Wikipedia has been in the media numerous times in the past few months. The popularity of the online encyclopedia has grown to phenomenal depths. Wickipedia is an online encyclopedia in which internet users are able to add, edit or create entries with information on a wealth of topics. This website is essentially maintained by “the people who use the internet. The site contains information on virtually every topic imaginable. If a user has information to add about a specific topic, they simply follow the steps indicated to add or edit the information.
Due to the fact that Wikipedia allows any person with internet access the ability to add or edit content, there are numerous errors in the information found on this website. The difficult part is determining what information is correct and what information is false. There have been some instances of information being added to an entry as a prank or practical joke. One specific instance is an entry on the actor/comedian “Sinbad”. The Wikipedia listing says that he died of a heart attack. This is untrue. The actor/comedian is very much alive and still performing.
There is a very high instance of errors in Wikipedia. The problem with that is when an individual uses a search engine such as “Google” or “InfoSeek”, very often the first few results will direct you to Wikipedia. If one is doing research and needs factual information it is advisable not to rely on Wikipedia for your information. To be sure, there are many entries that contain complete fact, with no false or erred information at all, however determining fact from fallacy can be difficult without using other sources.
The premise behind this website is grand. It’s in essence an open forum to allow users to enter their knowledge on a subject for the entire world to read. Whether it is intentional sabotage, un-education, or misinformation, the error rate in the information remains high. Perhaps a more stringent registration process and a review of those allowed to make entries could prevent many false information entries. It seems, though, regardless of the steps Wikipedia takes to ensure correct information, the website is so vast it would be nearly impossible for each submission to be proofread for errors.
Should you find yourself with the need to use a search engine to receive information, you will want to double check any information you receive from Wikipedia. Use several sources to verify any information received from this web site. Never report something as fact until you have personally verified the information. Whether by intent or accident many entries contain errors.