Nowadays it seems like almost everything about everything and everyone that you could
possibly think of is already on Wikipedia. This essay will consist of two sections. The first will be
my experience of attempting to contribute to a Wikipedia page. Second we will focus on my
analysis of my experience and the conclusions that I have made from it.
Experience of Contributing
The hardest part of the process of contributing reared its ugly head at the very start. I
couldnt find a page that I could add information to that wasnt already there. At first I thought
about picking a topic and then doing some in-depth research and finding something that
someone hadnt already written about. However I felt like this method was ingenuine and would
have consumed a lot of time. Instead, I ultimately decided to rather think of a topic or person
that I already knew well and try to find something that I could add to it. As a musician, music is a
huge part of my life and of course the first thing that came to my head was my favorite singer,
Noah Kahan. His page was absolutely perfect. This is because not only did I know a lot about
him due to watching a lot of interviews and following his social media, but also because I had
remembered seeing his wikipedia page severely lacking information in the past. After looking at
his page I realized that the overwhelming majority of the information was just a collection of very
basic dates and facts such as his discography, awards, achievements, and so on. I feel like
most people who enjoy listening to music can agree that a huge part of the experience is
understanding the inspiration, artistry, and the creative process that an artist goes through while
writing their music. Noah Kahan had also once mentioned that one of his
was to have a Wikipedia page, and I really wanted to try to help and make sure that his page
would be a bit more flushed out. Because of that I decided that my contribution would be to add
some details of his creative process and inspiration that went into his new album.
So now that I had finally chosen the Wikipedia page that I would contribute to, all I had to
do was add my information. The first thing I did was consult a few of my friends who I know had
edited and contributed to Wikipedia a few times. They explained to me how the process usually
goes and told me that generally its not as complicated as it may first seem. After talking to
them, I watched a Youtube tutorial just for good measure. Upon clicking the edit button on the
page, I was immediately thrown for a loop when the wikitext editing screen popped up. There
was code everywhere and I couldnt understand how to get to the area that I wanted to edit.
That was when one of my friends advised me to change the editor into View Mode. After that,
everything was smooth sailing. I wrote in the information that I wanted to add and then finalized
A few days later I returned to my wikipedia account to check on the contribution I had
made. I couldnt find the paragraph that I had added. I reread the page again and skimmed
through and sure enough it wasnt there. I saw that I had two new notifications on my wikipedia
account. The first was welcoming me to wikipedia and congratulating me that I had made my
first edit. The second was informing me of the basic rules of editing on Wikipedia and also
informing me that my contribution had been reverted. I was extremely confused by this and the
only reason that I was given as to why my addition had been taken down was Not a reliable
Throughout my entire life as a student I was always told that Wikipedia could not be
used as a source of information in any of my assignments. Our teachers and professors, even in
elementary school, would explain to us that Wikipedia was not credible because it was open for
anyone to add, edit, and delete information as they wanted. However I always believed that was
the biggest advantage that Wikipedia had over other more conventional methods of research
information-gathering. That if anyone and everyone in the world had the opportunity to
constantly be editing,adding, overlooking, and deleting, then Wikipedia would always be an
updated and accurate source of information. After doing some research, I was glad to have
found many researchers who also hold the same position. For example in their article,
Wikipedia: Friend, Not Foe Darren Crovitz and , What makes Wikipedia
seem so dangerous to some teachers – its inherent malleability – is also what makes the site a
dynamic and authentic demonstration of the research process itself. (6) However, through this
experience I have also come to the conclusion that perhaps Wikipedia is not quite as credible as
it may have seemed. This is because I believe it is possible that Wikipedia could be
overprotected to the point that even credible information with proper citation is being deleted or
As I mentioned earlier, my contribution to Wikipedia was some information about my
favorite singer Noah Kahan, and more specifically where he drew inspiration for his newest
album. However, these changes were taken down by another user the next day with the reason
being that my source was not credible. This was absolutely shocking to me. I used and cited two
sources for the information that I used in my contribution, and both of them were interviews of
Noah Kahan that were posted to Youtube. In these videos Noah Kahan talks about his early life
and his inspiration. I was very confused as to how my source could be considered not credible if
its coming straight from the singers mouth. It is possible to undo the changes that the user
who deleted my contribution made and state why, and thats exactly what I did. However I feel
that this back and forth will get stale very fast, and after the entire experience, I am sure that I
will be to try to keep arguing for the validity of my contribution, or even
to make contributions to other Wikipedia pages in the future. One of the most typical stances
taken against Wikipedias credibility is that it is full of disinformation due to the vulnerability of its
content. However I didnt have a problem with the credibility of the content. Instead I started to
wonder if it was possible that the content of Wikipedia could be full of holes, such as pages
missing small details or even key information thanks to the over-policing of other users or
editors on the site. I believe this could hinder the goal of what Wikipedia is trying to achieve not
only in its relationship to content and information, but also in terms of the amount of active
Just like Crovitz and Smoot, there are a lot of scholars who believe that the possibility
that anyone can contribute information to Wikipedia is its main strength, rather than its main
weakness. However, if new valuable information is constantly being over-policed, reverted, and
taken down by then Wikipedia as a means of public scholarship is losing exactly what it sought
to become in the first place.
ROUGH DRAFT (Citation and more Conclusion on the way)
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