Wikipedia...problems?


By American in Japan   Follow   Mon, 31 Jan 2011, 5:09pm   7,846 views   63 comments
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Has anyone ever found any errors in Wikipedia, small or large? Which articles or facts were they? Were these later corrected?

I have only occasionally found any errors myself and those were in low-rank articles.

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  1. American in Japan


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    24   8:04pm Fri 25 Feb 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    >I still want to get my daughter a set of physical Encyclopedias.

    I agree.

    >I understand Britannica is stopping the print version?

    Not sure...could be.

  2. terriDeaner


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    25   11:09pm Fri 25 Feb 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    kentm says

    Study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica

    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html
    Though you can’t beat Wiki’s convenience if you’re sitting at a computer.
    I still want to get my daughter a set of physical Encyclopedias. I recall hours spent leafing through them… I understand Britannica is stopping the print version?

    Note that this article references the material from the commissioned Nature article cited above. My point again: read past the headline, and look at the source material.

    By the way, I LOVE print encyclopedias.

  3. FortWayne


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    26   7:34am Fri 29 Apr 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike (1)  

    Tenouncetrout says

    Revised history, at its best.

    history is always written by the winners.

  4. American in Japan


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    27   9:00pm Sat 28 May 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    At least in the zoology section, some editor will slap tags on the article in a day or two (if not.within hours) if something is not referenced or is even slightly inaccurate…

    Any other errors found?

  5. terriDeaner


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    28   9:39pm Sat 28 May 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    American in Japan says

    Any other errors found?

    Last time I looked, the letter 'Q' was replaced with the number 4, but it didn't really affect the readability that much so I don't think anyone has complained yet...

  6. American in Japan


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    29   10:05pm Tue 28 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  7. terriDeaner


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    30   10:45pm Tue 28 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    C'mon now AiJ... a little slow on the draw here...

  8. kentm


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    31   5:04am Wed 29 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Ironcially, wikipedia is self-aware:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

    there's a section on "Comparative studies" that you'll probably find interesting

  9. American in Japan


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    32   12:36am Wed 13 Jul 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks for the link!

  10. theoakman


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    33   7:18am Wed 13 Jul 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Wikipedia is good for anything non-controversial. When you get into something where people strong disagree, the wikipedia admins (usually high school/college kids with too much time on their hands) dominate the articles and systematically control who's edit stays and whos doesn't.

  11. American in Japan


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    34   5:41am Thu 14 Jul 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The articles I read / edit are dominated by graduate students, but I agree some came push their views a bit (at least for formatting).

  12. American in Japan


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    35   5:43pm Tue 30 Aug 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    There are some stubborn Administrators on Wikipedia that make their opinion known.

  13. corntrollio


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    36   5:50pm Tue 30 Aug 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    American in Japan says

    There are some stubborn Administrators on Wikipedia that make their opinion known.

    The whole thing is sold as some egalitarian open process. In reality, Wikipedia has a ridiculous number of rules, is highly highly regulated, and the whole process is political and dictated by a small group of people. Their marketing is awesome!

  14. American in Japan


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    37   8:12am Sat 4 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Still there is lots of great information on animals, languages, astronomy, chemistry, math and country infomation. I agree that a small group of people with lots of time on their hands have undue influence. I am cautious when reading the articles on companies.

    Did anyone else find any inaccurate articles?

  15. Dan8267


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    38   4:13pm Sat 4 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Wikipedia whitewashes history. You should never use any Wikipedia article that deals directly or indirectly with people, money, politics, religion, culture, companies, products, or history.

    Also, don't quote Wikipedia. It makes you look like an idiot. Only idiots and the intellectually lazy resort to encyclopedias. Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher told you not to use the encyclopedia and go to the library instead? Only super-idiots trust encyclopedias without peer review. The fact that the dumbest 80% of America uses Wikipedia, doesn't make you look better for quoting it.

    Do real research instead. It's not much harder and you get far better results. Check out my previous rants on Wikicrapia for more details.

  16. American in Japan


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    39   4:45pm Sat 4 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    Dan8267,

    Good point. I write and edit articles on Wikipedia, so I am particularly concerned with referencing. I missed the "Wikicrapia" post...I'll try to find it.

  17. TPB


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    40   11:24am Sun 5 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    FortWayne says

    Tenouncetrout says

    Revised history, at its best.

    history is always written by the winners.

    Quality Auto Repair Since 1979

    You mean whiners?

  18. marcus


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    41   9:07pm Sun 5 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

    I like wikipedia, and use it regularly. But not because I think it's better than doing extensive research on my own.

    For my usual purposes, it's useful and accurate.

  19. elliemae


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    42   5:40am Mon 6 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike   Protected  

    Wiki works for me. But for school projects, I always direct my children to my 1911 set of Brittanica. If the subject existed then, it's in there and there are obscure little factoids that get the kids an "a."

  20. American in Japan


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    43   9:26pm Tue 7 Feb 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks EllieMae!

  21. New Renter


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    44   7:46pm Tue 9 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Do real research instead. It's not much harder and you get far better results.

    That is limited too, unless you have a way to get scholarly research articles without begin forced to pay through the nose or having to visit a university library.

  22. Dan8267


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    45   7:54pm Tue 9 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    That is limited too, unless you have a way to get scholarly research articles without begin forced to pay through the nose or having to visit a university library.

    Better to have little or even no information than to get misinformation. I'll take nothing over the deliberate misinformation on Wikipedia any day.

    Still, Google is pretty darn good at finding articles from reputable publications that you can read for free.

  23. American in Japan


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    46   12:29am Wed 10 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    @Dan8267

    Which Wikipedia articles specifically have you found to be the worst? Just curious in a "Patrick" sort of way...

  24. thomaswong.1986


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    47   12:39am Wed 10 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    American in Japan says

    "to realize that America's mania for home-buying is out of all proportion to sober reality, one needs to look no further than the current subprime lending mess... As interest rates—and mortgage payments—have started to climb, many of these new owners are having difficulty making ends meet... Those borrowers are much worse off than before they bought."

    You should hear what people were saying in 2005.. its just the east side of some city,, wont impact the the ubber rich west side or the Fortress... then the end of 2008 hit and many places also fell like dominoes..

  25. thomaswong.1986


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    48   12:41am Wed 10 Oct 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Still, Google is pretty darn good at finding articles from reputable publications that you can read for free.

    not anymore ...

    Google Kills Its Own "Timeline" Feature
    www.readwriteweb.com/.../google_kills_its_own_tim...Share

    Jon Mitchell

    by Jon Mitchell - in 13,379 Google+ circles - More by Jon Mitchell
    Nov 11, 2011 –

    As Google works to emphasize up-to-the-minute search results, it has also quietly killed off a search feature that helped users search for content from the past. As users in the Google search help forum have noticed, the Timeline feature for Web search has disappeared. It helped filter search results for specific timeframes.

  26. American in Japan


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    49   9:02pm Wed 2 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I wanted to ask this one again...Any problems or biased articles?

  27. HEY YOU


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    50   10:09pm Wed 2 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I believe everything written on paper or the internet but especially Patnet.

  28. curious2


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    51   10:11pm Wed 2 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (4)   Dislike  

    Wikipedia tends to be manipulated by certain industries, in ways that make it similar to commercial news:

    Newsweek: "Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong"

    Vanity Fair: "Deadly Medicine"

    Part of that results from the reliance on commercial and industry publications, so the marketing bias of those sources gets carried into Wikipedia articles, and part of it results from outright manipulation by public relations firms. Wikipedia tries to stop public relations firms excessively manipulating articles, on a case by case basis, but there are always more.

    Also, regarding American culture and politics, there is a recurring partisan battle between factions approximating the major political parties. In Wikipedia as in life, the Republicans imagine themselves morally superior and crusade to save everyone's souls, while the Democrats imagine themselves intellectually superior and dismiss any disagreement as ignorance. (In fairness to the Democrats, many of the self-styled "conservative" editors are really ignorant, and the same pattern can be observed on PatNet; not all conservatives are stupid, but stupid people are disproportionately likely to call themselves "conservative", and that brings down the average.) The result is articles can get pushed one way or another, some articles become battlegrounds while other related articles get ignored and can be outdated or plain wrong.

    I do like Wikipedia for pop culture though, and it's a good place to look for a variety of source links on a topic. Also Wikisource. I would never quote from Wikipedia, because any fool can write anything in there and then quote himself a minute later. Like any online forum, including PatNet, it's more useful if you check what the actual linked sources say.

  29. American in Japan


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    52   3:13am Sat 5 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks. Wikipedia has very good articles on chemistry, astronomy and for animals / plants. Also many good articles for university teams in basketball and football.

  30. CaptainShuddup


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    53   3:31pm Sat 5 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Wiki gets updated way too fast it seems like.
    I'll often hear about someone famous dying, and Google them and the Wiki page will already be updated.
    Although reports will state that details were not known or released at that time.

  31. FortWayne


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    54   4:03pm Sat 5 Apr 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I've seen biased opinions when it came to politics or national events. But you can never get away from that, whoever writes will always be biased.

  32. American in Japan


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    55   7:37pm Sun 4 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    @Fortwayne,

    You could be right. Could you give me a few specific articles?

  33. curious2


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    56   1:45am Thu 22 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  34. carrieon


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    57   3:14am Thu 22 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    I like wikipedia, and use it regularly. But not because I think it's better than doing extensive research on my own.

    For my usual purposes, it's useful and accurate.

    That is a very accurate statement about wikipedia. For the most part, it's convenient and useful. However, if you quote statements from it, people that do their own research will recognize where you got the information.

  35. epitaph


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    58   9:41am Thu 22 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    theoakman says

    Wikipedia is good for anything non-controversial.

    Fully agree with this statement. There are a ton of editors that are of tremendous value to Wikipedia, but then you have some members that want to spin an agenda m

  36. marcus


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    59   10:24am Thu 22 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    FortWayne says

    I've seen biased opinions when it came to politics or national events. But you can never get away from that, whoever writes will always be biased.

    And lets not forget that in some circles, citing facts is considered bias in the extreme.

  37. curious2


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    60   2:53pm Thu 22 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  
  38. curious2


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    61   2:29pm Tue 27 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  
  39. Vicente


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    62   3:02pm Tue 27 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  
  40. HydroCABRON not hydrocarbon


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    63   3:06pm Tue 27 May 2014   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    Relax: Corporate-funded science is sound science.

    That's why I read only research funded by the tobacco, pharmaceutical, or coal industries.

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