16 February 2008

Why I don't rely on Wikipedia anymore

I am fairly new to the Internet, blogging and writing articles. When I came across the Wikipedia site I thought it was great because the information was vast and they allowed anyone to quote from their site without permission. I took advantage of that in my article on E-mail Etiquette and unfortunately the information first given was incorrect. I was not aware that people input information on Wikipedia and then can update it or change it altogether.

I found their information on colour blindness and noted that it said that 20 million men were affected by colour blindness in America. I went on the site a few months later and the same quote now said 10.5 million. I unfortunately had used the quote in an article I had written so the information went in inccorrectly.

In the meantime I noted that they were actually quoting the Howard Hughes Medical Institute so I contacted HHMI and they gave me permission to quote from their article with the accurate information. Lesson learned. Go to the source and don't always rely on Wikipedia.

The real statitics are:

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) report that, “some 10 million American men – fully 7 percent of the male population – either cannot distinguish red from green, or see red and green differently from most people. This is the commonest form of color blindness, but it affects only .4 percent of women”.[1]

I still find Wikipedia useful to find information, but I now go to the source to get accurate facts.

[1] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Color Blindness: More Prevalent Among Males, (1995 report) (Accessed February 2, 2008) (Used with permission)

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