Problems with Wikipedia

Wikipedia: we all love it, we all use it and we all enjoy reading about the humourous, rude or just plain silly edits that users make to it. There's no denying that it's become one of the most used research tools on the Internet. However the fact that just about anyone can make changes to its articles has caused some problems.

Most recently reports appeared briefly on Wikipedia that 2 leading American politicians had died during President Obama's inaugural lunch. They hadn't, and the false information was corrected within a few minutes. Then an article about Bruce Springsteen was vandalised during his Superbowl concert. Once again, editors were quick to reinstate the original information, but sometimes inaccuracies remain unnoticed and aren't corrected for much longer.

So what happens if you're doing some research and you just happen to hit on an article that contains false information? If you're lucky, you'll spot the inconsistencies immediately, but what if you don't? Unfortunately, you may not realise that what you're reading is incorrect, and that means you need to take great care over your research.

In truth, this is not a problem that's isolated to Wikipedia. Press reports surface occasionally about false research that's been published in peer reviewed, academic journals. But if the future of your business depends on using information and research to make the right decision, you need to be sure that your sources are accurate. It seems that Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder is also thinking of introducing an element of verification for editing articles about living people. Although some criticise this as contrary to the fundamental openness of Wikipedia, for those who use rather than edit the information, it must be a good thing.

Here at Monaco IQ, we never rely entirely on one source for our information. When carrying out business research, we go to the original source whenever possible, and sometimes this isn't on the Internet. We never take published information at face value and always verify it with a second or third source. If you're worried about choosing the most accurate and reliable sources of information contact us for advice.