Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cautionary Tales

I'm certain that Lillian was joking on that last post of hers, and I absolutely adore Wikipedia.

However, I feel it is my duty to point out the dangers of Wikipedia, lest ickle Frosh fall prey to them. (I'm not sure how world-savy the class of '11 is; some of my '09 peers ran into problems citing Wikipedia during my Writing Seminar...)

Since I am not the History Librarian, I am not as puritanically opposed to Wikipedia as some might be. However, in my time I have seen some pretty strange things up on the Free Encyclopedia.
A while ago I stumbled on this little gem of Wikipedia vandalism. (I just wasted half an hour looking for it in the article's History. People do some weird stuff to Wikipedia.)

I also knew this guy who used Wikipedia to study for his British History exam. He unfortunately lost all points relevant to his discussion of the 1916 general elections, as there were apparently no elections that year.

And let's not forget that delightful dalliance with Stephen Colbert's beautiful use of Colbert Nation to vandalize Wikipedia. Oh yes, he also has some good points about wikiality and Second Life.

In fact, not only does Wikipedia actually have a list of most vandalized articles, but it also keeps a repository of Bad Jokes, Silly Things, and Other Deleted Nonsense.

Of course to be fair, there are some exceptionally good articles on Wikipedia. I won't tell you which ones however, because they might be completely different within the hour.

So, anyone here have any good stories about Wikipedia?


Lillian Zhou said...

Thanks for the note of warning. :) Speaking of vandalism: