Thursday, 7 May 2009

There's a humourous little news story on the ABC website about an Irish uni student who posted a fake quote to Wikipedia, attributed to a French composer. This quote was picked up by a multitude of newspapers, websites and blogs etc. There are comments about the incident and, more interestingly, the reliability of Wikipedia on the ABC blog.

1 comment:

Felix Wilson said...

Unlike the newspapers who used the information (un-named in this article, which also raises questions for me), the editing history for the wikipedia page in question is available. The quote was posted anonymously (as Wikipedia allows) from IP address and removed by a registered user nine hours later, it was then entered twice more as it was removed again, anonymously from the same IP address. There have been several other vandalistic edits form the same IP address.
I think this story demonstrates the strength of the Wikipedia system, unverifiable quotes were removed quite quickly and looking at the history of the page, it is amazing to think that the article is quite good. Yes, Wikipedia is open to vandalism, but looking at how quickly errors were corrected is quite inspiring, I think.