Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The Mailbox has talked about Wikipedia before. Yet, like a bad habit, it still refers to the online, editable-by-anyone encyclopedia for the occasional research project. And it probably still will, even after Stephen Colbert got done ripping it a new one last night.

What's interesting: The security measures Wikipedia employed after its truthy vulnerabilities were exposed seem to have been fixed. In a funny, not-so-fixed way.

Wired News reports on how members of the Colbert Nation tried to take his comedic recommendation to change all information about elephants. Just to tick off Al Gore, basically. Wikipedia officials responded by protecting entries about elephants so not just ANYONE can change the information...only registered users. And Colbert got cock-blocked -- Wikipedia member Tawker suspended his user account.

Of course, the whole thing is a joke to Tawker: He challenged Colbert to put him on notice. What we really need to do is check Wikipedia in a few weeks for entries about the number of African elephants tripling.

There's a lot of conversation among Springfield bloggers about the role of citizen journalists and bloggers on the mainstream media. This Colbert instance shows that guaranteeing veracity and accuracy, and owning up to inaccuracy, is still a major problem in the e-world. Though good bloggers care about it, the bad ones ruin the reputation of all. The same goes for other open-source knowledge pools. Colbert's lampoon was brilliant, and the aftermath only confirmed it.

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