The Instigator
Con (against)
8 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Is Wikipedia reliable sourse or not?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2013 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,667 times Debate No: 30038
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




First of all, wikipedia defines itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." you will find this quote on the homepage of wikipedia, As you can see, it defines itself as something that anyone, including various "trolls" on the internet, may edit so that the information it produces is false. As states, on very large wikipedia "blunder" was a page that told of ted keneddy's death states that: "A very high profile Wikipedia blunder falsely reported the "death" of Sen. Edward Kennedy after he actually did suffer a seizure during the post-inaugural luncheon for Barack Obama in January 2009. The Washington Post reports that Kennedy's Wikipedia entry was edited at 2:59p.m. ET "to say that he had died" by someone who registered on the site under the name "Gfdjklsdgiojksdkf."(

I believe this is enough information to prove wikipedia is an unacceptable resource. Thank you, and i look forward to your rebuttal.


I use websites like Wikipedia all of the time for information and I have never received incorrect information from Wikipedia.

Obviously, nobody is perfect and there will always be a mistake somewhere, in something. However that does not mean that Wikipedia is utterly useless.

Previously I have found it quite useful, the layout is easier than that of some other websites and there is always a lot of information.

Wikipedia is defined as the free encyclopedia anyone can edit, however just because everyone can edit it does not mean that everyone will go on just to vandalize articles. Wikipedia is much like this very website, it has its trolls and spammers but there are still a great number of normal reasonable people who all have some knowledge of an event. On Wikipedia there are a enormous number of people who watch for changes made to any article and if a troll does attack, thousands of people will be notified of a change made to an article and if the information is completely wrong it can quickly be deleted.
Debate Round No. 1


I always hear professors in university telling us that Wikipedia should be be used as a source.
This does not make sense to me.
I could create a website today about biology, pretend I'm an expert named Dr. John Smith, write down random fake facts like, birds are the cause of malaria. I could then use Dr. John Smith as a source for my paper and no one would complain.
Yet when thousands of people all get together, debate, and agree to write something on Wikipedia, this is not considered valid.

I guess this isn't really a question, but more like a debate ...


Just because 1 or 2 Wiki pages carried some false information for a period of time does not mean that Wikipedia can never ever be used for accurate information. Millions of other Wiki articles that right now are under the watchful eyes of thousands of editors Wikipedia is a very good source of information. It has specially commission, who cheak all information
Debate Round No. 2


Wikipedia is unlikely to ever be a citable resource for students.
I hardly think the term occasionally is appropriate for the amount of blunders Wikipedia's free editing system is responsible for. Additionally, if you are admitting it is an invalid source, why should it be trusted?
This source I gave was from the Vancouver sun news paper, and it does not simply imply it, it flat out says "It's estimated there are 100,000 "sabotaged' pages on Wikipedia
What I was saying is that if one believed that, for some reason, Wikipedia is a legitimate source, they would be more trusting with the site and be susceptible to false information from the site, and if one did not trust Wikipedia, they would not use it and be safe from acquiring false knowledge


This a problem with any internet source, since the scenario you suggested can be applied to any website. In that case, you might as well argue against using any website as a source.

There are a couple problems with this example. First, the author of the Wikipedia article would most likely copy-and-paste the cited information, so there is no danger of misquoting or misinterpreting. Also, the problem would probably be fixed quickly, as we have seen with the example of the page for "Yellow". Furthermore, most opponents would probably check the site themselves for credibility, misquotations by their opponent or other information.

"But, as I was saying, if it was not a debate where the debaters are debating over Wikipedia, they may check once or twice while constructing their next argument and then never look back again, risking the possibility of having wrong information."

The opponent of the person who is citing any source will most likely check the link themselves. Virtually every time someone posts a link, you would be a fool to just accept the information, rather than examining it yourself
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by likespeace 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm going to +1 rross's remarks. Pro agreed there are many errors and that you have to double-check the information you get from it--ergo, unreliable. Other positive qualities have no association with the resolution of this debate. While I am voting for Con, I actually believe Wikipedia is a reliable source and there are studies that show it, such as one comparing it to physical encyclopedias. However, only Con cited any sources here.
Vote Placed by rross 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded. He agreed that wikipedia has lots of mistakes and that there are spammers and trolls editing it. This makes it unreliable. The fact that there is lots of good stuff too, that the layout is nice, and that other internet sites are also unreliable, makes no difference at all.