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

Schools should allow their students to cite, at the very least, Wikipedia's Featured Articles

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 681 times Debate No: 65344
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Round one acceptance
Cite: being able to use Wikipedia as a source and put it in MLA citation, and be considered acceptable and credible on an essay or paper
Featured articles:
"At the very least": The bottom line. This means that the requirement can be loosened to good articles, or all articles that aren't "incomplete" and "need help", or even all the articles.
Burden of proof is shared.


I accept your debate.

Cite: Wikipedia should remain, "banned" in schools because a lot of the information that is put on there is either made up, or extremely incorrect.
Debate Round No. 1


Let's start off with a quick photo:

We see here, I try to edit a page, "Debating". Keep in mind that this is merely a regular article, not even "good"! Yet, within just 50 minutes (at least according to Wikipedia time), another user cut off the unnecessary part I added to the page. Obviously, featured articles' changes are far, FAR faster. Today I experimented by editing the first featured article presented alphabetically, the 7 world Trade Center article.

In only four minutes (the time is awry), this dude managed to revert my edit. We see here, definitely, that Wikipedia cannot be edited by untrustworthy or non-credible people.

Now, why are Wikipedia's featured articles trustworthy? Well, many many editors have to look over it. They have to make sure it is as non-biased as possible, providing the broadest information on the topic, and with many, many, MANY non-biased sources supporting it.;
Only 0.1% of Wikipedia's articles are Featured. They are the best of the best. Again, just look at the 7 world trade center article [], it has pictures showing the outside and the inside, blueprints of the trade center, a map of it, everything from the architect to building status, this featured article has it all. Not only so, 101 sources support this article. It cannot be refuted; wikipedia's featured articles are too darn trustworthy. A site even claims Wikipedia being more trustworthy than the the Encyclopedia Britannica. " a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that Wikipedia had the same level of accuracy and depth in its articles about 10 types of cancer as the Physician Data Query, a professionally edited database maintained by the National Cancer Institute." The site states. And while this source does complain a little about the band page, it certainly isn't a top-priority Featured Article.

We see here, Wikipedia is professional. Everyone can edit it, but few get through useful edits. Schools should allow students to cite Wikipedia as a source, and the featured articles are the bottom line.


Section 1:
I'd like to point that my opponent has helped me in my debate. Wikipedia is easily hacked and anyone can change anything that they want. This is another reason schools don't use it because obviously, it can change within minutes of actually using that same information.

Section 2:
I'd also like tok point out that he's also helping me in my point of view by claiming that all the information on wikipedia is unbiased. In other words, he says that all the information on wikipedia is impartial. Either that, or it's not stating things agianst other people or organizations, which this would still be a false statement.

Section 3:
In schools, they teach you to use more than one source. So you'll have to compare other documents with the wikipedia documents, and if they were smart they be able to tell which document is true and which one isn't.

Section 4:
Another point I'd like to bring up is that wikipedia almost never tells you who posted the document. This is important for students and other people who may be writing an essay while using this information. Without an viable author (reliable informant), the writer's paper may or may not be accepted. Especially in college where it's usually required.

Section 5:
There is little to no diversity on wikipedia. In other words, you'll get answers that are similar to each other. This falls well into section 3 as well, for this claims that you could compare other wikipedia documents on the same topic, it would make it even more unreliable. Again, this would leave the writer in a jam. To help further my case, the majority of the users who post things to wikipedia are 26 year old male, who are grad students who want to share their knowledge, but it keeps getting changed. This brings us back to section 1. And if they aren't hacking then obviously, the writers/publishers of the information don't know how to protect their own work. To make matters worse, the modified information can go months before its noticed. It sounds like it should upgrade it's securtiy before they allow schools to use it.
Debate Round No. 2


1. Easily hacked any anyone can change anything
Yet none of these changes last long, especially not on featured articles.

2. Yes, I am stated the other definition of "unbiased". No need to get all semantic on me.

3. Use more than one source...
Of course. They converse about controvercies especially within subjective topics, especially supernatural beings such as the vampire (see Do vampires really exist? There are humongous portions of the Vampire article merely dedicated to the belief, not to mention the films and games based off of vampires. Wikipedia has many sources to back up sources, even if one source is wrong, 5 right sources are right behind proving it incorrect. The Vampire article mentioned has 166 sources, 65 more sources than the 7 trade center. We see here, even with the featured articles, there are some that are far more amazing than others, depending on the topic. Regardless, each of them have humongous amount of sources supporting and checking to make sure that the article is as professional and non-biased as possible.

4. Who posted the document?
These Wikipedia articles can have special annotations or citations. Perhaps a mere "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" would suffice.

5. No diversity on wikipedia
My opponent offers nothing to support that "the modified information can go months before its noticed". As for "answers that are similar to each other", I'm not sure what this means. This only supports that wikipedia is trustworthy. Imagine I asked a computer to calculate 1+1 one hundred times, and each time it came up with a ridiculous negative number or 23 digit number, and never came up with the answer "2". If all those one hundred times the computer came up with "2", only then would it be trustworthy. Similar answers are good and credible.


Section 1:
My opponent hath stated that there are AIs that can fix the problems, but how come it never happens? Where is the proof that the writer of the document, do not, themselves, fix the problem after they've found it.

Section 2:
I would like to apologize to my opponent if I upset him. I was just using him to help my cause, but if he put that by mistake, I'd like to say that I understand. Everyone makes mistakes.

Section 3:
For this I'd like to state that vampires do exist, but they are not blood sucking monsters. They are people who are allergic to the sun. They don't burn up and turn into ash though, they just get a nasty sun burn the minute they step out into it. For the record, Dracula was real, and he had this problem. The rumor of vampires being blood suckers is because of Vlad the Impaler, a feared warlord, was rumored to drink his enemies' blood. He does have something to do with vampires, because many artists portrait him as such.

My opponent has also, in a way, stated that Wikipedia is the home to fictional fanatics who really want to prove that their favorite fictional creatures exist. If he is not, I'd like to state it anyway. Wikipedia is one of the few places where you can post your opinion and almost everybody will believe you.

Section 4:
In this section, he said nothing about what his title said. He just said that Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, and that it can have special annotations and citations, but that's not telling you who wrote the article, that's just telling the reader where the author got their information.

Section 5:
My opponent does not seem to understand what it means for things to be similar. I was stating that the documents have the same concept (more or less), or at least (sometimes) the same exact answer, but with different wording.
Debate Round No. 3


1. If people fixed their problems then Wikipedia is trustworthy.

3. Okay, don't get off topic. We're not debating about vampires, just Wikipedia.
As for posting the opinion and everyone trusting Wikipedia, the bot will revert your edit almost instantly, so you can't get your non-sources biased edit in.

4. It is written by a ton of people, so we could just post The Community or People of The Community. We could also identify Wikipedia articles by the first 3 sources listed on them.

5. Of course they have the same concept. Again, different equals bad, as pointed out in the previous rounds.
I win, vote me.
Oh, and Airmax. Be a dear and please fix that imaginary round 2 and make it not imaginary.


Section 1:
This is both true, and false. It takes the author a long time to notice it, and when they do fix it, there is an extremely high chance that it will change again.

Section 2:
I'd like to apologize to my opponent for the vampire, and to inform him that he brought up the topic, and that he skipped 2. I'd also like to bring up the fact that my opponent neglected to show any viable proof of the bot of which he speaks.

Section 3:
Again my opponent says that we can use resources as the author which he should know we can't because that is what they are, resources. Beside, I'm retty sure that the majority of the articles on wikipedia were written by one person.

Section 4:
I'd like to start this section by stating that my opponent has not won yet. I will now say that I agree with my opponent on his last section. Equality is bad when it comes to using resources.

I would now like to ask the voters to vote honestly, and thank both the readers and my opponent for their time.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
dude. I started the topic, I KNOW I didn't go off-topic. -.-
Posted by Dpowell 3 years ago
I'd like blah to know, that spaceking did nothing to support his point. He went off topic, and the pictures that he posted had nothing to do with what we were debating. And no, I wouldn't use the same website that I am trying to prove is incorrect. If I did that, it would show that I support Pro's oppinion.

I would also like blah to share with me what I have mispelled.
Posted by Alpacthulhu 3 years ago
Hell, you should be able to cite any Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has bots. As an experiment I tried to vandalise a random page a couple months ago. It was just a stub page. Last edited in 2008 or something... 3 minutes before I got a message in my mailbox that it was reverted. And when I say vandalise, I mean change one digit of the land area of some national park, leaving as a reason for the edit that the number was wrong, and in 3 minutes a bot had fixed it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by BLAHthedebator 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G - Pro wins. Con had many spelling mistakes and typographical errors. Arguments: Pro. Pro makes good arguments and his most important one was how there are tens and hundreds of sources and people to edit the page back to normal when there is something wrong. What's more, pro proves that anyone can probably see an error if they look closely and compare them to the sources. This remained un-refuted. Con also makes weak and off-topic arguments at times and fails to refute most of Pro's points. Sources: Pro again. The important thing with sources in this particular debate is that you must cite Wikipedia and take photos to give examples and proof. Pro did this. Con, however, only used Google and another source other than Wikipedia (Top ten reasons not to trust Wikipedia) that may actually apply to all sites, nullifying his case. That same site may even be untrustworthy since these points apply to all sites. Therefore zpro gets the points.
Vote Placed by o0jeannie0o 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins this one. Pro didn't give many reasons why i should believe what wiki has let alone quote as a source for my "school paper". All i have learned is that i could quote something, turn my paper in, and when my teacher checks it my source could be gone. That isn't reliable. A cite should have dates, viable sources, and (most importantly) be traceable.