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Wikipedia's credibility is compromised.

By John Miller - posted Friday, 6 July 2012

In January 2001, Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia, as a free, "self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia". The concept is excellent, however my hypothesis is that Wikipedia's credibility is compromised.

As a test of the hypothesis I have examined the respective Wikipedia entries for the Australian Greens and for the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). These two organisations are arguably at different places on the political spectrum.

At the outset, I am a Christian and a supporter of ACL and the issues for which it is lobbying.


As an overview both sites appropriately cover the uncontroversial background and organisational issues. The examination below covers the respective entries beyond those sections.

Comparing entries in Wikipedia-Greens with Wikipedia-ACL using encyclopedic criteria as indicators

The assertions below can be verified using the article, the editing and talk pages of the respective Wikipedia sites. In this paper, the Wikipedia-Greens' entry has been abbreviated to WGreens and the Wikipedia-ACL entry to WACL.

Self-cited references

Despite challenges, WGreens editors allow Green-sourced content to remain. As examples, WGreens provides information on the Green's, Agreement for stable government and the Green ban on circus animals, both self-cited. While on WACL, information on ACL's policy relating to Homelessness, (self-cited) is removed. Video endorsements of ACL by prominent public figures (but filmed by ACL), are also removed.

Unsupported information


Despite challenges, WGreens editors allow (for instance) 200 and 260 word statements, without direct citations. This is not permitted on WACL and any such entry is removed. On WACL all references are supported, with criticism of ACL being supported by up to three concurrent citations. As an indicator of editor-verbosity, WGreens has a much higher ratio of words to citations, than does WACL.

[Citation needed] tags

On WGreens there are two outstanding [citation needed] requests. There are none on WACL.

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About the Author

John Miller is a happily married Christian. He and his wife are proud parents and grand parents.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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