Wikipedia Ripe for Political Dirty Tricks

In Georgia this week, the campaign manager for a candidate for governor resigned amid allegations he doctored the Wikipedia biography of an opponent in the Democratic primary.

Morton Brilliant was accused of revising the entry for Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor to add his son’s arrest last August in a drunken driving accident that left his best friend dead.

The information was accurate and had been in the news. —Shannon McCaffreyWikipedia Ripe for Political Dirty Tricks (Breitbart | AP)

Thanks for the link, Mike.

Student Mike Rubino and I have been talking via e-mail with the director of our writing center, about how to get students thinking about the relative value of Wikipedia as a source.

I tell students that it’s fine to refer to Wikipedia when preparing for an informal oral presentation, or as part of a blogged response to a reading assignment. In a research paper, however, it’s not a credible source — except if the research paper is on a very geeky, very rapidly changing topic related to the internet, or a meme that’s currently spreading through youth culture, in which case the Wikipedia article is likely to have more up-to-date content than what you find in the mainstream media.