[Air-l] wikipedia

Barry Wellman wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Tue Dec 6 17:58:54 PST 2005

I take issue with 2 contentions made here.

1. Defamatory wikipedia entries are only micro, so they can't hurt the
BUT, they can sure hurt the individual.
Supposed I put an entry about a mythical grad student named Dinah Bayd,
saying she plagirizes her papers. This could harm her career immensely.
DISCLAIMER: Dinah Bayd is a made-up name. Neither I -- nor Google -- has
ever heard of her. If she does exist, I am confident that she does not
plagirize. Neither I am sure does someone who has a similar name (and
frequently posts to this list.;-)

2. danah boyd contends that wikipedia entries are patrolled so often that
they are self-correcting. I wonder. I certainly didn't know for months?
that an entry existed in my name. It slurred me a bit, although not
legally defamatory. It was finally corrected, but I don't go back daily to
check it. Most of us are too busy or even more likely -- too unaware of
Wikipedia to do such patrols.


  Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
  wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
	     To network is to live; to live is to network

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