Wikipedia editors will no longer accept the Daily Mail as a source for encyclopedia entries on the site. They voted to stop accepting it because they now deem it “generally unreliable” due to its “reputation for poor fact checking and sensationalism.”
Daily Mail banned as a poor source
At a time when fake news spreads like wildfire over social media, it’s interesting that we’re finally starting to see some crackdown. Some might wonder if more websites will be next, although there’s been no word from Wikipedia on this.
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According to The Guardian, the online encyclopedia rarely places a blanket ban on websites, noting that it still allows entries to use sources such as Russia Today, which is backed by the Kremlin, and Fox News, which editors have taken issue with in the past. Wikipedia editors stated that the reason for their ban was due to “the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication.”
Wikipedia editors discuss reliability of the Daily Mail
The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the online encyclopedia but doesn’t have any control over its editing processes, issued a statement saying that editors have been talking about whether the Daily Mail is a reliable source for at least the last two years. The foundation pointed to the request for comments section on Wikipedia’s noticeboard about reliable sources that volunteer editors reached a consensus that use of the news outlet is “generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist.”
Due to this, they ruled that the website shouldn’t be used to determine whether a topic is notable enough to have a Wikipedia entry or even as a source for articles. Those who argued against banning it as a source stated that it is reliable on some topics, but those who argued in favor of banning it said there should be other sources for the same topics that can be used instead.
Volunteer editors for the online encyclopedia are now being encouraged to change current Daily Mail citations to others that are considered to be more reliable. There are approximately 12,000 links to the website on Wikipedia that will have to be reviewed. It’s unlikely that the encyclopedia will ban all linking to the website because occasionally, a link might be required, such as for entries that are actually about the newspaper or a writer who works for it.