Wikipedia just got worse

It’s bad enough that Wikipedia calls itself an “encyclopedia” while containing detailed entries on the most depraved sexual acts humanly imaginable. On these grounds alone Catholics should use extreme caution when browsing Wikipedia, if at all.

But now there is news that an individual who contributed to thousands of Wikipedia articles and arbitrated the additions of others is a fraud. The individual claimed to be a Professor of Religion but in fact was 24-year-old college dropout.

You can read the Associated Press article on this story HERE.

Wikipedia is increasingly dangerous for Catholic youth in particular. Its entries on religion are now in question, making it an unacceptable resource for information on spiritual topics. Furthermore, its inclusion of massive articles on porn stars and sex acts mean that traumatic experiences are just a keystroke away for children. Of course, the objection to this will be that any keystroke on the internet can lead to depraved material. This objection is faulty, however. Parents innocently leave access to Wikipedia open in their blocking software, thinking it is a “safe” website. After all, what could possibly be so bad about an encyclopedia? This is truly a case of children protecting parents.

Wikipedia has always been a questionable source of information because anyone can enter and edit anything on the site. All you have to do is sign up and you can post whatever you desire.

The story about the 24 year old pretending to be a tenured college professor of religion is old news. I’ve read their entries about the Catholic faith and I found many things said just an outright lie. They also tend to give more space to Catholic bashers than to those who defend the faith.

Some of the stuff is fine but overall I wouldn’t use it as a credible source of information.

If you guys don’t like what the entries say, then re-edit them! It’s called “open to public editing” for a reason ya know! And so what if it has entries on uncomfortable subjects? Are you going to stick your head in the ground like an ostrich for the rest of your life?

There is plenty of quality, legitimate information on wikipedia. Plus, it is a fascinating system of formatting information.

I find it a valuable site and it’s no less trustworthy than a paper encyclopedia edited by a council of human beings, imho.

More to the point, it’s rather difficult to find the articles on ‘the most depraved sexual acts humanly imaginable’ without actively looking specifically for that sort of thing… :shrug:

Exactly! One thing about wikipedia that I think should be improved is that the search engine is too hard and sometimes does not work… I will often type “XYZ” and not find it yet if I do a google search for “XYZ wiki” I will see it appear as the first result spelled the exact same way I spelled it!

Wiki isn’t a very reliable source, as that 24 year old dropout who pretended to be a professor of Religion clearly proves.
It is better to use other sources for research.

The reason most people hate Wikipedia is because they fear the free flow of information… They fear the idea that there is a popular center of information where truth’s they do not want the majority of people to know can be shown. This is in fact one of the reasons people like Hilary Clinton have shown contempt to Wikipedia and the internet in general.

Wiki is a REALLY good source of sources with a brief article. If one reads the article they must look into the sources, which often provied great information.

Althogh sexual acts may be depraved it dosn’t mean that the entire site is full of sexual innuendo or anything.

And about the 24 year old who pretendended to be a professor of religion…well, honestly, with some of the professors I’ve seen display poor communitcations skills and even worse knowledge of their degree, focusing soley on informion about a particular item of intrest…and today much of this information they worked long hours in library or went abroad to find is as fast as searching the internet for Google Books, LibCat, or even the genral internet for.

I was thinking the same thing myself. :rolleyes:

~Liza

I can only see Wikipedia getting “worse” if this was found out and nothing done - the exact opposite has happened. So, imo, they have gotten better. Still one of the best places to begin a research.

I’m guessing there are a lot more graphic and detailed sources of information on depraved sex acts elsewhere besides Wikipedia.

That’s the problem with the Internets, is that in days gone by, someone may have had a curiousity about some deviant sexual desire, but would have assumed that they were the only one and it was a shameful thing. Now adays you can go online and find a whole “virtual community” of like-minded perverts that tell you you’re normal, and here are some ways to indulge your desires. It’s like a world wide web of enablers.

Actually you don’t even need to sign up, you can just edit it withour logging in though if you are unregistered, your IP address and whatever you did with the article gets recorded. Which is either good or bad, depending on the situation.

This news is definitely a bad one.
If I could relate a story, Last night I was checking Wikipedia and viewed the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci article and lo, someone replaced Da Vinci’s name in the article with someone else’s. (As of now, the article was fixed and Leonardo’s name is back).
These are definitely examples of the bad effects which an Encyclopedia anyone can edit can do.

If these things doesn’t stop, Wikipedia will be a rather schizophrenic encyclopedia where every article contradicts the other since people just kept putting irrelevant information there.

So anyone here edit Wikipedia becides me?

When I started out as a non-Catholic learning about the Church I would just flag stuff that seemed wierd and in a day or two some one would investigate my edit and change it to say something authentic.

A year ago I went on a editing rampage to get abstinance and NFP represented fairly. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step up from the angry sarcasm and feigned ignorance that used to pass as Catholic teaching. I stepped down when more knowledgable Catholics stepped in.

In conclusion. Wikipedia is getting better, but it’s still wikipedia.

I agree. I use it all the time as the start of research.
The articles are concise, and always have links to more authoritave sources.

. On these grounds alone Catholics should use extreme caution when browsing Wikipedia, if at all.

But now there is news that an individual who contributed to thousands of Wikipedia articles and arbitrated the additions of others is a fraud. The individual claimed to be a Professor of Religion but in fact was 24-year-old college dropout.

You can read the Associated Press article on this story HERE.

Wikipedia is increasingly dangerous for Catholic youth in particular. Its entries on religion are now in question, making it an unacceptable resource for information on spiritual topics. Furthermore, its inclusion of massive articles on porn stars and sex acts mean that traumatic experiences are just a keystroke away for children. Of course, the objection to this will be that any keystroke on the internet can lead to depraved material. This objection is faulty, however. Parents innocently leave access to Wikipedia open in their blocking software, thinking it is a “safe” website. After all, what could possibly be so bad about an encyclopedia? This is truly a case of children protecting parents.

We need to look closely at everything our kids do. Disclaimer-I don’t have kids, but I would not let them on the net without standing behind them. Wikipedia is not a fraction of problem. In any event, my sister uses it to find out what sexual acts people are referring to when complaining, eh ehm, she is in the health care profession. Trust me, you don’t want to know what I am speaking of. :bigyikes:

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