Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wikipedia: An Unlikely Source

Morgan Peterson

In school we have always been told not to use Wikipedia as a source for anything. Wikipedia has always had a poor reputation for being unreliable, but why is that? Why did such a great idea become so poorly thought of?


I believe that a lot of the people's issue with Wikipedia is that it seems too good to be true. Typically many things we come across on the internet aren't always reliable and Wikipedia has been a main culprit of that. Many people think that the website isn't a valuable source because it gives people the option to edit their content. Even though all of the articles have this feature, at the bottom of the page there are usually lots of sources to link to.

Stated in the Wikimedia Foundation Guiding Principles, the organization's mission is to share free information to the masses. Many of their values are the same values stated in the RTDNA Ethical Codes. With the similarity between the codes it's strange the Wikipedia isn't held to the same standard as RTDNA.

After learning about Wikipedia's methods and how they operate it definitely makes me less apprehensive about using the site as a source. I think Wikipedia should make their ethical codes more visible so more people can see what the site stands for. Wikipedia takes pride in being a free encyclopedia with over 600,000 contributing articles and to be honest that's a pretty remarkable accomplishment and I believe that a lot of people forget that.

Overall I believe that Wikimedia and all of their supporting sites have a strong base but they don't have enough brand loyalty to support their platform. The best way to change people's mindsets is to change the conversation. Wikimedia needs to do a complete rebranding of the website and shed light/make fun of the rumors that talk about how disreputable they are. It would be beneficial to show people the process of how articles are edited or how they plan to enhance the process. This would allow Wikimedia to seem transparent and show their audience that they realize the issue and are taking steps to change it. The company has a ways to go with changing their reputation but I believe with some work they can begin to change people's minds, they've already changed mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment