951,598 times
Reputation: 8042

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I have always hated Wikipedia. Hated. I have found to many things wrong that I know for a fact are wrong.
I often joke that every time someone posts somethings as fact from Wikipedia, a fairy dies.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,209 posts, read 18,486,202 times
Reputation: 8052
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I made some corrections for some basic non controversial information for an industry I've persoanlly been involved in for 20 years and my family has been involved in since 1920. All were removed, that was my first and last contribution. They are still wrong to this day.
Similar experience here. I've made one correction/addition, which was deleted. Also my first and last contribution.

It's great if you need to find out something about a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's less than five degrees away from anything that's political or controversial, otherwise, you have to take everything there with a whole shaker of salt.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:47 PM
 
3,651 posts, read 8,372,932 times
Reputation: 2766
How or why anyone would consider something as an authoritative source when anyone can go in at any time and edit it any way they want escapes me. Granted such things are typically caught (sooner or later) but still.......no thanks. If I was a teacher no way would I consider that a source; the very idea is absurd.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,789,258 times
Reputation: 11070
Well I've had a different experience; for the most part I find the information fairly accurate and useful.....articles are noted when they need attention for further accuracy. I am impressed with their Science articles such as the depth of knowledge on the VASIMR Ion Thrusters and I have found their links very useful. As with anything you must think for yourself and you can always do further research; but I have found it to be a tremendous asset and appreciate the time and effort people have put into building it's knowledge base.
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,772,877 times
Reputation: 4663
Wikipedia is useful for information about non-controversial subjects. It's also useful for finding out of if your subject is controversial--just check the revision history. If the article is constantly being pushed back and forth between different versions, it's controversial and Wikipedia's should be doubted.

With some topics there are some pretty divergent views, some of which the majority of knowledgeable people would consider absurd, so I understand the need to limit entries (as a far-fetched example, take a Flat Earth Society member who constantly edits the page on the Earth with long denials of it being round). I think they go a too far in some cases, though. When it does go to far I assume it's partly about forcing opinion and party about demonstrating power.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,255 posts, read 3,028,898 times
Reputation: 1085
Anything that is spoken or written is subject to the writer's bias. Some writers are better than others at maintaining objectivity. Given the fact that anyone in the world can edit a Wiki article, I always try to keep this in mind when I visit the site.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Neither here nor there
14,810 posts, read 14,193,823 times
Reputation: 32950
When I've done an internet search for some obscure medical condition e.g. "lysosomal storage disorder", the link to the Wikipedia article about it was helpful in explaining what the disorder is.

I have also occasionally checked out the pages on some of the old entertainers of decades past--just to see if they are still alive or find out "whatever became of ______?" Wikipedia is useful for things like that but, as so many others have pointed out, it cannot be relied upon as an accurate source of information for much else.....it's owners have an "agenda".
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:55 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,952,320 times
Reputation: 12847
I've always found Wikipedia to be an excellent starting point to find out areas of interest on a particular topic. I then hit reference material in my library or even public or university library (I often don't own books on various subjects in my library) once I know what to look up and what angles to tackle. Wikipedia alone is not enough, but I do feel it's very useful overall.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:34 PM
 
3,651 posts, read 8,372,932 times
Reputation: 2766
I have found it handy and generally pretty reliable, but the idea of considering a site where anyone can change just about anything any time they want as an authoritative source is IMO laughable.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Detroit's Marina District
970 posts, read 2,627,976 times
Reputation: 390
Its not very reliable at all. My wife was a teacher in Detroit Public Schools until a while ago, and she banned using Wikipedia as a reference for her classroom projects - that's how unreliable we think it is.
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