How Truthiness And Wikiality Helped Colbert Take Down Wikipedia
from the the-revolution-will-not-be-verified dept
Since The Daily Show has been getting so much love from the tech crowd lately, with their recent discussions on net neutrality, spinoff show The Colbert Report had to really step things up to top its parent show. They did so by going after a topic that would get even more attention among techies: Wikipedia. As plenty of folks have been emailing and submitting, Stephen Colbert decided to take on Wikipedia tonight, and discuss his vision for a new "Wikiality," where the masses create the facts they want to believe in. And did they ever. At the conclusion of the amusing segment, Colbert instructs his audience to find the Wikipedia entry on elephants, and edit it to say that "the number of elephants has tripled in the last six months." Not surprisingly, plenty of people went to either make the edit, or to see if had been made. Sean Feeney quickly wrote in to note that the rush from the Colbert Nation apparently took down the site, giving visitors a message about technical difficulties. Of course, it didn't take long for the folks at Wikipedia to leap into action and lock down 20 elephant related Wikipedia pages (they also claim that the technical problem was unrelated to Colbert-driven traffic, but Colbert is likely to claim otherwise). Of course, for those who are both fans of Stephen Colbert and Wikipedia... who gets the tip of the hat and who gets the wag of the finger?