Am I the only person who doesn't have a problem with Wikipedia's factual accuracy (at least to some of the extremes demonstrated here) but more with the obvious bias that oozes through some of the entries?
Information-wise, Wikipedia tends to be valid insofar as the method of citations allows you to check many of the claims made, if they seem misplaced or otherwise. Often, knowing nothing of a topic (such as the mating habits of the domestic chicken) Wikipedia offers a quick idea as to the information with a citation to follow up the information. Rather than seeing Wikipedia as an encyclopedia, with the information contained taken at face value because it appears in the encyclopedia, it is more useful to see it as a giant HTML base with links to various pieces of information.
More to the point, Wikipedia seems to be a haven for interpretations which lead to very slanted biases.The entry for Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
), for example, offers a section of her "lagacy" longer than that of her "criticism", which of course would have nothing to do with the campaign of Objectivists to limit or eliminate the anti-Objectivist material on the internet (which seems to wax and wane with time).
A more neutral or toned-down example is the entry of Jacques Derrida (Jacques Derrida - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
), which offers a section of "criticisms" approaching the length of his "work" section revealing an interesting way to look, at whom one scholar has called, "Saint Jacques." Given the English and American leanings of Wikipedia, and the reputation Derrida has in both of those spheres, this is hardly surprising but far from what I would identify as representational of him as a whole.
The bias for me has always been the downside to Wikipedia: not the information, but who is offering it. Without any method of quality-control, and complete anonymity of users, the slant some articles offer is much more damaging than wrong information in my view. Certainly when there is a "BlueChicken" entry available I will be slanting it towards my own ends, which is something I would question anyone with personal stakes either for or against individual articles has (or will have eventually) done. (To be fair, there are articles approaching "BlueChicken", the closest being Blue Foot chicken - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Although not always factually accurate, I would identify the problem with Wikipedia being more of who is editing rather than what they are editing.