Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A lesson for researchers. Now, don't get me wrong: I love Wikipedia and find it to be fairly accurate for the things that I research and know about; but the point shouldn't be lost on researchers and students.

Never, ever think of Wikipedia as the final and authoritative source on any subject. Always cross-check the information on Wikipedia with other reliable sources. And always hold Wikipedia to the same scrutiny of verification that you would hold any other resource.

In this case, the duped media outlets lifted from Wikipedia what was supposedly a direct quotation from an individual. However, this quotation was never sourced on Wikipedia. In fact, it was a planted hoax, designed to see how media would use it. And apparently, the media used it carelessly.

As I said, a lesson to be heeded.

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