The Instigator
16kadams
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
1dustpelt
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Is Wikipedia a good [accurate] source?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,850 times Debate No: 22426
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

16kadams

Pro

definitions:
here's an example of Wikipedia (many others)
http://en.wikipedia.org...

---> rules

R1: Acceptance etc.
R2: Arguments
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals

===================================================

---> Other rules

1. No trolling
2. No semantics with the title
3. BOP EVEN
1dustpelt

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
16kadams

Pro

C1: Wikipedia is as accurate as encyclopedia Britannica

Before this argument is actually valid, I must prove Britannica is a valid source. Although it is well known this former (they are stopping the print of real books :() encyclopedia is highly accurate, people can now still use the website. But I ned little explanation here, I just need to proceed.

Wikipedia is always getting flak from everyone, teachers to normal students. But, one thing they do not hound on is Britannica. Wikipedia is actually just as accurate as Britannica overall. (http://news.cnet.com...) These two sources have similar rates of error in their articles, says a 2005 study. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Wikipedia fared no worse than the professional website; only 2% of the information on either was out of line with the textbooks. " (http://howtosplitanatom.com...)

C2: Vandalism?

"Wikipedia's solution to vandalism is to lock an entry so no one can tamper with it. But Wales points out that vandalism is not that common. Only a fraction of 1 percent of all articles needs to be locked."
(http://www.cbsnews.com...)

The point is many incidents of the delete all and post "hi" are rare, and only 1% need to be locked from editing due to this.

---> Does the edit get fixed?

Before I go into exact numbers, I will first show they have people monitoring so they can fix the articles. They have thousands of people working for them (payroll and non paid workers) that edit, fix, update the whole site from those spam defacements of the articles. (http://www.infotoday.com...)

"A great deal of Wikipedia's volunteers' effort is applied to quality control. Wikipedia has an elaborate disciplinary system for handling vandals and other troublemakers, and a dedicated force of system administrators to enforce the Wikipedia community's decisions and policies - admins even have the power to block a bad apple permanently."
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"And Wikipedia even has robots, automated users that monitor for errors and correct them automatically. For example, these days most spelling errors and vandalism are fixed by Wikipedia's robots."
(Ibid)

Also I found this cool, they have an anti vandalism Unit!!!!
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Conclusion:

Wikipedia = accurate vote para mio!!
1dustpelt

Con

Rebuttals
C1: Wikipedia is as accurate as encyclopedia Britannica
Using your own source, (http://news.cnet.com...), "That averages out to 2.92 mistakes per article for Britannica and 3.86 for Wikipedia." Not a big difference, but still a difference. Their article on The Great Northern War, said it lasted from 1700-31 for a a few weeks, when it was really 1700-21. People can easily make mistakes.

C2: Vandalism?
It is true that it usually gets fixed, but what if you were doing a project, and just happened to find a Wikipedia article that was vandalized? For example, a few days ago, I was doing a project of Black Consciousness in South Africa, and I found a Wikipedia article on it. You know what it said? "There are two definitions of Black Consciousness. 1. A black person who is not unconscoius. 2. The black concscoiuness movement." Someone vandalized it and added definition 1. If I would have used definition 1, I would have gotten it wrong.

Conclusion
Wikipedia is not a good source.

Sources
http://news.cnet.com...;
http://en.wikipedia.org...;
http://www.insidehighered.com...
Debate Round No. 2
16kadams

Pro

D1: Britannica

My opponent claims the small error ratio is enough to hinder it invalid, which is a poor argument.

"In the end, the journal found just eight serious errors, such as general misunderstandings of vital concepts, in the articles. Of those, four came from each site. They did, however, discover a series of factual errors, omissions or misleading statements. All told, Wikipedia had 162 such problems, while Britannica had 123. " [1]

So, is this a issue? Britannica has 75% of the errors Wikipedia did. Does this mean Wikimedia is inherently not accurate due to this small difference? Britannica is a highly high esteemed source, and Wikipedia is only 25% more errors. With this information, one can assume Wikipedia is accurate to an extent. Also it is being cited more often in scholarly articles, hinting it is gaining respect.




http://digitalscholarship.wordpress.com...

"Cancer researchers said in June that Wikipedia was nearly as accurate as a well-respected, peer-reviewed database, although the wiki entries were a bit more boring." [2]

"Nature magazine recently conducted a head-to-head competition between Wikipedia and Britannica, having experts compare 42 science-related articles. The result was that Wikipedia had about 4 errors per article, while Britannica had about 3. However, a pair of endevouring Wikipedians dug a little deeper and discovered that the Wikipedia articles in the sample were, on average, 2.6 times longer than Britannica's - meaning Wikipedia has an error rate far less than Britannica's." [3]

Now, this is intresting as a wikipedia article is longer, and the ratio of accuracy is so close, we an assume wikipedia is more accurate then britannica, but as the other ones say wikipedia is ony almost as accurate then this differs I conted it is to close to call.

D2: Vandalism

My opponent first cites one artilcle, yet as I have stated vandalism is rare overall, and one article does not justify a position. As I proved only 1% ofwikipedia articles get hijacked in any significant way (such as that one). [4] So my opponent citing one article is not enough to justify a position.


Wikipedia also has things called stable articles. These versions are harder to edit. [5]

Also most articles vandalised are fixed so quickely no users acually see the effects! [6]

Conclusion:

Wikipedia = accurate


[1] http://news.cnet.com...
[2] http://www.nationaltechcenter.org...
[3] http://slashdot.org...
[4] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://www.research.ibm.com...
1dustpelt

Con

1dustpelt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16kadams

Pro

extend arguments. If my opponent posts really good arguments last round, like what he did in his overpopulation debate, that's a cheap shot and I call they get disregarded if he does that. VOTE PRO
1dustpelt

Con

So I guess that means I can't argue this round? :(
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
You could have argued, as long as you didn't go like your overpopulation debate. End with a ton of new and good arguments that can't be responded too.
Posted by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
Crap I forfeited. Rematch later?
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ok... I now know my opponent will use that stuff, and likely things in your debate, as he voted on that one, so... ok then ;)
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
http://www.uic.edu...

A survey of Wikipedia's HIGHEST QUALITY WORK, as reviewed by experts.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
No, some studies disagree with me. Others don't.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
@nur-ab-sal

well studies disagree with you
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
I am a Wikipedia writer, and I guarantee you it is not as accurate as a published encyclopedia...
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
? what
Posted by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The Black Conscoius Movement is defined as: 1. The Black Consciousness movement of South Africa. It was an anti-apartheid movment led by Steven Biko.
2. A black person that is conscious and moving.

2. A black person that is conscious and moving is very common. You can find them at Walmart.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
he he
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bcresmer 5 years ago
bcresmer
16kadams1dustpeltTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
16kadams1dustpeltTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: 16kadams made a stronger case, and 1dustpelt forfeited. A small amount of error was shown to not make wikipedia unreliable.