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How to use wikipedia. How to monitor wikipedia articles that you care about for accuracy, bias, or possible deletion.

How to Monitor Wikipedia Articles

Author: Mike Tierney

Scenario one:

Lets say you’re a big Beatles fan or Wu-Tang Clan  fan. 

Or maybe you like NASCAR or the Iron Chef

Maybe you have a fairly  obscure hobby, like collecting carnival glass

A good way to get familiar with wikipedia and wikipedia authorship is to visit the respective wikipedia sites for some of your favorite topics. 

Peek ‘behind the scenes’ at the ‘talk tab’ for each topic. There you will see the collaborative authors for each topic ironing out the details, and sometimes disagreeing. We’ll revisit this talk page on the Mindfreedom ‘prepare to be a wikipedia author’ page.

By reading many wikipedia articles of interest to you, you will become familiar with the style of writing and commentary used by wikipedia authors.

You may find out that you know as much or more about certain topics as the current wikipedia authors. You may find out that a pretty obscure favorite hobby, band or personality that you know about has a page that is just ‘stubbed out’ or ‘lacks references’ or doesn’t exist at all. This may encourage you to become a wikipedia author.


If wikipedia is not sure what article you want when you type a keyword into its ‘search’ box, it will give you its ‘best guess’. 

I know the actor Peter Coyote was involved in an experimental theatre and community action group in 1960’s San Francisco called ‘the Diggers’. What happens if I search for ‘Diggers’ or ‘diggers’ in wikipedia ?  I get an article about an English group from the 1600s that believed in economic equality.  If I search on ‘Peter Coyote’, there is a page on him, and a reference to the San Francisco ‘Diggers’ in the first paragraph. Two paragraphs down in Peter’s article I find a hyperlink to the Diggers wikipedia article I want.  Sometimes it takes a bit of poking around.

Scenario two:

You’re a person who cares about mental health issues and who knows a bit about wikipedia. You go there one day and see that your favorite article about alternative mental health has been changed to provide inaccurate info or biased info. Maybe the article is ‘proposed for deletion’ because of poor or missing references.

What can you do about scenario two? Let others know who care about accuracy and inclusion on wikipedia about these issues, such as via MindFreedom members who have an interest in these topics.

For inaccurate, biased and ‘proposed for deletion’ issues that affect the MindFreedom article on wikipedia,  contact the mindfreedom office and Mike Tierney .

Return to ‘what is wikipedia’.