Top 10 Most Pathetic Ways People Abused Wikipedia

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Top 10 Most Pathetic Ways People Abused Wikipedia


Wikipedia is pretty great. It contains virtually every piece of information
mankind has ever known, available for you to read and learn from for free. It’s also editable by anybody, which leaves
it massively open for abuse. Here are some of the most pathetic ways people
have done exactly that. 10. Walmart Edits Its Own Page to Say it Pays
Good Wages If we were to tell you that Walmart pays terrible,
awful wages, you’d likely roll your eyes and say, “well yeah, duh!” Well, Walmart’s Wikipedia entry would disagree,
insisting that their average pay is just short of your average Hollywood A-lister. We know this because a student, curious about
who exactly was making Wikipedia edits, launched a handy service called ?Wikipedia scanner?
to find out.?This service scans the edits made to a given Wikipedia page and links it
to an IP address. Though it doesn’t tell you exactly who made
the edit, it does tell you where they made it from. After literally a week of operation, it was
discovered that dozens of companies had edited their own Wikipedia page to make themselves
seem better. Walmart was particularly brazen, making numerous
edits removing criticisms of their low wages. This is more depressing than the other companies
who did similar things with their own pages, simply because everyone already knows Walmart’s
wages are terrible. It’s a joke so tired and clich?d you’ll
probably see it on 9/GAG next week. It doesn’t matter if they edit it out — they’re
still going to be the butt of every joke made about minimum wage. 9. The BBC Worker Who Called George Bush a Wanker
via Wikipedia We’re not done with Wikipedia Scanner quite
yet, because there are just way too many awesome stories that came about as a result of it
being created. Now, one of the most edited Wikipedia pages
of all time is George W. Bush’s. Out of all the times it has been edited or
vandalized, perhaps the most pointless is the time a computer from the BBC offices changed
Bush’s middle name from Walker to ?Wanker.? That’s it — no biting swipe at Bush’s
policies or the war in Iraq, just a single letter change that was no doubt changed back
within seconds. Keep fighting the good fight, BBC. 8. Arguing About Circumcision. For Over a Year As mentioned above, there are several pages
on Wikipedia that are fairly controversial. Perhaps one of the most controversial is the
page on circumcision. Now, we’re not here to talk about the ethics
behind circumcision, because holy crap have people spent a lot of time doing that on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, the page is edited
approximately 3 times a day, and thousands of times per year. We should point out that there are people
who virtually spend all their free time editing this page. Say what you want about the act itself, but
that’s a depressing amount of time to spend discussing the pros and cons of cutting the
end of someone’s you-know-what?off. Especially considering all the other cool
stuff on Wikipedia. 7. Editing Your Own Wikipedia Page, Then Bragging
About It Imagine what your personal Wikipedia page
would say. Chances are you’re imagining it being ever-so-slightly
wrong, because virtually every Wikipedia page ever is slightly wrong. That’s part of their charm. Lea Salonga didn’t agree though, and decided
that she wanted to edit her own Wikipedia page to make it more accurate. Now, if she’d just quietly edited the page
for the benefit of the six people who’d be interested in who she actually is, we wouldn’t
be here talking about it.?However, Lea didn’t do that. In the most blatant self-serving move since
McDonald’s introduced ?pour your own drink? machines, Lea announced the edits on Twitter
and obnoxiously put a message at the top of the page saying she personally was editing
it. Lea, we can understand not wanting false information
to be out there, but if you’re going to have a go at Wikipedia, DON’T IGNORE THEIR
RULES when you decide to edit it to massage your own ego. 6. Abusing it for Pageviews You may not know this, but Wikipedia is really
popular. Just try searching for something online and
we can guarantee that a Wikipedia article will be on the first page of Google results. Now, Wikipedia is strictly non-profit and
they’ve gone on record in the past stating that there will never be ads there. Truly, it is one of the most enduring and
morally firm stances a website has ever taken. So of course there are people out there looking
to abuse the crap out of it. Without getting too complicated, a link from
Wikipedia to your website will end up with said site being more prominently rated by
Google. Usually, Wikipedia asks people to link to
articles from well-known or reputable sites to support its articles because no crap they
want people to do that. However, sites like this one recommend putting
links to your own website onto Wikipedia, even offering advice to skirt around Wikipedia’s
stringent rules on self-promotion. Now, we can’t definitively say that the
people taking this advice are doing so for their own benefit, but when a possible source
of revenue for your site ?is ?abusing the trust of a website that gives people knowledge
for free,? you’re not the one on the right side. 5. Having Other People Edit Your Own Wikipedia
Page Editing your own Wikipedia page is one thing,
but having someone else edit it on your behalf is arguably way more depressing, because that’s
the entry we’re putting higher on the list and there’s nothing you can do about it. Over in Blightly, English newspapers grew
a little suspicious when politician Chuka Umunna had a glowing Wikipedia entry detailing
everything he’d ever done of any note, ever.?Not only was the page incredibly detailed, noting
everything from Chuka’s work to his education, but it was seemingly written from the perspective
of either a rabid fan, or Chuka’s own mother. When someone looked into it and found that
all of the edits and pages surrounding Chuka and his work had been done mostly by one person,
they straight-up asked Chuka if he was the one responsible. Mostly because the person making the edits
seemingly had information only someone close to him would have. Chuka’s stock and remarkably politician-like
response was that it must have been a member of his staff. So there are literally only three possible
explanations for this: Chuka edited the page himself and had to deny it, someone with an
unhealthy obsession with an English politician wrote it out of pure admiration, or Chuka
paid someone to make him seem awesome on a website that is honor-bound to be impartial. We’ll let you decide which one it is. 4. Copying a Fake Quote from Wikipedia Plagiarizing from Wikipedia would almost certainly
get you told off in an educational setting. If you were in school, you’d no doubt be
severely punished. In college, you’d probably be given an incredibly
stern warning, and in university you’d likely be expelled instantly. Because seriously, that should never be tolerated. Unless you’re a journalist practicing??churnalism,?
the act of copying masses of text from Wikipedia or a similar source and passing it off as
your own work. Now, we’re not going to begrudge someone
for using Wikipedia as a jumping-off point, because it’s purposely written to be accessible. Plus, more often than not, it serves as an
excellent rundown of whatever it is you’re researching. But seriously, click those little blue words
at the bottom and do some further research, because learning is awesome! Shane Fitzgerald, Irish student and owner
of the most Irish name this side of Sheamus O’Potato McRiverdance,?decided to see just
how many people would copy from Wikipedia without checking their source and upon hearing
famed composer, Maurice Jarre had died, he quickly edited his Wikipedia page to feature
the following completely made-up quote:??When I die there will be a final waltz playing
in my head, that only I can hear.? Unbelievably, dozens of supposedly reputable
news sites copied the quote without so much as a cursory Google search to confirm that
Jarre actually freaking said that. Virtually everyone who wrote an article featuring
that quote based their entire article on Maurice’s Wikipedia entry, and for supposed paid journalists,
that’s just sad. 3. Copying from Wikipedia in a Report on Press
Ethics Following on from the entry above, ?churnalism?
is such a big deal that it was agreed something needed to be done about it. In response, the UK’s Lord Justice Leveson
was tasked with writing a report on the problem.?In it, he made passing reference to British newspaper
The Independent being partially founded by one Brett Straub. This information was of course, false. A friend of Brett’s had put his name on
several Wikipedia articles as a joke, even listing him as the inventor of Coca-Cola. Now, we should point out that Brett’s friend
had only put his name on Wikipedia, so literally the only way for Leveson to get that information
was for him to have copy/pasted it from the site?without fact-checking it. Again, on a report about press ethics. When contacted about it, Leveson and his people
declined to comment, but since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, we could make him say
anything we want, if you think about it. 2. Vandalizing the Same Entry, Over and Over
Again Wikipedia keeps an extensive record of who
edits an entry and what they change. This is necessary so if someone simply changes
the entry on dyslexia to be nothing but garbled words (people actually do that,) it can quickly
be changed back. Interestingly, there are a number of entries
that are vandalized extensively. Some of the most vandalized topics are Macintosh,
Harry Potter, stingrays, Nirvana, and Kazakhstan. Seriously, do any of those topics seem like
something any reasonable person should get worked up about? In the case of stingrays, there are grand
sweeping edits going back and forth on whether or not it’s important to note that?Steve
Irwin was killed by one.?How sad does your life have to be to argue about whether or
not it’s important to single out stingrays for murder on their own Wikipedia page? 1. An Obscure Rock Band with an Entry Longer
Than the One About the Beatles Many bands on Wikipedia have reasonably long
Wikipedia entries. In the case of bands like Metallica and the
Beatles, their contribution to music is so great they need all those extra words. However, there are some entries that are clearly
written by the bands themselves, because the band is the only one who knows the band even
exists. For example, consider Old Crow Medicine Show. Never heard of them? Well ,if the length of their Wikipedia page
is anything to go by, they’re bigger than the ghost of John Lennon playing a duet with
Michael Jackson.?The band’s page is so obviously a thinly-veiled marketing ploy, Microsoft
probably wants to patent it. We don’t think hitmen need this much information
on somebody. Seriously, there may as well be a section
containing the band members’ tax returns — it’s that insane. It’s even worse when you realize that the
mammoth 5,800 edits made to it were made almost entirely by a single person.

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