Among my friends and acquaintances, everybody distrusts Wikipedia and
everybody uses it.
— Freeman Dyson, "How We Know"
*The New York Review of Books*, 10 March 2011.
(Discussing recent UK survey results.) We're trusted slightly more than
the BBC. Now, that's a little scary, and probably inappropriate. ... *We*
all know it's flawed. *We* all know we don't do as good a job as we wish we
could do ... People trusted *Encyclopedia Britannica* - I think it was,
like - 20 points ahead of us.
— Jimmy Wales, "State of the Wiki"
Wikimania speech, 10 August 2014.
The Wikimedia Foundation vision: Imagine a world in which every single
human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our
But "knowledge" of something implies confidence in its accuracy. While
Wikipedia is untrustworthy, it is purveying something other than knowledge.
This is a problem for the foundation, since it is failing to realise its
vision - and for humankind, who deserves an encyclopaedia it can trust.
It is also a critical, existential vulnerability for Wikipedia. Google is
factoring trustworthiness into its ranking algorithm. It has already
stopped using Wikipedia's medical articles in its "knowledge graph".
Rightly. Soon we'll see Wikipedia's medical content (rightly) demoted from
(often) the top search result to 5th or 10th - or oblivion (rightly) on
The recently released State of the Wikimedia Foundation 2015 Call to Action
 lists a set of objectives. One of the items under the heading "*Focus
on knowledge & community"* is "Improve our measures of community health and
content quality, and fund effective community and content initiatives.
The quality parameter that most needs measuring and improving is
reliability/trustworthiness - if we take the survival of Wikipedia as an
important goal. Will the Foundation be *funding any staff positions* whose
purpose is to measure the quality of the encyclopedia and nurture strategic
initiatives specifically aimed at making Wikipedia an encyclopedia people
Five years ago the Wikimedia Movement Strategic Plan  resolved to
measure and measurably improve the quality of our offering, and no
resources were allocated and it did not happen.
1. Hal Hodson 28 February 2015 "Google wants to rank websites based on
facts not links"
2. Hal Hodson 20 August 2014 "Google's fact-checking bots build vast
Anthony Cole <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole>