By Andreas Kolbe
One of the worst things about Wikipedia is how it provides a platform for malicious, anonymous slander. It did not have to be this way.
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy’s dad was recently defamed as a Nazi collaborator in Wikipedia, and the hoax spread instantly to other websites, including one news website which reported that the spurious information had been removed, and now claimed the article was “censored”. Levy had to employ Haaretz’s lawyer to have the article withdrawn, an option not open to everyone, as he rightly observes:
Wikipedia had published, for one day apparently, information planted there, that my father, Dr. Heinz Levy, had collaborated with the Nazis and therefore was awarded the position of district legal adviser under that horrific regime. When he came to Israel, he changed his name from Heinz to Zvi in order to blur his past, it added. All
…continue reading Flagged Revisions: how Wikipedia could have prevented anonymous defamation. And didn’t.
By Dan Murphy
Jim Hawkins is a regionally well-known radio host on the BBC, based in Shropshire. He’s a fairly popular guy in his community, and clearly a broadcast pro (I listened to 10 minutes of his show from a few days ago. Show wasn’t for me, but he clearly knows his business). I suspect, like most people in his trade, he’s made a lot of charity appearances, attended events that are meaningful (horse races or holiday galas or whatever) to his local community, and done a bit to promote his show. More than most of his age and background, he’s also embraced social media (mostly Twitter) as a way to engage his audience. What this means from a Wikipedia perspective is that he’s a “public figure” who has generated sufficient “reliable sources” to justify writing a biography about him.
He’s also been unhappy about the presence of his biography on Wikipedia (the 5th hit
…continue reading Why Jim Hawkins’ Treatment Matters