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Wikipedia...problems?

By American in Japan   2011 Jan 31, 9:09am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   13,983 views   64 comments   watch (2)   share   quote  

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.

#wikipedia

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25   terriDeaner   2011 Feb 25, 3:09pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

26   FortWayne (13/13 = 100% civil)   2011 Apr 29, 12:34am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Tenouncetrout says

Revised history, at its best.

history is always written by the winners.

27   American in Japan   2011 May 28, 2:00pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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?

28   terriDeaner   2011 May 28, 2:39pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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...

29   American in Japan   2011 Jun 28, 3:05pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

30   terriDeaner   2011 Jun 28, 3:45pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

31   kentm   2011 Jun 28, 10:04pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

32   American in Japan   2011 Jul 12, 5:36pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Thanks for the link!

33   theoakman (2/2 = 100% civil)   2011 Jul 13, 12:18am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

34   American in Japan   2011 Jul 13, 10:41pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

35   American in Japan   2011 Aug 30, 10:43am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

36   corntrollio   2011 Aug 30, 10:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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!

37   American in Japan   2012 Feb 4, 12:12am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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?

38   Dan8267 (56/57 = 98% civil)   2012 Feb 4, 8:13am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

39   American in Japan   2012 Feb 4, 8:45am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

40   TPB   2012 Feb 5, 3:24am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

FortWayne says

Tenouncetrout says

Revised history, at its best.

history is always written by the winners.

Quality Auto Repair Since 1979

You mean whiners?

41   marcus (25/25 = 100% civil)   2012 Feb 5, 1:07pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

42   elliemae   2012 Feb 5, 9:40pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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."

43   American in Japan   2012 Feb 7, 1:26pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Thanks EllieMae!

44   New Renter   2012 Oct 9, 12:46pm  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

45   Dan8267 (56/57 = 98% civil)   2012 Oct 9, 12:54pm  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

46   American in Japan   2012 Oct 9, 5:29pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

@Dan8267

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

47   thomaswong.1986   2012 Oct 9, 5:39pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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..

48   thomaswong.1986   2012 Oct 9, 5:41pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

49   American in Japan   2014 Apr 2, 2:02pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

50   HEY YOU (3/3 = 100% civil)   2014 Apr 2, 3:09pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

51   curious2 (16/16 = 100% civil)   2014 Apr 2, 3:11pm  ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

52   American in Japan   2014 Apr 4, 8:13pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

53   Tenpoundbass (57/57 = 100% civil)   2014 Apr 5, 8:31am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

54   FortWayne (13/13 = 100% civil)   2014 Apr 5, 9:03am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

55   American in Japan   2014 May 4, 12:37pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

@Fortwayne,

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

56   curious2 (16/16 = 100% civil)   2014 May 21, 6:45pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

57   carrieon (2/2 = 100% civil)   2014 May 21, 8:14pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

58   epitaph   2014 May 22, 2:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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

59   marcus (25/25 = 100% civil)   2014 May 22, 3:24am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

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.

60   curious2 (16/16 = 100% civil)   2014 May 22, 7:53am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

61   curious2 (16/16 = 100% civil)   2014 May 27, 7:29am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

62   Vicente   2014 May 27, 8:02am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

63   HydroCabron   2014 May 27, 8:06am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Relax: Corporate-funded science is sound science.

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

64   curious2 (16/16 = 100% civil)   2016 Sep 10, 5:28pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Time to bump this thread, since another Wikipedia problem became evident today: pages can be too speedily deleted, particularly if they lack the support of a PR team or religious zealots defending them. It becomes a race against an unspecified deadline, to meet unspecified criteria, rather than working towards a defined goal on a reasonable schedule.

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