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  • David P. Dillard
    REFERENCE: ENCYCLOPEDIAS : REFERENCE: ONLINE REFERENCE SOURCES AND TOOLS : WIKIS: Look Who s Using Wikipedia Look Who s Using Wikipedia Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2007
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      Look Who's Using Wikipedia

      Look Who's Using Wikipedia
      Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007
      Time / CNN

      Poor Wikipedia. Professional Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is suing one of its
      contributors for a defamatory cyber-attack. And last year, television host
      and comedian Stephen Colbert urged his audience to vandalize a Wikipedia
      entry about elephants to prove the point that in a model where any user
      can edit encyclopedia entries, those entries are only as good as their


      Academics are split on the usefulness of Wikipedia, which bills itself as
      "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." The sheer volume of content
      (Wikipedia claims over 5.3 million entries, 1.6 million in English) is
      partly responsible for the site's dominance as an online reference. When
      compared to the top 3,200 educational reference sites in the U.S.,
      Wikipedia is #1, capturing 24.3% of all visits to the category, according
      to Hitwise data. But as the recent drama illustrates, a body of online
      knowledge built by an army of 75,000 volunteer, anonymous contributors and
      editors is prone to anything from simple benign errors to outright
      information vandalism.

      Search and Internet behavior data provide alarming insight into this
      powerful but volatile resource alarming because one of the core groups of
      Wikipedia users are school children.


      Conservapedia - the US religious right's answer to Wikipedia
      Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent
      Friday March 2, 2007
      The Guardian

      It has been attacked many times in its short life, most notably by a
      former aide to Robert F Kennedy and the editor of Encyclopaedia
      Britannica. But now the online reference site Wikipedia has a new foe:
      evangelical Christians.

      A website founded by US religious activists aims to counter what they
      claim is "liberal bias" on Wikipedia, the open encyclopedia which has
      become one of the most popular sites on the web. The founders of
      Conservapedia.com say their site offers a "much-needed alternative" to
      Wikipedia, which they say is "increasingly anti-Christian and

      Although entries on Wikipedia are open for anyone to edit, conservative
      campaigners say they are unable to make changes to articles on the site
      because of inherent bias by its global team of volunteer editors. Instead
      they have chosen to build a clone which they hope will promote Christian

      "I've tried editing Wikipedia, and found that the biased editors who
      dominate it censor or change facts to suit their views," Andy Schlafly,
      the founder of Conservapedia, told the Guardian. "In one case my factual
      edits were removed within 60 seconds - so editing Wikipedia is no longer a
      viable approach."


      Wikipedia's credibility debated by professors
      Jamie Smith
      Issue date: 3/2/07 Section: News
      The Daily Vidette Online


      A shorter URL for the above link:


      Controversy was sparked after the history department at Middlebury College
      banned students from citing Wikipedia as a research source.

      ISU's history department has not taken any measures as far as banning the
      Web site, but does discourage its use for reliable information.

      "I would never say never, but generally we don't have that kind of
      departmental control over what any one professor does. We leave it in the
      professor's hands to decide for themselves whether or not they want
      students to use Wikipedia," Gifford said. With the ability for the
      information to be edited, some wonder why the Web site is as a popular as
      it is.

      "I would just say that no one who was even thinking would think of citing
      Wikipedia," Stewart Winger, a professor of history, said.

      The main reason for the debate about Wikipedia is the ability for people
      to be able to edit the information on the site. "I guess I just don't see
      any controversy here because I don't see why anyone would ever cite
      Wikipedia, which itself consists solely of non-cited material. It's like
      chain of custody in a criminal proceeding. You've got to have some way of
      knowing where your evidence came from," Winger stated.


      The Wikipedia Admin Brouhaha
      Submitted by Mathew Ingram on Thu, 03/01/2007 - 14:53.


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      Hardly a month goes by without some new dustup involving Wikipedia either
      because someone edited their own entry, or because someone bitched about
      not being able to edit their own entry, or because someone paid someone
      else to edit an entry.

      The latest brouhaha concerns a New Yorker piece that quoted a senior
      Wikipedia administrator named Essjay, a person described as a tenured
      professor of religion at a private U.S. university.

      As it turns out, Essjay is no such thing. His real name is Ryan Jordan,
      and he doesnt have a degree in theology or canon law (as his Wikipedia
      profile claims), nor does he teach at any kind of educational institution.
      He is 24, and works for Wikia, the for-profit company started by Wikipedia
      co-founder Jimmy Wales. And what was the response to the New Yorker piece?
      Jimmy Wales told the New Yorker that he regards Essjays fake profile as a
      pseudonym and I dont really have a problem with it. On his talk page at
      Wikipedia he says:

      EssJay has always been, and still is, a fantastic editor and trusted
      member of the community. He apologized to me and to the community for any
      harm caused.

      Trolls are claiming that he bragged about it: this is bullshit. He has
      been thoughtful and contrite about the entire matter and I consider it


      The Anarchy of Wikipedia
      Daniel Johnson - 3.1.2007 - 9:13AM

      Michael J. Lewis makes a fair point about Wikipedia: we have all used it
      as a short-cut from time to time, and, provided that information from it
      is checked and cross-referenced, it has its legitimate uses. But he does
      not go far enough in commenting on its accuracy.

      The site is the repository not merely of inaccuracy but of disinformation
      on a vast scale. It is a minefield for those whom Nietzsche called die
      Halbgebildeten, the half-educated. According to Tom Gross, Wikipedia
      recently deleted an entry that claimed the bones of Palestinian children
      were one of five ingredients used by Jews to make unleavened bread for
      Passover. Though the editors promised to be more vigilant in the future,
      it is troubling that an Islamist version of this ancient anti-Semitic
      blood libel could be posted on this most popular of online resources for
      any length of time at all.

      By chance, I discovered that the entry about me also included hostile,
      anonymously authored material. At my request, it was removed without
      question by the editors of Wikipedia. But what if I had not noticed it, or
      had been dead or otherwise unable to lodge a protest?


      Wikipedia doesn't get enough respect
      By: Jonas Hogg
      Issue date: 3/1/07 Section: Opinion
      Kansas State Collegian


      A shorter URL for the above link:


      Among the many under-appreciated and misunderstood resources in our world,
      Wikipedia.com ranks high on the list.

      It is abused by college students, damned by professors and generally
      shunned among the 30-and-older intellectual crowd. Now, according to an
      article in the Feb. 21 issue of The New York Times, it has been banned
      altogether from a history department at Middlebury College in Vermont.
      This move, while shocking, is disappointing for the wrong reasons -
      students should never use this Web site as their sole source.


      The mistake these students made was not their use of the Web site, but
      that they used it as their only source. Wikipedia is a fantastic resource
      for primary information and a great starting place for research.

      If users need a brief overview of an issue, they often can find it on
      Wikipedia and get a very basic and superficial understanding of a topic,
      which can help when doing further research. Some entries, however, go into
      greater detail than some Wikipedia skeptics might give them credit for.

      Also, many of Wikipedia's entries are sourced from other, incredibly
      useful links to credible Web sites that could be used in essays as valid


      March 1, 2007 5:22 AM PST
      Wikipedia 101: Check your sources

      A few months back, The New Yorker published a long piece about online
      encyclopedia Wikipedia. This week, the magazine ran an editors' note
      detailing a problem with one of the sources in the article.

      The Web encyclopedia's management team recommended a Wikipedia
      administrator, known to the Wikipedia community and to the article's
      author only as "Essjay," as a source for the story. According to the
      article, the source, who described himself online as "a tenured professor
      of religion at a private university" with "a Ph.D. in theology and a
      degree in canon law," remained anonymous on Wikipedia and to the magazine
      because he was concerned about retribution from people he ruled against.

      It turns out, however, that Essjay is a 24-year-old named Ryan Jordan, who
      is not a teacher and holds no advanced degrees. Jordan was recently hired
      by Wikia, a commercial company co-founded by Wikipedia founder Jimmy
      Wales. Wales told The New Yorker that he didn't "really have a problem
      with" Essjay's online profile, and regarded it as a "pseudonym."

      The incident had bloggers buzzing trying to decide where the bigger
      problem lay: Was Wikipedia to blame for allowing administrators to lie
      about who they are? Or should the reporter have been more thorough in
      checking her sources?


      University will not follow suit in a liberal arts college's Wikipedia ban
      by Harald Olsen
      Hatchet Reporter
      Issue date: 3/1/07 Section: News
      The George Washington (GW) Hatchet Online


      A shorter URL for the above link:


      "I sincerely doubt the GW History Department will be making a rule like
      (Middlebury's), because the assignments that our faculty members give
      don't really lend themselves to much use of Wikipedia," Anbinder said.

      The department chair and professor said he requires his students to use
      primary sources from the era they are studying, which means Wikipedia use
      is never allowed.

      Anbinder said students aren't the only ones lazily using the site. Some
      professors rely too much on Wikipedia for lectures, he said.

      "It can be a crutch at times for faculty as well as students," he said.
      "Wikipedia is so easy to get and so easy to use that people tend to rely
      on it more than they should."


      The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.


      More content from Net-Gold about and from the Wikipedia may be found at
      these URLs


      A shorter URL for the above link:



      A shorter URL for the above link:


      David Dillard
      Temple University
      (215) 204 - 4584
      General Internet & Print Resources
      Digital Divide Network
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