Online wiki web pages suffer from lack of credibility
Online Tips by Donald Burleson
Wikipedia has announced
a new, more credible site called
Citizendium where all authors are
The central differences between
Wikipedia and Citizendium are "more cultural than operational,"
said Sanger. For example, unlike Wikipedia, which allows any
anonymous user to edit an entry, Citizendium will require users
to register their names before editing any information.
Wikipedia has been touted as the world's largest
reference by some, and the world's largest hunk of poo-poo by
others. Detractor of online collaboration point to the serious
lack of skill amongst those "editors" who have time to work for free
all day posting crap on Wikipedia and other alleged informational
sites. Real experts don't have the time or desire to publish
The core problem with wiki pages is the
anonymity of the publisher. You don't know if the entry about
Napoleon is from a Cornell history professor or a crack smoking
dyslexic 3rd grade dropout. Most of the wiki entries I've seen
tend to be written by the latter category, complete garbage
disguised as legitimate scholastic publishing.
This article on
wiki credibility has some great observations:
"Entries are routinely vandalized, libel
and falsities often find their way into existing articles as a
way to settle scores, manipulate public opinion, or express
The result is that nigh close to 90% of the
Wikipedia contain highly dubious material and attract the least
qualified "experts" and "editors"...
But there is a larger issue at stake. Is the
Internet a reliable and credible source of
This fantastic articles goes on to note that
many people use web searches (Google) to locate information, yet
they restrict their searches to sites that they deem credible:
"Research shows that 75% of all respondents
resort to the Internet as a primary information provider.
The inundation of irrelevant material
caused most surfers to confine their surfing to 10 Web sites
(the equivalent of "anchors" in shopping malls) which they deem
reliable, timely, accurate, objective, authoritative, and
credible. The rest of the Internet gets the leftovers."
In the database world,
credibility is a major factor, and many professionals have
provided guidelines for evaluating the
credibility of online technical information. Major signs
of a untrustworthy web site is the failure of the author to publish
their resume, academic qualifications and educational background.