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.