Friday, July 21, 2006
Wiki wars
Wikipedia, where everyone is a writer and editor, is ripe for mischief. Earlier today, an image from the original "Star Wars" was included under the listing for 2006 Israeli-Lebanon conflict, as noted at Wonkette. The cutline reads: "An IDF laser cannon fires into Southern Lebanon."

The prank has since been edited out of the entry, allowing Wikipedia advocates to point to the online encyclopedia's self-correcting abilitities. Other assertions, not as absurd but nonetheless faulty, slip by. Such errors, sometimes deliberate, appear frequently and often go uncorrected for extended periods, as NPR reported earlier this year.

As a source for fact-checking, Wikipedia is OK as a starting point, as many entries list primary sources at the end. But the site is inadequate as a "one-stop shop" for careful editors.

UPDATE: Stephen Colbert has a funny take on Wikipedia that's available on YouTube.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 8:34 PM | Permalink |