Wikipedia downgrades CNET’s trustworthiness rating due to the use of AI for publishing

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has downgraded the reliability rating of CNET, a technology publication. This happened because the website published articles written by artificial intelligence, reports ArsTechnica.

At the end of 2022, CNET started publishing artificial intelligence articles signed by CNET Money Staff. These publications contained a large number of errors and false or unverified information. Later, the experiment was stopped.

Wikipedia has a separate list of publications that assesses the reliability of the information they publish. There, CNET is evaluated in three periods: until October 2020, from October 2020 to November 2022, and from November 2022 to the present.

The period before October 2020 is defined as the time when CNET was a fairly reliable technology publication. After October 2020, it was bought by Red Ventures, after which more materials aimed at increasing advertising revenue and other business goals of Red Ventures began to appear there.

The period that most damaged CNET’s reputation, namely November 2022 – January 2023, was the time when artificial intelligence materials appeared on the site. Wikipedia notes that these texts had many mistakes and were created only for the sake of good SEO rankings and filling the text with affiliate links.

The publication also did not report the fact that artificial intelligence was writing the articles until The Verge and Futurism wrote about it. These factors led to a drop in the reliability and reputation of the publication in general.

Apart from CNET, other publications under the wing of Red Ventures have also been found to be using artificial intelligence. AI-generated content was found on Bankrate and