Is Wikipedia Truly a Useful Webpage?

Wikipedia has been a controversial website since its establishment on the web in 2001.  Since that time, there have been over twenty nine million free articles published and millions of authors and editors who spend their free time making Wikipedia an informative and useful tool for all.  With its unique ability to allow its followers to edit pages as they seem fit, many argue it is not a factual resource and can miss lead millions.  Even with this high risk of illegitimate work, many well educated writers have written well organized and cited articles that can be seen as scholarly and useful.  These articles appear more often than not and in recent pushes by Wikipedia, are making Wikipedia more credible every day.  Multi-billion dollar companies like Google and Yahoo support Wikipedia and it’s “anti-authoritarian” design and give the non-profit website many perks for free.

The design of the website is extremely user friendly and can get any research project started very smoothly.  Researchers can look at citations on the bottom of the page to find quality sources to back their argument.  Even though there could be lies being told on the website, an educated reader could easily determine if the information is factual by researching the sources used to create the publication.  I would not recommend students to every cite Wikipedia, but it is one of the most helpful tools to begin researching. 

The WikiProject could be an extremely useful tool to make the entire website more educational and acceptable by the educated community.  The motive is a solid one, but it seems that with little help and experience needed to become a member, the program is dying off and possibly has too much information to update.  With the constant ability to update the page many problems can come from bias sources on controversial topics.  Even though most pages are correctly updated, there are some that get updated with incorrect information and the information may stay up for some time, misleading the readers.  The video Heavy Metal Umlaut is a great example of a website being updated constantly with a small bits of inaccuracies.  It is good to see that people are constantly updating Wiki pages, but the website can sometimes become a place where ones thoughts are opposing another’s and the two continue to update their bias opinions on a “neutral” website.

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