Articles

Wiki Accountability

In History, Technology on January 28, 2009 by Editor Z

One of the virtues and perils of the internet is that anybody can post anything, regardless of its truth or lackthereof. The online encyclopedia wikipedia has recently come under fire for that regarding information about the deaths of Senator (s) Edward M Kennedy (D-MA), 76 and Robert Byrd (D-WV), 93.

One embarassing problem; Kennedy and Bryd are still alive. Now one wiki founder is talking about having an editor review information and research posted by any new or anynomous contributors.

Calls for a review followed the embarrassing revelation that pages on Senator Robert Byrd and Senator Edward Kennedy, two prominent American politicians, falsely gave the impression that each had died.

Senator Kennedy, who is severely ill with a malignant brain tumour, went into convulsions during an inaugural lunch for President Barack Obama in Washington on 20 January. But his entry on the site wrongly stated that he had died: “Kennedy suffered a seizure at a luncheon following the Barack Obama presidential inauguration on 20 January 2009. He was removed in a wheelchair, and died shortly after.” News reports said later that, according to his doctors, he was suffering from fatigue.

A similar error was made on the entry for Senator Byrd.

Both mistakes were corrected within minutes, but its founder, Jimmy Wales, now wants a new or unknown user’s changes to be approved by an editor; some editors say that process would create “backlogs that we will be unable to manage”.

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