Fake news: Wikipedia designates Daily Mail an “unreliable” source


Online encyclopaedia noted for its inaccuracies decides it cannot site Daily Mail due to unreliability

THE ONLINE encyclopaedia Wikipedia will no longer cite Daily Mail articles as evidence for assertions in articles, due to the “generally unreliable” nature of its news reports.

Wikipedia, which hosts an enormous archive of articles written and edited by members of the public, usually accepts newspapers for use as a source, due to the method by which its articles are composed.

However, website editors arrived at an agreement that the daily newspaper was “generally unreliable”, due to the publication having a “reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.

Quoted in the Guardian, the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the website, said: “Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.

A section of the editorial debate which instigated the general prohibition of the Dail Mail as a source on Wikipedia

“This means that the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community. This is consistent with how Wikipedia editors evaluate and use media outlets in general – with common sense and caution.”

The website typically does not prohibit the citing of mass circulation newspapers, and some website editors objected, saying that some of the papers coverage could be reliable.

The Daily Mail has traditionally taken a rightwing populist political stance, and has drawn criticism in recent months for accusing various civil servants and members of the public of being disloyal to the UK.

In November it branded three UK Supreme Court judges “Enemies of the People” for enforcing UK law and finding that Westminster had to vote to empower the government to leave the EU.

Pictures courtesy of Martin Knudsen, Wikipedia

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