Archive for June, 2009
When an online encylopedia goes bad
This entry comes from Guest Blogger RMHED, who probably doesn’t really care how you pronounce his name.
There sits on Wikipedia a short biography of a minor British showbiz personality - let’s call him Mr X. It is unloved and unwatched. How do I know this? Well, for over 7 weeks now, the article has contained two paragraphs of creative nonsense about Mr. X’s career. The first paragraph was added on April 22nd, the second on May 14th, and neither of these additions were referenced. Both paragraphs are humorous, especially the longer one, which goes into detail about a very downmarket game show Mr. X supposedly hosted. Needless to say, this game show is entirely fictional, but it was just plausible enough to cause me to actually check to make sure.
These two paragraphs now make up more than half of Mr. X’s short biography. Shouldn’t this poor abandoned biographical article be deleted? Or does its continued existence really help Wikipedia fulfill its mission of encompassing all human knowledge?