in Musings

Wikipedia, The Independent, and the Art of Revision

This is just too rich. I see that the UK’s Independent newspaper took a swipe at Wikipedia for the recent revelation that (gasp!) anyone can edit entries.

The news here isn’t that people or companies sometimes edit unfavorable material. That happens all the time. The real news is that because Wikipedia is a wiki, such changes are easily discovered and corrected. Nothing ever disappears with wikis: all changes, whether additions or subtractions, are precisely tracked and can be reversed at any time.

What makes this all so ironic is that the Independent, bastion of accuracy, was one of the first to propagate the now-discredited Einstein bee quote, the discrediting of which was easily accomplished by people working collaboratively over the Internet, Wikipedia-style. I bet the paper’s editors would’ve loved to edit out that ridiculous quote but, sadly for them, once its printed on paper no one can fix it.

Hey, Independent, next time how about printing Einstein’s quote about Wikipedia?