Wikipedia, a completely unreliable source for finding the truth! Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown as the online phenomenon that apparently allows the truth to be managed democratically; but over the past year it has also been exposed as a real-life “Ministry of Truth”.
But the truth and worse is that people have even been arrested and terrorised due to incorrect information being posted on this free Internet encyclopaedia. But when authority’s does the same, no action against this is taken?
Wikipedia presents itself as an online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute, and whose entries anyone can edit. The idea is that people who are experts in their field will contribute articles, suitably augmented by others who are equally knowledgeable. This is a nice idea but in practice Wikipedia is unreliable, because anyone can edit articles, and in many cases the main aim of those editing articles is not to present the truth but rather a biassed interpretation. Wikipedia has no effective defence against this (especially since its privileged editors are among the worst offenders) and is thus unreliable. This flaw in Wikipedia manifests itself most often in articles dealing with history or contemporary events
But the case could really be about anything and still highlight a fundamental reality: Wikipedia is not the be-all, end-all source of fact and truth in the world. Regardless of its level of accuracy on the issue of yoga, the open-source website is still made up of user-composed information that is ultimately screened and censored by an army of unidentified “editors” who decide whether or not it is “accurate.”
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), for example, was exposed by BBC News back in 2007 for tampering with content posted on the site. A tool known as “Wikipedia Scanner,” which was hailed as being capable of identifying some of Wikipedia’s user editors, revealed the CIA as an active manipulator of sensitive information. The U.S. military has also been caught editing tens of thousands of Wikipedia entries to suit its own interests.
“The sad truth about the Internet is that what started as a liberate multiplicity of informational sources has dwindled to a handful of knowledge-monopolies with Google and Wikipedia leading the pack,” writes Micah White for Adbusters.org in an unrelated piece.
“Wikipedia is a particularly unreliable source of knowledge and yet, because of a rumoured secret-deal with Google, it ranks highly on many searches.”
Though much less frequently used these days by younger generations, public libraries are still an excellent source of hard-copy information that has not been tampered with by the federal government or other rogue conglomeration of power that is, unless physical pages in books have been removed or modified. There are also still many reliable sources of information online, but it is critical to use common sense intuition and fact check when evaluating any information gathered from the internet.