Irish student hoaxes world's media with fake quote

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, May 12, 2009.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    DUBLIN (AP) -- When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.


    His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.


    The sociology major's obituary-friendly quote -- which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer's death March 28 -- flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it.


    A full month went by and nobody noticed the editorial fraud. So Fitzgerald told several media outlets they'd swallowed his baloney whole.
    "I was really shocked at the results from the experiment," Fitzgerald, 22, said Monday in an interview a week after one newspaper at fault, The Guardian of Britain, became the first to admit its obituarist lifted material straight from Wikipedia.


    He said the Guardian was the only publication to respond to him in detail and with remorse at its own editorial failing. Others, he said, treated him as a vandal who was solely to blame for their cut-and-paste content.


    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Irish-student-hoaxes-worlds-apf-15201451.html?.v=1
     
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  3. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    DK, this brings to mind a frustration I have had with my younger children's education. Over the last few years, I have seen that many of the teachers are becoming lax in asking my children for verified sources when writing a paper.

    Too often, I have seen my children come home and plop down in front of the computer as instructed by their teachers and go find info on the internet. Never once required to go to the library to find a book or encyclopedia entry for the topic of that paper.

    I know this wasn't the topic of your post but it just brought that to mind.
     
  4. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Those crazy Irish!
     
  5. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    I have noticed this, too, in the younger grades. In fact, my middle school daughter was given a take-home test and told to use the internet to find the answers, and it was nearly impossible. There was too much information from too many sources to find what the teacher wanted.

    However, in the high school all the English teachers I know teach proper MLA, and even teach how to determine if a web source is reliable. Outside of English, though, teachers aren't as picky about sources and MLA.
     
  6. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

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    I worked at a (very badly run) newspaper here where they would hire people to proof stories in off the street. Anyway, I soon found out these people were fact-checking by typing a topic into google and going with whatever popped up first! I screamed bloody murder about it but couldn't get anyone else concerned.

    So for the very first time I quit a job without another prospect.

    Good for this guy! Two thumbs down for the newspapers.
     

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