Wikipedia and fact-checking
Wikipedia and fact-checking includes the process through which Wikipedia editors perform fact-checking of Wikipedia, and also reuse of Wikipedia for fact-checking other publications, and also the cultural discussion of the place of Wikipedia in fact-checking.
Wikipedia's volunteer editor community has the responsibility of fact-checking Wikipedia's content. Fact-checking is an aspect of the broader reliability of Wikipedia. Various academic studies about Wikipedia and the body of criticism of Wikipedia seek to describe the limits of Wikipedia's reliability, document who and how anyone uses Wikipedia for fact checking, and what consequences result from the use of Wikipedia as a fact-checking resource.
Use for fact-checking
Public trust and counter to fake news
Other platforms fact-check with Wikipedia
At the 2018 South by Southwest conference, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made the announcement that YouTube was using Wikipedia to fact check videos which YouTube hosts. No one at YouTube had consulted anyone at Wikipedia about this development, and the news at the time was a surprise. The intent at the time was for YouTube to use Wikipedia as a counter to the spread of conspiracy theories.
Facebook uses Wikipedia in various ways. Following criticism of Facebook in the context of fake news around the 2016 United States presidential election, Facebook recognized that Wikipedia already had an established process for fact-checking. Facebook's subsequent strategy for countering fake news included using content from Wikipedia for fact-checking. In 2020, Facebook began to provide information from Wikipedia's infoboxes into its own general reference knowledge panels to provide objective information.
Fact-checking is one aspect of the general editing process in Wikipedia. The volunteer community develops a process for reference and fact checking through community groups such as WikiProject Reliability.
Wikipedia has a reputation for cultivating a culture of fact checking among its editors. Wikipedia's fact checking process depends on the activity of its volunteer community of contributors, who numbered 200,000 as of 2018.
The development of fact-checking practices is ongoing in the Wikipedia editing community. One development which took years was the 2017 community decision to declare a particular news source, Daily Mail, as generally unreliable as a citation for verifying claims.
When Wikipedia experiences vandalism, platforms which reuse Wikipedia's content may republish that vandalized content. In 2018, Facebook and YouTube were major users of Wikipedia for its fact checking functions, but those commercial platforms were not contributing to Wikipedia's free nonprofit operations in any way.
In 2016, journalists described how vandalism in Wikipedia undermines its use as a credible source.
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- Wikipedia:WikiProject Reliability, the English Wikipedia community project which self-organizes fact-checking