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Topic: Wikipedia - A Reminder (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117615
Posted: 21 January 2007 at 8:05pm | IP Logged | 1  

When wikipedia decides that John Byrne is not worthy of inclusion on their site, then I'll agree that wikipedia is not worthy of acknowledgement here.

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I was in touch with the founder of Wikipedia some months back, and specifically asked that my entry be either permanently locked (after a housecleaning), or deleted. Neither were done.

Should be interesting to see what turns up as "facts" about me in the next week or so, untill the sad boys lose interest again.

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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 10648
Posted: 22 January 2007 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 2  

The idea of citing it in law school is ludicrous (see the Wiki site disclaimer), and it should not be allowed as a primary reference in school research, but there is definite value in using it in school as a secondary source, not the least reason for which is that it teaches the valuable lesson that all information, even that from “legitimate” sources, is suspect, and you have to do some legwork to find out the real story. 

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Hi Todd. There are a staggering amount of professional computer and hard-copy sources that law students can study, cite, and even question. But if I allowed my students to use something as dubious and fundamentally amateur as Wikipedia, even as deep background third or fourth level research, a host of inaccuracies would accrue in no short time that they would miss and I would have to fix. Their whole process of research would be thrown awry, and we don't need more "bad" lawyering out there! I'm not guessing -- I speak from experience.

About JB on Wikipedia, I recall an older version of his "bio" as it appeared there, something littered with quotes taken out of the original context and set into a new, artificial locus designed to be as provocative as possible. Misinformation, misdirection, and, really, pretty darned close to character-assassination.

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Neil Lindholm
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Joined: 12 January 2005
Location: China
Posts: 4581
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 3  

I can't access Wikipedia directly from China since it is banned over here but I can go to answers.com to get a feed from it. I find Wikipedia is useful for quick information about historical figures and geographical places but I have not really paid much attention to modern people on it. I was curious about JB's article and to be honest, it did not seem that bad, except for the superfluous material about criticisms. Then I found the link to the original article.

Holy crap, what an attack. Almost every line had a little dig or veiled comment and it was filled with useless, irrelevant information. The authors did their best to find some perceived slight with every project and the entire tone was derogatory. Absolute rubbish.

Do other modern personalities get attacked like JB did in Wikipedia or was it a random event by frustrated fanboys?
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Chris Hutton
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11665
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 1:08pm | IP Logged | 4  

even MAD Magazine got into the game, calling Wikipedia "the most trusted source of information."

Hopefully sooner rather than later we will see news articles condemning the site.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 23 January 2007 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 5  

Or a Class Action suit…
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Matthew Hansel
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Joined: 18 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3466
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 2:02pm | IP Logged | 6  

I prohibit any of my students from using it as a "source" in their research papers (especially after the problems encountered here).

I was amazed, though, last night as I was looking through my girlfriend's SPEECH 101 book and found a WHOLE article on WIKIPEDIA and how useful the website is for people looking to do speeches.

I shot off an email to the instructor and to the publisher of the book.

MPH

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Matthew Hansel
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Joined: 18 April 2004
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Posted: 23 January 2007 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 7  

As an addendum to the above:

I find it both sad, and I guess slightly amusing, that two individuals whom I hold in high regard (John Byrne and John Mellencamp) both have entries in which the "facts" are called into question.

MPH

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Brian O'Neill
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Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 741
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 8  

I think there have already been plenty of critical news stories about the site.

As for class action law suits...are you saying wikipedia is 'legitimate' enough to warrant someone taking that action?

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Jacob P Secrest
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Joined: 18 October 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4068
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 9  

Matthew Hansel proves that they are.

When textbooks hail something as a good source to use for creating
speeches, it is legitimate, even if it is useless.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 23 January 2007 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 10  

As for class action law suits...are you saying wikipedia is 'legitimate' enough to warrant someone taking that action?

***

Slowly and ponderously, the lawmakers in this country are realizing that the InterNet is a form of publishing, and that those who publish on the InterNet should be held to the same kind of standards as those who publish on paper. Wikipedia has published disinformation about many people, myself included. When asked to do something about it, their response is a shrug. In the real world, this kind of deliberate publishing of lies would be enough to get a publisher sued.

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Randy Sterger
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Joined: 04 January 2007
Posts: 223
Posted: 23 January 2007 at 8:18pm | IP Logged | 11  

I went into a basketball player's profile and added a really long paragraph about how he likes to bake different kind of pancakes, and then wrote about it on my blog. It was obvious it was fake, and it got a lot of laughs and good fun was had by all. Oh well! lol
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Kurt Anderson
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Joined: 18 November 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2035
Posted: 24 January 2007 at 1:52am | IP Logged | 12  

After seeing the Wike entry that named Mickey Spillaine as the creator of Captain Marvel, I lost all faith in the site.

When I dog the website at the office, I get shocked looks.  It seems that Wiki is "correct enough" for most uses.

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