Banned at Wikipedia: The 'Unreliable' Daily Mail

British tab's 'poor reputation' and 'flat-out fabrication' cited for unusual ban
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2017 7:27 AM CST
Banned at Wikipedia: The 'Unreliable' Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is out as a source for Wikipedia.   (Wikipedia)

The next time you need to brush up on a big celebrity scandal, you won't be perusing a Wikipedia article stuffed with links to the Daily Mail. The online encyclopedia's volunteer editors have ruled that the widely read British tabloid known for splashy celebrity coverage and conservative politics is "generally unreliable" and should not be used as source material, reports the Guardian. The decision follows a monthlong debate instigated by one editor who said the Mail's faults were too "enormous" to list and proposed "something just short of blacklisting." The editors called out the tab's "reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication," saying that citations should be "generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist." They also urged volunteers to find new sources for the "multiple thousands" of existing references linking to the Mail.

The ban is a highly unusual move by Wikipedia, notes the Guardian, as it still allows links to other publications whose objectivity has raised eyebrows, such as Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today. But Wikipedia has banned the likes of the National Enquirer and China's state-run Xinhua news agency, notes Mashable. The Wikimedia Foundation said editors began raising concerns in early 2015 about the accuracy of the Mail (with 1.5 million daily readers, per, uh, Wikipedia). Not all Wikipedia editors agreed with the ban, with one editor writing that tabloids sometimes have better coverage, "such as sports and crime," while another says the Mail lands exclusive celebrity interviews "so a full-on ban would deny this material. Just sayin'." (Melania Trump claims a false Daily Mail story cost her millions.)

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