Wikipedia is fastly becoming the top location for someone to learn something new or research on the internet. According to the “Define Gender Gap?” article, Noam Cohen reports that 53 percent of adult internet users use Wikipedia as a research source. This is back from 2010 so that number has most likely grown since then. The thing is though, is that Wikipedia is a peer based encyclopedia that can be edited and changed by anyone with an internet connection. Contributors usually provide knowledgeable information that is accurate but sometimes there is a jokester that decides to abuse their editing powers and add misinformation. For example, someone decided to edit the page for a children’s book with false albeit funny facts.
With all the unrestricted access to articles that people can edit, they can change history to say whatever they want. In the clip from the Colbert Report about Wikipedia he changed articles to show how easy it was to edit an article to a belief rather than a fact. His modified the article about George Washington , so that it said he never owned slaves and he made a statement that the elephant population is rapidly increasing. Both of these changes actually happened on the site. According to an article written after the show people kept changing elephant related articles so much that Wikipedia actually locked the articles. We all were tasked with making our own changes to a Wikipedia page and it just didn’t seem right that it was so easy to do. Especially how we’re all used to having to make accounts and register on other websites to do anything. Do you trust everything you read on Wikipedia? Have you ever contributed anything major to Wikipedia? Was there anytime you came across misinformation on Wikipedia?