Wikipedia is too important to leave to amateurs

That’s right: the German government has declared that it will fund experts to ensure the accuracy of Wikipedia articles. This has been going on for some time: with funding, a position as a newsmaker, and specialized knowledge, an expert or partisan can create the primary resources wikipedia requires, and then alter the content to correspond to the desired coverage. Germany uses this to promote accuracy about renewable resources, while many corporations have begun to make wikipedia coverage a part of their public relations efforts. And of course, this is even more common with politically fractious materials: it now appears likely that intelligence agencies around the world are planting disinformation in wikipedia. It’s an obvious move, given the anonymity available.

Consider the story of SlimVirgin, a controversial Wikipedia administrator. The last two links tell the story of a troubled young woman, who lost a friend in the Lockerbie bombing of PanAm 103 and was personally involved in the investigation, and perhaps for a time employed by British intelligence, who then went on to create and edit Wikipedia articles related to these events that are “seriously skewed in directions that she has promoted and protected.” Alternatively, the lost friend was a cover and her work for British intelligence was aimed at disrupting the investigation, and now subsequent reports of it.

You know, I think Colbert might be on to something. Truthiness prevails.






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