THE Australian Tax Office faces international embarrassment after it used the online site Wikipedia as a source for a ruling affecting the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars.Wikipedia has been criticised for the quality of its information, but the ATO trusted it enough to use it for a definition of the business term “private equity”. The ATO has acknowledged it referred to the online information source for the ruling, but denied it was a primary source. A draft determination made on Wednesday said: “A key component of private equity as an asset for institutional investors is that assets are typically realised after some period of time, which will vary depending on the investment strategy.” Wikipedia says: “A key component of private equity as an asset class for institutional investors is that investments are typically realized after some period of time, which will vary depending on the investment strategy.”
So maybe its time to start quoting Wikipedia for all reference sources then we can all ensure that we a re all on the same page! So if this is to become an acceptable place for reference (I don’t believe it ever will!) then there are going to be some very confused people out there! meaning that, at this stage almost anyone can edit the content of a Wiki page, that’s the point of it so that the content is dynamic and is easily updated. This would present a serious problem though, if the content had been abused and that content was then referenced!
But for now, I’d say use a combination of reference material to assist in defining things! … 😀
© 2009, Scott Evans.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.