The Instigator
WhateverItTakes
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
dunc22
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Wikipedia is a Fairly Accurate Resource

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
WhateverItTakes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 647 times Debate No: 41881
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

WhateverItTakes

Pro

First round acceptance,
Second round opening arguments,
Third round rebuttals,
Fourth and final closing arguments.

Good luck.
dunc22

Con

I accept :) good luck
Debate Round No. 1
WhateverItTakes

Pro

Wikipedia.org is one of the top ten most visited websites the internet has to offer, but takes a lot of heat for being inaccurate and not reliable. Personally, I've never been allowed to site Wikipedia for any research I've done in school. I find, however, that Wikipedia is almost always flawless, usually only not perfect because of a simple grammar mistake. Wikipedia has an entire network set up to ensure that their articles aren't vandalized or edited by misinformed people.

Some say that since anyone can edit Wikipedia, it's not reliable. That's not entirely true, however. There is a complex class system of articles, so that important articles can only be edited by qualified people. For example, the article on George Washington is what is called "semi-protected". In a nutshell, unconfirmed users cannot edit it. But there are many different forms of protection, all of which can be found on Wikipedia's Protection Policy page (Ref. 1).

But does this network of article protection work? How hard is it to be a "confirmed" user? Not very difficult, but not worth your time for a simple prank. With 4 days of holding an account and 10 edits, a user can be autoconfirmed, and capable of changing popular data across Wikipedia. However, with over 20 million named accounts on Wikipedia, false data doesn't stand very long. There will always be vandals, but there will always be many, many, MANY more reviewers. Despite this, there are still many people point to other resources like Encyclopedia Britannica as a defense that Wikipedia isn't accurate, with the assumption that Britannica is far more accurate than Wikipedia. How true is that claim?

Luckily, there was a study on this very topic. Nature (a science journal) took articles from random topics from both Wikipedia and Britannica, and had experts compare the articles, one from each website on a single topic, side-by-side. The results were fascinating. The number of errors were almost equal. Major errors were equal, minor errors clocked in at 2.92 per article for Britannica, and 3.86 errors for Wikipedia. In conclusion, neither website is better in the grand scheme of things, but for any given article there may be 1 or 2 more misleading sentences or instances of missing information on Wikipedia than you will find on Britannica.

Wikipedia is one of the world's favorite sites, and one of the most hated. Someone quickly looking up who won the Battle of Bunker Hill will enthusiastically click on the link to Wikipedia, but school teachers won't have any part of Wikipedia's "false information." It's unfortunate, since it is one of the most accurate resources available on the internet. Encyclopedia Britannica has Wikipedia beat because of a couple better-worded sentences, but you just can't beat the diversity and magnitude of Wikipedia. But best of all, it's free... in more ways than one.

References:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
dunc22

Con

Well you changed the debate topic on me, it was originally is Wikipedia a reliable source, which I had arguments against which it is now is it a fairly accurate source which i have no arguments against and would in fact agree with so i will be forfeiting the next rounds
Debate Round No. 2
WhateverItTakes

Pro

I would have thought that reliable and accurate were hand-in-hand in the context of an encyclopedia.
dunc22

Con

dunc22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
WhateverItTakes

Pro

WhateverItTakes forfeited this round.
dunc22

Con

dunc22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by dunc22 3 years ago
dunc22
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would like to direct everyone to this Wikipedia page stating that it is not reliable, i would also like to state that right at this moment anyone can change it to say it is reliable and the page will change immediately, so how reliable you really think it is is up to you.

Also its a Wikipedia paradox in a way which is kind of cool because if a page on Wikipedia says it is not a reliable source then technically that page is not reliable which would mean Wikipedia is reliable which would then continue the paradox
Posted by themohawkninja 3 years ago
themohawkninja
@DudeStop
Ah, but because it can be easily edited, the issues can be easily resolved, thereby making it a reliable source.
Posted by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
Because Wikipedia can be easily edited, it"s not considered reliable.
Posted by rajagopal23295 3 years ago
rajagopal23295
totally agree with you.. The content is regularly corrected by users.. For example, at my school, someone replaced the word "pig" with my friend's name in the wiki article on the subject. It was corrected within minutes..
Posted by themohawkninja 3 years ago
themohawkninja
Totally agree.

There are college professors whose entire courses are copy-and-pasted from Wikipedia, and yet the NFL apparently has yet to realize that it is a legit source. I had a vote on one of my debates that gave my opponent the point for sources, because even though I used Wikipedia, he used Fox News! I sited a Wikipedia article with 169 sources on why Fox News is a crappy source, and I still didn't get sources for that vote!
Posted by Jay-D 3 years ago
Jay-D
Exactly. Me too...
Posted by MaxLascombe 3 years ago
MaxLascombe
Interesting subject, although the points may keep going back and forth. Would have joined if I could be Pro
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by birdlandmemories 3 years ago
birdlandmemories
WhateverItTakesdunc22Tied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
WhateverItTakesdunc22Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Conceded before both sides started forfeiting rounds....