Monday, December 5, 2005


CNet has the latest growing pains for Wikipedia and its founder. Some of these issues I covered in my column, "It's a Wiki, Wiki World," this past February.

For Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, last week was a tough one. And he's going to change the ground rules for the popular anyone-can-contribute encyclopedia because of it.

First, in a Nov. 29 op-ed piece in USA Today, a former administrative assistant to Robert Kennedy lambasted the free online reference work for an article that suggested he may have been involved in the assassinations of both Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.

Then, on Dec. 1, a new flurry of attention came when former MTV VJ and podcasting pioneer Adam Curry was accused of anonymously editing out references to other people's seminal podcasting work in an article about the hot new digital medium.

To critics of Wikipedia--which, in a spin on the open-source model, lets anyone create and edit entries--the news was further proof that the service has no accountability and no place in the world of serious information gathering.

"Wales, in a recent C-SPAN interview...insisted that his Web site is accountable and that his community of thousands of volunteer editors...corrects mistakes within minutes," former Robert Kennedy aide John Seigenthaler wrote in USA Today. "My experience refutes that...For four months, Wikipedia depicted me as a suspected assassin."
(full article)

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