Wikipedia FAIL – names Romney 45th U.S. President

One of the great things about Wikipedia is that anybody can edit articles.

One of the bad things about Wikipedia is that anybody can edit articles.

Controversial subjects tend to attract malicious edits, such as the sort of thing we’ve seen with Climate on Wikipedia, resulting in edit wars and suspensions of people like William M. Connolley.

Unlike the hard-bound reference Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia is often representative of the “fact of the moment” edited by a single person.

At left is a screen cap of the Romney edit, a high profile example of a malicious edit. You’d think they’d have had the good sense to lock the page to prevent such random edits, but no.

Here’s the edit trail from Wikipedia’s history page, click to enlarge:

While only up for 26 minutes, it underscores just how vunerable Wikipedia’s pages are to the opinions and actions of an anonymous single person, especially when controversial subjects are involved.

h/t to Garret Bastardi

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44 thoughts on “Wikipedia FAIL – names Romney 45th U.S. President

  1. Get used to it.

    I’ve already seen a number of other edits. For example, Romney has money in a huge medical waste disposal company, and someone added “abortion clinics” to a list of medical clients that company served (even though they’re a small portion of their client base, and the same people would be whining if the company didn’t serve those clinics).

    Basically, Romney’s article gets re-edited to match whatever new meme the Democrats come up with.

  2. Rocks and Hard Places spring to mind – of course in the UK, we have Cameron vs Miliband, so we are not laughing at you rebels!

  3. Yes, wikipedia is vulnerable to defacement and vulnerable to error. It is also a wonder of the world and a prime resource, especially in the sciences, mathematics, philosophy, history. It (plus google) form a major part of my brain — the part that learned something once upon a time (or not!) and cannot remember it any more.

    Curiously, that part of my brain cannot remember Romney being elected and thinks that the odds are roughly 2:1 that he never will be. Or at least not in time to be #45.

    rgb

  4. Well, the left defines the “neutral” in NPOV as their worldview, of course, just like they let Chris Mooney define their warmism as “scientific” and other opinions as “anti-science”; that is a game at least as old as the creation of the USSR. They have the journalists, the sociologists etc etc and can easily define us as mentally defective or criminal should they choose to do so.

    But it comes with a payback. They have already lost all credibility. They might lose more than that.

  5. We don’t know it yet but somebody developed a ‘time travel’ machine. Probably at Area 51. I’ve heard there was an executive order issued in 2007 by Barack Obama (I know he wasn’t President then) to develop a time travel machine in 5 years. This Wikipedia thing must’ve come from the future – hopefully.

    Now I know this all sounds really silly. But I mean, c’mon, is this really any more ridiculous then expecting a society of more than 300 million people to somehow come up with a complete replacement energy source for, well everything, in less than 40 years?

  6. What the Democrat spinners have been saying a along really has been true a along. Even despite what the Supreme Court ruled to actually give the Democrat party its way on the health care bill from the head on down they’re still calling their revenue-raiser a penalty NOT a tax.

    And, there is some truth in that. for example, when a company hires an employee it is responsible for the payroll tax. Let’s call it what it what it is: it’s a penalty. To the Democrat party the only good employee is a government employee.

  7. As much as I don’t like Obama, the Republican party has become bats__t crazy. Unfortunately that means 4 more years of a President who believes in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  8. Actually, I think this kind of thing is beneficial.

    I like and use Wikipedia – fully aware that there might be errors.

    The problem is that other sources also have errors, including things that one would expect to be reliable, like science texts.

    A reminder that one can never ‘check your brain at the door’ is a good thing.

  9. cirby says:
    July 7, 2012 at 3:12 am
    “Get used to it.

    . . .

    Basically, Romney’s article gets re-edited to match whatever new meme the Democrats come up with.”

    So the Democrates edited the article to have Romney elected next POTUS?

    Any more such brilliant observations that you would care to share?

  10. Typhoon~ Hey, remember, they are all about the SCARE. Like CAGW, it’s the scare, not the totally opposite Reality, that gets people running in the right (Left?) direction.

    Someone’s hoping people see that Wiki article and say ‘Oh My (secular!) diety! I better vote this time!’

    ;)

  11. The problem is not the occasional satirical post like this that is clearly not true. The problem is when falsehoods are posted as facts in science, history, etc. Wikipedia is a useful source only if the subject is not politicized or religious.

  12. Since climatology has been compared the study of ancient astrology perhaps we should divert government funding from academia and the UN-IPCC to just keeping an eye on changes to Wikipedia Nostradamus predictions. A “retroactive clairvoyance” example might be to clear up the mistranslation about impending doom to the more accurate ‘prediction’ that ‘Earth’s oceans shall cool at the close of the 20th century and many be chillin’ without more drillin’…”

  13. Romney likes offshore banks, so doesn’t this guy (an independent running for retiring Olympia Snowe’s senate seat), who appears the frontrunner in the polls. Dem, Rep or other, watch out for the snakes in the grass.

    Angus King backs Obama for re-election, but that doesn’t mean he’d caucus with Democrats

    http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/09/news/state/king-supports-obama-for-re-election/

    Let me explain a little here. King was an attorney and had past ties to the energy sector in Virginia. The law firm he was associated with also specializes in RICO law.

    While Governor, King used his position as governor to pick the winners, namely himself and stave off the competition until his second term was up.

    http://www.macalester.edu/windvisual/redingtoninfo.html

    After his term in office, King formed his own wind company that has received federal money (much like First Wind (which employs his son) as well as his PUC Commisioner (Kurt Adams) who got stock and a job at First Wind while he was a sitting member of the PUC.

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/04/21/politics/expuc-head-enriched-by-utility-company/

    There also were a lot of stay behind’s in the next administration that moved Kings’ efforts forward. Then guess what… He decided to get into the wind business

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Maine

    While King was reaping the rewards of his efforts, the next administration really got things rolling for them…

    http://www.asmainegoes.com/content/chronies-living-well-long-after-baldacci-gone

    So much so that Governor Baldacci stated that when his term was up he would be working for the wind industry… but then changed his mind after leaving office.

    http://www.asmainegoes.com/content/wind-power-corruption-tux-turkel-pph-blows-lid.

    Now who is Jay Cashman? His other company specializing in dredging just got a sweet contract cleaning up the PCB mess left by GE in the Hudson river and is gearing up to do work on the proposed offshore wind projects. (King is a big promoter of that folly).

    http://www.hudsondredging.com/2011/04/06/ge-selects-contractor-for-hudson-dredging/

    We all know from my posting here that GE got stimulus money and then cancelled it’s offshore efforts but never returned the money.

    http://dailybail.com/home/ge-dumps-offshore-wind-power-plans-after-collecting-125-mill.html

    We also know that Jack Immelt, CEO of GE is also Obama’s job czar.

    And this:

    Financial disclosure reports show great wealth disparity among Maine Senate candidates

    http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/29/politics/financial-disclosure-reports-show-great-wealth-disparity-among-maine-senate-candidates/

    [snip]

    BRUNSWICK, Maine — Former Gov. Angus King has received more than $350,000 over the past year and a half as a consultant, trust executor, college professor, corporate director, public speaker and author, and he and his wife, Mary Herman, hold millions of dollars in assets that include stocks, bonds and mutual funds…

    …During the nearly 18 months covered by the report, King earned five-figure sums for sitting on company boards, including $67,000 for the Bank of Maine, $18,000 for Hancock Lumber and $25,000 for Woodard & Curran, an international engineering firm with an office in Portland. Campaign spokeswoman Crystal Canney said King resigned from the federally regulated Bank of Maine board in April in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

    King also divested his ownership in wind development company Independence Wind in preparation for his Senate run, selling his stake to partner Rob Gardiner. The disclosure report shows that King earned a profit of $69,500 from that transaction. He also had earned $50,000 a year in management fees for three years he spent working on the development of two wind turbine projects, at Record Hill in Roxbury and Highland Plantation in Somerset County.

    King also earned almost $40,000 from his Maine state government pension and between $10,000 and $30,000 during the reporting period in rental income from two rental properties in Brunswick and a rental condo on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas.

    Both King and Gardner were with the Public Private Partnership known as Maine PBS. Here is a little about those PPP’s

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-public-private-partnership-another-phrase-fascism

    And this:

    W.P. Stewart & Co., Ltd. (Bermuda) Announces Appointment to Board of Directors

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wp-stewart–co-ltd-announces-appointment-to-board-of-directors-71829577.html

    There is much more, but now you know why Angus King supports Obama and like Mitt Romney, loves offshore finance.

  14. Its amazing to me that people who claim to be skeptical of predictions of climate models are somehow amazingly gifted to know the politics of the person who managed to deface Mitt Romney’s Wiki page despite having zero knowledge of that person.

    Mike McMillan says:
    July 7, 2012 at 4:44 am
    It’s called ‘Prescience,’ not ‘Fail.’

    No its called vandalism. Its no more prescient than the toss of a coin.

  15. John A says:
    … No its called vandalism. Its no more prescient than the toss of a coin.

    Well, okay, coins don’t make intelligent decisions. How about ‘Hope and Change?’

  16. Back in March of this year, the Wikipedia was claiming that Flowerdale in Northern Tasmania “…contributes 90% of Australia’s Cotton yield.” Rather odd given that the climate is far too cool to grow any cotton whatsoever.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flowerdale,_Tasmania&diff=500647050&oldid=479641811

    The Git long ago discovered that editing Wikipedia to correct errors was bootless. Instead he informed Cotton Australia who appear to have had the entry edited to reflect reality.

    The Wikipedia it must be remembered is on the Internet where anyone can say anything. Here’s one that amuses me:

    The hotter something is, the higher its temperature. Therefore I would like to propose the following informal definition …

    Temperature is a measure of hotness.

    Don’t go looking for “hotness” in any dictionary (except maybe a slang dictionary). There is no such word. I made it up. Despite this fact, I believe that most speakers of English will understand this neologism. Unfortunately this won’t do for scientific purposes.

    http://physics.info/temperature/

    Unfortunately, for etymological purposes “hotness” occurs in all of the relevant dictionaries on my bookshelves: The Oxford English Dictionary, The Concise Oxford, The Universal Dictionary of the English Language and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary. This is hardly surprising since the word has been in use since the 16th C. I assumed the rest of Glenn Elert’s “facts” were also complete and utter tosh and went elsewhere.

  17. “Betting On America?”

    Why not go with a sure thing?
    Low cost, high density, +200 year supply, grid compatible, on demand, coal based energy production located on small footprint sites immediately adjacent to high demand cities.

    Keep it Simple, Simons. Go With What Works!

    With pie-in-the-sky alternate energy companies like Solyndra and the Bright Source Energy project at Ivanpah CA going belly up each week ( http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/03/is-ivanpah-solyndra-times-three ), the real vandalism is the crony socialism that stole Billions of Taxpayer dollars to provide guaranteed ‘loans’ to these veiled political pay backs and campaign money laundering schemes.

  18. Well, Obama’s ”change” has taken place (the health insurance is now a fact) so he did his job and is out of work in a few months ;)

  19. Oh yeah Smokey…. and a decade+ of ‘wealthcare’ ha$ done so much to lift us into prosperity?

  20. Rocky, somehow it just doesn’t *feel* right to have Navy destroyers and aircraft carriers powered by chicken fat.

    Maybe that’s just me though.

    - MJM

  21. I pay almost 140 euro a month for healt insurance.. So i can pay for my own cancer later in life.. Welcome to europa! :)

  22. Obviously, the topology of Wikipedia has become so complex that it is warping space and time.

  23. michaeljmcfadden says:
    July 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm
    “Rocky, somehow it just doesn’t *feel* right to have Navy destroyers and aircraft carriers powered by chicken fat.”

    Michael and Rocky,
    Somehow, naval destroyers and aircraft carriers powered by chicken fat seems entirely appropriate for this adminisissytration! Putin feel safe flying Russian nuclear weapons capable ‘Bear’ bombers to within 15 miles of the US pacific coast on the 4th of July!
    MtK

  24. When I first saw Wackapedia, I called it Wackapedia because I noticed anyone could edit it. A lot of global warming (climate change) misinformation has been put in there. You can’t trust the data. It’s wacky.

  25. My money is on editors’ internal squabbles and someone sacrificing one of his/her clones to burn the Reichstag. An outside vandal would most likely had broken the page template.

  26. Mike McMillan says:
    July 7, 2012 at 10:55 am
    John A says:
    … No its called vandalism. Its no more prescient than the toss of a coin.

    Well, okay, coins don’t make intelligent decisions. How about ‘Hope and Change?’

    Neither do editors of Wikipedia.

    The real tragedy of Western democracies is that no-one has thought of a way to make a better source of information than Wikipedia and make it a profitable enterprise. Wikipedia wins by default even though its fact checking is diabolical and a lot of articles are grossly biased and misleading.

  27. Commenter scarletmacaw — “Wikipedia is a useful source only if the subject is not politicized or religious” — hits the nail on the head.

    I would only add that many Wikipedia articles that appear to be on innocuous topics are regularly rewritten by ferociously determined people with an axe to grind. The more outlandish the ideologies they adhere to, the more likely they are to be unemployed and therefore better at the byzantine internal politics of Wikipedia which favor those with unlimited time on their hands.

    Avoid Wikipedia like the plague.

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