The Cunctator wrote:
On 7/11/07, Thomas Dalton
the material is accurate and can be checked with a quick
The burden of proof is always on the person adding the information.
That doesn't make sense. If someone adds "the famous mass murderer
Charles Manson" to an article, deleting that addition because it
doesn't have a source is silly.
"Source" does not mean "somewhere
which can be used to verify the
information", it means "the place where the information came from".
Only the person that added the information actually knows the source,
so they should be the one citing sources. The whole idea of adding
sources to existing articles is completely backward. We need to work
on getting people to actually *use* reliable sources, not just cite
them. If people were actually using the sources then they could cite
them as they went along with almost no additional work.
In the real world of editing Wikipedia, source does not always mean
"the place where the information came from". It often means "somewhere
which can be used to verify the information".
For example, a lot of people get knowledge of things from television,
friends, parents, family, local newspapers, blogs, teachers, etc., all
of which are unacceptable or difficult to reference.
Maybe you only learn things from proper sources, but if so, you would
be the exception.
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I learn things that way, but I sure don't put it into articles! If I
hear something interesting from a friend, and think it might work for an
article, I go -look it up-. For one thing, I've more than once found out
the information from such a source was dead wrong (or at best
incomplete), and even when true, that gives you a source to cite besides
"my friend told me." Wikinews is damn strict on citing sources, from
what I've seen there (you make a sourceless edit that adds anything
substantial, it gets removed, period, no matter how plausible), and I
don't think that's a bad idea. The -only- edits that should happen
without sourcing are minor copyedits (spelling/grammar correction,
etc.), or edits for clarity or flow that move or rearrange but do not
add material. Any addition should be sourced.
And how hard -is- it to source that Charles Manson is a mass murderer?
Remember, the world is not American, and someone in another country may
not have the first clue who Charles Manson is, just as I don't know who
most of their country's national (anti)heroes are. Common knowledge, in
the context of the entire world, usually isn't.