The Daily Mail, founded in 1896, has been seemingly discredited by online information database Wikipedia as an ‘unreliable’ source of news in a move that calls into question the publciation’s position as a purveyor of factual information.
Both the paper and, more prominently, the Mail Online – which boasted 14.7m unique daily users in January 2016 according to the ABC (more than any other UK publication and almost double the Guardian’s output), have been called into question following a debate and survey encompassing Wikipedia’s volunteers.
In a supposed “post-truth” era where accusations of ‘fake news’ are thrown around by senior staff in the White House, the database is looking to strengthen the sources, its entries are anchored upon.
Discussion over the publication’s credentials varied from use it as a last resort to ‘Kill it. Kill it with fire’, however, in the end, a ban was announced.
The ultimate finding was: “Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference.
“The Daily Mail is actually reliable for some subjects. This appears to have been adequately addressed by the support voters: if there are topics where it might be a reliable source, then better sources (without its disadvantages) should also exist and can be used instead.”
As a result, volunteers are tasked with replacing or removing up to 12,000 Daily Mail citations on the English language site.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has previously expressed his distaste for the publication.
Very angry about the Daily Mail misrepresenting something that I said. But it's Tuesday, like any other day of the week, so normal for them
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) December 8, 2014
The Drum has contacted the Mail for comment.