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 Your opinion on Wikipedia

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've been a wikipedian a year longer than a 4vier 1ein 9noin member.
I'd like to have your opinion about the accuracy of the written articles.
Very Happy Oh, I've been a contributor too.
In this article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fistful_of_Dynamite ,
the chapters Analysis and Historical Errors are written by us, me myself and I.
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Otterfan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

"Wikipedia --- is there anything it can't be edited to know?"

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Otterfan
FYI, I have seen attempts of vandalism but they were reversed quite fast.
And I, being interested mostly in the scientific/engineering articles, have not found major mistakes.
However, it cannot be trusted 100%. That's why I ask for the opinion of the ones I trust, I mean members of these forums.
4ohr 1ein 9noiners are proven to be balanced, intelligent and skeptics Very Happy
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Ex.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am also a Wikipedian although I don't contribute as much as I should. TBH, I think its one of the most innovative inventions in a while. Most people who say that Wikipedia is inaccurate say that because of the fact that anyone can edit creates the POSSIBILITY of it being innaccurate, which is fine since it makes some sense, or it disagrees with something and they don't like feeling wrong, which is not fine because thats just immature. Ever notice how people always say go Wiki something till someone comes back saying that person is wrong, then all of a sudden Wikipedia is wrong and the other person is right? Most vandalism and untrue facts are usually reverted very quickly. Plus, Wikipedia is more comprehensive and expansive than most, if not all, encyclopedic databases. Vive` Le` Wiki! Death to the ignorant people who hate it on baseless accusations! If you don't like it, don't use it.

EDIT: Yes I admit Wikipedia isn't perfect as there is always a percentage of error with ANYTHING including Britannica, Encarta, etc.

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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It is only as accurate as the people who put the information in it. It's a useful tool, but other sources should also be checked, and it shouldn't be taken as the be all/end all.

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Strongside
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am also a wikipedian its a useful tool.

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Otterfan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is sort of unrelated to Wikipedia specifically, but still connected to the whole "interactive web knowledge" thing that Wikipedia is the prime example of.

I'm a big fan of a certain genre of music, and I have a considerable collection of CDs. I used to contribute a lot to rateyourmusic.com (sort of like Wikipedia for music enthusiasts). I stopped after one incident in which an aspect of this "truth by internet" idea came to light.

I'd contributed a new release that I had just bought, and the cover art was waiting for approval by the moderation team.

It came back as rejected.

Huh? I'd actually taken the booklet and liner out of the CD case and scanned all the relevant bits myself, carefully cropped them to the right size. They were identical to the actual art and they were within the size limits, etc, for uploading. What was the problem?

Well... the mod team had done a search to check out my images and had only found a couple of sites (Amazon and an independent reseller) that contained the album's final artwork. Those two sites must have taken their images from the same source as, for some reason, the centimetre-wide white border that ran around the front cover had been cropped, meaning that the images on those websites was without a border. My image, I was told, had an unnecessary white border. Could I please crop the border and resubmit?

Huh again?

I wrote back and told them that the actual artwork has a white border, that it's an essential part of that artwork, there was no way I should crop it.

The reply was that they couldn't find any source to verify my submitted image, so I would have to crop the border if it was to be accepted.

At this point, I was a little bit annoyed, and in a fit of righteous "I'll show 'em , I'll show 'em good!" I laid out the CD artwork on a bench and took a picture of it, showing it clearly with the white border. I sent the photos back and said that this is the truth, the reality, I don't care what Amazon or whoever have done to their own images, this an actual picture of the artwork as purchased by me today and is sitting there on my bench with its white border as clear as day.

It was still rejected.

After which, I gave up.

It's truth-by-internet, and you can't argue against it even if you have reality on your side.

The sheer stupidity of the incident still amuses me and infuriates me in equal measure when I think about it.

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Newdonym
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Silly buggers.^

As for wiki, my uni hate it. Which means i love it.

I'm not stupid enough to actually source it, but it can give an excellent overview on many topics.
I'm in Biology, so almost all biochemical and micro molecular topics are theories which means you can find a peer reviewed source for any point of view you want.

I also sometimes use the references on the bottom of the article as a starting point for research.
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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

C'mon eaters, I KNOW many of you visit wiki from time to time.
Gimme your opinions.
With my almighty jedi sense i feel you are chickening out.
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Sir Cumfrence
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wiki is a valuable source of information but ultimately it cannot be trusted in isolation. It is but one tool in a giant toolbox.
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Reaper
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wikipedia is good for getting a basic understanding of the topic. But you need specific sources if you really want to get accurate and specific details.

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Chibuike
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

In the library world we shudder when people quote Wiki. When they first started out they did not make contributors quote their sources. They are getting better about that. However, as for any information you find on the internet use it as a guide. Libraries are filled with many standard resources that will give you the information you need. Unfortunately the World Wide Web has drawn people away from these resources. Yes, some of the resources are on the web but many are not. Do I recommend Wiki to patrons? NO! We have several criteria we use before we will recommend a website and Wiki just ain't there yet.

The above is my professional opinion as a librarian.

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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've contributed to a particular article on Wiki, nothing to do with what happens here.

The subject has an English Heritage Blue Plaque at his former home in London. Sadly, they got his year of birth wrong. This also happened on a plaque on a memorial bust in my home town. A little internet research of Wiki and collaborative evidence from say his remaining family would have red flagged this mistake before the (expensive) blue plaque was cast. I pointed it out and they issued a correction on the EH website. The plaque still remains incorrect as far as I'm aware.

The moral of the story...don't believe everything you read.

[Edited for spelling]

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Last edited by Tommo Shanter on Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Craig007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm ashamed to say I rely on Wikipedia quite a lot Embarassed

I know that anyone can edit information, but why would anyone change topics on purpose to make them wrong?

If they do, they have too much time on their hands.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Other than when I ask a stoopid question IE "what is a bog?" and a eater post a wiki link to answer my question. I dont think I have ever used it. but I do see a good usefulness of it. I would not use it as my final answer but as a good source.

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have personally seen 2 vandalised articles. One about WW2, which I edited back personally, and the other about Nintendo 64 gaming console, which was replaced with some personal attack like "Gary is a fagget" Shocked
About 30 mins later the well written article was restored.
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Otterfan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

But what if Gary really is a "fagget"? This is censorship, and many people are still referencing the site as reliably unbiased! This is not the way to the truth, I tell you.

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Kabuto Sama
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Laughing I know nothing about Gary, so he may be a fagget, but I don't see how his sexual preferences are relevant in an article about a gaming console.
They might be relevant in an article about homosexuals, oral/anal sex, or the sexual minorities rights and/or discrimination.
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Otterfan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

True, so perhaps you should have suggested it be moved to the right article instead of being deleted?

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Tricia
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm getting lazy. Back in the 90s I used to use several different search engines when I was hunting for information. These days it's just the Wikipedia article and Google's first 60 hits. My Firefox has Yahoo search box, but I've used it about 10 times since 2004.

I now realise that it's also been a while since I went to a library to research something. Google plus Amazon's user reviews give me a good enough sense whether I want to read the book or not.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

i have only used wiki about 3 times in four years.

Confused

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I find it very useful, and for the most part accurate enough to suit my needs. I don't treat it with any more or less respect than anything else published on the web, but technical articles tend to be well-referenced and correct, in my experience.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wiki is excellent for somethings as long as you remember to get a second opinion. Sure there are sometimes errors on the site but as a whole it is a very useful resource.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm too lazy to read the whole thread through. Embarassed

I haven't used the "pedia" part too much, but I think it's a really useful tool. I use a lot more wikitravel, as I want to know as much as possible about the countries I am about to visit. At least for now the information has been very accurate and useful to me.
I haven't contributed too much myself though, only once...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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