I did a search on wikipedia and came up with this ????

I was searching after the great religions in the world and when I search after islam I got this

How serious can we take the info found in wikipedia? :confused:

What do you find wrong with it? Why the puzzled smiley?

Would you care to elaborate? Are you saying you didn’t like the entry or are you simply asking if it’s reliable without passing judgement on it?

Wikipedia articles are usually very good. However, they are not authoritative and you should always consult other sources, especially if you’re writing a paper and need sources.

I assume you saw the disclaimer at the top of the page?

I think that since you last looked at it, the article has been reverted to a decent state, and protected from vandalism. Look at the history of the article: about an hour ago, the whole article just said, “Muslims = Sand Niggers” (which I think is what you are referring to), but it’s been fixed since then.

It may or may not have been there when you searched, but as of now there’s a tag on the article stating that it’s locked because of vandalism. One of the drawbacks of allowing anyone to edit is that sometimes people will deliberately put bad information in articles. Wikipedia keeps archives of all past versions of articles so if someone does vandalize an article it’s a simple matter to revert it to its pre-vandalized state.

I was to read about islam and it stod: “White men are fare better than litte girls” or something

that’s what it says again : “Muslims are little girls compared to White Men”

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

It will be modified again soon, in all likehood. I didn’t do it myself, since I don’t remember my password right now.

You can see the editing history here. Some moron began vandalizing it today to read “Muslims are little girls compared to White Men,” and various other comments of that ilk before it was locked.

I get the Wiki concept, and think it’s great, buy why the hell don’t they require people to register an account first? It’s not hard to set up, and while it will never quell vandalism, it would at least slow shit like that down. Cf. the SDMB.

I like wikipedia too. I find there articles to be wery informal and you can find about every subject there

sadly some morons are trying to destroy it’s credibility

If I’m reading the logs right, it seems like the vandalism went on for only about 8 minutes before editing was locked.

I have done some work on the tsunami pages, a subject that is unbearably tragic, and very close to my heart. A couple of months ago, some kid added “OMG look at that big wave!!! OMG im drowning!!!1!!! OMG now im dead!!!1!!” to some of the pages.

Having been 13 myself, I understand the temptation to fuck around and do stuff like that, and would probably have done it myself, had the means to do it been completely open to me, as Wikipedia is. (Of course I wouldn’t have considered the consequences or any emotional impact it would have had: I’d have giggled like Beavis and Butthead.)

Wikipedia’s very nature, at the moment, invites such nonsense regularly. It seems naïve beyond belief to me.

Wikipedia does log IP numbers so these idiots aren’t as anonymous as they like to believe.

Really, IP tracking does nothing. It gets reassigned every time you disconnect the modem, and there are literally millions of people using the same ISPs, which have block IP allocation. You can’t ban everyone on AOL because some dumb AOL-subscriber teenager’s been screwing with the Wiki entries.

IMO it should - nay, must - be accessible only by people with a user account and a verified email address. It won’t stop them, but it will slow them down.

(I think I’m in contravention of GQ rules here… sorry, I’ll shut up now.)

Requiring e-mail registration isn’t much better though. It’s trivial to get throwaway e-mail addresses.

Trivial, yes, but it requires quite a few more minutes and a little more effort than “hey dude, let’s write ‘booger’!!!111!!” - which is all that Wikipedia requires: hit the “edit this page” tab and let rip.

Ah, but it takes time, meaning that each time a throwaway e-mail is blocked, the vandal has to go to another 5 minutes of effort before he can vandalise again, which could quickly get tiresome. Maybe. I’m not sure how dedicated these vandals are.

I would never take wikipedia as the only source for material. It a start to do verification, but shouldn’t be the end. No one source should ever be taken as infallible.

Really, though, this kind of vandalism, while annoying, and embarrassing, isn’t the biggest credibility problem that Wikipedia has. The biggest problem is that if you read an article that looks good and seems reasonable-- you still can’t tell if it is reliable or not. Subtle errors or bias are much harder to detect than the kind of vandalism which inspired this thread–but they cab be just as deadly to YOUR credibility if you try to use Wikipedia as your only source of information.

Of course, primary sources, traditional print encyclopedias, journals and other resources may also have subtle errors or bias, although they are less likely to have this sort of embarrassing content. So this kind of thing should not stop you from consulting Wikipedia-- just be cautious about citing it–the perfectly respectable and authoritative seeming article may change to somthing ludicris, and you will not recieve any warning.