Britons trust Wikipedia 'more than the news'

Aug 10, 2014
The Wikipedia logo is seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris

British people trust Wikipedia more than the mainstream media, the information site's founder Jimmy Wales said Sunday, at the close of a three-day conference of the Wikimedia movement in London.

A YouGov poll of almost 2,000 British adults found 64 percent trust the authors of Wikipedia entries to tell the truth "a great deal" or "a fair amount".

This compared to 61 percent who trusted BBC news journalists, 45 percent who trusted journalists on broadsheet newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian, and 13 percent for on tabloids such as The Sun.

"British people trust Wikipedia more than the news," Wales told the conference, to cheers from the audience.

"The things that's really impressive here is the BBC has an excellent reputation... and we're trusted slightly more than the BBC. That's a little scary. But it's something we have accomplished," he said.

Wales acknowledged that the online encyclopedia—which relies on the public for its contributions and corrections—was "flawed" but said that people "turn to us for reliable, solid .... We do a decent job of it."

The YouGov survey revealed however that the traditional Encyclopaedia Britannica is viewed as the most reliable source of information by far, trusted by 83 percent of respondents.

"I'm not going to rest until they trust us more than they ever trusted Encyclopaedia Britannica in the past," Wales said.

After three days of discussions, the "Wikimania" annual event closed with a moment of silence for contributors who had died in the past year.

This included Ihor Kostenko, a 22-year-old Ukrainian geography student who was shot dead in pro-European protests in Kiev in February. Wales named him "Wikipedian of the year".

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User comments : 10

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Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
As do I, a sustaining contributor.
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 10, 2014
USA/NATO hired 200 mercenaries to shoot citizens in Kyiv and make martyrs for their manufactured crony Nazi Ukrainian government. That is standard operating doctrine in USA. This is a fact that all will in the West ignore because the facts are too uncomfortable for them. They prefer lies and fiction proclaiming themselves as heros.
sirchick
5 / 5 (2) Aug 10, 2014
USA/NATO hired 200 mercenaries to shoot citizens in Kyiv and make martyrs for their manufactured crony Nazi Ukrainian government. That is standard operating doctrine in USA. This is a fact that all will in the West ignore because the facts are too uncomfortable for them. They prefer lies and fiction proclaiming themselves as heros.


Any one who thinks the nazi's are still going strong in the west needs a tin foil hat.
Zera
5 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
Unclear on the relationship with Wiki

USA/NATO hired 200 mercenaries to shoot citizens in Kyiv and make martyrs for their manufactured crony Nazi Ukrainian government. That is standard operating doctrine in USA. This is a fact that all will in the West ignore because the facts are too uncomfortable for them. They prefer lies and fiction proclaiming themselves as heros.


Unclear on the relationship with Wikipedia? I understand their mission statement is something to the effect of "all human knowledge" however, you're just jumping in with modern conflict news in an attempt to spread your opinion.
Arties
3 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
The news are about new unverified-yet subjects, whereas the Wikipedia articles should be just about these established verified ones. Under such a situation is not so strange, when Britons trust the Wikipedia more than the news. Instead of it, it would be strange, if they would act differently.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
. . . That is standard operating doctrine in USA.

Written as if you believe there is anything like a unified voice coming out of the United States. The perennial constipation in congress should communicate to you otherwise.

Just for the heck of it, let's compare the U.S. and Russia. Here in the U.S., I can (and have) expressed views contrary to those of the POTUS. Without fearing retribution - imprisonment, assassination, etc. Unlike Russia, the media isn't controlled by the POTUS or his cronies. Or maybe you'd care to explain News Corp and Fox?

Unlike me and my president, I bet I won't see you being critical of Putin.

Maybe Putin will give you a gold star for your rhetoric.
Urgelt
5 / 5 (4) Aug 11, 2014
Well, I trust Wikipedia more than mainstream media, too.

What's really interesting about Wikipedia is that the edits can be seen, so if there is controversy, you can see it play out and weigh the references and arguments yourself.

The only drawback is that sometimes, Wikipedia articles aren't written for lay persons, and so are a bit opaque, or even downright incomprehensible if you aren't already a subject matter expert.

But over time, even those articles tend to improve in clarity.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Wikipedia is its demonstrated resilience in the face of propagandists from nations, industry, religions, etc. All of those actors try, and try again, to slant Wikipedia articles. And the slant gets washed right out again in almost all cases. Bias doesn't thrive very well there - unlike just about everywhere else.
Egleton
4 / 5 (1) Aug 11, 2014
Except for the pharmaceutical entries. I followed their links and found blank pages.
It looks as though Money just stuffs bogus links in, in order to be published.
rp142
not rated yet Aug 11, 2014
Wikipedia is a great starting point for information on a range of subjects. Many articles on technical subjects are more accurate than a traditional textbook. However, Wikipedia is not immune to corruption special interest groups, advertising by companies, interference by motivated individuals or propaganda to support certain regimes. It is good to see that they are taking some action on disruptive edits and I hope more will be done.

Wikipedia is best used with other sources of information, with the reader making a judgement on any inconsistencies.

News organisations have been repeatedly shown to be wrong or simply lying. Editorial standards have been in decline for years. They have been slowly losing public trust around the world while complaining about competition from other sources of information.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
USA/NATO hired 200 mercenaries to shoot citizens in Kyiv and make blah
you're just jumping in with modern conflict news in an attempt to spread your opinion.
I think most americans are unaware of the level of anti-american propaganda around the world; not just in the middle east but throughout europe and the former soviet union. Kochevniknik is just another dupe.

Sides are being Defined for yet another round of Purging. How could ISIS have emerged so quickly if it hadnt been designed to do so?

"al-Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca as a "civilian internee" by US Forces-Iraq from February until December 2004... A number of newspapers, in contrast, have stated that al-Baghdadi was interned from 2005 to 2009"

-Many magnificent despots previously spent time in exile or captivity in western countries, or had been educated at western-affiliated schools, lenin being perhaps the most obvious. They learned how the world really worked, and accepted assignments in special positions.