Clear and to the Point

9 May, 2009

The Wikiback effect

Filed under: online resources,people,Web — monado @ 19:41

The Wikiback effect was discovered in a clever test to see how much hasty reporters depend on Wikipedia for their material. The Columbia Journalism Review reports that a Shane Fitzgerald, a student at University College Dublin, experimentally inserted some fake quotations into Wikipedia. He chose the article about a French Composer, Maurice Jarre, on hearing of Jarre’s recent death. The Guardian picked up three quotations.

Fitzgerald wrote in the Irish Times this week that he was shocked to see his quotes used by so many reputable news organizations. “Quality newspapers in England, India, America and as far away as Australia had my words in their reports of Jarre’s death,” he wrote.

Craig Silverman says

The Wikiback Effect is when errors contained in Wikipedia entries serve to expose the laziness and fallibility of professional journalists. Basically, if you’re a journalist and you crib from Wikipedia, it will get you back.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: