Sunday December 16, 2018
Home Uncategorized Wikipedia can...

Wikipedia can be misleading, says study

0
//
Republish
Reprint

New York, You should not trust Wikipedia blindly for every topic as entries on politically controversial scientific topics could be subjected to “information sabotage”, a study says.

images
commons.wikimedia.org

Study co-author Gene E. Likens, a distinguished research professor at the University of Connecticut, has monitored Wikipedia’s acid rain entry since 2003.

Likens had co-discovered acid rain in North America.

“In the scientific community, acid rain is not a controversial topic. Its mechanics have been well understood for decades,” Likens said.

“Yet, despite having ‘semi-protected’ status to prevent anonymous changes, Wikipedia’s acid rain entry receives near-daily edits, some of which result in egregious errors and a distortion of consensus science,” he said.

In an effort to see how Wikipedia’s acid rain entry compared to other scientific topics, Likens partnered with Adam M. Wilson, a geographer at the University at Buffalo.

Together, they analysed Wikipedia edit histories for three politically controversial scientific topics (acid rain, evolution, and global warming), and four non-controversial scientific topics (the standard model in physics, heliocentric, general relativity, and continental drift).

Using nearly a decade of data, Likens and Wilson teased out daily edit rates, the mean size of edits (words added, deleted, or edited), and the mean number of page views per day.

While the edit rate of the acid rain article was less than the edit rate of the evolution and global warming articles, it was significantly higher than the non-controversial topics.

Across the board, politically controversial scientific topics were edited more heavily and viewed more often, the researchers said.

“Wikipedia’s global warming entry sees 2-3 editing a day, with more than 100 words altered, while the standard model in physics has around 10 words changed every few weeks,” Wilson said.

“The high rate of change observed in politically controversial scientific topics makes it difficult for experts to monitor their accuracy and contribute time-consuming corrections,” he said.

“As society turns to Wikipedia for answers, students, educators, and citizens should understand its limitations when researching scientific topics that are politically charged,” Likens said.

Wikipedia does employ algorithms to help identify and correct blatantly malicious edits, such as profanity.

However, Likens and Wilson urged users to cast a critical eye on Wikipedia source material, which is found at the bottom of each entry.

(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Some Self-Seeking Celebrities Misleading Our Society

If one’s mother is insulted then her children will definitely feel hurt

0
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka joins hands with Facebook. Flickr

-By Salil Gewali, Shillong

If one’s mother is insulted then her children will definitely feel hurt. This phenomenon has existed from the beginning of the civilization. I don’t consider it as a sort of chauvinism. If children don’t love their mother and a mother doesn’t love her children then it leads to decadence. So is the case with the country of one’s birth. Each individual should love his country and also respect his language and culture.  But I’m afraid, nearly just the reverse is being noticed of late in India. One who professes the love for the country then he/she is considered nerdy and so belittled by using a certain vocabularies, while those you doubt the sovereignty of the NATION then she or he is comforted, defended and honored. I think such development is disastrously treacherous. We have witnessed how a certain media has gloated when Arundhati Roy, who is the pride of the major cohort of elites, aggressively spoke against the present government in her recent interview with BBC. Her articles that regularly published by the top media persistently challenge not just the government but the very genesis of the civilization that flourished in this sacred land. Indeed,  no forces have hurt this nation so brutally than by people misled by the insanely biased intellectualism.

Again, yet another glaring instance being the recently launched episode of Priyanka Chopra. A Bollywood actress who has played a lead role in an US-based TV serial — ‘Quantico’, should have exercised her right discretion. But she did not. So she has quite earned the displeasure of her fans within the country and NRIs abroad. She has been widely criticized on the social media for agreeing to play in a serial which depicts an Indian planning to bomb Manhattan (USA) and then blame Pakistan for such hateful act.  Though it’s not proper to harp much on this but one is pretty sure that no conscious American will ever act in a film where his American fellow brother is shown as a “beggar” on the street of Bangladesh. No sensible Japanese will tolerate being shown as a lazybones leeching on people from other nations.  A Japanese cannot stomach this depiction since the native from Japan people are inherently active and self-reliant. Lord knows what brought Priyanka Chopra to play in a serial that her own native brother is depicted in a bad light.

Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy

Frankly speaking, what message does this actress want to send out to the citizens who hold her as their star?  Yes, a country could be a dead piece of land for such high-flying people but they should be a little considerate not to hurt their countless fans who are sensible living beings and who all track each step they take. All should agree that our celebrities should show more responsibility towards their loving fans, also towards the country of their birth. Let our actors’ acts and their spoken words be inspiring, not misleading.

Also read: Sunil Chhetri Becomes 2nd Indian Football Player To Play 100 International Matches

But very regrettably, these days just the contrary is happening. Particularly Bollywood stars who are synonymous with vulgarity, venality and bias have greatly misled our youths. They have deliberately trampled upon the social values by spreading the filth of debauchery. Even scared Indian households have been desecrated by airing a stream immoral TV serials by Ekta Kapoor and dirty films by father and daughter (Mahesh Bhatt and Puja Bhatt…..) and so on an so forth. In truth, the lust for money has made such celebrities stoop to the gutter level and they shamelessly do any dirty acts under the sky.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali