How Quickly the News Spreads: The Wikipedia Police

I don’t think I’ve laughed while reading a news article in a long, long time. The Globe had a story entitled "Here come the Wikipedia Police" that took an amusing shot at some of the self-regulated practices of Wikipedians. In the article, the author makes a humourous edit to and article, and is subsequently chastened by an 11-year old moderator. Hilarity ensues (especially in the comments on the article).

"And herein lies today’s lesson: The Wikipedia isn’t the anonymous free-for-all it was cracked up to be. It’s taking down names and numbers, and if you do something it doesn’t like, it won’t just fix the problem, an 11-year-old with a bowl cut and spectacles will track you down and berate you for it."

Beyond the entertaining description of the moderator in question, I think what I got the most out of this article, was a jolt of surprise – the Newspaper was current! I enjoy both online and offline periodicals, and I’m typically dissapointed with how far behind printed news sources are, with online movements and events. With articles that lag behind online information weeks or even months at a time, it was refreshing to see an article (albeit an irreverent personal blog-like post) that addressed an issue that is a topic of discussion in a number of sites and forums right now.

Similalry, what was most bothersome was the authors open mockery of young moderator who chastised him. Although he may find humour in the entusiasm and "passive-agressive" tone of the youngster, I don’t think it was appropriate to mock him in a published print medium. It’s 11-year olds’ enthusiasm and passion for the sanctity of public information that creates great journalists. I think that the author of the Globe and Mail article would do well to remember that some people do still care about the integrity of what is published.

Either way, for those of you who are more techy – here’s an interesting read on how Software Can’t Be Engineered.


VP HCM Products at NetSuite and Founder of TribeHR and Lewis Media. Waterloo Region Enthusiast and active volunteer.


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