Life Cycle of a Wikipedia Hoax

Filed under: Literary Hoaxes, Practical Jokes and Mischief

Wikipedia is every undergrad’s best friend, and its community of editors works hard to make it informative and accurate. But it can still allow falsehoods to spread, as it did with a stoner prank… for years.

Amelia Bedelia Hoax

Had she not outed herself, EJ Dickson’s kiddie-lit misinfo may have spread even further. She puts a stop to it here, with “I Accidentally Started a Wikipedia Hoax” on The Daily Dot, adding some insights on Wikipedia’s many security holes.

As Wikipedia shenanigans go, Dickson’s is fairly innocent. A lot of Z-listers have obviously created entries for themselves by plugging in their PR boilerplate, and there’s some hardcore defamation out there as well. Rooting out falsehoods continues to be part of the heated discussion (one with the occasional hilarious digression) about Wikipedia’s future.