Randomized controlled testing has shown that Wikipedia articles are often used by judges as arguments for court decisions; moreover, in such cases, court decisions in new cases often recapitulate Wikipedia articles and then form the basis for new decisions based on case law; no one checks the sources of the articles; virtually any fairy can be given the force of law.
A team of researchers led by Neil Thompson conducted a randomized controlled test to assess the possible impact of Wikipedia articles on judges' decisions, and judges in Ireland became involuntarily experienced, and no one warned them.
The law students wrote over 150 articles about the various decisions of the Supreme Court of Ireland. Half of the articles randomly selected were posted on the Wikipedia pages, and half were published on other resources by the control group. The researchers then analysed the frequency of quoting published cases on Wikipedia and others. It was found that the Wikipedia articles were cited by judges and used as arguments for court decisions 20% more frequently than those from the control group.
" said Thompson, the lead author of the study.
The use of Wikipedia is mostly by lower court judges and clerks, owing to the overwork of these officials; the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges were less likely to borrow information from Wikipedia, which, however, does not alleviate the problem of credibility of decisions taken on such a basis.
In addition, scholars conducted a linguistic analysis of the decisions in the Wikipedia cases, which turned out to be full of rephrased texts from "fake" articles.
Scientists point out that editing Wikipedia can be done by anyone, and this poses a serious threat if not bought, which could undermine the legal framework of developed countries.