According to Lance Ulanoff, using Wikipedia as a source for writing any academic paper is not advisable. According to his article Wikipedia: You still can’t trust it, he expresses his feeling about Wikipedia saying that it should not be trusted to give any proper academic information. He had several arguments to support his claim why Wikipedia should not be trusted whatsoever. His main argument as to why we should not trust Wikipedia is that anyone can get access to a Wikipedia page and put any information they feel like without verifying whether the informat6ion is right or wrong. From his personal experience he claimed that someone had interfered with his personal page in Wikipedia and added some information about him which was not true. From this personal experience he resorted to try as much as possible to make people aware of the faults that Wikipedia has and discourage people from trusting it.
On my personal opinion I am certain that Wikipedia is a weak source and cannot be trusted while writing any research paper. I am in complete agreement with Lance Ulanoff’s view that Wikipedia is untrusted website which might be misleading especially for scholars like me who have to use the internet on a daily basis looking for information. This is mainly due to the fact that anyone has the ability to gain access to any Wikipedia page and change some information which if not detected early can be misleading to internet users who rely on Wikipedia as their source of information
Wikipedia has been misused over the years with people posting malicious information meant to damage reputation of several respectable people within the society. A case in point happened about six years ago when someone posted a joke about the journalist John Seigenthaler giving a fake bibliography about the assassination of J.F. Kennedy. This action led to the temporary closure of Wikipedia before that guy was fired from his job. This just shows how far people have gone with making Wikipedia an untrustworthy source of information. There are several websites that can be trusted with information such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Microsoft Encarta which are reliable. However Wikipedia should not be trusted at any costs because it is prone to manipulation by anyone.
Despite Lance Ulanoff’s reasons why we should not trust Wikipedia, statistics shows that many people do actually rely on information from Wikipedia. The main reason why despite Ulanoff’s advice why we should not rely on Wikipedia is the fact Wikipedia is a free website that is easily accessible compared to other reliable ones like Encyclopedia Britannica. This is the main reason why many people continue to use Wikipedia even though it is not a safe source of correct information. Its easy accessibility making it a preferred source and the fact that it is free compared to others further solidifies this argument. However we all know that cheap things are never that cheap and so I stand with Ulanoff’s claim that we should not trust any information from this website.
Wikipedia was found out to be the sixth most popular website in the world by Alexa Internet. It is also the largest general-knowledge encyclopedia online having a total of over 30.6 million mains pace articles across over 287 language versions. This is evidence enough that most people prefer to get their information from this source however my argument just like Lance Ulanoff is that this information should not be trusted. There is no guarantee that information found from this website is correct and so it should be treated so. Anyone wishing to write a research paper should avoid using Wikipedia as his source of information just to be on the safe side. If it is a must we use Wikipedia then we should have a secondary source to confirm the information but given my opinion I would not advice anyone to use Wikipedia.
Lance Ulanoff, “Wikipedia: You Still Can’t Trust It,” Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375754,00.asp Accessed on 29th February 2014