Saturday, February 04, 2006

Was it the entry that began "Tom DeLay, a giant among men..." that aroused suspicion?

I know some people are big fans of Wikipedia, the collaborative web encyclopedia, in which any one can create or edit an entry, but I've always been a bit suspicious of it. Yes, I know mistakes are made in "real" encyclopedias too, but it just seems to me the chance of a mistake, and especially a deliberately misleading error, is exponentially higher when anyone can make an entry. I sort of trust the Cal Tech professor contributing to the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on the size of the galaxy, more than that of Joe from Peoria.

Now, Wikipedia itself, is saying that so many "whitewashing" articles, or attacks on political opponents were being made from politicans and their offices, they have, at least temporarily, prohibited Capitol web addresses from posting.

The Washington Post: "Last week, Wikipedia temporarily blocked certain Capitol Hill Web addresses from altering any entries in the otherwise wide-open forum. Wikipedia is a vast, growing information database written and maintained solely by volunteers. In December, the database received 4.7 million edits from viewers, of which a relatively small number -- "a couple of thousand," according to founder Jimmy Wales -- constituted vandalism."

Of course, it figures it would be the Washington crowd that would totally abuse the wiki system.

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