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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Why I Use Wikipedia

 

Since the days of my attendance at institutions of higher education, I’ve understood that use of Wikipedia as a resource has been stated to be ill-advised. Although the free online encyclopedia may serve as a helpful starting point for knowledge, information contained therein isn’t necessarily valid or reliable.

 

Furthermore, I’m aware of recent claims regarding intentional censorship on the website which stem from a 2021 video. According to one source:

 

Former CEO Katherine Maher said in a now-viral video that Wikipedia sought to fight disinformation about U.S. elections and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which critics allege constituted censorship.

 

In a 2021 video, Maher stated, “We took a very active approach to disinformation and misinformation […] in order to identify threats early on through conversations with government […] the number one challenge here that we see is, of course, the First Amendment in the United States.”

 

For context, Maher began discussion about free speech and Wikipedia by correctly asserting that there are challenges to free expression on a global scale. In addition, I acknowledge that the First Amendment protects the right to free speech from government infringement.

 

Noteworthy, Wikipedia isn’t a government platform. Nevertheless, by Maher’s own admission, Wikipedia ostensibly carried out censorship in unison with government actors, if interpretation of her words is to be believed.

 

Moreover, I maintain concerns with a platform which is perceivably operated – in whole or in part – by individuals who may view the First Amendment as a “challenge” to censorship. This is because I don’t believe Wikipedia or its staff serves as the arbiter or truth for the entire word.

 

Regarding COVID-19, the 2020 election, and many other matters, I’ve observed inaccurate information posted on Wikipedia. Anecdotally, such disinformation appears to support a leftwing narrative.

 

Likewise, I watched an interview with Jimmy Wales (cofounder of Wikipedia) who stated, “We’ve never bowed down to government pressure anywhere in the world and we never will.” One imagines that bowing down and having “conversations with government” is synonymous.

 

At any rate, I use Wikipedia within blogposts for convenience. Regarding this matter, the Disclaimer for my website outright states, in part:

 

References or links in this Website to the information, opinions, advice, programs, products, or services of any other individual, business, or entity does NOT constitute a formal endorsement. Hollings Therapy, LLC is merely sharing information for the reader’s own self-help, understanding, education, entertainment, or otherwise. Hollings Therapy, LLC is not responsible for the Website content, blogs, e-mails, videos, social media, programs, products and/or services of any other person, business, or entity that may be linked or referenced in this Website.

 

I’ll continue using Wikipedia with the understanding that an unknown amount of the information contained therein may constitute misinformation or disinformation – as the site allegedly already censors so-called malinformation (information that may be truthful though inconvenient).

 

Each reader of my blog is invited not to consider information from Wikipedia, if such a decision is in accordance with one’s right to self-determination and autonomy. In closing, I support free speech – what little there is left of this right within the United States.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

AtlanticCouncil. (2021, June 22). A conversation with former Wikimedia CEO, Katherine Maher [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/live/y-JRPJnVvOU?si=uS5V_GwCihbBHr_X

Brown, L. (2021, July 16). Wikipedia co-founder says site is now ‘propaganda’ for left-leaning ‘establishment.’ New York Post. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2021/07/16/wikipedia-co-founder-says-site-is-now-propaganda-for-left-leaning-establishment/

Fridman, L. (2023, June 18). Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia | Lex Fridman podcast #385 [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/diJp4zoQPqo?si=L5Q3BaiHBYgXckW4

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 8). Information overload. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/information-overload

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

Partz, H. (2024, April 18). Viral video raises claims Wikipedia censored data about US elections and COVID-19. Cointelegraph. Retrieved from https://cointelegraph.com/news/wikipedia-censor-data-us-elections-covid

Wikipedia. (n.d.). File:Wikipedia-logo-simple.svg [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wikipedia-logo-simple.svg

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Jimmy Wales. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Katherine Maher. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Maher

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