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Why is Wikipedia such a target?

Feb - 16 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

I don’t get it! Why is it that everyone is out to get the Wikipedia? Why is it that no one seems to realize that it’s a great invention and is not meant to replace your usual sources of information – but to promote community – and learning for that matter?

How? Well, when I first signed up for Wikipedia I wanted to find some resources about Shelties – I went to the Shetland Sheepdog page only to find that it was sorely lacking. What did I do? I went out and found information to add to the page – information from my breeder, books I had purchased and reliable sites I found. Does this mean that the Sheltie page on Wikipedia is 100% correct? Absolutely not! It means that I took care in editing the page and hopefully others do the same. The Wikipedia should not be your end visit when doing research – it can be a first stop though – someplace to stop and browse and then go off and fact check.

Why is this so hard to understand? Why is it that everything popular and new gets torn to shreds by the media?

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article in today’s paper titled Rewriting history – with the click of a mouse. It details how aids in political offices are logging onto Wikipedia to alter their candidate’s page.

Hellllooooo! Why is this news?? Politicians rewrite history with money all of the time – but because it’s happening on a popular Internet site it has become another reason why Wikipedia is evil! Of course, I chose this article because the author makes a very good point – one that other articles about this topic leave out:

What is so quaint about all of this manipulation of Wikipedia’s information is that these inside-the-beltway denizens imagine that the voting public makes up its mind about politicians this way. It seems highly improbable that vast numbers of Americans, still unsure which candidate to vote for, visit an online encyclopedia to glean some new nuggets of information to make up their minds. It’s far more likely that they consult psychics and tarot card readers. Or even worse, ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS, and Fox News.

My point exactly!!

Okay I’m done ranting for now.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Helene says:

    Well said. Personally I’m a big fan of Wikipedia, especially for finding definitions and info about new and emmerging trends. But as a library employee I’m well aware that it’s skepticized (it that a word?) by the majority of our staff.

  2. Helene says:

    Well said. Personally I’m a big fan of Wikipedia, especially for finding definitions and info about new and emmerging trends. But as a library employee I’m well aware that it’s skepticized (it that a word?) by the majority of our staff.


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