Categories: News

Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail as “Unreliable” Citation Source

Editors on Wikipedia have voted in favour of a soft ban the Daily Mail as a source for citations on its entries, branding output from the newspaper (specifically, but not exclusively, its website) as “generally unreliable.” While the ban is surprising considering Wikipedia’s acceptance of other sources of concern – notably, Russia Today and Fox News – the editors argue their reasoning is “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication.” The ban is soft since the Daily Mail can still be cited if there is “a demonstrable need to use it instead of other sources.”

“Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’,” the Wikimedia Foundation said in a statement (via The Guardian).

“This means that the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community,” the statement adds. “This is consistent with how Wikipedia editors evaluate and use media outlets in general – with common sense and caution.”

The idea of a Daily Mail ban has been debated by editors for the past month after being floated by Hillbillyholiday. After arguments for and against a ban, it was put up for a vote which opted in favour of prohibiting the use of the news outlet as a source.

“Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist,” a Wikipedia editor explained. “As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place, going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference.”

Ashley Allen

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