[Air-l] Wikipedia warning -- Wikipedia is not a reliable information source

Ken Friedman ken.friedman at bi.no
Sun Dec 4 11:24:12 PST 2005

Dear Elijah,

I am trying to stir up some action that may lead to a solution.

You are mistaken in the idea that these issues are evident to most
Wikipedia users. These problems are evident to people on this list --
but far too few students recognize the need to use multiple sources.
No matter how much I encourage people to use multiple sources
for ALL facts, something like 40% of my students use only one
source for most facts, and that source is increasingly Wikipedia.

My larger point is that if students are satisfied with only one source,
I want that source to be Encyclopedia Britannica or a similar
excellent reference source.

I'd prefer that more students checked issues and facts against
many sources. Until this becomes a common habit of mind, I am
no longer willing to accept Wikipedia. My second large point is
that if enough of us take the same stand, Wikipedia will necessarily
find a way to do better fact-checking and to prevent egregious
cases of libel, defamation, hoax information, and fraud.



>What's your larger point?  Or are you just trying to stir things up?
>These are issues that have been widely discussed.  And largely 
>things that are very evident to users of wikipedia... and often to 


Ken Friedman
Professor of Leadership and Strategic Design
Institute for Communication, Culture, and Language
Norwegian School of Management

Design Research Center
Denmark's Design School

email: ken.friedman at bi.no

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