How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit

Yoni Appelbaum, The Atlantic, May 16, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good story about T. Mills Kelly's course, Lying About the Past. The idea here is to engage students by having them create a fabricated hostory and attempt to fool a community with it. Their first attempt succeeded in planting a false Wikipedia article. But their efforts from the current year, including one that was undone on Reddit in a mere matter of minutes. What's really inteersting about the article is the anaysis of why Wikipedia was fooled and Reddit wasn't. "One answer lies in the structure of the Internet's various communities. Wikipedia has a weak community, but centralizes the exchange of information. It has a small number of extremely active editors, but participation is declining, and most users feel little ownership of the content." As Wikipedia editors gain more authority and nfluence, as they have over the last few years, the ability of the site to detect errors and falsehoods actually decreases. Of course - this Atlantic article may also be a deception. Who's to know?

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