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Archive for Wikipedia

Is Tom Cruise Updating Articles in Wikipedia Again?

Scientology is a religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952.   I have never met anyone who is or has been a scientologist.  However, they have a very large media presence especially since they have a large number of celebrity followers.  I must admit, I sometimes stereotype it as a religion for celebrities or rich people.

Recently, I have been checking out the Church’s activity on Wikipedia by researching Wikiscanner.  I have found that representatives of the church are somewhat active editors on Wikiedia.  As of August 2007 there were 170 updates throughout Wikipedia that linked to the Church’s IP address.  The obvious edits were on pages that discussed The Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard (founder), Dianetics, and David Miscavige the chairman of the board of Religious and Technology Center which oversees The Church of Scientology.  Most of the edits included adding links to their Web site or to Web sites that support their causes when it pertained to the subject matter.  They seem to edit on a wide variety of issues to help support their school of thought.

According to Wikipedia, Scientologists are “vehemently opposed” to psychology and psychiatry.   Several edits made in Wikiscanner were made to articles that dealt with depression or anti-depressants.  Articles that were edited that dealt with mental health or anti-depressants were:

·        Postpartum depression

·        Kurt Cobain

·        Schizophrenia

·        American Psychiatry

·        Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

·        Depression

·        Dyslexia

One article that was updated by The Church that I found interesting was about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of the Columbine High School massacre.  They edited the article to include the fact that the coroner’s offices found a “therapeutic amount” of the anti-depressant Luvox in Eric Harris’ system.  This was clearly edited to support their belief that anti-depressant cause suicidal thoughts and violence amongst its users.

I am surprised to admit that I think The Church of Scientology is pretty responsible in their Wikipedia edits.  Obviously they want more people to submit to their teachings so they add links to their site were they fit.  Again, I noticed that there were several links and additions added to support their theories however, I do not believe they were too presumptuous in their editing.

The Internet’s Long Tail

This is a picture that I saw online when I looked up Wikipedia under Google images.

According to The Long Tail by Chris Anderson Wikipedia is more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica. I was really surprised by this since Encyclopedia Britannica is considered a more reliable source. Anderson also said that when information is incorrect in Wikipedia it can be fixed immediately unlike Encyclopedia Britannica their mistakes cannot be corrected until the next reprinting of the book.

I think  Wikipedia is so amazing. The thought that there is such a vast amount of information available and that anyone with knowledge of a subject can literally add their two cents.  For one of our class projects we have to chose a subject and either edit the existing post or add information about a subject that is not currently on Wikipedia. It seems that everything is already there. What more can I add? I have been thinking about looking at what they have to say about my home town or maybe even my husband’s birth country. I am sure I can drill him for something worthy enough for a Wikipedia post.

In addition to wikis, podcasts have become a very popular addition to the “long tail” of the Internet. Sometimes I listen to For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report as well as podcasts from  NPR’s Web site. As I searched the Net to look at various podcasts I stumbled upon PodCastAwards.com. This Web site allows people to vote on different podcasts based on categories. The award show is held virtually and more than 1500 people attended last years live stream of the event. There are a range of categories some include People’s Choice, Best Produced, Best Video Podcast, Movies/Films, Comedy, Education, and Cultural/Arts. This is a great Web site for someone who is new to listening to podcasts or just interested in finding out about podcasts.  There is definitely something for everyone.