Le Devoir has a whole special today on Wikipedia (I’m not quite sure why). Half of it is subscriber-blocked, but the main story is free. Seems they’ve found some errors in Wikipedia articles about Quebec history.
The article repeats the same tired refrain of the mainstream media: Wikipedia can’t be trusted because we found all these errors.
It ignores the fact that Wikipedia has never said it should be trusted. It doesn’t want to be trusted. It asks people – pleads with them – to check every fact in every article (and correct/cite those that are wrong). It is not designed to be a source of information, it is designed to be a summary of information with clear citations.
And, of course, Wikipedia would never have achieved all this popularity if it wasn’t immensely useful as a resource in the first place.
The problem isn’t Wikipedia, it’s that people have been taught to believe everything they read without question. You could argue that this isn’t a proper way to setup an encyclopedia, and if so you’re welcome to use all the other failed Wikipedia-you-can-trust experiments out there.
UPDATE: More from Martin Lessard.