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Why sould I trust wikipedia?

Discussion in 'Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion' started by Camille, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    Hi guys.
    I just wanted to see what you think of wikipedia...
    If amators write articles in it, why sould I trust the sources?
  2. macrumors G3


    You shouldn't trust it (or any other encyclopedia-ish book). It's an overview. The good articles will have references at the bottom so you can start to get the full story.
  3. macrumors G3


    for personal knowledge i think its good, but for research papers etc for school i don't trust it
  4. macrumors regular

    Wikipedia should never be used as a primary source.

    But if you need to look something up really fast, then by all means use wikipedia.

    To all the douche bags who list wikipedia in their bibliography and wonder why you got an F ... you've got to be kidding me.

    Think of wikipedia as a step in the right direction, when our generation (early 20's) turns 50 then wikipedia can be taken more seriously. but the concept of collaboartion amongst intellectuals is too much for current adults to grasp.
  5. macrumors G4


    Depends on what I'm looking for.

    I trust it for pop-culture entries since they tend to be written by fans of the music/show/movie etc

    I'd take it with a pinch of salt when it comes to history/science and doublecheck any references.
  6. macrumors 68020


    I don't think wikipedia is any more or any less accurate than any other source,if you check it's sources carefully and compare to others it's fine.It does have the advantage of not having a particular axe to grind something that britannica et al suffer from.
  7. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    For the most part, Wikipedia is pretty darn good. In general the articles are written by people who do know quite a bit about the subject. And they often tend to keep a close eye on the articles to make sure nothing weird gets done to them.

    As a research reference, it's not considered acceptable. There's just too many opportunities for something incorrect to end up in the articles.

    But for general, everyday reference, it's very thorough, contains many more articles than any encyclopedia, and is extremely accessible.
  8. macrumors 68020


    Interesting theory,it is of course complete bollocks.:)
  9. Demi-God (Moderator emeritus)


    Use wikipedia to answer your own curiosity. For anything more, use a real source that lists an author, and preferably is from an edu website.

    I've found the articles in Wikipedia that are the most accurate are the ones that are the most visited/edited (duh!). I would much rather trust an article on Toyota or Apple, rather than one on a topic most people have never heard of.
  10. macrumors 68040


    ditto, wiki is a great starting point for research. Personally I think that between google & wiki the internet is now actually living up to all those promises made 10-11 years about it being a "great tool for research" even though at the time you were hard pressed to find anything more than horrible "e-mail me!" animated gifs.
  11. macrumors 6502


    I always just Wiki for general things. For research, it's alway my starting point. I look at it to get the general jist of what I have to do and know. I do list it in my references though. My school makes us list everything we see/read.
  12. macrumors member

    I generally find it pretty trustworthy.

    1. If someone writes some utter rot on a page, people who know otherwise will be quick to change it on their next visit.

    2. Many people with vandal-like motives don't tend to hang around on Wiki, as far as I've seen :rolleyes:

    EricNau has the right idea; it's a curiousity-solver for me, too.
  13. macrumors 603


    1. What does this have to do with Mac OS X.
    2. Get a spell checker.
    3. Why shouldn't you trust Wikipedia? :rolleyes:
  14. macrumors G4

    My feelings are similar to most of the posts above. I have found some Wikipedia pages to provide information that you won't find anywhere else. I used to swear by it. Not any more. I now see some pages that are the work of lazy authors. Worse, I see topics that are not fact-based. One that sent me up the wall is a page dealing with automobile flops. This is more appropriate to a forum like this one, rather than a medium with visions of replacing dead tree references.
  15. macrumors 6502a


  16. macrumors 68020


    It is fine, however one probably needs to double check sources and such because of instances like This:
  17. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    I don't really see this as a problem. There's always misinformation when breaking news is involved...they had it sorted out within hours. You'll often get similar misinformation from the news networks.
  18. macrumors 68020


    You are right- they did get it sorted out quickly- but this is a really high profile situation. I could go in there, write something untrue about a rock band my brother is in that is listed on Wikipedia and I bet it would be quite a while until it was corrected...it is not like they have people checking everything that is edited. They have a system to check for profanity type things which is helpful though.

    I am just saying it is probalby not as reliable on average as a printed source or one that is put together by a professional news org or researchers. That being said, I imagine you could find things on Wikipedia that you would NEVER find in another source due to the sheer numbers of people that are editing the information. So there are pros and cons.
  19. macrumors 68000


    I remember reading somewhere that the scientific information in Wikipedia is fairly accurate, and comparable to some of the big Encyclopedic collections.

    But in general I use Wikipedia to look up bizarre and interesting facts about pop-culture (you wouldn't believe how detailed the Harry Potter pages are). Using Wikipedia as a primary source for information seems neither helpful or wise. In some sense, it's a big giant blog about specific items, so while it's pretty good at giving an overview on issues, I'd always go to more valid sources for citation.

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