The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86832 Message #1618093
Posted By: Grab
01-Dec-05 - 09:30 AM
Thread Name: Wow! Read This About Wikipedia
Subject: RE: Wow! Read This About Wikipedia
If it's bad enough to get all het up about it, go the court order route. Bell South gives up the ID for that IP address, and things go as normal.
If it's bad enough to deserve a correction but not bad enough to deserve a court order, contact the site owner. The Wikipedia crew fixed it as soon as they were made aware of it. But had this bloke done that, he wouldn't have had an excuse for writing his "fings-ain't-wot-they-used-ter-be" article. I know I'm blaming the victim here. It isn't his fault that some asshole libelled him online - but it's his fault that he didn't take the obvious steps to get it fixed.
FWIW, Wikipedia articles generally include citations for reference (links or books). If they don't include a source for their claim that you can check, treat it as unreliable. Same as with every other reference source.
As far as the reliability of Wikipedia goes, it's an encylopedia run by amateur volunteers. Some of those amateurs are very, very good; some of them are not. As such, it needs to be approached in the same way as you'd deal with any other system run by amateur volunteers. That doesn't mean it's worthless, just that you need to understand its limits.
If you're expecting 100% perfection, don't use Wikipedia. And also don't read newspapers, or Encarta, or the Encyclopedia Brittanica, or in fact any other reference source. If there's no actual error at the time it was written, it will gloss over some things that the author didn't think were important. And in any case, chances are that things that were true at the time of writing are no longer accurate today.