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Wikipedia hoax fools newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, May 12, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    College student adds fake quote to the Wikipedia page of French composer. Quote gets used in media reports on composer's death ...

  2. This woman doesn't understand what the big deal is:


    In all seriousness, this kind of shit has been going on long, long before Wikipedia. As BuckWeaver can attest, there is a whole cottage industry of books, for example, debunking old baseball tall tales that get passed down until they become truth. Jonathan Eig's Jackie Robinson book tackled a bunch of them. I wrote a very limited release biography like that a couple years back, and I was amazed at how the guy's life story had become mythologized since his death, including an absolute made-up chronology by a family member in a major Sports Illustrated piece.

    I'm glad this happened. As I mentioned on the afore-referenced thread, there are two very underrated research tools: The phone. The library.

    When I speak to middle schoolers about writing, I tell them that the Internet is a nice tool to get started, but you need to get your hands dirty to do real research. Shameful to see that some of our own can't follow suit.
  3. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Also nice that the college kid pissed on a dead guy by putting fake information out about him. Go shove your experiment up your ass, kiddo.
  4. And without Jose Canseco, we'd still be watching 260-pound Greek gods slam 75 home runs a season.

    Sometimes you have to crawl into bed with some undesirable people to absorb the tough lessons.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, it was an innocuous quote and he put it on a website that any journalist worth his or her salt (or pepper) would know is not reliable.
  6. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    The kid put out false information about a dead guy. It's like begging karma to plow through your world.
  7. What the hell does this mean?
    Wikipedia's problems are a license to defame dead people?
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Yes, let's attack the kid rather than the fact that the media didn't bother to corroborate facts and that Wikipedia doesn't have a timely editing process in place.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    If you don't take anything from wikipedia and immediately at least throw it into The Google for verification, you're asking to get fried. Don't blame the kid.
  10. Fuck the kid.
    The dead guy's family didn't ask to be dragged into his little gotcha.
  11. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I'm not pardoning the newspapers for what happened.

    I'm saying it's also WRONG for the kid to perform an experiment by knowingly putting out false information about a dead guy.
  12. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    The kid did everyone a service.....it's not like he re-wrote the guy's life or even wrote anything inflammatory. Taught some people what they already should have known. ANYONE can add ANYTHING to Wikipedia. It's not a reliable source.
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