Thursday, 9 February 2017

Wikipedia just ruled the Daily Mail to be an unreliable source

To the untrained eye the Daily Mail may appear to be a newspaper, but it's no such thing. It's an extreme-right propaganda empire that has been owned and operated by the tax-dodging billionaire Harmsworth family for generations.

I'm sure we can all think of examples that demonstrate that the Daily Mail is savagely right-wing propaganda rag: Their support for Hitler and Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists in the 1930s; their homophobic rants; their smearing of dead war heroes; their constant anti-immigrant hatemongering; their support for extreme-right candidates on the continent; their blaming a murder victim for their own death; their habit of mocking the gullibility of their own readers; their support for Theresa May's effort to scrap parliamentary sovereignty and turn herself into an all-powerful autocrat who can make and repeal laws as they please.

Interestingly Wikipedia have cottoned on to what an incredibly dodgy extreme-right propaganda empire the Daily Mail is, and after deliberation, the consensus amongst the community of Wikipedia editors is that the Daily Mail is an unreliable source that should no longer be used as a reference (unless absolutely necessary).

To put this into perspective a little it's worth noting that standards at the Daily Mail are so low that they've been declared an "unreliable source" by a voluntary website that can be edited by literally anyone with an Internet connection (unless they've been banned for vandalism)!

Everyone should know that Wikipedia is a useful research tool, not a final authority. Of course it has problems arising from the fact that literally anyone can make changes to the articles. Vandalism, poor referencing and point of view pushing make certain articles and topics unreliable, but there is a massive band of volunteers working to undo vandalism, straighten out biased articles and add reliable sources.

And that's the big difference between Wikipedia and the Daily Mail. One of them actively works to improve standards, correct mistakes and make sure claims are reliably sourced, while the other has abysmal standards, refuses to correct mistakes and is so full of unreliable claims that they're no longer considered an appropriate source by the other.

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