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Wikipedia is hitting the big time

You may recall that in December or thereabouts there was a big stink about how a guy wrote libelous information about another guy in Wikipedia. There was a flap about how Wikipedia, which allows anyone to edit articles, can’t be taken for the a reliable source.

Fast forward a bit…a study by Nature magazine found that Wikipedia and Britannica were very close in accuracy. Hmmm….

Now here’s this article from the Lowell (Massachusetts) Sun…here’s a few blurbs:

The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the “world’s largest encyclopedia,” The Sun has learned.

In November and December, The Sun has learned, users of the House’s IP address were temporarily blocked from changing content because of violations described by the site as a “deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia.”

Plus here’s a quote from a CNET News Blog:

While many of the changes discovered by the Lowell Sun were done to enhance political entries, not all were positive. Statements traced to a House IP address included entries that U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., “smells of cow dung” and that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is “ineffective.”

Now, children, what have we learned?

  • Wikipedia and content created by collaboration is important. People read this stuff, otherwise why would legislators go in and change things?
  • Who is in control of information? Isn’t it scary that politicians can so easily change information to suit their needs? BUT HEY!!! That’s the way the internet has been from the beginning. Anyone can publish information. This is nothing new…just somewhat easier now for the more technically challenged.
  • Politicians have always spoken in doubletalk out of both sides of their mouths (that’s quadrupletalk). Now we can see it a little more clearly and use that information to teach students how to swim.

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