The Instigator
simmyjaye
Pro (for)
Winning
69 Points
The Contender
vinavinx
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

"Wikipedia" is a good source of information.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,712 times Debate No: 2961
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (26)

 

simmyjaye

Pro

"Wikipedia", the biggest Internet encyclopedia, is a good source of information.

It has received mixed reaction due to its potential for containing misinformation and its status as an easy target of 'info vanadalism'. I propose, however, that its virtues outweigh its shortcomings.

- entries reference subject matter as diverse as lunar eclipses and 'Yoshi' (the dragon character featured in the Super Mario games); nowhere else would info about both these subjects be instantly accessible
- the ability of users to click on highlighted words in the text to be immediately transported to other page references
- the writing style, as it is edited by many, is both expert/professional where appropriate ('criminology'), and in a more appropriately "fun trivia" style for popular culture entries ('johnny depp')
- most entries will have been edited recently, making the content up-to-date

Please respond.
vinavinx

Con

You state in your argument that Wikipedia is prone to mis-information. This all in all is true and simply proves just in that, that wikipedia is not a good source of information. But for the sake of this debate, here is my argument.

-nowhere else would info about both these topics be instantly accessible

I beg to differ. There are millions of sites that can just as easily find info about two very different topics. One is google. But also there happen to be millions of school web-sites (such as pioneer-online for utah) that can help you find information easier that is acctually accurate.

- the ability of users to click on highlighted words in the text to be immediately transported to other page references

This is anything is more of an annoyance for me. I like to run my mouse over the words im reading. When a little box appears with a new link to something i dont care about comes up i want to click it off because it is coevering up the words im trying to read. So you click it off....and the page changes! This all in all is not good.

- most entries will have been edited recently, making the content up-to-date

Yes most content has been edited recently. But i guarantee simple citizens go on these sites mosr than editors do. The problem with wikipedia is that any every-day person can go on and change things on every selection.

Lastly i would like to add that if wikipedia were a "good" and reliable source of information, we would be aloud to use it as a source of information in school.
Debate Round No. 1
simmyjaye

Pro

I will start be responding to your arguments in round one, then add more thoughts of my own.

- You state in your argument that Wikipedia is prone to mis-information. This all in all is true and simply proves just in that, that wikipedia is not a good source of information. –

Yes, Wikipedia is prone to mis-information, but I would argue this doesn't make it a bad source of information. The ocean is prone to getting oil spilled in it, but that doesn't make it a bad source of salt water. Wikipedia requires that all contributions are verified by sources that are published and verifiable, even those that are authorities in their field. This implies that the vast majority of information is accurate. All articles contain footnotes and references at the bottom; those that are in the public domain are clickable and possible to verify for yourself.

- There are millions of sites that can just as easily find info about two very different topics. One is google. But also there happen to be millions of school web-sites (such as pioneer-online for utah) that can help you find information easier that is acctually accurate. -

Google, or any search engine, will list websites that use the word you search for somewhere within them. This is in no way similar to being linked directly to a page which contains the specific information you seek. Certainly, if one types "Beethoven" into Google, you'll find a number of sites pretty quickly detailing his life and works (albeit not without clicking three or four links within a particular site). Finding out about the chocolate bar Twix by using a search engine would result in me finding a lot of advertising, but no information regarding, for instance, the product's history. Similarly, typing ‘Moon River' into Google will get me the lyrics pretty quickly, but tell me nothing about the song. So "just as easily"? No.

As for Utah's online library, the site wouldn't let me access it without registering. So it may be a useful source for you, but that doesn't make it close to being a comparably 'good' source with Wikipedia. 'Good' must partly imply easy access.

…and if that's being unfair, I tried four of my own local school library websites. They could not tell me, within 8 seconds, anything about ‘rational choice theory', whereas Wikipedia could. (If you think this choice of subject matter is unfair, feel free to suggest a topic to find out about using my local library websites versus Wikipedia, and I will happily reconduct the experiment.)

- […on links between articles] This is anything is more of an annoyance for me. I like to run my mouse over the words im reading. When a little box appears with a new link to something i dont care about comes up i want to click it off because it is coevering up the words im trying to read. So you click it off....and the page changes! This all in all is not good. -

No such box appears in Wikipedia covering up any text, rendering this point irrelevant.

- yes most content has been edited recently. But i guarantee simple citizens go on these sites mosr than editors do. The problem with wikipedia is that any every-day person can go on and change things on every selection. -

Yes, as you say, "simple citizens" can go on the site and change entries. But type in "Imperial Japanese Submarines" into Wikipedia and a glance at the text and footnote references reveal that it is inconceivable that
information has been single-handedly created by someone attempting to mis-inform the gullible public. Experts in the elusive field of Imperial Japanese Submarines would no-doubt be anxious to re-build the article with backed-up, reliable information. That particular page, and many like it, is the combined result of people with different levels of expertise on the subject collating their evidence and information. It is a wealth of instantly accessible information.

- Lastly i would like to add that if wikipedia were a "good" and reliable source of information, we would be aloud to use it as a source of information in school. -

This presumes the school system you experience is correct to think the same way you do, and does not strengthen your own argument.

I would like to add three more arguments supporting Wikipedia as, at the very least, a *good* source
of information.

(1)Its quantity of information: there are more than two million articles in the English version.
(2)It's really fun. Pictures, diagrams, tables, graphs are dispersed throughout the text at least as well as any other electronic resource.
(3)Its mass of links to external resources within each article, proving it is not afraid to set its own material alongside other sources.

I anticipate your next response with baited breath.
vinavinx

Con

vinavinx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
simmyjaye

Pro

My opponent timed out on their argument. My last arguments remain without response, unless my opponent re-emerges from obscurity...
vinavinx

Con

vinavinx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by dmoore 6 years ago
dmoore
both sides there is enough evidence out supporting and going aginst wiki. This would be very effective to persuade readers if you had some sort of evidence. And or funy stupid points.
Posted by skiies23 6 years ago
skiies23
Simmyjaye gets my vote, as he clearly won the debate! SolaGratia, just because you disagree with the points made by Simmyjaye does not mean that Vivavinx should get your vote!

Another example as to why wikipedia is excellent: organic chemistry. Look up common compounds, and it gives you all of the data you need: in a very reliable, sourced format!
Posted by SolaGratia 6 years ago
SolaGratia
Logically, Vivavinx does NOT deserve my vote. He missed two arguments. However, I feel strongly on the issue, and he did make great points in the one argument he did make, so my vote goes to him. Simmyjaye, I would be happy to take this one up if you challenged me.
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Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by simmyjaye 6 years ago
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