A large number of users are switching to Wikipedia as a trusted source to share and find COVID-19 updates. Around 4,504 Wikipedia pages have been created to record different aspects of the pandemic like it’s spread to different countries, research to find its treatment and popular conspiracy theories, a private media outlet reported.
Although the information on Wikipedia is available in 130+ languages, however, the English-language articles on Wikipedia about the virus alone have registered over 240 million views.
The report also says that Wikipedia Foundation observed a record five-years high traffic, with over 673 million page views in a single day –the traffic was mostly — if not completely to COVID-19 articles.
On March 12, 2020, the day World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, the main English Wikipedia article on virus received over 1.4m page views; which means that it increased by 73 per cent from the day before WHO’s declaration.
It is not easy to control misinformation, that is why a dedicated page titled as ‘Misinformation related to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic’ is constantly charting and debunking falsehoods on the outbreak. Also, a large number of people are editing information by citing credible sources.
According to the editor, the key to maintain accuracy on the platform is to cite sources, a single line cited with the credible source will be published but a complete paragraph written by a doctor, without citation will not be published on the platform.