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Wikipedia has banned the Daily Mail for being an ‘unreliable’ source

By Will Stroude

Wikipedia has banned the Daily Mail from being used as a source in all but exceptional circumstances.

Editors for the online encyclopaedia voted to ban the newspaper after deeming it “generally unreliable”, The Guardian reports.

The decision to ban an entire publication is unusual for Wikipedia, but editors said the it was “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.

In a statement, Wikipedia sais: “Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.

“This means that the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community.

“This is consistent with how Wikipedia editors evaluate and use media outlets in general – with common sense and caution.”

The Daily Mail, which in the last six months alone has attacked London’s LGBT-friendly traffic lights, the National Trust’s plans for an LGBT history exhibition, PrEP, and Chris Mears and Jack Laugher’s Olympic gold medal-winning hug, has already hit back at the move, calling it an attempt to “stifle the free press.”

A spokesperson for  Mail Newspapers said: “It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia. For the record, the Daily Mail banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability.

“All those people who believe in freedom of expression should be profoundly concerned at this cynical politically motivated attempt to stifle the free press.”

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