It is always remarkable how much things have changed over the years. Take something like Wikipedia -- a concept that nobody really conceived of even a few years ago. Of course, Wikipedia is the online wiki encyclopedia, which allows people to contribute their own knowledge to items. With that comes some risk, such as the much publicized case of somebody who posted that a person had died even though they had not. Well, apparently the poster has come forward.
Here is the item from Good Morning Silicon Valley:
Bogus Wikipedia entry traced to grassy knoll [GMSM, 12.12.2005]
Much as its creators hate to believe it, Wikipedia isn't immune from "the tragedy of the commons." Individual interests, it seems, always outweigh the common good, even in the utopian world of collaborative encyclopedias. So it really comes as no surprise to find Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia written and edited by volunteers, waist-deep in controversy today after a Nashville man admitted he inserted scandalously false information into a Wikipedia entry about a prominent journalist. On Friday, Brian Chase, a manager at a small delivery service in Nashville, apologized to John Seigenthaler, a top adviser and close friend to Robert Kennedy, for suggesting he had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. In a letter to Seigenthaler, Chase said he thought that Wikipedia was "some sort of 'gag' encyclopedia" and that he had penned the assassination tale as a joke. "I didn't think twice about just leaving it there because I didn't think anyone would ever take it seriously for more than a few seconds," he wrote. Of course a lot of folks did take it seriously. And today, Wikipedia is facing renewed criticism from those who've long argued that it cannot be trusted as a credible source of information. In response to the controversy, Wikipedia is enacting some reforms, such as requiring people to register before adding an article, but such measures do little to address the danger inherent in a open-source encyclopedia. "If you look at the Encyclopedia Britannica, you can be fairly sure that somebody writing an article is an acknowledged expert in that field, and you can take his or her words as being at least a scholarly point of view," Michael Gorman, president of the American Library Association and dean of library services at Cal State Fresno, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "The problem with an online encyclopedia created by anybody is that you have no idea whether you are reading an established person in the field or somebody with an ax to grind. For all I know, Wikipedia may contain articles of great scholarly value. The question is, how do you choose between those and the other kind?"
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