Posted by: Democratic Thinker | March 18, 2015

Commentary: Policing Wikipedia

Commentary

 
 
Matthew Hennessey over at City Journal comments on Wikipedia and their editorial policy.


The outrage is misplaced, however. The real scandal is that anyone thinks Wikipedia is a reliable source of unbiased information.


 

City Journal.

 

Eye on the News

MATTHEW HENNESSEY
Policing Wikipedia
So what if someone from the NYPD edited Eric Garner’s Wikipedia page?
17 March 2015

 

Wikipedia.
Photo by Duncan Hull

The NYPD has admitted that someone using an IP address registered to the department made edits to the Wikipedia page of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island man who died last year after officers used a chokehold to subdue him. The department announced that it would investigate the edits, which it called a case of an employee using a work computer for personal purposes.

Cue the predictable howls of outrage at this attempt to whitewash the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man. The technology website Ars Technica called the edits an attempt “to sanitize Wikipedia entries about cases of police brutality.” Think Progress said they were an example of the police department’s fumbling its response to “increased scrutiny” after recent protests.

The outrage is misplaced, however. The real scandal is that anyone thinks Wikipedia is a reliable source of unbiased information.

Garner’s death was caught on a cell phone video and has been viewed by millions across the country, but what happened on the day he died remains in dispute. Reactions to the video vary. Some think the cops murdered Garner; others think he goaded them into taking him down. Some see Garner as the victim of an out-of-control police force targeting African-American men. Indeed, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Garner “a father, a husband, a son—a good man.” Others say that he was a career petty criminal with a chip on his shoulder. With so much to disagree about, it’s no surprise that Garner’s Wikipedia page has become a battleground.

. . .

(Read the rest at original site)

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