Wikipedia hit with spoof articles

By Derek Sooman on December 18, 2005, 3:23 PM
Cyberspace vandals seem intent on wrecking Wikipedia’s reputation for accuracy, trying to undermine the web-based encyclopaedia’s character as being as reliable as the Encyclopaedia Britannica. A number of spoof attacks have taken place where incorrect information has been entered. For example, in a recent spoof, it was suggested today that Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's creator, was shot dead at his home by the wife of John Seigenthaler, a respected retired journalist.

Wikipedia's founder accepts that the site's open and egalitarian nature renders it vulnerable to such attacks, but after the Seigenthaler scandal he promised to tighten up procedures to prevent misleading articles from being published.
This brings to mind the tale of LA Times's Wikitorial, which had to be closed down after just two days due to being bombarded with pornography. Let’s hope that Wikipedia – a truly useful tool – does not suffer the same fate.

User Comments: 13

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poertner_1274 said:
It would be very unfortunate if wiki gets shut down. It is a very interesting and useful tool. Let's only hope they get something figured out and security measures installed.
mentaljedi said:
Wiki is so good. But i do think they need to tighten up the submitting of info.
Subservient said:
Wiki is very good. I like the fact that random people can edit stuff, but it can cause problems (like this one). Don't they have people verifying the information?
EsTeBaNo said:
Finally A Good Free Encyclopedia on internet and someone is trying to screw it...So if they want to keep it open they will need to tighten it.
smtkr said:
I seriously can't think of a good reason to vandalize a free, useful tool like wikipedia.
spyker_c8 said:
People take things for granted so I'm guessing they're doing the same with Wiki. Although I don't rely very much on it, I still go there on occasion as some articles are well written while others are pure trash. I do wish that Wiki would survive but at the way things normally go, I have my doubts.
Beaver Slayer said:
This sort of "It is there, theirfor it must be destroyed" attitude really irritates me. And I wonder how they plan to tighten it, the only thing that keeps it safe is people editing out the lies.
tarun123v said:
whenever u search in Google you get many links which may not contain the correct answers but when we search in Wiki we get the answers straight away rather than searching in many links for correct answers,this is the best part of WiKi,and this best part is missing in Google
tarun123v said:
Wiki is only type of search engine which gives you answer directly to the users whereas the google users has to surf through various sites which is somtimes very annoying to the users
vnf4ultra said:
I've found wikipedia very helpful in looking up various information. It's a very well designed site, and easy to use. I hope they don't "give up" on it due to user stupidity. I thought I heard that they were making people register now to write something, so how did the false story happen? If they do make people register, they'd know who wrote the false information.
barfarf said:
I think wiki is great. Hopefully by making it more secure it does not loose the open feeling where anyone can add useful content. That what made the thing so great in the first place.
Bartzy said:
I don't think wikipedia will close down. Its power is in the people who operate it, and that is every single one of us. It doesn't cost much money to keep it up, and its a very useful tool.As for the spoof data - Shame that there are people like that. Why doing that ? Because Wikipedia got some more news items for being equal to Britannica ? That's lame.
PanicX said:
If you look at the big picture this may be a good thing for Wiki. First of all, there's lots of free publicity in reaching headlines, and any publicity is good publicity as the saying goes. Also it will bring to readers attention that not everything on Wiki (or even the internet) is truth. Readers of Wiki will be more aware of the potential for erroneous data and will keep an eye out for it.
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