The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

wikipedia should be considered a valid source

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,077 times Debate No: 22378
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




wikipedia is a extremely valid source of information.

public forum type debate

first round -acceptance
second round-positions

oh and by the way in general opinion does being allergic to sunlight constitute me being a vampire( well I'm a blasian so a blasian


I accept and wi be arguing that Wikip�dia is not a valid source.

I look forward to an interesting and fun debate.

I would like to take a moment and say that I am actually a Wikip�dia editor, as I have written two GAs for the site, but I still find it an unreliable source, only good for a general overview.
Debate Round No. 1


I believe that, for the most part, Wikipedia has evolved into a reliable source for information.

Perhaps, in the beginning, it wasn't nearly as reliable. But, today, Wikipedia is generally a good source of reliable information on the Internet. As a user-generated, evolving form of information, Wikipedia becomes more and more accurate every day, and the prejudice against it for providing misleading information becomes less valid.

Wikipedia has many checks for data accuracy and, for the most part, should be trusted.

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia where entries are written by the users of the site. Even though people can be mistaken in their facts, whether on purpose or accident, Wikipedia has set up measures to ensure the most accurate information. Users are allowed to question articles and questionable articles have alerts posted at the top of the page. Therefore, although Wikipedia articles may not all be completely true, for the most part, the information is accurate.

Wikipedia is a reliable source of information; articles are written and edited by experts.

Wikipedia is not perfect, since corporate propaganda and misinformation is deliberately put into pages at times. However, the review system in place usually means that these isolated incidents are caught and corrected. With older encyclopedias, information could quickly become out of date, and many relevant topics might never even be covered. With Wikipedia, anyone can submit an article, which means that in niche or obscure topics, an expert on that subject matter can actually provide their insight and knowledge. The ability for it to grow and stay current is essential in the modern communication age.

Content of Wikipedia is often a reliable source for information, due to its credible citations.

Using Wikipedia is often a good source for obtaining reliable information, assuming that you ensure that proper citations have been given to the information. However, most times you are able to find citations to credible sources within the Wikipedia article. Therefore, it is my opinion that Wikipedia is often a reliable source to find information.

86 % of errors are corrected by moderators......

Wikipedia is monitored for the accuracy of its information so that you can believe it.

It's is many peoples jobs to patrol Wikipedia and ensure that all the information posted is relative and accurate. Because many hundred people use the site and update the information, it is unlikely that they would leave incorrect information there. Also, no one information site should ever be used as your sole source of information.

Wikipedia is a great source of information.

Wikipedia is a useful tool for research. Yes, the information is provided by users, but since many people use the material, it is often confirmed by many people. One should always take it with a grain of salt and should use other sources to confirm the information. Wikipedia is like anything; it should be used wisely. I have used it for a number of years and have been able to confirm the data independently.

wikipedia is very reliable due to the fact that wikipedia provides the scores of sources ............i looked up south Korea(because Korea's awesome and im half Korean) and wikipedia provided 193 sources....... these sources are very precise and the all deal with the topic.....opposed to search engines with usually return thousand of bits of info that's not even relevant.

therefore wikipedia is a very reliable source

my characters are running out

pro should be voted for in this debate because I have proved that wikipedia is a valuable resource tool



I thank my opponent for his argument and will now proceed with rebuttals.

Wikipedia is checked

While Wikipedia does have tags that help identify unverified information, many of these articles have this tag for months or years. For instance, there are articles with unsourced statements from 2006,1 2007,2 2008,3 and 2009,4 and so forth. While many pages may quickly receive verification, many articles have not been checked for up to six years. In total, there are 224,701 articles that have not been sourced.5 As a percentage of the English Wikipedia’s total 3,907,779 articles, this represents 6% of all articles. Six percent of all articles have at least one unsourced statement. There are inevitably more false or unverified statements on other articles.

Written by experts

No, Wikipedia is not written by experts. For instance, I have written an article on the 1956 Japanese film Warning from Space ( and the 1997 German mathematics book The Number Devil (, but I am not an expert in Japanese cinema or German literature. As with the unsourced statements, there are inevitably thousands of more articles written by the public, as that is what Wikipedia is about, on topics they are only slightly familiar with. Wikipedia’s About page describes how Wikipedia editors are anonymous volunteers.6

Additionally, to get an idea of how actual experts feel about Wikipedia’s featured articles, nevermind the basic ones, I found a survey taken by an interested student on this very subject. After surveying experts on fields related to a wide range of featured articles, experts gave one article a rating of 1, two articles a 3, one article a 4, one article a 5, two articles a 7, one article a 7.5, eight articles an 8, one article an 8.5, and five articles a 9.7 None received a perfect score. While you may look at the higher scores and view this survey optimistically, remember that this survey was taken on Wikipedia’s highest quality work – and the fact that five articles received a poor (x ≤ 5) rating shows it is not meant to be taken seriously. The author of the survey noted, “The articles receiving lower scores, however, show quite convincingly that Wikipedia’s attempt at quality control is failing.”7

Credible citations

As I have already pointed out, almost 6% of all Wikipedia articles contain unverified statements. However, if a source is cited, this doesn’t necessarily make it accurate. For instance, there are 37,906 articles which lack reliable sources.8 There are 690 articles which contain at least one unsourced quote.9 Finally, there are sources which require clean-up ranging from 2007 to 2012.10 Sources, even if listed, cannot be relied upon as completely factual.

Tangible evidence

Finally, I would like to give the audience some examples of Wikipedia’s editors and articles. Many living people have had their articles falsely changed to describe the subject’s fake death. TIME wrote of this phenomenon, “[…] there is always going to be a few bad apples that mess with that freedom.”11 Many members of the United States Congress have edited articles of themselves to reflect a more positive outlook of the subject, even if the added information was blatantly untruthful.12 A Turkish history professor came into trouble with local police after false information was displayed on his Wikipedia page.13Wikipedia has also had trouble with editors who claim to hold positions or education they really do not have, and an especially notorious case was a man named Ryan Jordan, who claimed to be a professor with a PhD. It was found that he actually used Catholicism for Dummies as his source for information.14
















Debate Round No. 2


First I think its hilarious that your debating wikipedia is unreliable but you use wikipedia as a source of information more than 5 times( click on the first couple of sources)........contradiction......this proves my opponent obviously views wikipedia as a valuable source of information.

Wikpedia is unchecked my opponent states.
Wikipedia is checked....... About 91,000 editors—from expert scholars to casual readers—regularly edit Wikipedia, and these experienced editors often help to create a consistent style throughout the encyclopedia, following our Manual of Style.

if there's 91,000 editors then obviously there is a very unlikely chance that information will be missed. Not to mention that there are experts in these areas that check the validity of these sources. if the info is wrong these editors correct it. It also needs to be kept in mind that everything on the Internet may have the potential of being false . the difference is editors cant correct information on other sites. While on wikipedia there is a constant checks and balance system in play witch is why wikipedia can be deemed a valid source of information. There's also a rating system witch tells how reliable the info is. (obviously if the info has low ratings you obviously shouldn't use it. but wikipedia put the rating system in place so that users can determine what is reliable and what's not, no other site to my knowledge offers this level of constant self evaluating witch is very advantageous to users. If a person is dumb enough to use info that is clearly lowly rated then its that persons fault or using poor judgement and not wikipedia fault. they provided you the tools to determine reliability. we choose whether to take there suggestions into consideration.)

my opponent states wikipedia not reviewed by experts
I've already proven via sources that experts do evaluate these sources but lets look deeper....."Now a peer-reviewed study by Brigham Young University political scientist Adam Brown validates Wikipedia as a reliable place to get a political education."........

"More recently in 2010, cancer researchers from Thomas Jefferson University compared oncology information on Wikipedia with that on the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (PDQ), . Both were checked against text books. Dr Yaacov Lawrence, who led the research, said: “ we found that errors were extremely rare on Wikipedia."......section....... of page in the what do the experts say .

obviously experts deem the site reliable.

my opponents says in his case...... "After surveying experts on fields related to a wide range of featured articles, experts gave one article a rating of 1,"......he himself has just proven that experts review the info.

about is survey statistics....... you cant survey 20-30 sources and deem if its reliable......there are 3,907,779 articles.
20 articles cant judge 3 million plus articles ....thus this should not be considered.

he also states some mishaps defaming people........if you look now all these invents they have been corrected and quite fast. so obviously its checking system works fast and efficiently. also since these incidents wikipedia has learned. Wikipedia now checks to verify the authenticity of advanced stats..............

Unsourced quotes
every sentence in a paragraph doesn't have to be sourced......sourcing every single thing and coping without permission every single word is called plagiarism.

I looked up south Korea they gave me 193 credible offers bibliographies as well and extremely in depth info and external links like no other site..obviously wikipedia is a valid source of info......



I thank my opponent for his arguments.

A Note on Sources

Yes, it is true that some of my sources linked to sites beginning with the domain “” However, these were not links to the actual content of the site, but rather categories of encyclopedic articles that are merely counted by an unbiased algorithm. When an unverified statement is found on Wikipedia, editors are encouraged to put the famous [citation needed] tag, and this simultaneously places the article in a category by date. I linked to these categories when counting the number of articles where this tag is found.


No, I never said Wikipedia was completely unchecked. I merely showed how I calculated the statistic that 6% of all articles that have unverified statements. My opponent argues: “[…] on wikipedia there is a constant checks and balance system in play,” and while the checks-and-balances argument may reflect Wikipedians’ hopes, the system actually fails immensely when considering the statistic above. My opponent later states, “obviously if the info has low ratings you obviously shouldn't use it.” I don’t know how obvious this is. The rating system is also judged by the non-expert public; so it is the public that judges the public – and while “experts” may play a role in writing Wikipedia, I can tell the audience from personal experience that the number of non-expert volunteer writers completely outnumber the infinitesimally small number of experts on Wikipedia. As I said before, the rating system is determined by the public, and the writing is determined by the public; Wikipedia articles are therefore circular in their quality control.

I would also like to point out that one of the creators of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, said this of the project: “It has bothered me that I helped to get a project started, Wikipedia, that people are misusing in this way, and yet the project itself has little chance of radically improving”; Sanger later went on to create Citizendium, an encyclopedic alternative that holds expert opinion higher than its Wiki counterpart.1

Reviewed by experts

All of the sources my opponent has provided for the supposed “expert review” of Wikipedia are just studies taken by interested Universities. There is no system in place on Wikipedia in which articles are reviewed by experts for approval. The study both of us have linked to are just students or professors checking how reliable Wikipedia is with a general overview. Again, I would like to repeat, there is no system in place on Wikipedia in which articles are reviewed by experts for approval. I would also like to reiterate the point that much of Wikipedia’s highest quality work was deemed poor by experts, and this is unacceptable even if there are many more that were approved. My opponent also argues that you cannot judge “20-30 articles” and deem its reliability. Not only does this negate any of my opponent’s sources that state Wikipedia’s supposed reliability, but this is in fact erroneous as the study took into account Wikipedia’s featured articles; this survey should have returned fantastic feedback! Imagine if they actually took a survey of the mediocre ones…

Unsourced quotes

I’m not really sure what my opponent is getting at here. When a quote is transcribed in an article, there should always be a citation that informs the reader of its source. I have shown that not all quotes have sources. My opponent’s claim that “every sentence” should not be sourced is in fact correct, but I am unsure why he placed this under this particular header. To refute this, I only need to point out again that six percent of all Wikipedia articles contain at least one unverified statement.


I have shown Wikipedia is an invalid and unverified source with hundreds of thousands of unsourced articles that does not take expert opinion into account.



Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
"It requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations, anywhere in article space." ( Besides, as I noted before, the [citation needed] tag is for sentences that have material likely to be challenged, but no citation...
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
"you don't have to use those sentences" <-- Great philosophy.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
fun read, interesting points as well.

Data checks:

This was a large argument in the debate, as if these data checks fail then one can assume the source may be suitable to fraud editing. I think Pro significantly proved the point where the majority, the vast majority, of errors are deleted or fixed by moderators or the auto checks. Also con basically conceded this point but then had a witty argument of unsoruced sentences. But as pro pointed out not every sentence needs a source. Also, you don't have to use those sentences.

Expert writers:

Cons argument of I am no expert but write articles seemed like a 1, 2 defeat for pro on the argument, but wasn't. Pro claimed that many experts review the articles and approve of them as time goes by. I think this argument is tied.

Wikipedia is a great source of information

This point was dropped by con.

My overall vote goes to pro.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Well it was fun.
Posted by Multi_Pyrocytophage 4 years ago
That was an interesting read.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 4 years ago
sorry about that lesson learned anyway that was a good be happy to go at it
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Yeah I had to shorten my argument because of that
Posted by frozen_eclipse 4 years ago
sould'nt have put a word cap sigh.......
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has shown that there are many unsourced and bad Wikipedia articles. Pro did not capitalize.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: comments