Wikipedia: the sorrow and the pity

“For the past 10 years I’ve immersed myself in the details of one of the most famous events in American labor history, the Haymarket riot and trial of 1886. Along the way I’ve written two books and a couple of articles about the episode. In some circles that affords me a presumption of expertise on the subject. Not, however, on Wikipedia.”
The ‘Undue Weight’ of Truth on Wikipedia, by Timothy Messer-Kruse, The Chronicle Review, February 12, 2012


Updated: March 20, 2012


This entry was posted in horrfied. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wikipedia: the sorrow and the pity

  1. Molly Kiely says:

    I use wikipedia a lot. A lot. I like wikipedia…but as a starting point. And I was never swayed by their pleas for donations because of grumblings I’d heard, but not stated as succinctly as this: “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.”

  2. Ginger says:

    Maybe there needs to be a Wikipedia entry about this.

    But seriously, maybe Wikipedia needs a transparent appeal process for things like this. Otherwise they’re just being silly.

    Yeah, I don’t use Wikipedia as a serious source, I use it to amuse myself. If I need to do real research I use the free parts of online holdings or the LA public library. It’s shocking how much information an LAPL card will get you, on and off line. Also the US government has huge holdings that are free and more reliable than Wikipedia.

    But if I just want to skim along the surface of something, Wikipedia is fine for that.

Comments are closed.