The Biggest Hoax of Our Generation.

Many of us have worked on group projects, and many of those projects involved making some form of slideshow. Although many things could be included in these, there is almost always one constant: the sources. Teachers, in my experience, have made no small deal to make sure that students include the sources they used for their presentation, often applying grade penalties for not giving sources. But with this in mind, I’m sure that those who have participated in such activities are no stranger to these words: “Wikipedia is not a reliable source.”

Now, it’s understandable that one would see a site that anyone could edit and come to the conclusion that it is unreliable, however, consider the following:

  • According to Wikipedia itself, there are a little more than 1,000 ‘admins’ (people who have higher access to wiki articles and manage them) at the time of writing this article.
    • On this point, there are also ‘Wikipedians’ that are effectively volunteers; They add to or improve articles, correct typos, or deal with vandalism by simply editing the page, showing that the ‘edit’ feature can be used for more than wrongdoing.
  • Wikipedia is not some willy-nilly site that has information provided by random people with no credibility. On many articles, there will be around a dozen sources to the article, and on larger, more well-known topics, there could be a hundred or so sources on it.
  • The chances that the article that someone uses as their source has been edited in bad faith is very unlikely.
  • Wikipedia is kept up to date, and is better in terms of current information than a website that hasn’t been touched since 2013.

Now, with that said, it is always good to remember that Wikipedia, while a reliable source, is still a source, and it is of course good practice to include other sources that aren’t Wikipedia, obviously. I’m simply a little peeved at the idea that Wikipedia is so unreliable that it could not be used as a source at all, and I needed to say something about it.