Anybody Can Write a Wikipedia Article. Anyone.

Wikipedia. The internet’s version of Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is infamous for providing students will mountains of information for school assessments, even though teachers refrain students from using the website. But why?

Before the invention of the internet and Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica had been the main resource used by students for completing assignments, and was written by experts and professionals. It became a trusted resource.

However, with the introduction of Wikipedia onto the world wide web, it’s accessibility for users to be able to alter the information on the website. In other terms, anybody, who was signed up for the website, could write whatever they want on the particular subject.

Dr Axel Bruns explores the concept of easy accessibility for individuals to edit Wikipedia, in Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework of User-Led Content Creation.

“Raymond’s ‘power of eyeballs’ argument is also at play in the massively distributed fact-checking implied in the Wikipedia’s slogan ‘anyone can edit.’ ”

There is clear examples of people altering information on Wikipedia articles, such as NYPD officers who edited an entry on alleged police brutality and Tory MP Grant Shapps creating a fake online identity to edit his own Wikipedia page.

So now we see why some teachers refrain students from using Wikipedia, as its foundation of collaborative work, cannot ultimately make the website a trusted resource.


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