Jan 15, 2021

Coye Cheshire Shares How Wikipedia is Combating Disinformation


At 20, Wikipedia has become a refuge from Big Tech's misinformation

By Richard Nieva

As Election Day turned into Election Week in the US, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube found themselves trying to avert disaster. President Donald Trump had declared victory and baselessly alleged election fraud, even though battleground states continued to count mail-in ballots. The president's supporters ricocheted his bogus claims across social media. 

On Wikipedia, however, the 2020 US Presidential Election page was locked like a fortress. The race remained uncalled on the page until news outlets declared a winner the following Saturday. The success was partly the result of a disinformation task force assembled by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia...

"It's been demonstrated time and time again that Wikipedia does a really good job. They're well-curated and well-controlled," said UC Berkeley School of Information Professor Coye Cheshire, who's researched Wikipedia since its early days. "It's more trusted today because they've shown they're trustworthy..."

"Wikipedia didn't set out to be a tool combating disinformation," Cheshire said. "But that's the great societal benefit." 


Last updated:

January 20, 2021