Wikipedia: misinformation highway

You, too, can contribute to the World Wide Web!

At first, it might sound like a good idea. Do you know something about something?–share your knowledge! Put it out there! People will want to know what you know!

But in the shortsighted manner of idiots everywhere, the information highway has become the MISinformation highway.

Did you know that anyone can edit a wikipedia page? Anyone! This includes your know-it-all brother, your senile grandfather, your websurfing nine-year-old, your daughter’s stoner boyfriend, the neighborhood drunk, your (fill in the blank).

I’ve always been selective about what sites I use for research, and it’s getting tougher. It used to be that I could do a search and get some top university and professional sites in the upper regions of my search results. Now the first three returned sites are almost always wikipedia sites.

Case in point: Months ago, I did a search on daylight savings time. Page after page of wikipedia sites popped up, claiming that there were three states in the U.S. that do not change over to DST. 1) AZ  2) no one could agree on this one, and 3) Missouri. Excuse me!? Missouri!? Now, since anyone can edit a wikipedia page and since I have lived in MO almost six decades, I did so. But it wasn’t just one page. People were quoting the misinformation on OTHER wikipedia pages! Holy crap!

Lesson in point: do not click on wikipedia sites. Do not use wikipedia sites. Tell everyone you know that you will not pay any attention to what they are saying if they are quoting what they read on a wikipedia page.

And the next time you do a search . . . think twice about which results you click on.

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