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Wikipedia bans use of Daily Mail as 'reliable source' Featured

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has banned the use of the Daily Mail as a source in all but the most exceptional circumstances, having come to the conclusions that the news group is generally unreliable.

A discussion has been going on since 2015 about the reliability of the publication, according to a report published in The Guardian.

It said the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia but has no control of its editing, had issued a statement saying, in part: "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'."

The Daily Mail has often come under fire from News Corporation over claims of plagiarism, especially after the British tabloid started a site focused on Australia.

The Wikimedia statement added: "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 decision was taken after a long discussion during which the pros and cons of using the newspaper as a source were debated by the volunteer editors.

The discussion was summed up by one editor thus: "Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist.

"As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference.

"The general themes of the support votes centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication. Examples were provided to back up these claims."

Wikipedia's decision comes after the recent focus on fake news after the US election. The online encyclopedia was started in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.

Comment has been sought from the Daily Mail.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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