22 April 2006

The scandal over the Wikipedia

WikiPedia - the Free Encyclopedia

Most of you reading this post might use WikiPedia, the popular yet controversial open-source, fact-filled encyclopedia. If you wanted to know something about, say, hard drives, for instance, all you had to do was go on the WikiPedia, type in "hard drive" (or whatever you seeked) and up comes an article with pretty much everything you need! Forget lame corporate ad-filled encyclopedias like Britannica, Information Please, or Encyclopedia.com, the WIKIPEDIA is your ULTIMATE SOURCE for everything you wanna learn! In fact, since the WP is open-source, any Internet user can edit it, so more minds get to contribute to articles, making the article more accurate. I am among those who've edited articles on WikiPedia - only if I knew fo shizzle for sure that the information was wrong. If I doubt it, I don't edit it, so I'm safe. The two articles I remember editing best are the ones on 4Kids Entertainment and censorship of anime, you can see that the parts against it were my work, edited by others who feel it's too biased.

But then, WikiPedia has its controversies. In November and December of 2005, controversy had risen over apparant slander over the articles on Robert Kennedy and podcasting - "First, former administrative assistant to Robert Kennedy lambasted Wikipedia for an article that suggested he may have been involved in the assassinations of both Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy. Then, a flurry of attention came when podcasting pioneer and former MTV VJ Adam Curry was accused of anonymously editing out references to other people's seminal podcasting work in an article about the hot digital medium." Because of this, schools around the nation have either restricted use of the Wikipedia or completely banned it from use in students research. Recently, I had in English class a project of the Holocaust, and my English teacher allowed us to do online research from WikiPedia as long as we use other non-Wikipedia resources too. She told us that WikiPedia is not 100% accurate, as neo-Nazis might have been raiding it. However, when I listened to my friend's podcast (attached here), I discovered that the high school HE goes to totally bans the WikiPedia from research, and after he used it as a source in his science project, he got an F. That is just total ignorance, given how WikiPedia has now changed its policies, as of December 2005 only registered users may establish new articles so that they can be held accountable for any sh** that happens. Anonymous users may not establish new articles, but may only edit, their IP address can be banned should their editing be slanderous or libel in any manner.

I think that the WikiPedia is a decent gathering place for information. Given how it's (almost) free to edit, its accuracy just keeps going up every time! Or down if the edits are stupid. I mean, compare WikiPedia to a Britannica/other corporate encyclopedia article, and WikiPedia would scare the p*ssy out of Britanica. I mean, Britanica probably I betcha now could be a few months to almost a year behind WikiPedia now! I've been a Wikipedia user since November 2004 and loved it. Death to corporate encyclopedias!

Now, a message to all Wikiusers to avoid more conflict like this: Realize that once you click "Save Page" your information is available for all Web users to see. Just like Myspace. Think, "will people see this as truth?" If you don't think it's true, DON'T POST IT. Ask a teacher or expert in the field, he/she probably know better. Just THINK BEFORE POSTING ON THE WIKIPEDIA. Don't let their admins ban you. Also, realize that slander and libel on WikiPedia could result in the cops knocking on your door.

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