False information on Wikipedia
On January 8, I blogged about Wikipedia, an open-source online encyclopedia where anyone can set up an account and post updates to entries about almost any subject one can think of. Because of the nature of the site, there is an inherent weakness to the veracity of information posted there. This is why it is foolish for journalists to rely on Wikipedia for information and also why college professors refuse to allow students to cite Wikipedia in research papers.
The point of that post was that Wikipedia is an interactive content provider, like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and innumerable discussion forums, blogs and blog comment sections scattered throughout cyberspace. As an interactive content provider, Wikipedia itself does not make mistakes. There is false information posted to Wikipedia, intentionally and unintentionally, but that false information is posted by Wikipedia's users.
For some strange reason, militant atheist Michael Newton has become obsessed with my post about Wikipedia, shamelessly lying on HeraldTimesOnline.com and claiming that I said there is no false information on Wikipedia. The point of this follow-up post is to settle the issue, once and for all, with absolute truth.
January 8, 2010: 4:22 pm
After Newton posted this, I corrected him, saying that "I made it very clear in my post that there is false information posted to Wikipedia, intentionally and unintentionally. I even cited specific examples of false information posted there." Three days after the first falsehood was exposed, Newton repeated the lie:
January 11, 2010: 6:18 am
I repeated the same refutation as before, saying "I made it very clear in my post that there is false information posted to Wikipedia, intentionally and unintentionally. I even cited specific examples of false information posted there." That Newton would repeat the same lie three days after it had been discredited demonstrates how much of a shameless liar he is. But he still was not done:
Next thing we know, you'll be climbing aboard the amFibbian's bandwagon, claiming that "Wikipedia does not make mistakes."
January 16, 2010: 4:04 am
That's right. A full week after his attempt to smear me was exposed as a complete fabrication, a full week after anyone who is literate could see that his statements about me are clearly and plainly false, he shamelessly lied about my post again. But Michael Newton still was not done. He followed this up with:
Meanwhile, back at "inerrant" Wikipedia, let's try an experiment. For one of the site's countless errors (which Fibbs deems nonexistent), visit Wiki's entry on organized crime's Atlantic City conference of 1929. Search or scroll down for the name of New England mobster Danny Walsh and click on the hyperlink. Where does it take you? To the bio of a man born 50 years after the meeting in question.
"No mistakes," Fibbs? That's simply one of countless erroneous links found on Wiki.
January 16, 2010: 4:22 pm
This is truly amazing. I am literally stunned that Michael Newton would lie so shamelessly, especially given that anyone who reads my post can clearly see that I did not say that there were no errors on Wikipedia. Not one single time. Never. And Michael Newton knows it. In 13 years of participating in verious political discussions on the Internet, I've never encountered a more shameless liar.
Once again, I made it very clear in my January 8 post that there is false information posted to Wikipedia, both intentionally and unintentionally. I even cited specific examples of false information posted there, including the claim that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and the claim that Rush Limbaugh died a couple weeks ago when he was in a Hawaii hospital with severe chest pains.
What I said was that Wikipedia itself does not make mistakes. Wikipedia's users post false information, by mistake or intentionally. Michael Newton, of course, knows this. He also knows the difference between user-generated content on the internet and a published book. Wikipedia certainly is not the Encyclopedia Britannica.
For some reason, Michael Newton has become obsessed with endlessly repeating this lie. He has been repeating the same lies over and over again despite the fact that his lies have been completely and thoroughly discredited numerous times. It has been well-documented that I never said that there is no false information posted to Wikipedia. It has been well-documented that I cited specific examples of false information posted on Wikipedia. Nonetheless, Michael Newton continues to claim that I said there are no errors on Wikipedia. He is a shameless liar.