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Wikipedia: Encyclopedia Of Mistakes – OpEd


By Natalya Kovalenko

Six out of ten articles of Wikipedia lead internet users into error. American researchers from the Public Relations Journal that is published quarterly say that more than 50 per cent of Wikipedia articles, which are very popular among internet users, contain factual mistakes. And the chiefs of this website are not in a hurry to correct them.

We can say without exaggeration that Wikipedia is the most popular on-line resource in the world. Millions of users visit this site every month, searching for information. They can use nearly 22 million articles in 285 languages. Users can not only gain knowledge but also add something to information available on the website because anyone can become an author of Wikipedia. However, it often happens that the information collected by enthusiasts contains factual mistakes, subjective interpretation of events, and misprints. That is why the information Wikipedia contains should be carefully checked, Executive Director of the League of Safe Internet Denis Davydov says.

“Since we are very well aware of the fact that anyone can contribute to Wikipedia, we should be skeptical about the information it contains. Especially, regarding the events that occurred a long time ago.”

The U.S. researchers say that the historical chapter of Wikipedia contains the highest number of mistakes: nearly 70 per cent of its articles are wrong. And as regards the Wikipedia financial sector, two-thirds of its pages are wrong. There are also mistakes in the geographical terms and in the dates. Even captions to illustrations contain mistakes. Often internet users purposefully post wrong information on the website. The problem is that over the 11 years that this resource has been in existence, it has “puffed up” so much that it is now unable to “digest” its own publications, IT expert Mikhail Zonenashvili says.

Wikipedia experts need more than one month – sometimes, many months – to check the information. Meanwhile, some internet users have a hobby of editing Wikipedia. An American, Justin Nepp, is the first user who has introduced one million corrections into Wikipedia. Wikipedia which is an open and free-of-charge on-line encyclopedia is simply unable to check hundreds of corrections daily. More likely, it is ready to put the trust of its users at risk. This risk is very small though because Wikipedia has no rivals for the time being, as experts say.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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