According to the New York Times, more than 100 court rulings in the past two years have relied on the Wikipedia, including 13 from the tier of courts just below the Supreme Court. Though most in the legal profession are not yet willing to rely on the site, some judges cite the encyclopedia in footnotes, “to show how hip and contemporary the judge is.”

Many scholars agree that it is safe to use the Wikipedia for facts that aren’t essential to the facts of a case. But for crucial facts, the dynamic nature of the site is too unstable to rely on. Since anyone can edit the Wikipedia at any time, it would be possible to influence cases by changing encyclopedia articles.


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