Why Wikipedia Prohibits Citing Daily Mail as a Source on Their Articles

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Why Wikipedia Prohibits Citing Daily Mail as a Source on Their Articles
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The editors of Wikipedia has voted to prohibit citing Daily Mail as a source because it is “generally unreliable.” More and more sites have increased drawing a line against the proliferation of fake news.

Wikimedia Bans Daily Mail for Unreliability

The online encyclopedia has been a go-to place for getting information about almost everything. Because anyone can edit and add information, there are times when false entries make their way into the site. However, there are people keeping an eye on these errors to be able to weed them out.

In a discussion initiated by a user named Hillybillyholiday, the online encyclopedia’s volunteer editors, called “Wikipedians,” have weighed in for over a month on banning Daily Mail. On Feb. 8, The Guardian reported the editor’s consensus of Daily Mail, and its online version, as “generally unreliable.”

With that, it is prohibited to use the publication as a source in the site “especially when other more reliable sources exist.” There will also be an “edit filter,” as advised by the English editors, to warn the other editors when citing Daily Mail as a reference since the site has a policy that lets volunteers ignore the rules.

Daily Mail’s Misses

The British tabloid Daily Mail, also known as Mail Online, is one of the leading sources in delivering timely news. Its content is a juxtaposition of general news and celebrity gossip, but some of which are debunked or refuted.

One of these is their report that Melania Trump, now the U.S. first lady, was formerly an escort. In response, the former model filed for a second libel lawsuit against the tabloid for the false allegation that, according to her lawyers’ statement tremendously damaged her personal and professional reputation.

There are also other instances like actor Nicolas Cage receiving an apology from Mail Online on false reports of tax evasion in October 2012, a debunked hoax report on a solar panel made from human hair in September 2009, and an inaccurate story of the iPhone 4 recall in June 2010. With that, one editor from Wikipedia said Daily Mail is “pretty close to a fake news source.”

Move against Fake News

During the election period, the widespread circulation of fake news was raised into the attention of many people that impacted some of their decisions and views on a certain matter. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have then updated their policies to address the problem.

This move by Wikipedia was considered an unusual step as it is their first time to put a ban on a particular publication. This, meanwhile, just opens the door to where the future of online censorship may lead.


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