Object 2: Wikipedia

May 27, 2021


Wikipedia is a universal website containing semi-reliable knowledge. Wikipedia is used for readers to access a free, widely accessible, online encyclopaedia that contains information on all branches of knowledge. However, wikipedia can be edited by anyone at anytime, therefore is not the most reliable source. Wikipedia does tend to contain correct knowledge most of the time, I believe, from what I have seen. Although, Wikipedia is secondary source knowledge as it is all written by people based off what they think they know or have read, so you can never be sure what you are reading is 100% correct. Information from Wikipedia can be vandalism, unfinished work or just false information.

In reference to the specific Wikipedia page shown above, is the page on the American Civil War. I can’t confirm or deny whether everything in this page is 100% correct, but due to this being a common interest and a topic that many people know about, I would expect it to be a reliable source. If there was any incorrect information, specialists in the topic would probably alter it and it wouldn’t be incorrect for long. However, there may be false information in this page that I haven’t recognised as I have not studied the subject very thoroughly. Although, it’s possible that if I researched greatly into this, I may find some errors.

Furthermore, with a topic like the Civil War, it is hard to confirm or deny whether the data is true or false. This is because the event was in the 1800’s and I believe there is nobody alive now, who was alive in the 1800’s. Therefore, that makes everything we know now to be secondary knowledge as the knowledge has been passed down among decades. This might suggest that the information can be misunderstood or misinterpreted as it has been passed on.

So, is this really knowledge? How do we know what we know to be knowledge is actually knowledge and not just misinformation wronged through the years and ears?

 Essentially, this is what we all, today, believe happened, but we don’t have primary sources to prove that it’s not just belief and is, in fact, knowledge.

It is an important object to display in the exhibition because it is a common source of what some people think is reliable knowledge, and many people do rely on Wikipedia for basic and extensive knowledge or even definitions. However, can it even be considered knowledge? Of course what is written correctly on the site is knowledge people have gathered but due to the pages being written by anyone, anywhere, any age, Wikipedia can be bias because people are formally writing what they know and can also write what they believe. Therefore, Wikipedia cannot be a reliable ‘encyclopaedia’ if it can contain peoples beliefs and opinions, rather than being determined and certified knowledge.

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