No one's laughing at the Wikipedia 'joke' entry

The latest chapter in the ongoing Wikipedia credibility saga revealed that a 38-year-old Nashville man was responsible for the now infamous posting of false information about John Seigenthaler Sr. and did so to play a prank on a co-worker. He thought that the online encyclopedia was nothing more than a "gag" site, according to a New York Times story.

wikipedia

Brian Chase, who had been an operations manager at a delivery company until , admitted he wrote the material suggesting that Seigenthaler, a former editor of The Tennessean in Nashville, had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the story said.

Now himself a Wikipedia entry, Chase apologized for the joke, one he said "went horribly, horribly wrong," according to a CNN story. Bloggers weren't laughing, and said the victim, more so than Seigenthaler, was Wikipedia and the open source and communal approach to information.

Blog community response:

"I don't think I'd like to be this guy's friend, if that's what he considers a 'joke.'"
--i, tim germer

"I'm sure this is one prank he regrets now! What's worse is that Wikipedia has since suffered major damage to its image, something that will take a lot longer to repair than the damaged entry. It's hard to walk that line between open and free and so open that there is no accountability."
--SarahInTampa

"The future of Wikipedia remains unclear; it is an international initiative with a great deal of excellent material. However, unless the information can be independently verified, the material within it may be suspect."
--NCS-Tech.org

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