Wikipedia: Credible Source Or Gate To Laziness
In 2001, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded Wikipedia. Its purpose is to serve as an online encyclopedia on a variety of subjects. At the heart of their strategy, is to have no central authority influencing the content that is posted on their website. The organization does not charge visitors a fee and relies on donations to maintain their day to day operations. The basic idea is to offer a free platform where someone can easily learn about different topics. However, the firm depends on contributors, who are volunteers. As a writer, this is troubling as they can update and edit information without having to fully provide verifiable facts. The result is that some people are questioning the quality of information they are receiving. This is creating controversy surrounding if it is reliable or an avenue for laziness.
Wikipedia as an Avenue for Laziness
Wikipedia is used by those who are unwilling to do research. This is because it focuses on unidentified contributors who do the writing, editing and posting for the site. As anyone with a computer and an Internet connection, can make updates to various pages. In a number of situations, the information is incorrect and has never been corroborated.
To make matters worse, these postings can go undetected for months and are subjective by letting authors say whatever they want. This is because it does not clearly identify the author, date or corroborate the facts. Once this happens, is the point someone could cite Wikipedia. Yet, many of the findings are inaccurate. This goes against the rules of writing, by not showing where the information came from and the accuracy of the claims it is making.
For example, John Seigenthaler was a former assistant to Robert Kennedy. In 2005, he was accused of taking part in the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers for more than 100 days (without his knowledge). When the mistake was discovered, he called Jimmy Wales and asked him if knew the identity of the author. Wales responded, by stating how all contributors are anonymous and there is no way of determining who it is. This is showing how those who cite Wikipedia are unwilling to corroborate their facts and research. As a result, the information from it is unreliable.
Clearly, Wikipedia is a source that should never be used. This is because it cannot determine who wrote it or where the information came from. At the same time, no one is checking these facts and will often leave inaccurate information on the site until someone complains. This is when they will remove the questionable material later on.