Saturday, 14 February 2009

A question of trust

It's always a risk relying on Wiki based sources for reliable information.

Wikis have the potential to be fantastic collaborative learning tools, but they need to be overseen by someone who's watching the History button, to ensure any changes to text are made in good faith, and not for malicious purposes.

The fact that anyone can alter the content on web-based Wikis in the public domain means they aren't reliable secondary sources of information, however high they might appear in search engine results.

This week's dodgy edit comes courtesy of the British Conservative Party, who altered the death of a grand master, in order to score a cheap political point. The BBC video below explains all.

Tories admit to Wiki-alteration


Dan Felstead said...

I would guess that the same applies in Britain but my 23 year old son in University here in the states reports that they are not allowed to site the Wiki as a source in research...understandably so.


Sacha van Straten said...

Absolutely. What I say to students is it might be useful in pointing to other sources, and a lot of information on Wikipedia is great, but the nature of it makes it unreliable.

I'm having my first experience this week of chairing a group-led exercise that asks us to make a Wiki. So far, it's been an interesting experience!