Shock Wikipedia Ban Calls Out Media Sensationalism
Wikipedia is the go-source for general information on everything from historical figures to television shows. The site allows a wide number of users to add information citing various sources. While they (Wikipedia) are fairly flexible about this the editors are keen for the site to maintain its reputation as being one that offers trusted information from reliable sources. Imagine the reaction then, when earlier this year the Wikipedia voted to disallow anyone using the Daily Mail as a source of information.
Basically, Wikipedia decided that due to information in and from the Daily Mail being known to be sensationalist, biased, unreliable and sometime downright lies that they were not a legitimate or needed addition to Wikipedia content. In short, if you were to post “The Daily Mail says” you could very likely be quoting or referencing an outlet that is very well known for sharing un-true information willingly.
This really is quite the move, as Wikipedia rarely bans reference sources and indeed allows links to a number of sources that some might find less than reputable, such as Fox News. Hooray for Wikipedia we said because this is another step towards people being able to enjoy quality and verifiable information on Wikipedia.
What Has Wikipedia Got to Do with Vaping?
Strictly speaking this is not a post about vaping, and yet it is. We’ve written many times about how media reporting may have a detrimental effect on the reputation of vaping. Giving vaping a poor reputation (unfairly!) is enough to stop people from moving over from smoking to vaping. Given that even Public Health England advocate the use of e cigarettes these days, suggesting them as a useful cessation device in recent Stoptober event information, it’s safe to say that vaping is most definitely better, healthier and cleaner than tobacco smoking. We’d hate to see poor reporting mask that fact.
Misinformation has actually got a lot to answer for and the vaping community for one were heartened to hear about the ban earlier this year. Certain publications seem to have something of a bee in their bonnet about vaping and the concerns about this include “how many people will take such sensationalist news at face value”? Not only could media misinformation affect everyday smokers who might otherwise change over to vaping, (benefiting their health); the concern is that it may also affect legislation makers and others who might have a very real influence over the vaping industry.
The answer is simple, usually! Make sure that when you read something that you check the source because “I read it on Facebook” does not mean that Facebook posted it, rather that someone added content to their timeline, content and information that could have come from anywhere. The same applies to when you surf the internet, read magazines, look at advertisements and more.
Well done Wikipedia editors, it’s great to see people not being afraid to say, “No more!” when it comes to spouting unreliable or untrue information.