The Instigator
leggomyeggo
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
fresnoinvasion
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

Wikipedia should be considered an acceptable reference material in the academic community.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,659 times Debate No: 1661
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (8)

 

leggomyeggo

Pro

My school discourages the use of wikipedia as a source of information based on the fact that "Anyone can edit it". this does not affect its credibility in any way.

Many scientific truths are in fact widely accepted theories. this means that if everyone(Or nearly everyone) agrees to it than it must be true. This is the kind of community that wikipedia works to create where new information only lasts if everyone agrees.

Wikipedias standards are actually very high and grow with every new person willing to offer their two cents.
fresnoinvasion

Con

"My school discourages the use of wikipedia as a source of information based on the fact that "Anyone can edit it". this does not affect its credibility in any way."

I dont understand how if anyone can edit it, the credibility is not affected. If i want i go on and change stuff that is not quite common knowledge i can. But that does no help the kid that is doing the report on the subject, the kid gets fake info from a fake source and fails the assignment.

The problem is also laziness. We look at Wikipedia as the bank of unlimited true information, when in reality, thats not what it is. The credibilty CAN be affected by some random guy with a lot of time on his hands that decides to change stuff. So the info is not neccesarily true, but us students flock to it because it is quick, no wadding through info. But wait? Is that not what we need? To develop a through understanding of the subject? Students should look at multiple sources, not just one site.

Because of some students laziness they may end up with false information.

"Many scientific truths are in fact widely accepted theories. this means that if everyone(Or nearly everyone) agrees to it than it must be true. This is the kind of community that wikipedia works to create where new information only lasts if everyone agrees."

Wikipedia is just a dumpster of info, some fake, some real. If you want to use it for widely accepted theories im sure there are MANY other sources you may use. Students just want to be lazy and look in just one place, otherwise there would be no problem. Students that will use wikipedia will stay to JUST using wikipedia and nothing else. And using this website (whos credibility is questionable) is completely ridiculous.

"Wikipedias standards are actually very high and grow with every new person willing to offer their two cents."
Can i see some sort of statement from Wikipedia explaining the acceptablity of information, and shows the standards of wikipedia. If you can also provide the link that would be appreciated.

The bottom line is that in gerenal the students that want to use wikipedia are only going to look at wikipedia, because for a lot of things, wikipedia does provide good info, so kids see that and base all research on just wikipedia. Which poses a problem. Wikipedia does have credibility problems because anyone can go on and change stuff. So these kids are only using one source, whos credibility is questionable. Teachers want students to look into more that one source for their info and develop a deep understanding for the topic at hand. Wikipedia is just a one stop shop for info, that may not be true.

I myself am a high school student who cannot use wikipedia, i back up my teachers %100.

I look foward to your 2nd round arguments, and maintaining a friendly debate.
Debate Round No. 1
leggomyeggo

Pro

leggomyeggo forfeited this round.
fresnoinvasion

Con

Within the three days that were granted to my opponent to make his next argument this debate got some comments, one from mjg283, one from DucoNihilum, and one from tjzimmer. mjg283 seemed to be on the con side whereas tjzimmer
and DucoNihilum were on the pro side. This just demonstrates how divided people are on the issue, and I do want to address the comments we recieved, because you are the people that will be voting. I will take on the comments that were against me first.

From DucoNihilum
"Con- I challenge you to edit wikipedia, any article you choose, without it being revised and removed within the maximum of 24 hours."

Credibility is not my only argument DucoNihilum. But im sure you, as well as many know, that there is a part of wikipedia that you can see all of the recent changes. Once i post the change, you will see it on the recent changes column in wikipedia, report it, and get it off. I agree that it will catch some changes, like if i go on and change a page to say nothing but fart, but they won't catch little mistakes. The truth is that for EVERY change on there someone will not be there to police it, as you would for me, when i were to change something. But im sure your thinking,"well if they are only little changes, what is the big deal?" ill get to that later.

From tjzimmer
"use the argument that people have edited history or even the bible in past history are these not credible resources either teacher?"
In using this argument you agree that they do change wikipedia. You compare history and the bible to wikipedia and call them all not credible resources. I agree that wikipedia is not a credible resource but there is a difference between history and the bible to a website.

First why history and the bible are more credible, all i must do is prove that they are more credible than wikipedia to defeat this argument. The bible was translated not changed, and history? History is not a source, and if everyone believes the same thing then all sources will say the same thing. You say that citing the bible is no better than citing wikipedia. Whether you believe in the bible or not, what is in it are widely believed facts. Deciding whether it is true or not is not my duty, but some of the things can be proven. But comparing wikipedia to the bible, the book most of America lives off of, is ridiculous. The bible is alledgedly not true in some places, but these are just theories. Wikipedia has wrong information flat out, that can be proven. The people who wrote the Bible, knew what they were talking about, the people who wrote wikipedia are just random people like you or me, or the dumb crazy lady at the store claiming that the world will end tomarrow due to an alien invasion. We cant trust these people that write wikipedia. Which ties into the comment that was on the con side.

"I like Wikipedia, but I think many people use it incorrectly. Wikipedia is a fine research tool to use, but should NEVER be cited as a source. The proper way to use Wikipedia is as a STARTING POINT. Look up an article on whatever topic you're researching, and look for citations to ACTUAL SOURCES of information within that article (web links, books, periodicals, etc . . .). Those are the sources you should ultimately consult and cite in your academic work.

If a piece of information (that's not common knowledge) on Wikipedia is not sourced, we have a problem. Imagine I'm reading your paper and come across a piece of information I wasn't previously aware of. I ask "Where did you get this piece of information from?" You answer "Wikipedia". Well, I'd then ask "Where did Wikipedia get it from?" If you can't answer that, how do we determine whether or not this information is actually true?

Now, Wikipedia may indeed have a nice set of first-rate editors who monitor it and correct any factual inaccuracies within a day or two. But: (a) They're human and probably make some mistakes or miss some inaccuracies (especially with articles that cover obscure topics). There are over 2 million articles on Wikipedia. It's unreasonable to assume that each of them is constantly monitored by people who have the expertise necessary to correct literally any factual error on the topic; and (b) what if you're the poor shmuck who comes across the mistake and relies on it before it gets edited?"

I couldnt agree more, and planned to say something to that effect after i got some arguments, but i couldnt agree more. tjzimmer argues that the bible is no better than wikipedia. But like mjg283 says, the editors can't catch everything. Most everything in the bible can be backed up. But wikipedia? No. The author is not sourced, if brittany spear's mom postes her unfinish parenting book on wikipedia, we would never know, then what would the world go to? The truth is, wikipedia is no where close to being like the bible, its not reliable.

But as i said, credibility is not my only argument, there are other reasons for my position on the topic. The kids that want to use wikipedia will use it, and nothing else, if they were to actually research, they wouldnt care about not being able to use wikipedia, so they rely fully on an unreliable source.

Thank you for the "challenge" DucoNihilum but im going to have to pass.

"Challenges" shouldnt determine who you vote for, as well as your position on the issue. But what you should notice is the arguments made by the debaters, and how they defended themselves.

Due to absence in the last round my opponent has never refuted my arguments, so thats why i focused on comments. Im not here to debate spectators, but i think to make my position stronger i would.

thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
leggomyeggo

Pro

leggomyeggo forfeited this round.
fresnoinvasion

Con

All I am left to do is extend my arguments.

Im sure the debater has a logical explanation for not showing up for two rounds of debate, but today, there is now way not to vote for me. I defeated all of his arguments and shown that Wikipedia should NOT be considered an acceptable reference material in the academic community.

Leggomyeggo, if you want to do this again, when you have time, im open to it.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by fresnoinvasion 9 years ago
fresnoinvasion
In the event of me missing my next round being forfeited due to time, just pull all my arguments through.

I may miss it due to a tournament this weekend.
Posted by Miserlou 9 years ago
Miserlou
Most articles on wikipedia have citations, and if they don't there's usually a marker reading "citation needed". I use wikipedia all the time for general information, and if I need more official research I check out the citations and links.
Posted by defleppard1691 9 years ago
defleppard1691
wow wikipedia sucks. E.G sum1 i know edited the depaul site to say depaul swallows and is the best all female football team, it was there for 3 weeks, point made, find a better source, stop being lazy.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
well, when we got bored in debate last year we got on wikipedia and edited stuff to sound ridiculous, to sound like uncyclopedia.org (which is an awesome site). Some revisions were fixed, within a day, a week, a month. some of us got our accounts deleted or frozen. but some other stuff remained, still do. This one isn't an article, it's a profile of a user who used to debate in our circuit, but check it out. that "twit" addition was my own work.
search users for "brogman". you'll find it.
but i do use wikipedia for background info, never cited it, never will. get background info, then do some real research.
Posted by mjg283 9 years ago
mjg283
I like Wikipedia, but I think many people use it incorrectly. Wikipedia is a fine research tool to use, but should NEVER be cited as a source. The proper way to use Wikipedia is as a STARTING POINT. Look up an article on whatever topic you're researching, and look for citations to ACTUAL SOURCES of information within that article (web links, books, periodicals, etc . . .). Those are the sources you should ultimately consult and cite in your academic work.

If a piece of information (that's not common knowledge) on Wikipedia is not sourced, we have a problem. Imagine I'm reading your paper and come across a piece of information I wasn't previously aware of. I ask "Where did you get this piece of information from?" You answer "Wikipedia". Well, I'd then ask "Where did Wikipedia get it from?" If you can't answer that, how do we determine whether or not this information is actually true?

Now, Wikipedia may indeed have a nice set of first-rate editors who monitor it and correct any factual inaccuracies within a day or two. But: (a) They're human and probably make some mistakes or miss some inaccuracies (especially with articles that cover obscure topics). There are over 2 million articles on Wikipedia. It's unreasonable to assume that each of them is constantly monitored by people who have the expertise necessary to correct literally any factual error on the topic; and (b) what if you're the poor shmuck who comes across the mistake and relies on it before it gets edited?
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
Con- I challenge you to edit wikipedia, any article you choose, without it being revised and removed within the maximum of 24 hours.
Posted by tjzimmer 9 years ago
tjzimmer
use the argument that people have edited history or even the bible in past history are these not credible resources either teacher?
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by falafel 8 years ago
falafel
leggomyeggofresnoinvasionTied
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Vote Placed by wpfairbanks 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Alexmertens559 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by kenicks 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by brittwaller 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by fresnoinvasion 9 years ago
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