Thu, Feb 12th 2009 1:29am
Germany has a new minister of economic affairs, named Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. That's a mouthful, and apparently a number of German media outlets went to the guy's Wikipedia entry for some help. But some prankster had added a "Wilhelm" in the middle, which got printed in several places. The change on Wikipedia was noticed and corrected, but then reverted to the incorrect Wilhelm version -- with one of the press stories cited as the source. So, somebody inserts an incorrect "fact" into Wikipedia, the "fact" gets reprinted elsewhere based on the Wikipedia entry, gets correctly removed from Wikipedia, then incorrectly reinserted using one of the incorrect articles as "proof" of its veracity. That sounds pretty similar to establishing your newsworthiness for inclusion in Wikipedia by getting a newspaper article written about how you're not in Wikipedia. All's well that ends well, though, since the minister's correct name now appears in his entry. But as Wikipedia continues to be perceived by more and more people as a very authoritative source, this sort of incident is likely to happen again.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Wikileaks Releases Transcript Of German Inquiry Into Growing NSA Spy Scandal
- Estate Of Joseph Goebbels Using Copyright To Demand Cash From New Biographer
- Does Angela Merkel Want To Renegotiate The Corporate Sovereignty Chapter In EU-Canada Trade Agreement?
- Obama To Germans Worried About NSA Surveillance: 'Hey, Trust Us!'
- Germany's Spies Store 11 Billion Pieces Of Phone Metadata A Year -- And Pass On 6 Billion To The NSA