Friday, February 10, 2006

Tampering with Wikipedia

The self correcting capabilities of Wikipedia are being challenged. The Washington Post reports that the politicians are tweaking articles to serve their own interests.

It seems the alt med crowd has been in there poking around, too. Take, for example, multilevel marketer and colloidal mineral peddler Joel Wallach. Wikipedia’s original article on Wallach is here. A more flattering tweaked version is here. Here’s the current version, more like the original, after a fix by Wikipedia’s editors.

What’s a reader to do? You can click the history tab for any article to see links to all previous versions. That makes it pretty easy to distinguish legitimate editing from tampering. I’m sure the folks at Wikipedia are trying to address this problem. My suggestion: make it easier to identify contributors and require conflict of interest disclosures.

Kudos to the Health Fraud List for pointing me to these links.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia founder suggested what to do if you think that something is wrong in a particular Wikipedia article: just fix it.