What Do You Know? - Another Bogus Wikipedia Flack


First off, let me clarify that this a blog, not an "encyclopedia." What follows is simply anecdote and speculation, not deeply researched or certifiably true information.


OK, that said ...


I chuckled to myself this morning when Ann All, an editor with us here at IT Business Edge, suggested that there might be something fishy about this statement from a Wikipedia poster about a really creepy incident/coincidence.


The poster, whose IP-based identity was confirmed in this Wikinews article, posted that the wife of pro wrestler Chris Benoit was dead, about a half-day before the grisly and highly publicized details of a double murder/suicide came to full public light. The poster's explanation -- he had just heard some rumors on the 'Net and decided to put them up at an "encyclopedia." Quote:

That night I found out that what I posted, ended up actually happening, a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening, or so I thought. I was beyond wrong for posting wrongful information, and I am sorry to everyone for this. I just want everyone to know it was stupid of me, and I will never do anything like this again. I just posted something that was at that time a piece of wrong unsourced information that is typical on Wikipedia, as it is done all the time.

Ann's comment to me, via IM:

"... the quote sounds like it was made up, as it so obviously encapsulates what is scary about Wikipedia."

Really, I have little to add there. I'm NOT saying that the quote WAS made up. But it provides a perfect snapshot of what a growing number of folks agree is the downside to Wikipedia. It does seem to me that at least Wikipedia could take it upon itself to ensure that the poster's IP address be blocked from the site. That seems at odds with the general culture of the site; hence perpetual grumblings from folks like me.


I actually use Wikipedia from time to time -- this week, it was the second step (Google being the first, of course) in my research of the Pligg open source CMS. But I certainly don't trust it as a terminus of info. Stuff like this fracas only serves to make me more distrustful of what can be a useful, overview resource.

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