Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fake Wikipedia Quote

In the past I have posted on the problems of using Wikipedia within the context of the classroom and in the news media. Now according to an article from the AP, ”Fake Wikipedia Quote Fools Some in the Media,” numerous newspapers managed to fall for a fake quote entered into a the Wikipedia entry of recently deceased composer Maurice Jarre. Three cheers to the author of this wonderful stunt, Shane Fitzgerald, who came up with the admittedly rather touching quote: "One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. … Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear." One of the newspapers to fall for this was the Guardian. So for all those wondering where the Guardian gets its information for its anti Israel material, I think we can now make a pretty good guess.


Melanie Yergeau said...

This is hilarious.

I think one of the best ways to demonstrate Wikipedia's shortcomings to students is to edit an entry in front of the class, e.g., change Napoleon's date of birth. That usually gets through to them.

I think that clean-install wikis can be useful in some classes. They tend to work really nicely for collaborative writing/authorship. But wikis only work well when they're very heavily edited, controlled, and scrutinized. This is Wikipedia's particular weakness, I think: anyone can change anything.

Miss S. said...

You are revealing this as if the general press concerns themselves over factual information or something.