I’m sure everyone has heard, “no, you can’t use Wikipedia as a source.” But why, you ask? One of the biggest reasons Wikipedia can’t be used as a source is because you don’t know who writes the content, so the information you may be reading might not be credible. But what if the source is credible and what if what is written is “true?!” Have you ever wondered what Wikipedia decides what is “true” and what isn’t?
In an article written in the Chronicle, Timothy Messer-Kruse writes about his recent encounter editing an entry on Wikipedia. Basically, Messer-Kruse discovers that “truth” on Wikipedia comes down to one thing. An editor on Wikipedia writes, “Wikipedia is not ‘truth,’ Wikipedia is ‘verifiability’ of reliable sources. Hence, if most secondary sources which are taken as reliable happen to repeat a flawed account or description of something, Wikipedia will echo that.” Thus, Wikipedia takes “truth” as what is most commonly believed or written and not what has recently been proved to be true. For the full article, click on The ‘Undue Weight’ of Truth on Wikipedia.