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March 24, 2010

Wikipedia back up after server meltdown

Posted: 03:07 PM ET

[UPDATE: It appeared that Wikipedia was back online as of about 4:30 p.m. ET.]

Wikipedia was offline Wednesday afternoon after an overheating problem at the online encyclopedia's European data center.

Wikipedia's technical blog said the site's servers shut themselves down to avoid damage from the heat.

Administrators tried to shift traffic to a cluster of servers in Florida, but "it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally," according to the blog.

"This problem was quickly resolved, but unfortunately it may take up to an hour before access is restored for everyone, due to caching effects," the blog said.

Trying to access and at about 2:45 p.m. ET produced a navigation error message.

One post to Wikipedia's technical blog, by a user named Jimmy, found some humor in the situation: "And so we remember Thursday, March 25, 2010 as the day every English speaking student failed their research papers."

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Ashley   March 24th, 2010 3:16 pm ET


DrunkDeathClaw   March 24th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

I wonder if this could have been a DOS attack by 4Chan.....

Ian Magnusson   March 24th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

I just spent 40 minutes trying to figure out why my firewall was blocking Wikipedia. Turns outthe problem isn't here.

Traci   March 24th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

Not so funny, Jimmy. I lost my geography book and took my quiz anyway today hoping between Google and Wikipedia I could fumble my way through it. One failed quiz later, I find out why Wikipedia wouldn't pull up. GRRRRR.

jt   March 24th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

hahaha amen to that jimmy, so true.

DAVE   March 24th, 2010 3:19 pm ET

To get some access, just Google your topic and the word wiki, then click the CACHED link.

Jey   March 24th, 2010 3:20 pm ET

While the Wikipedia outage, users can still access Wikipedia's articles at, ie:

jaime   March 24th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

Is this article from the future?

Dave   March 24th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

Haven't you people heard of the library?

You aren't learning anything if you're using a search engine to find answers. That's called hide-and-seek.

Josh   March 24th, 2010 3:22 pm ET

Any "English speaking student" ,or any other student for that matter, who uses Wikipedia for research is making a huge mistake. I understand that "Jimmy" was trying to be humerous, and he was sucessful I suppose, but the fact remains that Wikipedia is a HORRIBLE research tool.

Z   March 24th, 2010 3:22 pm ET

For an site with traffic volumes as high as Wikipedia, they really should be using larger and more reliable enterprise servers.

John   March 24th, 2010 3:23 pm ET


Maybe now some students will get some real sources and do some proper work.

At my Uni, one mention of W******** = instant fail.

And rightly so.

Chris   March 24th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

I work for a small company that has cooling solutions for power electronics, data center servers and gaming consoles. The US government does not want us to continue because of lobbying from the chip industry. Same old US of A$$.

JL   March 24th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

So will there be a Wikipedia article about this event on this day?

Mitch   March 24th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

OMG, The globes warming is killin the wikipedia!
Seriously though, i thought our IT guys were suddenly blocking wipipedia.
Good thing google news was still around so that I could see this article...

Randy Frushour   March 24th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

In a world filled and increasing with disinformation and misinformation I don't think as many people as Wikipedia and it's partners would have us think, take Wikipedia seriously for a source of real and representative current mining of useful information
'very factful anyway.

Crystal   March 24th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Um, why would you NEED Wikipedia Ashley? If you need to know anything, the information is out there in various sites by using the search engine you use most. Trust me, Wikipedia is not your only source for information, and it is not the most reliable source for information too. I am not trying to be mean. :-)

Doulos   March 24th, 2010 3:27 pm ET

Who in his or her right mind use Wikipedia?

Biotech98   March 24th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

English speaking students failed, but not Chinese students. They're already weaned from Google.

Jayantanth   March 24th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

I am from India kolkata I can't reach wikipedia

Huh   March 24th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

poor, poor Ashley

And anyone that actually uses Wikipedia as a resource for any paper, for that matter. This /facepalm is for you.

Valerie from Seattle   March 24th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

I always have trouble getting Wikipedia to pull up – it takes about 3 minutes for the website to appear and I'm on high speed internet and dont have trouble with any other webpage. I like Wikipedia but stopped using it because of how slow it was.

Flyin11   March 24th, 2010 3:29 pm ET


I'm sure people have heard of the library. Not sure what the state of the other states/counties economy or budget is but here in VA in Chesterfield they are talking about huge budget cuts which includes closing down half the libraries in the area. They say a lot of people go online to get their info now n days and having libraries open is just wasting money. So, not sure but a lot of other places are following this lead and then there will be no libraries to go to. I think people have heard of libraries but some might not be able to get to one so Wikipedia is the next source...

Dan   March 24th, 2010 3:30 pm ET

@ Traci (and every other college student out there – of which I am one!)

Ever try the old fashioned approach? It's called STUDYING!!!!!

Look into it.

I am also taking Geography and I can ace the map quizzes conistently just because I actually LOOK AT THE BOOKS!

Strange concept eh?

Relying on an online resource for your information is unreliable!

Your brain is the most powerful computer in the universe :-)

Brittanie   March 24th, 2010 3:30 pm ET

I'm sorry to hear this as I rely on it for my insect blog and some other things. I'm hoping they'll get it up and running again soon.

I was worried that it had something to do with my computer. Thank God it's not.

Hoping that it'll be back soon.

George Busch Beer   March 24th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Sounds like another Chinese cyber attack to me. Trying to dumb down the Americans. First it was Google, then Wikipedia, I bet they go after fox news next.

Publius   March 24th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Could be another cyberattack from China in retaliation for Google uncensoring their searches there. Please Note: I am a Chinese-American and oppose China's public information policies.

Kai   March 24th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Well on every Wikipedia page at the bottom there are a list of links where the information came from. Those links are where the good info is at, not the Wikipedia page itself. Those source webpages can be used as reference material.

Preschool   March 24th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Wow ! whoever messed witht eh thermostat is in big trouble. Lake Worth Church

frederick j blacknight   March 24th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Attention Engineers:

This is another good reason to give up using raised floors in computer rooms. They don't generate enough airflow to cool the servers. Better and more cost efficient to go with water cooling and overhead distribution!

amused123   March 24th, 2010 3:32 pm ET

Wikipedia should not be used for research papers. Authenticity and accuracy cannot be gauranteed. As such it cannot be cited in papers in footnotes. College and profesisonal level reviewers/proffessors can and should refused wikipedia as a legitimate source. Grade school teachers SHOULD refuse it as well. If you are using it and not citing it, it's plagiarism.

Jack   March 24th, 2010 3:32 pm ET

Could this have anything to do with the wikileaks thing going on right now?

Network   March 24th, 2010 3:33 pm ET

Come on kids, wikipedia is NOT a reliable source of info for school papers.

Wikipedia stumbles and the world falls… « The Spirit of 68   March 24th, 2010 3:33 pm ET

[...] Wikipedia stumbles and the world falls... OMG...Wikipedia went down! [...]

Jen   March 24th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

haha, Ashley I was just thinking the same thing! :(

travb   March 24th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

go to google, type the word you want to look for and Wikipedia, and hit enter, then click the cache button.


I am doing a paper on elephants

I type at elephants Wikipedia

I hit enter

I click the cache button next to the wikipedia entry on elephants.

i can now see the article on google cache.

Any links in the article will not work, you must go back to google and type those words with the word wikipedia.

Wandane   March 24th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

Maybe if 1% of Wikipedia's users would actually contribute financially to it, they could buy some new servers.

c-tan   March 24th, 2010 3:34 pm ET



Carson   March 24th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

whats sad is that, yes, im using this site for my project, and yes, its due today. uh oh lol

Mica   March 24th, 2010 3:35 pm ET

@ John – Well, in that case I hope your University fails anyone who uses *any* online resource. At least Wikipedia is somewhat maintained and generally has good, basic facts for just about any topic.

Students should always use a variety of sources, and certainly not rely on one single web source. But to throw Wikipedia out entirely is just short-sighted and reactionary.

TRVTH   March 24th, 2010 3:35 pm ET

THIS IS A LIE! I just went to wikipedia and it is working fine.

Timhypo   March 24th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

Someone needs to wiki 'Load Balancing'...

Ravikanth   March 24th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

i am regular visiter,, I love wikipedia. waiting to re-store...

beth   March 24th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

As I scientific researcher with a PhD, I use wikipedia frequently. I don't trust it as gospel, but it's often a good jumping point to site of highly reliable information and it has a nice summary. I just always check it - and I've corrected a few things I found to be wrong.

[CNN/AP] Wikipedia's Server's Down - -   March 24th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

[...] speaking student failed their research papers." Posted by: Doug Gross - producer Damn no WikiBinging for me today! __________________ Intel Overclocker and Networking/Telecomm [...]

Mookal   March 24th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

Wikipedia is a reliable source for information. It is heavily monitored at times and at the bottom of each page are the sources used for the page. Students can at least use wikipedia for the sources at the bottom to find information.

Jman   March 24th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

Reading through some of these comments, I have to say, there are truely some dumb people out there.

Zelda911111   March 24th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

Haha lol!

LocNar   March 24th, 2010 3:37 pm ET


Get with the program bud. Using the internet for information is here and now.

I used to use the library for information seeking in the 70's to the 90's when I graduated college, but even in college in the early 90's the search engines were more helpful and faster.

Remember MedLine? And I guess you never spent time using the Dewey decimal system for 20 minutes to only find a book that didn't give you the answers you needed.

Daela   March 24th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

You know, it's true that Wikipedia is not the most reliable by any means, but I have to admit, it's come in handy for getting quick answers. Besides, if you really want good information, the references to most of the articles can then be read to get better and more accurate info. Besides, not many of us live close to a library, or have the time (as we work 60+ hours) to get there anyways.

Ty   March 24th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

Freakin Terrorists

Tom   March 24th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

OMG, the sky is falling. The world almost came to an end. Lives were changed forever.

BRProactive   March 24th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

This is an excellent example of why a business needs and wants to have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place.

Apparently the air conditioning units in Europe were not on a UPS system for electrical backup. Or if it was an individual air conditioning unit, they did not have excess capacity. Or, the primary cooling tower could have had problems and neither UPS or excess capacity would have worked.

However, when the administrators tried to shift traffic to a cluster of servers in Florida, that failover didn't work. This is another example of why you need a dister recovery plan and why you need to test it.

lol   March 24th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

Shut up Dave. This is 2010. Half the people in the library are on computers look at Wikipedia.

Ducky Yahoo   March 24th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

They deserve it.
The WIKI is run by idiots.
I hope you catch on Fire and Burn out!

Crippled Dog   March 24th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

OMG! We are DOOMED! 8-O

d   March 24th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

OH NO ....

People will have to WORK on their papers and homework assignments

lalalal   March 24th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

@ Jman:

lol @ "truely" duuuuh

Re:Z   March 24th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

Good point Z!
B.t.w., how about donating some money to Wikipedia? They rely on donations...

Big-H   March 24th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

I was going to write a comment about this, but I couldn't access wikipedia to tell me how to. Oh well...

Bob   March 24th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

You might want to check if that "Jimmy" was Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia...

Gerard   March 24th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

To all the people saying that wikipedia is not a useful research tool, what the hell? Are you kidding me? Sure, if you're writing a paper, its generally frowned upon (and not allowed in most cases) to quote wikipedia, but wikipedia itself has citations on most articles.

What I use wikipedia for mostly is those random things I want to learn about while browsing online. For example, I just saw an article about Mostek corporation, and I wanted to know what they did. I looked it up, and bam! The first result was from wikipedia. After reading google's cache, I had my question answered. I'm pretty sure there isn't another website in the world that could have answered my question as quickly and concisely as wikipedia.

Ag Breeze   March 24th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

I like a Hot Dog.

Shaun   March 24th, 2010 3:44 pm ET

First off, while Wiki is a bad sourse itself for any research, it's not a bad place to start, as any smart person would just check the sources themselves at the bottom of almost every single Wiki article. If the source turns out to be credible, use it!. Next thing, Chris, why not read the article fully before making dumba$$ comments. The servers that failed are NOT in the US, they're in Europe.

youtube kid   March 24th, 2010 3:44 pm ET


Lenny Z   March 24th, 2010 3:44 pm ET

All of the people here that are complaining that WP is down are correct. With all of the money we spend on WP, you would think that they would have servers that could handle this type of an outage.

I am outraged!

Barbara   March 24th, 2010 3:45 pm ET

Wikipedia is full of errors & misinformation. It's better that it stays down. It should be a crime to advertise propaganda as factual 411.

Calvinman   March 24th, 2010 3:45 pm ET

a clear result of Obama care.....

lewl   March 24th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

barbara, living in the 19th century. SHADDUP.

Princeton Student   March 24th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

I love it when people try to act like they're above wikipedia. Just because something's printed doesn't mean that it's any more reliable than wikipedia. I remember Jimmy Carter's "Peace Not Apartheid" was shown to have something like 174 factual errors in it. Wikipedia has moderators just like books have editors. It also has citations for its information just like any academic tome.

Plus, its convenient. It has more information in one place than any library in the world, let alone any single other site. Tracking down a book in a library or a site on google just takes so much more time.

That beiing said, most of the academic establishment doesn't agree with me, so I would still advise people not to be so audacious as to actually cite their source as Wikipedia.

Lilly   March 24th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

@ Josh:

Like any other *encyclopedia*, Wikipedia is a good jumping off point. Ever since 7th grade, I was never allowed to cite the encyclopedia in a paper. It was an automatic failing grade. I used Wikipedia in college, but only for the general information and the works cited at the end of each page. (If it didn't have citations, I would use the page.)

Unfortunately, most teachers today are so bogged down with administration paperwork c**p, they don't have the time to teach their students effective researching skills, so the students just copy and paste Wikipedia.

I said it   March 24th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

"Sounds like another Chinese cyber attack to me. Trying to dumb down the Americans. First it was Google, then Wikipedia, I bet they go after fox news next."

Uhhh – if they're trying to dumb then down, then Fox is the one place they WOULDN'T try to shut down.

Brando   March 24th, 2010 3:47 pm ET

why is everyone so narcissistic? Yeah, wikipedia shouldn't be used for research papers but it can still be very helpful in everyday life when you want to know some general information very is USUALLY there and accurate.

"Ever try the old fashioned approach? It's called STUDYING!!!!!

Look into it.

I am also taking Geography and I can ace the map quizzes conistently just because I actually LOOK AT THE BOOKS!

Strange concept eh?"

I study too. I read the textbooks. I do pretty well (without bragging like this person). I also use wikipedia (though not directly for school research). It's helpful. Pull the sticks out of your asses people.

Barbara   March 24th, 2010 3:48 pm ET

1. Wikipedia is full of errors & misinformation. It's better that it stays down. It should be a crime to advertise propaganda as factual 411.

Stefanina   March 24th, 2010 3:48 pm ET

Well, that would explain the 404 error I got. Phooey, the one time in a week I try to use Wikipedia is when it crashes... LOL

tom   March 24th, 2010 3:49 pm ET

Sooo... What happens in 2011 when a major solar flare wipes out most electronics on Earth? One reason to keep your books, and someone needs to invent a shield for computers and discs.

Swimmer   March 24th, 2010 3:50 pm ET

Time to make a donation to Wikipedia! They sorely need money to keep this going. It's a terrific resource. Please help.

donald   March 24th, 2010 3:50 pm ET

Who cares? Only idiots, losers and those without brains use

Eric   March 24th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

Ashley says it's the one and only time she's truly "needed" Wikipedia. News flash: if you NEED wikipedia, you deserve to fail whatever quiz, test or paper you're cheating on (or fake grade you're buying from a diploma mill).

notoj   March 24th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

Looks like Wiki is behind the times as far as server infastructure. They need to embrace cloud computing.

dannyboy   March 24th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

don't think with your dipstick, jimmy

Bruce Tindall   March 24th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

That's funny - the paper-and-ink Encyclopedia Brittanica on my bookshelf is working just fine. I just phoned the library, and their books are working fine too.

AdwareBrenda   March 24th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

Wikipedia is a tool of darkness.

CEO   March 24th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

People who say Wikipedia is unreliable simply do not know how to use it. Wikipedia is basically just a search engine. All of the facts in its articles are linked to OTHER sources. It's a much more user-friendly way to find information than going through search results.

Watson   March 24th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

Is it showing up in Times New Roman for anyone else? The article formats are murked.

Fred   March 24th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

I bet George Bush had something to do with this.

Mr Frank   March 24th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

Use Google CACHE on wikipedia pages.

Shirley Morris   March 24th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

I liked that Wiki for simple research until it gave me 6 false answers on a research report I was working on. Why use wikipedia when it's full of error.

Worldbook its not!   March 24th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

If you rely on Wikipedia for you facts, you have a really good chance of getting those facts wrong. Information obtained from Wikipedia should ALWAYS be treated as suspect at best!

Mizz   March 24th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

This is news? now reporting website outages? Pathetic.

Wikifull   March 24th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

Geez, glad I taught myself two years of film school from Wikipedia before it went down.

Javenu   March 24th, 2010 3:59 pm ET

Servers are overheating – a sure sign of global warming!

UNITE EARTH ORDER   March 24th, 2010 4:00 pm ET

CNN is reporting this as News, because they like Wikipedia have been re-writing history for years by mixing Truth with error. It's all part of "The Plan" !

Fickle   March 24th, 2010 4:02 pm ET

Everything I know, I learned from Wikipedia. True story.

Aslo, if China was trying to dumb down America, they'd find a way to reroute library usage to Wikipedia.

Aaron Bowen   March 24th, 2010 4:03 pm ET

Buy a fan at the local Walmart, plug it in, and aim it at the servers. Problem solved. Until this genius fix of mine is discovered you can access Wikipedia by googling what you want together with the word Wikipedia and then choosing the cached option. Oh and tech nerds, yes my first sentence was a joke.

Carol Richards   March 24th, 2010 4:04 pm ET

Fickle, you learned to walk & talk with Wikipedia ? Hallelujah !

Mystyph   March 24th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

Ha! You will now have to go to the library to get information.

Rob   March 24th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

I love all these comments. All the people acting like the internet is a bad place for information... rofl @ sad losers who fear change. Why don't you all kill yourselves, the world will be a better place without you idiots. haha

Luis   March 24th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

I don't hire individuals born after 1980 due to this...I figure they're all cheaters or simply lack the skills to do their job without access to facebook, twitter, or the rest of time waster sites online...

Joanne   March 24th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

I loved Jimmy's take on it!!! Funny!! But, seriously, I can't believe anybody would use Wikipedia for information that they needed to accurate.

Jimmy   March 24th, 2010 4:09 pm ET

Actually for geography topics you would generally be better off with Wikipedia than you would with school books. School books are not very reliable for timed information as they are out of date when read.

Printed books in general has this problem, but it is aggravated with school books because of the slow purchase process, and because schools of budgetary reasons keep their books long after their best before date.

There is a Wikipedia article proving this, but unfortunately it isn't available at the time of writing.

San to the Tosh!   March 24th, 2010 4:09 pm ET

Where's Akhmed the dead terrorist!!! Friggin' Akhmed!!

Fickle   March 24th, 2010 4:09 pm ET

@ Carol Richards: Even better, Wikipedia taught me how to read.

Steve Lyons   March 24th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

I think we should blame Obama.

Can't blame Bush.

Mark   March 24th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

Ironically I work for a company, Panduit, that offers a thermal assessment/remediation service for data centers to measure & prevent these sorts of heat related problems.

matt   March 24th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

does anyone know what these encyclopedias with actual pages are? and how come i cant type in them? whats a book again?

fygi   March 24th, 2010 4:11 pm ET

Wikipedia is not a reliable source for college papers. I once caught a student plagiarizing a paper because the Wikipedia entry on a particular text discussed an entirely different and incorrect text.

Carol Richards   March 24th, 2010 4:11 pm ET

Rob Needs To Get Out His Wiki Print-Outs And Find Better Come Backs.
ROFL & Just Go & Kill Yourself. Haven't Heard That One Before.
I'm Capitalizing Every First Letter. I Bet Rob Is Smart Enough To Catch On !

botinko   March 24th, 2010 4:11 pm ET

Не можете больше без Википедии? :)

Alex Winter   March 24th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

Too many people trying to look up the health care reform bill to figure out what the hell it is Obama just forced on us.

Jason   March 24th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

Right now some poor kid has a research paper due tomorrow. You just know it!

June   March 24th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

I'm sure this is related to the lame Health Care Reform Bill.

CdB   March 24th, 2010 4:15 pm ET

Any fool can go on Wikipedia and write what they want as can any expert. Many times sources are not listed so you have no way of knowing if some idiot entered the information you are reading.
The thing is useless.

sawan   March 24th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

oh nooooooooooooooooooooo !!!
i have to submit my final paper by end of today ......
i really need it now , mann, damn,...!!1

KarenB, central Florida   March 24th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

Ok..I like Wikipedia .. and refer to the info on it, but why would you use it to count on for tests etc? Isn't a lot of the info "from" people like us, and we can go in and put info that may or may not be accurate? (also, didn't I see a request on the header of the site some time ago asking for donations to keep it going? ) just curious in central Flori-duh...

Mel   March 24th, 2010 4:17 pm ET

If you want misinformation just head on over to while wikipedia is down.

Charlez   March 24th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

I'm shaking and crying right now.

kishore   March 24th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

May be the Chinese are behind this!

Dan   March 24th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

@ Brando – Who died and made you king?

I sit next to students all day long that have no inittiative whatsoever, never study, never complete assignments, never pay attention in class, and are the first ones to complain when they

A) Get a bad test score or
B) Have to do something "hard" like have an independant opinion about something that doesn't involve texting/facebook/Wiki/Google etc

I'd rather have a stick up my ass (and I hardly think commenting about how much I STUDY is BRAGGING) than a stick through my brain, like you.

I was not saying we shouldn't use Wiki – I use it all the time.

I was simply saying don't ONLY use Wiki. Use the textbook now and then too!

I'd rather be narcissistic (do you even know what that word means?) than narrow minded like you. Open your eyes and look around – students today are WAY too "me" oriented. They need to wake up and get back to simple values including STUDYING not just COPY AND PASTE from Wiki at the last minute. Which, by the way, almost all Profs' can sniff out with no problem whatsoever. There aren't too many stupid Profs' out there... but there are a few idiots like you. :-)

pmj   March 24th, 2010 4:20 pm ET

god i love all the stupid blogs, all the blogs, they have stupid people just sitting at the computer all day long blogging their worthless opinions on random things that dont matter or influence their lives in anyway, but now with these stupid blogs the random issues find a link to consuming your life time. it's all mind control, the more time we sit blogging away our hours and days for nothing, the more we have wasted and enslaved ourselves to what we are so disfavorly opinionated about. yay self slavery !

Lili   March 24th, 2010 4:21 pm ET

I have an Ivy League PhD., and I've found that Wiki articles related to my field of expertise are usually perfectly good summaries of existing knowledge. Where problems have existed, I have corrected them and appreciate the ability to do so.

Moreover, Wiki is quite good for basic lists: events that happened on such and such a date; the general chronological outlines of an event or someone's life; foreign language expressions used in English; some scientific material, such as the Periodic Table. Students should not be discouraged from using such articles.

Serious academic research should be conducted in libraries, but Wiki has its good points and shouldn't be thoroughly condemned as a source. The main problem is that while I have years of experience with traditional research in books and journals and can tell the difference between a good Wiki article and a bad one, young high school and college students can't bring that level of discernment and judgment to Wiki - or, indeed, to any online site. I've seen far worse than Wiki online and often wonder how many teachers are willing to accept those problematic sites while dismissing Wiki articles as unreliable.

Denise   March 24th, 2010 4:21 pm ET

This is news since Wikipedia is a resource utilized by a significant percentage of the online community and many people were probably wondering what was wrong. Students not fact checking their sources beyond Wikipedia is disturbing however. It is even more disturbing that some of you say that couldn't find alternate sources of information on the internet... there are ample resources for information on geography, for example.

bravado in boston   March 24th, 2010 4:22 pm ET

people just don't get it that Wikipedia isn't to be used for research.

I had a co-worker sit, slacked jawed, at my side as she watched me post to Wikipedia, correct what I posted, then add data to that post. She thought the "wiki" was "gospel." Sheesh.

i love to see professional texts that have "ibid" quotes referring to Wikipedia.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. What a 20th Century joke Wikipedia is,a nd all user content.

people just don't get it.

YX   March 24th, 2010 4:22 pm ET

So many people not fully appreciate the power of Wikipedia.

Is it the ideal research tool? Not by a long shot.
It is the best lookup tool bar none.

A new movie coming out?
A book suggested by friend?
A new term boss blabbered out during meeting?
30 seconds allow you to have a fair idea of what it is about.

It is a must have for phone interviews and calls to girlfriend in case topic drift into some unfamiliar water.

Joanne   March 24th, 2010 4:23 pm ET

FYI – I'm not saying don't use the internet to do research. Heck, libraries are on line nowadays. I'm saying, don't assume that Wikipedia is accurate. It's not.

Gtx   March 24th, 2010 4:23 pm ET

its up by the way...thank god, i needed it for a 9 single spaced essay paper at 6pm.

Necrid   March 24th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

Haha wikipedia got you through two years of film school? I'm pretty sure staring at the wall could get you through film school...

R Posey   March 24th, 2010 4:25 pm ET

Wikipedia can be a good place to start on a research paper, but you need to actually use the references, and collect more of your own.

Any research paper needs multiple independent sources, and Wikipedia through the references is a reasonable place to start. I would suspect on disputed issues, Wikipedia is a better bet for a reasonable take than a book or magazine picked at random.

Mike in NJ   March 24th, 2010 4:29 pm ET

George Busch Beer said, "Sounds like another Chinese cyber attack to me. Trying to dumb down the Americans. First it was Google, then Wikipedia,

I bet they go after fox news next."

Is this a cause to which I can donate? I have my credit card ready. I'd like to get this going as soon as possible. ;)

Luca   March 24th, 2010 4:29 pm ET

In europe, at 20.30 GMT, it is still down...

kishore   March 24th, 2010 4:30 pm ET

there are no facts. only opinions and hearsay.

RB   March 24th, 2010 4:32 pm ET

Look, wikipedia is not a good resource for research papers, but it is a good "diving board." Although you cannot use wikipedia, the citations on wikipedia direct you to sources that you can use. Wikipedia is by far the single most useful website on the internet.

Michael   March 24th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

Some commentators here aver that Wikipedia is not a reliable nor even an appropriate research tool. Those critics should return to school or to research endeavor, themselves. Wikipedia is a SUPERB research engine. It has constantly updated information and input about its topics, its reliability in any matter can be checked by reference to other credible sources, and can be amended where necessary. It is immediate, not five years in the making. It is affordable, much moreso than the current reference books (required or suggested textbooks for university study – many of which have reached ABSURD cost levels). Criticisms of Wikipedia are ill-founded, not currently appropriate, and reflective of outdated information. Because of its ease of use, my students, including my many graduate students, using it as a starting point, or as a point-themselves-in-the-right-direction mode, have more residual energy to do better work. Oh yes, may I mention my occupation and background, to put these comments in perspective? I am long-serving, multiply-degreed faculty at a major American university, a graduate of various eminent universities including Harvard, CalState etc, and teach full-house classes in critical analysis, linguistics, and international and intercultural adjustment to American academia.

Josh   March 24th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

Everyone who says it was a cyber attack, you're dumb. The servers shut down to prevent damage from overheating. It's a safety precaution that's included in the vast majority of newer electronics devices.

Librarian   March 24th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

Libraries can help... Besides Wikipedia isn't the greatest source you know. Everyone can edit it which means anyone who thinks they know something but really doesn't have any idea can put whatever they want up there on any topic. So all you people who are looking for it, try calling your local library instead. I'm sure you'll get better service and your teachers will be impressed.

M   March 24th, 2010 4:37 pm ET

Plato's Republic is not a reliable source of Plato's opinions. We still use it as it is.

No single source of information has ever been a reliable source on any subject in the history of writing. That's why Wikipedia has at the bottom of each article handy thing called "sources". Try checking it out sometimes. It is by far the most reliable information bank, simply because it's faster and easier to check it then anything humans have come up until now (simply by providing you multiple sources of information on any subject freely and readily). It maybe contains more errors than average encyclopedia (also debatable), but unlike any other encyclopedia, those errors can be found and corrected within minutes.

So next time you say Wikipedia is unreliable source of information in order to appear techy and smart, ask yourself if you are maybe instead appearing as a computer illiterate phony.

Joe   March 24th, 2010 4:37 pm ET

I'm an old guy. I remember going to the library in high school to reseach topics for my papers. No Google search there! ... Just the card files. I learned more than I could have imagined by doing my own search and not letting a search engine do it for me. I looked through and read the content of many books that seemed related to my topic. Some I didn't put down, others were boring. It's quite a test to find information without "Googling or using Wiki".

kishore   March 24th, 2010 4:38 pm ET

Hey Librarian: anybody can write books too. they can put whatever they want in books too.

jb   March 24th, 2010 4:38 pm ET

I changed my first DNS to ( and now Wikipedia works! :)

kishore   March 24th, 2010 4:39 pm ET

M: I completely agree with you.

ron   March 24th, 2010 4:39 pm ET

To all the WP haters out there – Wiki is not the final authority on many issues but it is a GREAT place to start and USUALLY that is all that is needed. Otherwise, a careful scrutiny of WP references completes the job. I have used it before to excel and will continue to do so. If you want, join the band wagon but you are free to check elsewhere. I do when WP fails but can't remember when that was at the last time. Maybe you need some tips on how to get the best out of WP

Amunaka   March 24th, 2010 4:40 pm ET

Hmmm ..this is a little troubling considering how dependent we all are on the internet these days as an integral part of our daily lives.

YX   March 24th, 2010 4:40 pm ET

I'm sure more than 80% of the wikipedia usage is not research related.

Where else can you get some basic information regarding Angola, Lara Fabian and Star anise in 5 minutes?

oh_no   March 24th, 2010 4:41 pm ET

How the heck am I am going to research the topic of servers overheating if wikipedia is down. I am surprised their own IT staff could figure out how to possible reroute traffic or manipulate DNS records to bring up a different location without their own wiki information......OH THAT DIDN'T WORK. Nice redundancy Wiki.

Everyone hit the wiki and search for server redundancy and lets see how well they did...I can tell you not very good!!!!!

LOL...I don't know why other sys_admins and network_admins love when other people have all crap hit the fan. I remember now...cause it ain't me!!!!

awesome-o   March 24th, 2010 4:44 pm ET

dave, just because we don't use libraries (and you did) doesn't mean we aren't learning. we learn in different ways, and actually our brains are probably better at recalling information than yours.
so go be old somewhere else.

Bill   March 24th, 2010 4:44 pm ET

Wikipedia shouldn't ever be considered a credible source. My wife is a professor at DePaul University and she wont even let students cite Wikipedia as a source on assignments.

wiki user   March 24th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

That wikipedia is not free from errors, bias etc. is not a secret, that's why you have to use it responsibly. Just go the "About" page and read it, it's like a manual for this site and it's all written there.

Wikipedia is a tool, just like a jigsaw is. You can do many cool things with a jigsaw. But if don't read the manual and cut your fingers off, then you can only blame yourself.

Here is a small extract:

"Because Wikipedia is a massive live collaboration, it differs from a paper-based reference source in important ways. In particular, older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles more frequently contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation that has been recently added and not yet removed."

RB   March 24th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

To those who say the Library is the way to go: Look a horse can get you from one place to another, but we don't use them because technology has given us cars. Pay phones work just fine, but cell phones are an improvment. The point is just because libraries are good tools for research, doesn't mean we have to use them instead of the internet.

joey   March 24th, 2010 4:47 pm ET people obviously don't know much about Wikipedia. EVERY college professor will tell you that is an unreliable source. Anyone can login and change the information and it's everyday people that can post information...not experts on any field. Nothing wrong with it being there, but the bottom line is it is not an academic source and shouldn't be used as such...

Joseph   March 24th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

Wikipedia is not a citable source.

chgo   March 24th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

@ Princeton Student, there's a big difference between a speech a politician gives and having accurate information from a book that is considered to be factual by experts in the field.

Here's a bit of a case for the inaccuracy of Wikipedia, the page for Levar Burton listed him as being killed in a car accident last year, which wasn't true. A simple edit fixed the problem, but there were lots of people that disseminated the information based on the Wikipedia page for him.

The interwebz will be the downfall of civilization, any idiot can put any stupid thing they want up for the whole world to see, and plenty more idiots will believe them, or even worse yet, follow them. One day the intertubez will be filled up then where will we be when no one can access their precious interwebz.

The internet is also becoming one of the major factors in the breakdown of civility amongst the human race. Every idiot in the world runs around trolling everyone else because there isn't a fist there to provide the consequences for opening their mouths and spewing their vitriol at someone else. Eventually this becomes more and more pervasive with the youth of the world and is so accepted they start to ignore what "polite society" views as normal, acceptable behavior.

I say we need to go back to the 1980s and unplug the internet before it ruins the world.

YX   March 24th, 2010 4:47 pm ET


It is true that Wikipedia shouldn't ever be considered a credible source. That is not what it is for. It is a starting point. For those WP hater, try to construct a research paper about RMT without ever go to WP.

Aaron   March 24th, 2010 4:48 pm ET

Some posted: "the fact remains that Wikipedia is a HORRIBLE research tool."

Why? It's fast, an excellent starting point for all sorts of obscure things, the vast majority of factual information on it is accurate, and there's nothing to stop you from verifying whatever you get from it against other sources and citing those instead. What's your problem with it?

Big G   March 24th, 2010 4:50 pm ET

Hoo Rah for wikipedia U... :p

Elaine   March 24th, 2010 4:50 pm ET

As several people noted, Wikipedia is a good portal or gateway to good information, but you might not trust what is actually ON Wikipedia. You'd be better off using the links at the bottom of the page and go directly to the source. It is also NOT reliable for medical/health/drug information. Not that it does not sometimes have good information. It is just that too many people can mess around with potentially life-threatening facts, like removing the adverse effects information from a prescription drug page. So you can't always trust what you see.

Hey, libraries are the ones who PAY for many of the big databases!!! People don't always come into the library anymore, they access most things through the library home page and paid databases. Some students have complained that they don't need the library anymore because they are using xyz database for all their research. The only problem is, the library is PAYING for xyz database and providing training so that students can use it effectively. Check out your local public or college libraries everyone!!!

Roy   March 24th, 2010 4:50 pm ET

I have used it just fine today....just go to the google cache version of the page.

Joe   March 24th, 2010 4:51 pm ET

Hey Michael ... you have impressive credentials. Are you a bit of a narcissist?
I personally have only been involved in the development of the Internet and know that any piece of information is only as good as its source. And, one can site any source on a web page and never open a book or do real research.

Bubba   March 24th, 2010 4:52 pm ET

Wikipedia is full of errors, and you can't trust it for anything except info on comic books.I looked up pandas once and it said they were fat chicks in costumes. That was two years ago? Haven't used it for anything since.

Travis   March 24th, 2010 4:52 pm ET

Luckily, my uni doesn't allow us to cite wiki due to it's informational unreliability..

oh_no   March 24th, 2010 4:54 pm ET

Where are all the paranoid schizophrenic GOPers? I am surprised. That is not an adequate introduction to my next sentence. Let me start over!

I am upset, outraged, and hurt that none of you have brought up Communism, Socialism, Hitler, and/or ObamaCare for this outage.

Watch Beck, Palin, or Cheaney and post a meaningful comment about what truly happened. I think that because of the Health Care passage that all the employees left the company because...well let's face it folks...the sky is falling and 2012 is around the corner. Things are just not adding up man. Things don't make sense anymore man. I am confused and angry every day. Thank God for Nascar, Tea Party Protests, and Natural Light....oh and bowling!

YX   March 24th, 2010 4:55 pm ET


Not allowed to cite is not the same as not allowed to use.

You are not allowed to cite your brain, I guess you don't use that either?

B   March 24th, 2010 4:56 pm ET

When I used to do my research for essay, my professors always told us not to use this source because it was unreliable. People who use this source should really think about using the library.

Sheila   March 24th, 2010 4:57 pm ET

Hey, don't knock Wikipedia. It is a fun site, there is good information on it, and even weak articles sometimes provide good search terms to use to find more information on the net or at your library.

Marian   March 24th, 2010 4:57 pm ET

There are so many hypocrites commenting on this article. Everyone uses Wikipedia. First of all, most statements in Wikipedia articles are cited and can be verified. if they are not, you should have the common sense to not use them. Second of all, wikipedia articles are the most peer edited articles in the world, unlike those textbooks you find in your library that were just edited by a bunch of rednecks in texas. Third, get on with technology! i love libraries, I will do my research there, but armed with my laptop and using google and wikipedia to help me start right my paper.

Kevin   March 24th, 2010 4:57 pm ET

What did you need it for – how to spell "TRULY"? Ach, is english a foreign language to everyone who grew up speaking it?

Marian   March 24th, 2010 4:59 pm ET


coz the grammar nazis are abound...

Joe   March 24th, 2010 4:59 pm ET

Lilli ... Your comments on Wiki are brilliant. Thank You.

Jerad   March 24th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

I've never had a professor that allowed us to use Wikipedia as a source, and there is a reason for that. Wikipedia might be a good starting point for research but only if you go and check out the references yourself. Too many people insert opinions as fact on that site.

Caligirl   March 24th, 2010 5:04 pm ET

Amazing – my "old school" encyclopedia and dictionary still work even when a search engine is down. Suggest you have a combination of hardcopy and online resources. Only way to travel in the 21st century

dwighthuth   March 24th, 2010 5:06 pm ET

I don't think so chgo, the internet is the most vital tool that the world has to communicate with each over long distances at a relatively affordable price. If the internet shuts down what we will have is an isolated society like Amerca was during World War II. The anti-internet group might as well give it, the internet is here to stay forever as well the computer will be around forever. I would also go the length of saying that those against the internet should be careful in what they say or when the the next block in service goes nationwide or the enxt hack attempt is discovered you might be looked at as a potential attacker. The internet is progress chgo either deal with it or move to a third world country.

george   March 24th, 2010 5:07 pm ET

now people can go back to using online sources not tainted by nonexpert, nondiverse, unscholarly wikiinfantilia

IHateStuff   March 24th, 2010 5:12 pm ET

I wonder how Jimmy traveled to the future...

John   March 24th, 2010 5:12 pm ET

Yes it was down due to overheating in one of its data centre , check screenshot

fixing it   March 24th, 2010 5:13 pm ET


Heather   March 24th, 2010 5:18 pm ET

For those who disparage Wiki- It is possible for ANYONE to add info to Wikipedia – and those who have the correct knowledge have a responsibility to share with others! If you know the info in an article is wrong, then FIX IT! Don't just complain about how it is inaccurate!

Roman   March 24th, 2010 5:19 pm ET

For people who think that wiki users are a disgrace and that good ol' fashioned studying is key...what about the whole concept of getting your work done in the most efficient matter? In the real world nobody cares about how you got to the answer, as long as you did it legally, accurately, and efficiently, using the least amount of resources in the process. When I was in college, I used wiki all the time for history classes – there just isn't a better resource out there. In fact, I never even showed up for class; just took the exam, got the B in the class, and spent MAYBE a total of 10 hours the entire semester focusing on the class. Used all my extra time for classes that mattered for to me, work, my fraternity, or sometimes some much needed 'me' time. When it comes down to it though, wiki can only be used to a certain extent. God knows it wouldn't help much in my capstone finance courses.

OldenGuy   March 24th, 2010 5:21 pm ET

Here's some advice to students at a loss: You can cheat by hiding information in your head.

Eugene   March 24th, 2010 5:22 pm ET

"You aren't learning anything if you're using a search engine to find answers. That's called hide-and-seek."

Dumbest statement of the day.

Roger   March 24th, 2010 5:23 pm ET

Absolutely Marian. Text books become outdated before they're even printed. Wikipedia isn't the end all be all resource, but it is indespendbile when cited responsibly. Keep in mind the internet was originated by the miitary and science communities to share information and the world has taken it from there.

Many articles are cited as any entry in a traditional encyclopedia or other reference material found in your library. Simply failing a student for citing wikipedia is less reponsible on the faculty's part than on the student's part unless that's the ONLY resource cited and they stopped their research there. Any teacher that does so should be forcefully retired or sent for updated training in today's technology resouces. The teachers need to cultivate search practices that involve the internet and wikipedia.

As Marian says, get yourself to the library, but utilize the computers that are there to assist you in your search through the plethora of information in paper form. Starting with the computerized card catalogs (yes, the cards in the drawers are no more).

Eugene   March 24th, 2010 5:23 pm ET

"Wikipedia should not be used for research papers. Authenticity and accuracy cannot be gauranteed. As such it cannot be cited in papers in footnotes. College and profesisonal level reviewers/proffessors can and should refused wikipedia as a legitimate source. Grade school teachers SHOULD refuse it as well. If you are using it and not citing it, it's plagiarism."

That's why you cite the sources cited in the Wiki pages.

Joe   March 24th, 2010 5:25 pm ET

George is a funny guy! :-) Dwighthuth is missing he point! ... Grow up!

david b   March 24th, 2010 5:25 pm ET

you can tell all the over 30 somethings with their deep distrust of internet information. Sorry people we're beyond that now. Wikipedia is a fine source of inforamtion, its a great place to get seeds of information to loo up elsewhere. Everything is sourced, or if its not its made very obvious to the reader. Wake up in the 21st century sometime people, its been here a few minutes.

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 5:28 pm ET

wikipedia is the devil, omg If your not smart enough to know the difference between a good source and a bad one, go back to eng 101. Wikipedia specifically states, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" ANYONE, I mean ANYONE, I personally would like to see an encyclopedia from experts but they probably would not be free, which leads to an advertised version of wikipedia I am going for

Man 1   March 24th, 2010 5:31 pm ET

@ Calvinman

"a clear result of Obama care..." haha. love it. comment of the day.

Mr Voice   March 24th, 2010 5:32 pm ET

"And so we remember Thursday, March 25, 2010 as the day every English speaking student failed their research papers."

Funny thing is no School in America will accept Wikipedia a reference source.

Mark   March 24th, 2010 5:32 pm ET

Seems to be working fine for me, you know what a news story like this does though right? It causes millions of people to instinctively visit Wikipedia to see whats happening or if it is back up which aggrivates the problem more by increasing the server load. I know because that was my first thought.

chgo   March 24th, 2010 5:33 pm ET

lol @ dwighthuth

u been trolled son...

The Professor   March 24th, 2010 5:34 pm ET

Wiki isn't reliable. I always find errors in the information and they often have [citation needed] signs on information. Why post if you don't have the facts. I'm not trusting a bibliography any more so than one turned in by a student who just cuts and pastes a bibliography entry to say that they have done research. Go to sources directly. If efficiency and speed were paramount, businesses would use it to rely on transactions, courts would use it to get data....the fact is that the actual first hand source and the reputation of a source (like encyclopedias or specific magazines like Newsweek for news and Parenting Magazine for parenting Issues...are the best places to trust, and go to, for information. Wikipedia is run by 1,000 volunteers who hand pick themselves and the others to monitor knowledge. They do not have a grasp on every subject material and let lots of false material into the system. I routinely post fake info in during my classes (I teach at the college level) to show how it can get on and not be cleaned up.

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 5:34 pm ET

For the library comments, I have an e-book, what now, what a disgrace I read my information from electronic device, I should be burned.

JH   March 24th, 2010 5:34 pm ET

Looks like the GOP was right - Health Care's first DEATH PANEL victim.

tom   March 24th, 2010 5:38 pm ET

I thought the healthcare bill was going to prevent this from happening to me!!!!

bj   March 24th, 2010 5:39 pm ET

I do not allow my freshmen students to use wikipedia for their research papers.

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 5:39 pm ET

The professor I had would not even allow a magazine as a source, it had to be a trade journal. Yea it sucked, research just become twice as a hard.

Ez   March 24th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

Wow, no single point of failure. Maybe they have not read the networking 101 books. The failover mechanism was broken? Really??

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

"Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia compiled by a distributed network of volunteers, has often come under attack by academics as being shoddy and full of inaccuracies. Even Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, says he wants to get the message out to college students that they shouldn’t use it for class projects or serious research."

quoted directly from

LOL   March 24th, 2010 5:49 pm ET

I like the comment about this being a DOS attack from 4CHAN. Yes, they now have DOS attacks that cause overheating. L2Read, etc.

mike   March 24th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery testing would have caught the failover issue and mitigated the risk....

Astruvis   March 24th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

Before you criticize wiki, think of our school system. My high school physical science text has so many errors I don't even read it anymore. I use various online sources(including wiki) and I have one of the highest scores in my class. With a class average of something like 65% grade for the class... I think Wikipedia is a great source in comparison to our high and elementary school system text.

True, if your in college the school usually knows what 2+2 is(since it isn't run by the idiots and unions), so I wouldn't use it then, and I wouldn't use it as a reference for a paper. However for general content coverage nothing beats it.

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 5:52 pm ET

LOL, yea i found that funny too, I know you meant DNS not DOS. I will go for HVAC turned off on accident or equipment failure.

LOL   March 24th, 2010 5:54 pm ET

Really? People have to tell students not to use a user-edited web site for research paper content? Do degrees now come with a, "I'm with stupid," shirt with an upwards pointing arrow?

LOL   March 24th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

No, I meant DOS as in Denial of Service. I was commenting on another person's post, not my own. Either way, DOS or DNS have nothing to do with overheating... unless the DNS server overheats, which is unlikely as most companies use geographically disperse DNS servers.

Jack in Ohio   March 24th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

I'm so glad that the user referenced named Jimmy is able to use Wiipedia for his term papers. None of my teachers will allow me to use it for sources or even basic information.

David   March 24th, 2010 5:58 pm ET

Wikipedia? I thought it was now called Opinionapedia.

Mark   March 24th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

As with any research, there is no one good reference. Wiki is a perfectly good research tool, just check the facts. Its a good place to start and finish with, just dont use it exclusive. To the doubters out there, keep using those books that are 2yrs old for info, like they are accurate..

John Sonpull   March 24th, 2010 6:00 pm ET

...sounds like wikipedia doesn't do enough DR testing.


All Research Halted! « Change Here…   March 24th, 2010 6:00 pm ET

[...] 24/03/2010 When I got home tonight, I mentioned to Astrid that Wikipedia seemed to be down this afternoon, and she pointed me to this article:  [...]

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

My bad, I still have DOS on my brain, I always use DoS but DOS is pretty much dead unless you work at my place, lol. Overall, we are in agreement.

Jason   March 24th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

"And so we remember Thursday, March 25, 2010 as the day every English speaking student failed their research papers."

Interesting. Today is Wednesday, March 24, 2010. This is a future event. :)

browncd81   March 24th, 2010 6:03 pm ET

Maybe now we will appreciate Wikipedia more and donate to keep it running

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 6:03 pm ET

Jack how would anyone know if you used it for basic information. You look up something, find a cited source at the end, you find the cited source and use that information.

LOL   March 24th, 2010 6:07 pm ET

@ Jason et al posting about today's date: Presumably the person using Wiki to write their research paper that is DUE TOMORROW would not fail today, but tomorrow. Get it? I didn't think so...

Midwest   March 24th, 2010 6:08 pm ET books never went down. All I needed to get those up and running was to be near a light source and to turn the pages.

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 6:10 pm ET

Server Farm goes down a couple hours, and wiki IT team gets the axe, lol. It does not even have an income, they lose nothing, if they were ad based they would lose revenue. Its a non profit company I think we will survive.

Wikipedia desapareció un par de horas tras caída de servidores | Pluma Papel   March 24th, 2010 6:11 pm ET

[...] Wikipedia down after server meltdown (CNN – gracias [...]

oompaloopma   March 24th, 2010 6:13 pm ET

Midwest you have books you old geezer, you need get your candle out for you light source. They rest of us are really scrwed, we cannot accomplish a thing without wiki apparently.

Wikipedia desapareció un par de horas tras caída de servidores | Digital Elements Web Design y Tecnologia   March 24th, 2010 6:19 pm ET

[...] Wikipedia down after server meltdown (CNN – gracias [...]

Frog   March 24th, 2010 6:19 pm ET


PranaSystems » Wikipedia back up after server meltdown   March 24th, 2010 6:20 pm ET

[...] Read More [...]

CNN « Sister Toldjah   March 24th, 2010 6:29 pm ET

[...] Wikipedia back up after server meltdown [...]

=]]   March 24th, 2010 6:33 pm ET

Can't they just maqke it do that no one can change what they put!! It's a good site they just need to make it was bound to happen anyways...=P

Carrie   March 24th, 2010 6:37 pm ET

For all of you Wikipedia haters out's a great way to get a feel for a topic, and give you ideas of where to go with your papers/studying. Everything you actually used should be backed up by other sources, but I've used it numerous times in the beginning phase of my research. Love it!

Kevin Cassidy   March 24th, 2010 6:38 pm ET

no wunder i feal so stoopid tooday

tekbit   March 24th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

Out of Sight, Out Of Mind, Look THAT up in your Funk&Wagnalls:-)

LindaMarie   March 24th, 2010 6:46 pm ET

What brand of servers are they running on?

Andrew   March 24th, 2010 7:07 pm ET

I was late to finish an assignment, desperately needed to reread a proof having to do with gamma matrices when I noticed the wiki was down. I find it amazing how important a resource it is in my life.

LampshadeCollar   March 24th, 2010 7:19 pm ET

Joe   March 24th, 2010 7:21 pm ET

Last one ... I'm done with the debate ... Wiki is a source of dubious information that can be properly researched to find correct information. Any one care to question that statement?

library   March 24th, 2010 7:33 pm ET

hey dinosaurs, the library isn't the best tool in the shed... its a good resource, and i wish more would remain open... but perhaps you can go to Borders or Barnes and Noble to find something up to date... reading isn't stealing, so read it there as if it was a library...

Bob   March 24th, 2010 7:37 pm ET

They already got to FOX ... they are still online but their i"information" is truly suspect ... but it's "fair and balanced" (they say) ... haha

Suzanne   March 24th, 2010 7:38 pm ET

Yes Joe and Josh I think, properly used, Wikipedia is wonderful

Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for research. If I am trying to find the capital of an obscure Nigerian province it is very helpful. It is also helpful for information on social figures that who never in a million years have made a traditional encyclopedia.

It's biggest failures are not on facts but on topics that are controversial. Some are so controversial that they lock them (Israel/Palestine) but I found articles on the Falkland Island War and cochlear implants to be too subject to controversy. A modern teacher needs to teach how to distinguish info from opinions and when it is necessary to be careful. Wikipedia is going to work for the capital of Uzbekistan. Also – even also issues where it falls down – the links are often wonderful

Tasha   March 24th, 2010 7:44 pm ET

We are not allowed to use Wikipedia during research for our papers....

D   March 24th, 2010 7:47 pm ET

OMG people are using Wikkiepedia for research papers and legit purposes– I take 95% of it as internet rumor and speculation-

Chris   March 24th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

If your school allows you to cite Wikipedia as a source in a paper, then you are not attending a very good school.

yoyoeggbo   March 24th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

hey guys: WHY exactly should we go back to the stone age? half of these comments are about how "when i was a kid, i knew the dewey decimal system by heart" or whatever, SO WHAT if the internet can relay the same information much faster?

i'm currently an undergraduate student and wikipedia has helped me immensely on basically every paper i've written. i'm not saying i copy information off of it, or take it at face value, but everything (worthwhile) on wikipedia is sourced to something else that is physically obtainable through a library. why should i not exploit the fact that, essentially, everything i've written about during my undergrad has already been written about by someone else? again, i am not endorsing plagiarism, and i have never plagiarized, but if i can use the internet for preliminary research and a point in the right direction, why shouldn't i?

should scholarly journals and the portals that provide them not exist too? we're trying to advance as a species here, i'm not trying to educate myself the way my grandfather was educated if it can be done in a much more efficient manner

t   March 24th, 2010 8:10 pm ET

Did Ubuntu go down????????????????/ Don't say it too loud.

Eshvan   March 24th, 2010 8:10 pm ET

Don't rely on the internet. Your libraies are the true source of knowlegde. Not as easy, buy always there. Someday paper won't be there to save you. What are your fall back options? The internet? Better keep a pecil and paper close by.

unidoc   March 24th, 2010 8:13 pm ET

They should put server farms in cold places, like in the arctic regions.

GreenDollar   March 24th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

I've been telling everyone that Global Warming is a real problem. If we are ever going to build artificial intelligence and worthy information architecture, we're gonna need to simplify the model and reduce the debt. Our leaders are losing power....or so I heard.

InterestedParty   March 24th, 2010 8:32 pm ET

Or try

joe   March 24th, 2010 8:36 pm ET

"should scholarly journals and the portals that provide them not exist too? we're trying to advance as a species here, i'm not trying to educate myself the way my grandfather was educated if it can be done in a much more efficient manner"

we can do better I think than deriving our facts from democratic "consensus". One guy a few odd centuries ago believed the earth circled the Sun; one guy that the earth was round, one that the Sun wasnt the center of the Universe. Had Wiki existed then you can imagine their publications would have been removed. Weve spent centuries evolving the Scientific Method to create a way to replicate and prove scientific theorems/hypotheses. Away from what the masses believe and towards verifiable data.

I used sites like JStor throughout my graduate period. It was routinely used to grab differing opinions about various topics from across a range of printed media and times. The scholarly approach should be to check for primary and secondary sources, and differing opinions to educate oneself in the arguments for and against. Not what one group has created with one slant or with one sided viewpoint.

Wiki is great for me as a step up from IMDB. But if I were critiquing a paper citing Wiki as a source, Id refer you to the gentleman who as an experiment used WIki to post false obit info on an artist and was amazed to find how many print publications used it as verified data.

Dan   March 24th, 2010 8:50 pm ET

@Dave, ya were in the 21st century...

William Marlowe   March 24th, 2010 8:52 pm ET

I reported this on IReport on CNN over 3.5 hours prior to this posting as can be seen from the link below.

Joe   March 24th, 2010 9:01 pm ET

Say what you want above Wiki but it is still more accurate than Texas school books.

GD   March 24th, 2010 9:07 pm ET

I remember when the encyclopedia was a collection of books. You actually had to open them and turn the pages with your hands. Can you imagine? LOL.

the bro you know   March 24th, 2010 9:10 pm ET

Whatever... Real bros don't use Wikipedia since bros are by definition the smartest people on the planet.

David   March 24th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

As a longtime Wikipedia editor, I find it highly entertaining to watch people spew prose decrying its use, using language that makes it obvious that they do not know the first thing about the project. Wikipedia is not a primary research tool; no encyclopedia is, for that matter. And of course the encyclopedia is not fully referenced at this point, but anybody who has used it knows that most statements include a reference to a verifiable 3rd-party source, as well as external links to various relevant websites.

tl;dr learn about Wikipedia before hating on it.

Robert   March 24th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

wikipedia is one of the success stories of the web and is a great thing for humanity as well IMHO

frenzoo1   March 24th, 2010 9:31 pm ET

Wiki is a strong and informative research tool which is normally well maintained. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

GPS   March 24th, 2010 9:54 pm ET

I'll bet all these "critical" thinkers??? who rant about dubious Wikipedia info have never questioned the Bible or Koran???

Jerimiah   March 24th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

I swear if I had needed to use it I probably would have been totally mad!

Will S   March 24th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

Wiki is fine as an informal source. It certainly isn't something you cite (no encyclopedia is; if it's in the encyclopedia in the first place you probably don't need to cite it anyway as it is "common knowledge", but Wiki does a great job pointing you to the proper sources, or informing you enough to ask the proper questions. I think it is losing value because of it's overly strict notability requirements. If someone thinks the milkman is worth writing up, why not put in on Wiki? The more it looks like a reputable encyclopedia (e.g., EB), the less value it has.

Katie   March 24th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

OH MY GOD!!! I really thought my life was over when wikipedia was down! I dunt know anything withaut logging onto wikipedia to find it out. Thank god it's back online. I dont kno how i would of been able to go on without it!!

Bob Onnit   March 24th, 2010 10:06 pm ET

You would have to be totally stupid to be looking for facts on Wikipedia. To all of those who failed, your failure began before Wikipedia went down.

AGuest9   March 24th, 2010 10:09 pm ET

This is so sad... This is what academia has been reduced to? No wonder professors have to lecture against it's use at the beginning of every semester. I though students knew better than that. (Sigh...)

Mike   March 24th, 2010 10:15 pm ET

Probably the chinese.

hchk   March 24th, 2010 10:16 pm ET

I admit, this had me laughing. Jimmy has that one right, but he forgot to include a few teachers as well. Still, you guys shouldn't knock Wikipedia as a source. It's great - so long as people don't use it as a primary source, which is pretty much what folks screw up on. It's a springboard. Use the references at the bottom.

Also, Z, I'm not so sure about your comment. I mean, in the years it's been around, how many times has Wikipedia gone down, especially in this scale? Once? A handful of times? It sounds like they've got pretty reliable hardware for the scale of their enterprise. There is no such thing as 100% uptime.

Glenn   March 24th, 2010 10:20 pm ET

Too bad – maybe students will have to locate an academically credible source

Andrea   March 24th, 2010 10:36 pm ET

I use wikipedia when my text book is not handy to find simple things. I would never use it for an actual reference for a paper. I treat it like a classmate. It may have some useful information about a topic but wont cut it when it comes to being an actual reference. I cant believe how many students actually cite wikipedia as a source for a paper.

Marie   March 24th, 2010 10:36 pm ET

To anyone who "failed a test" or couldn't write a paper... I can only say one thing. Stop sleeping through class, pay attention, don't skim your reading materials, DO you homework completely – don't half ass it, and you will know your sh** rather than relying on everyone else in the world to carry you along in life. GROW UP!

jj   March 24th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

I had to explain to my 9 year old what an actual, physical Encyclopedia set was. She knows wikipedia, no problem. She couldn't believe it.....yes, there actually was research before the internet.

Melissa   March 24th, 2010 10:53 pm ET

Professors at my university will issue an automatic "F" if we site or quote from Wikipedia.

John   March 24th, 2010 11:01 pm ET

What kind of school allows you to use *any* resource materials for a quiz? I thought the point of a quiz was to find out how much you *know*, not how much you can "Google" :/

Moe   March 24th, 2010 11:50 pm ET

It's time to talk to your VMware rep about Site Recovery Manager (SRM).

Wikipedia sufre caída de Servidores | Conexion Geek   March 24th, 2010 11:52 pm ET

[...] | CNN Te gusto este articulo, Compartelo! Tagged with: enciclopedia • Internet [...]

Abderrahim Arif   March 24th, 2010 11:52 pm ET

Where is Ted Turner?

Andy   March 25th, 2010 3:45 am ET

I love that site!

Matt   March 25th, 2010 8:48 am ET

I blame the health care legislation that was recently passed...

Levi   March 25th, 2010 8:57 am ET

umm... not trying to be "that guy" but its not like wiki is the only resource for information on this newfangled thing known as the internet... If you "REALLY needed wiki" and couldnt find any info on the subject anywhere else in the interwebs you really dont deserve to use wiki in the first place.

staring at the sun   March 25th, 2010 9:11 am ET

@kishore – I come close to agreeing, but I would say that while there are facts, it is nearly impossible to distinguish them from opinions and hearsay.

It's odd that quoting someone quoting someone else and naming names is research, but telling what you saw has less validity.

Even stranger, what is published is more important than what is written in a letter.

An old rumor is nearly an established fact, but an old persons opinion is "outdated".

More and more I doubt what passes for knowledge, and more and more I doubt that my doubting matters.

Although everyone has a right to an opinion, not all opinions are equally valid – in my opinion.

"I think, therefore I am – I think" – moody blues

Steve   March 25th, 2010 9:44 am ET

I sense nerdrage.

Steve   March 25th, 2010 9:46 am ET

BTW, and I am saying this as a scientist, Wikipedia is a great research tool IF YOU PICK OUT THE LEGIT REFERENCES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLES. The Wikipedia articles themselves are usually garbage, but many of them have great links at the bottom that can cut your research time (assuming you already knew how to do a primary literature search).

Joseph   March 25th, 2010 10:14 am ET

Dang ... with Wikipedia down, peopoe might have to look up facts from an accurate Encyclopedia source not written by high school dropouts

Stuart   March 25th, 2010 10:32 am ET

Although I am hardly surprised by the many self-deluded "experts", who feel they know more than is in Wikipedia, they fail to explain why they don't use their "expertise" to improve Wikipedia, which can be edited and improved by anyone.

In any event, I am sure that many of these so-called "experts" would do well to take a hard look at the many entries in Wikipedia on mathematics. It is an excellent resource for those interested in mathematics, especially if you are self-taught.

Chad   March 25th, 2010 10:35 am ET

Got to love them servers! Go mainframe!!!!!

Mike   March 25th, 2010 10:39 am ET

Learn to do real research. Wikipedia is only good for high level knowledge and providing a some references. We are headed for the dark ages if people are using Google and Wikipedia as their primary research tools. GAHHHH!

Mike   March 25th, 2010 10:40 am ET

Maybe it's good that the site crashed. This might motivate people to actually use this place called the library.

Dramatic internet news of the day | SeriouslyGuys   March 25th, 2010 11:03 am ET


Anon   March 25th, 2010 11:24 am ET

In response to DeathClaw.. Who knows. I didn't see anything on 4chan last night saying that there was going to be an attack. And I dont think we would have a reason to attack

Roger   March 25th, 2010 11:33 am ET

I stand by my point that teachers need to update their research skills if they tell students to simply stay off wiki. It's a tool. Maybe it's subject to false data, but like any reference paper, you should never just use one source.

I was always taught to use at *least* three references. Anyone know why? Because no one source can be trusted, so by using other sources, you're information is more likely to be correct. Just because one of your sources is wiki, it doesn't make your research invalid.

What needs to be expressed to students is that they need to check the sources. Cross check the facts they find on wikipedia. Use it to get them going if they choose to, but don't ONLY cite wiki as a source of trusted infomation.

Michael   March 25th, 2010 12:27 pm ET

For all those bashing Wikipedia as a research tool:
I find it highly useful for two things.

1) A quick overview. Nice for quick trivia.

2) A bibliography! Yes, this is the biggest asset Wikipedia has (to me). It gives me a starting point, and I can use the bibliography to do the research needed. I would have loved this when I was getting my college degrees. I still found other sources, this just would have been faster.

Jerk   March 25th, 2010 12:44 pm ET

Who cares? Wikipedia is for gays.

cknox8   March 25th, 2010 12:53 pm ET

ITis CRAZY that I've been trying to find this blog all day long!!!!

aceresearcher   March 25th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

wikipedia has interesting, up-to-date data, and terrific art-photos relative to practically any topic. it is easy to use and makes use of data not generally known as well as pictorially depicting pertinent aspects of the subject in question. if only one resource could be utilized, wikipedia is the champ–hands down. students who delve into research should begin with wikipedia and, if unable to "go deeper into their topic", they will be well-served by their initial endeavors with wikipedia. congratulations are in order to the wikipedia staff for creating such a monumental and worthwhile research tool.

Susan   March 25th, 2010 1:24 pm ET

If you're using this as your ownly source for information you get what you get. And for the guy who "lost" his book and was trying to take his quiz using Google and Wikipedia – how about trying to study – that would have made taking your quiz so much easier.

Geez – everyone's always looking for the quick fix – nobody wants to do the work involved. You're all TOO lazy. You all do know that Wikipedia is written by people who are not required to check their sources or verify what they write is correct. If you use it as a source you better check your work.

Scott   March 25th, 2010 1:49 pm ET

Several of the comments imply that the relatively short-lived outage caused students to fail tests. Why? Did they postpone studying until the very last minute? Were they taking open-book tests?
As many have pointed out, methodical study is the preferred method for actually learning

Andrea   March 25th, 2010 2:33 pm ET

Wikipedia is not the best tool to use for looking up journal articles. I think its one of the worst. I like web of knowledge. Its a pay to use site but it has an extensive journal article search. Its the service that my school uses but there are others out there. It will also tell you who has cite that paper and will download the citation into endnote for you. Students who think that wikipedia is the best have never been taught to do research.

tobad   March 25th, 2010 2:41 pm ET

well its a good lesson not to copy other people works..........

Ilan Ben Menachem   March 25th, 2010 2:44 pm ET

In response to DeathClaw.. Who knows. I didn't see anything on 4chan last night saying that there was going to be an attack. And I dont think we would have a reason to attack

Lewis   March 25th, 2010 3:04 pm ET

It's good when a subject is well maintained and the "sources" that go into that page are also up to speed.

If you're in college, you're likely issued (have to shell out) for a book, you take notes and then you do your own research. You can go to a library, sure. The problem is that a book that was published one or two years ago might already be out of date.

Depends on the topic of course. If it's literature stuff, I wouldn't rely on the net so much. If it's pertaining to something more dynamic like technology, wiki is the way to go.

Just remember not to cite WIKI itself. Use the references at the bottom and make one extra click so you can see where Wiki got the info from in the first place. It's not that hard. :)

ADIKOS   March 25th, 2010 3:08 pm ET

i read this yesterday but didnt notice any interuption in service on my end. websites go down for everyone, not sure why this is such a big deal.

Bob from Michigan   March 25th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

It was that milkaholic Lindsey's fault!

'milka whaaat?'

billy   March 25th, 2010 5:25 pm ET

@Luis March 24th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

I don't hire individuals born after 1980 due to this...I figure they're all cheaters or simply lack the skills to do their job without access to facebook, twitter, or the rest of time waster sites online...

Well then Luis you are asking for a lawsuit, discrimination, its people
like you that are causing America to go down the tube! You pathetic piece of garbage... to think that anyone born after 1980 is... your comment clearly shows your stupidity and ignorance....

Wikipedia back up after server meltdown | Tech Jives Network   March 25th, 2010 10:13 pm ET

[...] the full story at CNN's SciTechBlog Posted in Business, TJ News • • Top Of [...]

yo   March 26th, 2010 9:10 am ET

it definitely was the chinese.

Dipesh   March 26th, 2010 9:54 am ET

Wikipedia so good..I can wait till it gets well.can I

Russ   March 26th, 2010 11:39 am ET

"If it's on the internet, then it must be true"!


If it's on a written page in a book on a shelf in the library, then it is undeniably true??? (more than Wikipedia???)

C'mon people

Jsmith   March 26th, 2010 12:02 pm ET

Darn, now I have to go elsewhere to get opinions presented as facts. Is the CNN site still working?

dleary   March 28th, 2010 1:41 pm ET

Well I've been in the business 30 years and then next time I see a disaster-recovery plan work, will be the first time.

Pop Magazine » In The News feat. Grace Park   March 29th, 2010 2:47 am ET

[...] Student Panic As Wikipedia Goes Down – Wikipedia spent four hours down last Thursday morning when the servers in Europe overheated and the backup failed. I can only image that there was thousands of panicked students checking and rechecking the connection while asking for help finding Spain on a map. [...]

Zane   April 1st, 2010 12:24 am ET

yawns who cares only nerds and geeks would worry about something such as this, its like saying the stock market shares would plomit if it ebay went down for an hour. >.>

Obviously the world didnt end, and for those that issues either kept trying till it come back on, or went elsewhere to find what they were looking for, or they were just screwed out of luck, but in the end who cares!

Scott   April 1st, 2010 12:45 am ET

What's Wikipedia ?

Simple Virus Removal » Blog Archive » Wikipedia Goes Down   May 5th, 2010 7:46 am ET

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NoIwontGiveyoumyname   May 30th, 2010 9:42 pm ET

Probably those tricksters at eBaums world, those damn hooligans

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>Wikipedia 접속이 안되셨나요? | nihili's journal   April 4th, 2011 11:48 am ET

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Pop Magazine » In The News feat. Grace Park   February 4th, 2014 6:59 am ET

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