Although it may seem like an article from the past, the truth is that I still hear a lot of phrases that refer to Wikipedia as something Not very reliable. It is also true that a large part of the population has the Wikipedia as one of those sources where you can find everything and you must trust it. I personally believe that not everything is black and white, there are grays.
To all those who say that Wikipedia is perfect I would say that it is created by humans and that everyone can collaborate on their information (humans can make mistakes) and to those who say that anyone can upload something to Wikipedia without having a clue I would assure them that there are many moderators in this great institution and they cannot be «just anyone». Moderators catch most bugs within hours or days and delete them. Threads that, meanwhile, get a lot of weird mods are closed to make sure the information in them isn’t falsified.
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Now, I will present a few arguments of why Wikipedia is a reliable source.
- is public – Although it is true that what is public is not always good, in this case anyone can contribute information to Wikipedia and, even if it is moderated by a large number of people, you can always contribute something that you did not have, update information, mark important data , etc. Something that most private alternatives do not do or change from time to time, not instantly.
- it’s fast – A Wiki is a fast information center, not a project where texts take months to develop. In Wikipedia, every relevant fact opens a new entry that can provide quick and varied information.
- is extensive – In Wikipedia you can find everything you need to start or almost everything and many links point to reliable sources. It is said of this that it is not an encyclopedia in the strict term and many of the people who write there do not know many of the things that any encyclopedia writer knows, but it is true that it is that perfect point to start.
Now, Wikipedia is not a perfect project and there can always be mistakes, incomplete articles or information taken from unreliable sources such as blogs, lesser caliber pages and very doubtful content (What is really a reliable source?). It is also true that many of the people who write on Wikipedia contribute opinions based on their person and an encyclopedia or reliable source must be totally neutral.
Wikipedia is a starting point, I would recommend it as that starting point where you can find almost everything and where you can start to investigate but once you have it ready you will have to verify the data and contrast it with other different sources to be able to give veracity to your assumptions. Wikipedia is a reliable source and encyclopedias are made between groups of people who may also be wrong, although, as a point in favor, they have been prepared for it and should do a more professional work. Do you trust Wikipedia?
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