Monday, March 09, 2009

Force a debate on Wikipedia

NewsBusters reports some historical revision at Wikipedia:

users have scrubbed all references to homegrown terrorist William Ayers and the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright from Barack Obama's entry at the online encyclopedia.

Apparently, any information posted about Ayers or Wright in the text of the Obama biography is not only immediately taken down, but the offending user is banned for three days.
I am the first one to caution relying on Wikipedia for any serious research (I tend to limit my reliance on the site for all matters above researching a Seinfeld episode). Working in the Boy Scouts, I know of several high school students who have been told it is perfectly acceptable to use Wikipedia as a jump-off point in their research papers. That is, finding information that is sourced, and following to the that source to obtain reference material for their papers (one student told me he had to reference the original, sourced item; another told me he was permitted to referenced Wikipedia by itself).

That students are allowed to use Wikipedia is fine, if it at least provides a balanced view of the subject matter.

I think everyone reading this post should immediately go to Wikipedia, search President Obama's page, and edit it accordingly. Be accurate, cite a specific, creditble reference for all entries made, and be dignified about it. Enter the discussion, if you have the time.  Sooner or later, if enough people edit the piece appropriately, someone in the Wiki hirearchy has to take notice. 

That is, if they have any standards of fairness.

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