More Welcome Ridicule for Wikipedia

Wikipedia is generally fun, sometimes useful, often entertaining. What it isn’t is very dependable, for the very reason that makes it fun: it is an encyclopedia whose content is generated by random contributors. We’ve touched on this subject a few times on this blog, here and here and here. But Stephen Colbert has done a better job of ridiculing Wikipedia than we could ever dream.

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  1. Mango says:

    The usefulness of Wikipedia is in its references. Proper articles always have references scattered throughout, plus a References or External Links section at the bottom where you can go elsewhere on the Internet and verify everything is true. And as we all know, pretty much everything on the Internet is true, so these can point anywhere.

    For instance, did you know that the mango is North Korean President Kim Jong Il’s favorite fruit?

    It’s true, look on wikipedia, in the first paragraph. Plus, it has a link to a web page that verifies the fact.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango

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  2. Mango says:

    The usefulness of Wikipedia is in its references. Proper articles always have references scattered throughout, plus a References or External Links section at the bottom where you can go elsewhere on the Internet and verify everything is true. And as we all know, pretty much everything on the Internet is true, so these can point anywhere.

    For instance, did you know that the mango is North Korean President Kim Jong Il’s favorite fruit?

    It’s true, look on wikipedia, in the first paragraph. Plus, it has a link to a web page that verifies the fact.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango

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  3. kah says:

    When Stephen Colbert says on TV that he is falsifying Wikipedia, it is trivally easy for Wikipedia administrators to correct the false additions and ban his username.

    But it is not so easy to detect false data when it is systematically entered and maintained by (for example) anonymous employees in propaganda “wiki-tanks.”

    That was the point that Stephen Colbert was making. He didn’t really care whether people believe he is in the habit of calling Oregon Idaho’s Portugal or not, so it misses the point to say his action “backfired.”

    Stephen Colbert wants people to understand that all published information, whether published freely on a wiki or published privately elsewhere, might be a product of somebody’s desire to mislead.

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  4. kah says:

    When Stephen Colbert says on TV that he is falsifying Wikipedia, it is trivally easy for Wikipedia administrators to correct the false additions and ban his username.

    But it is not so easy to detect false data when it is systematically entered and maintained by (for example) anonymous employees in propaganda “wiki-tanks.”

    That was the point that Stephen Colbert was making. He didn’t really care whether people believe he is in the habit of calling Oregon Idaho’s Portugal or not, so it misses the point to say his action “backfired.”

    Stephen Colbert wants people to understand that all published information, whether published freely on a wiki or published privately elsewhere, might be a product of somebody’s desire to mislead.

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  5. mixylplyx says:

    Hombrelobo … take a deep breath. What Mssr. Colbert did was HILARIOUS. He is an entertainer and that was entertaining. I think what is a bit iditioc is to take him seriously, as you seem to have done.

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  6. mixylplyx says:

    Hombrelobo … take a deep breath. What Mssr. Colbert did was HILARIOUS. He is an entertainer and that was entertaining. I think what is a bit iditioc is to take him seriously, as you seem to have done.

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  7. mixylplyx says:

    On a “serious” note, anyone who takes a single source as definitive on any topic is taking a gamble. Even “serious” and “traditional” experts and sources can be contradictory and inconsistent. The wikipedia is a great resource – particularly (as noted above) it often contains links to multiple alternative sources of information.

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  8. mixylplyx says:

    On a “serious” note, anyone who takes a single source as definitive on any topic is taking a gamble. Even “serious” and “traditional” experts and sources can be contradictory and inconsistent. The wikipedia is a great resource – particularly (as noted above) it often contains links to multiple alternative sources of information.

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