"Anybody can just put anything on Wikipedia"
That's true, BUT, unless it's backed up with a reliable source their edits will be very quickly taken down and replaced with the original (reliable) information. So while one CAN edit Wikipedia to put incorrect/false information on there, only information will real and reliable sources to back it up will be allowed to stay. Wikipedia is basically a constructed summary of human knowledge using (RELIABLE) information from the world's educational websites. So while one can edit Wikipedia however they want, incorrect edits are quickly removed therefore making it reliable. Wikipedia should be considered a valid information source in schools and elsewhere.
It seems like Wikipedia is being outlawed in schools because "anybody can edit it." But this really is becoming a problem for myself and other students I have spoken to. We all come to agreement that Wikipedia is unlikely to be edited by someone that is purposefully intending to harm students' grades.
To synthesize the claims of the negation: 'anyone can edit Wikipedia therefore it is unreliable'.
There are three things which need to be addressed here:
1) 'anyone can edit Wikipedia'. What concerns does this argument advance?
A) Not everyone is qualified, because they don't have domain knowledge.
B) When others read this, they will think it to be true.
Why are these concerns misplaced?
A) While anyone can edit Wikipedia, the fact is that the vast majority don't. Those that edit anonymously are an even smaller percentage.
B) When an edit is made, if it is by an anonymous user, a very noticeable banner is placed at the top of the page, telling the reader that there was a potentially unreliable edit made to a given section. Even amongst registered users, anyone can see the edit history of any article.
2) 'therefore it is unreliable'. Here we must examine what is meant by reliable.
Objective truth is something which is up for debate in a variety of fields, so without an accurate definition, how do we know what is reliable? In these cases, we turn to arguments of enumeration (what sources of information, and are they reliable).
1) Printed books: There is no intrinsic truth in a given book. There isn't a publishing requirement that the book be independently verified. All one needs is an OK from a publisher.
2) Expert opinion: While it may be useful, to expect all information to come from this medium is simply impractical. We need not throw out thousands of years of written learning in a search for potentially biased truth.
3) Reputable online sources: The problems here are twofold. The first is that the way one finds that source (likely through a search engine) is programmed to prefer certain types of content over others, based on some criteria that I assure you, isn't how true something is. The second, is that the code that actually runs the site can be changed at any time. Yes, anyone can edit Wikipedia, but any website can be changed by its owner at any time.
3) The question is one of viability, not universal veracity. While someone can always point to some arcane Wikipedia mishap, the fact is that the combination of the edit history, the source requirement, and the crowdsourcing of the information, provide unique advantages over traditional forms of information dissemination, that, while not able to produce a perfect system, certainly produce a viable one.
In general, I find Wikipedia pretty reliable. There are plenty of sources at the bottom, and there is always a little notification that says if Wikipedia thinks something is reliable or not. Wikipedia is a great way to easily find information, because it's a website about anything. I think it's great.
Scroll down to the bottom of a Wikipedia page. What do you see? There's a plethora of academic sources that no teacher or student would ever be able to dig up in their own lifetime. While yes, anyone can edit it, there has to be decent proof behind what the person types or it will be deleted. Wikipedia has proven to be a very efficient research website that shouldn't be banned
Most articles on Wikipedia are not written by published authors that are specialized in the respective subject. Most authors simply do not have the time. However, the reason why universities accept books as reliable sources is because authors are making revenue and have done a lot of fact-checking in order to be published. In sum, Wikipedia does not undergo the process of standard publishing which confirms and cements their statements.
Anyone can edit the page, and sometimes you can come across fake information without noticing. Although it's pretty reliable as it is edited my professionals, but the difficulty of content is far too much for students. Students should be visiting websites designed for students. Students most likely won't really understand the difficult contents in Wikipedia, and students may end up copying and pasting information from Wikipedia.
Anyone can edit Wikipedia no matter how stupid they are. As an example: For a long time, Jim Acosta's wikipedia page said he died on January, 11, 2017 after the fake news thing with Donald Trump. Then for a while it said Michael Jackson got a degree from Bringum Young University.
Anyone can log in to Wikipedia and post something. They can post anything they want, and people believe it. Yes, people have sources. But what if they are unreliable? You can't believe just everything you see or hear on the internet. It is full of lies. That is my argument.