January 4, 2013

"Err ... this Wikipedia entry as reported by Ann has some large factual errors."

"Neither Albania nor Yugoslavia were ever liberated by the Soviets. There was no 'EU military mission led by Italy,' if for no other reasons than that the EU does not have a military, and would not, in any case, have been so insensitive as to have sent one headed by Italy, the former colonial ruler. Wikipedia is an unreliable source."

If only there were some way to edit Wikipedia....

27 comments:

gerry said...

Was anything ever liberated by the Soviets?

Panachronic said...

Factual errors at Wikipedia. Seriously?

MPH said...

Glad this error was noted.

wyo sis said...

Good for Wikipedia. This is a feature not a bug.

Expat(ish) said...

That's very interesting - I have always worked off the assumption that the less political the section the higher the accuracy.

Not politics as in elected officials, always, but the sections on Lyme or the bombing on Hiroshima, etc.

Stuff on, say, tree frogs or tectonic plates is usually spot on. Technology stuff is very good too.

-XC

Big Mike said...

You fix a wikipedia entry, the idiots who run wikipedia.org just edit it back.

Ask me how I know.

bagoh20 said...

I've loved encyclopedias my whole life. As a kid it was probably 70% of my reading time - even re-reading things over and over. So today, I love Wikipedia and spend quite few hours a week surfing it. What I do a lot is use it to research things I'm watching on TV. Actor's lives, locations, events portrayed, etc.

Politics is such an infection. Why must it spoil everything, and truth is everything.

bagoh20 said...

When I was reading that entry yesterday, and came across those parts, it did hit hit me as something I had no idea about, because it seem illogical, but like a fool, I accepted it anyway, and probably would have passed it on, if the subject ever came up. This pisses me off.

EMD said...

Liberation is in the iron fist of the beholder

Balfegor said...

That's very interesting - I have always worked off the assumption that the less political the section the higher the accuracy.

Here, I think it's just sloppiness by whoever drafted the entry. Albania was liberated by a resistance movement full of communist partisans => must have been Soviets.

After widespread disorder in Albania in 1996/1997, Italy headed a multinational protection force which included military troops => it must have been an EU military force.

Peter said...

Big Mike, tell us you story.

Personally, I've never had any trouble fixing up Wiki. I just tried my hand at revising the "EU/Italy-led force" section. (It was mostly right.) We'll see if it sticks.

Personally, I love Wikipedia and grumble every time my kids come home with blanket pronouncements from their teachers about its unreliability.

Peter said...

Big Mike, tell us you story.

Personally, I've never had any trouble fixing up Wiki -- even when suggesting that entire articles be considered for removal.

I just tried my hand at revising the "EU/Italy-led force" passage. (It was mostly right.) We'll see if it sticks.

Personally, I love Wikipedia and grumble every time my kids come home with blanket pronouncements from their teachers about its unreliability.

Instructor reliability is a far greater problem.

sabeth.chu said...

and a further problem is that peoples then copy each other's errors, and even slanders.
and there is zip one can do about it except let well alone.
freedom of speech with a vengeance. every thing you read might be true, or not.
it's interesting, perhaps, to read what people might come up with - but life is too short .

Mumpsimus said...

I had the same experience, Big Mike, the one time I corrected an error in a Wikipedia article.

madAsHell said...

In ten years, imagine the confusion surrounding the accomplishments of Jughead Jesus.

nichole said...

I figure if I have the time to complain about a mistake on Wikipedia, I have the time to fix it.

edutcher said...

Toldja.

Relying on Wiki alone is asking for it.

Mark Keenan said...

Wikipedia has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Quite often when I am looking at a biography, you can see some bright spark has added some hilarity. I tend to leave it.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I know jack shit about chemistry so I presume the pharmacology stuff on wikipedia is 100% accurate.

And I'm STILL ALIVE!!!

Bryan C said...

Balfagor is probably right on the mark. In my limited experience, most of the routine, non-propagandistic errors on Wikipedia are the result of sloppy paraphrasing from primary sources.

Seeing Red said...

Well, my Czech tour guide seemed to think her country was. But that was the 80s......

Petunia said...

Wikipedia's a good place to START finding information on something. Use it to get leads to do further research from more reliable places.

Peter said...

Errors have repeated and proliferated through *all* media. Indeed, one could argue that the permanence of print -- i.e., the limits of our ability to edit and change is in a timely fashion, once it is out there in the world -- can lead to more recalcitrant errors.

For a soft example of this, see Stephen Jay Gould's "The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone."

Joe Schmoe said...

If only there were some way to edit Wikipedia....

Ha! Funniest thing I've read in awhile.

SteveR said...

I generally qualify any information as "per Wikipedia". Like the Urban Dictionary, as accurate as the person who created it.

Mike said...

I saw a stat that said there were an average of 3 errors per page on Encyclopedia Brittanica, and Wiki is at about 4 per page. Of course, that was during a Fox News Report so some here may find that source material lacking in standing.

Wikitorix said...

Mitchell the Bat said...

I know jack shit about chemistry so I presume the pharmacology stuff on wikipedia is 100% accurate.

And I'm STILL ALIVE!!!
1/4/13 10:16 AM


Unsurprisingly, wikipedia does not contain an entry about the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect