This article in the Toronto Star details continued credibility problems with Wikipedia and cites egos and people’s need to rewrite history to their liking as reasons the online encyclopedia is seriously flawed. Excerpt:
These questions reportedly prompted the business editor of the New York Times to write a memo to staff, warning them Wikipedia should not be used to verify the accuracy of information. The
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales still defends the accuracy of his pet project, calling the bogus entries small aberrations that don’t indicate a larger problem with his online model. But such a comment is entirely premature. Until this past month, when coverage of bogus entries first surfaced, Wikipedia was the equivalent of an untouched concrete wall on the side of a building.
Now that one or two have been found to spray-paint this canvas with graffiti, vandals are sure to turn their attention to the wall. The publicity alone will lure copycats and those who previously had no idea how easy it was to manipulate the world according to Wikipedia.
Like a denial-of-service attack is to websites, the volume of people tempted to abuse Wikipedia’s openness will either lead to the demise of this online resource, or force it to dramatically alter its open-source philosophy.
Looks like Encyclopedia Britannica may win this war after all.