When should courts rely on Wikipedia?

Washington Post:

For others in the legal community, however, Wikipedia is a valuable resource. Judge Richard Posner has said that “Wikipedia is a terrific resource … because it [is] so convenient, it often has been updated recently and is very accurate.” However, Judge Posner also noted that it “wouldn’t be right to use it in a critical issue.” Other scholars agree that Wikipedia is most appropriate for “soft facts,” when courts want to provide context to help make their opinions more readable. Moreover, because Wikipedia is constantly updated, some argue that it can be “a good source for definitions of new slang terms, for popular culture references, and for jargon and lingo including computer and technology terms.” They also argue that open-source tools like Wikipedia may be useful when courts are trying to determine public perception or community norms. This usefulness is lessened, however, by the recognition that Wikipedia contributors do not necessarily represent a cross-section of society, as research has shown that they are overwhelmingly male, under forty years old, and living outside of the United States.