Social Media

Brits trust Wikipedia more than the news: survey

By Hamza Ali, special to

Around two thirds of the British public trust online encyclopedia Wikipedia more than they trust traditional news outlets, a survey by YouGov has found.

According to the poll, by the U.K. research firm, 64 percent of Britons believe Wikipedia tells the truth "a great deal" or "a fair amount" – in spite of the fact that anyone can write an entry on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is edited by thousands of so-called "Wikipedians", who are internet users from around the world committed to auditing content posted on the website for no compensation. Wikipedia is a non-profit enterprise, funded by donations.

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In the same survey the BBC scored 61 percent in degree of trust, while The Times and The Guardian got 45 percent. The Sun and other tabloids scored 13 percent. YouGov surveyed 1,943 people in a poll conducted on the 6th and 7th of August.

The research was cited by Jimmy Wales, over the weekend in his speech at Wikimania, the annual Wikipedia conference, which was in London for the first time this year.

"People still talk about the 'mainstream' media, when the readership of Wikipedia has dramatically caught up with the most popular newspapers" Wales said in a YouTube clip of the event. He added that the quality of the Wikipedia's content and the passion of its users as the reason for this high degree of trust.

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