Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website in all but exceptional circumstances after labelling the news group “generally unreliable”.
Both the paper and, more prominently, the Mail Online are both no longer allowed as sources in Wikipedia articles.
The move is highly unusual for such as high profile publication. The Mail Online – boasted 14.7m unique daily users in January 2016 according to the ABC, more than any other UK publication and almost double the Guardian’s output.
As a result, volunteers are tasked with replacing or removing up to 12,000 Daily Mail citations on the English language site.
The editors described the arguments for a ban as “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia but does not control its editing processes, said in a statement that volunteer editors on English Wikipedia had discussed the reliability of the Mail since at least early 2015.
It said: “Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.
The move comes amid growing controversy around post-truth and fake news, particularly on social media.