What A Surprise: Wikipedia Held "Inherently Unreliable"

Legal Writing Prof Blog, via Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, reports on an unpublished October 23, 2008 decision by the Texas Court of Appeals for the 14th District wherein the court rejected a party’s attempt to rely on Wikipedia. The synopsis from the Legal Writing Prof Blog is as follows:

In State v. Flores, an unpublished decision by the Texas Court of Appeals for the 14th District dated October 23, 2008, the court refused the appellant’s request to take judicial notice of a Wikipedia entry describing the “John Reid interrogation technique.”  The court reasoned in footnote 3 that Wikipedia entries are inherently unreliable because they can be written and edited anonymously by anyone.  The court relied on a recent article from the Wall Street Journal entitled Wikipedians Leave Cyberspace, Meet in Egypt, noting that the egalitarian nature of Wikipedia is both “its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.”

You can get the case at 2008 WL 4683960 (Tex. App.-Hous. (14th Dist.)) and 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 8010. Credit to BNA Internet Law news for the original story.


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