For students or rather anybody who is computer literate and requires a little bit of information on practically any topic, be it about your favourite celebrity, or the oldest monarchy, or even absurd conspiracies such as the flat earth theory, Wikipedia often provides a start-up knowledge base.
It’s really nothing to be ashamed about since the goal of its initial creators was the provision of free knowledge and Wikipedia has indeed risen over the years to become the largest free online encyclopedia.
We could sit here and just trade stories on how Wikipedia has helped us out of a number of fixes, from due assignments to verification of quick retorts, but while this article concedes to the great help that Wikipedia has provided this generation, it alludes to one lesser known fact about its founder Jimmy Wales, and one about the online encyclopedia itself which should encourage the reader to go further whilst researching topics.
Wikipedia Was Funded With Porn Money
Wikipedia’s early launch was made partly possible by money obtained from a sleazy porn network. Jimmy Wales had run a dot-com bust site called Bomis that promoted nude images and other softcore pornography.
The site’s initial content was geared to cater for a male audience. This included information on sporting activities, automobiles, and women. The company, however, became successful after it began to focus on X-rated media, which users were required to pay an additional fee for.
It is a past that Wales is not very proud of as he has repeatedly tried to quell this fact, including making alterations to Bomis’ Wikipedia entry. The page now currently admits that Bomis “focus[ed] on X-rated media,” and included “erotic images,” “adult pictures” and other “explicit material.”
For his efforts, Wales was dubbed “Playboy of the internet”.
Corporately Funded Trolls Edit Wikipedia
Wikipedia is widely touted to be run by volunteers but it is actually edited by corporately funded trolls. This is a very important thing to know because most of the supposed volunteers are paid corporate entities such as pharmaceutical companies, food giants, and biotech industries, to put out information that portrays their products positively to the users of the website.
This points out the abuse of editing privileges that manifest through the inevitable censoring of information that those said companies would not like the public to see about their products.
Anonymous editing is also allowed across Wikipedia which means that any information can be altered by corporate trolls to benefit their interests or just about any average person that is looking to be funny or get revenge. This can be seen through the editing of information of people, specifically sports stars or celebrities, whose discretions or blunders or even rumours, are inserted into their biography.
An example is the repeated listing of Khloe Kardashian as a child of O.J Simpson on his page following the repeatedly denied rumours that he is her biological father.
This information is very important because Wikipedia cannot be your last port of call for information most especially those that could be life-threatening like in the areas of construction and medicine.
The purpose of this article is simply to disabuse the reader of the notion that Wikipedia is a one-stop destination for reliable information.
The site itself clearly says that it is not a reliable source for academic writing or research. It says that even though it is increasingly used by people in the academic community, it is just as an easily accessible tertiary source for information about anything and everything. It recommends that users use it as a quick readily available reference to get a sense of a concept or idea.
Some institutions have gone ahead to ban the online encyclopedia. An Illinois university banned its students from using it in projects for what the governing body deemed biased, inaccurate information. Other universities have made sure to let students know that Wikipedia is not a citable source of information.
So while it would be ignorant to consider Wikipedia anything less than a force in information gathering forays in this day and age, it is necessary for us to go farther in our search for pertinent, reliable information.