“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.

–Edgar Allan Poe

I’m sure Poe would wonder what portion of the information presented on Wikipedia he should believe.

Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia, unfortunately, is a resource for many people seeking information on a wide range of topics. However, it is also frequently criticized for its open editing environment, which allows anyone to edit its content at any time. This has led to concerns about the reliability and accuracy of the information found on the site.

An example of widespread misinformation on Wikipedia involves the John Seigenthaler Sr. biography controversy of 2005. A Wikipedia entry falsely implicated  Seigenthaler, a former assistant to U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, in the assassinations of both President John F. Kennedy and the Senator. This instance highlighted the potential for harm through misinformation on Wikipedia and raised concerns about the reliability of open-source content.

Wikipedia has seen multiple instances where individuals or groups are incorrectly linked with organizations or actions due to erroneous edits. One such example involved Sinn Féin, where individuals were falsely associated with the IRA, leading to public and political backlash.

Can Be Edited by Anyone

One of the main criticisms of Wikipedia is that it can be edited by anyone, regardless of their expertise, qualifications, and bias on the subject matter. This means that the information contained in any given article may not be accurate or reliable. In fact, studies have shown that Wikipedia articles can include errors and misinformation, which can mislead readers and perpetuate false information.

Another issue with Wikipedia is the potential for bias in its content. Since anyone can edit articles, there is a risk that information may be skewed or manipulated to reflect a particular point of view. This can be problematic when users rely on Wikipedia as a source of information, as they may be exposed to biased or misleading content.