Why should you limit your reliance on
Although in theory communal knowledge is promising,
exciting, democratizing, and cheap, the reality does not meet our great
Wikipedia's history of controversial topics is fraught with entries that are misleading,
corrupting, slanderous, and self-serving. Sometimes they are
changed, and often not so quickly. Some errors remain. Like all encyclopedias, the entries are also shallow. However, as a
researcher you need articles that go into depth and complexity.
Some pages have been vandalized so often that they are
“locked,” truncating the communal quality of Wikipedia.
Anonymous sources have
little to lose in comparison to sources whose authors must defend their claims. When you assess a source's credibility, one
of your 1st steps is to ask, Who wrote this, and what do they have invested? If you don't know the author, you can't
answer this question.
During one period, an anonymous source repeatedly deleted the entire
Abortion entry, and entered the word "murder" thousands of times. This would not help anyone doing research on the topic.
Below is a list of URLs linking to articles demonstrating
the unreliability of Wikipedia, particularly when the issue is controversial.
We can dream,
but we also need to be realistic about the veracity of our sources.