I am a big fan of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It has been a great source of information right at my fingertips for hundreds of topics. But the foundation of it being an open platform where anyone contribute has distinct drawbacks that have been coming to light recently. The most notable recent instance of this has been the controversy surrounding John Seigenthaler’s Op/Ed piece that appeared in USA Today on November 29th. In that he describes how he was defamed by an unknown author where it was claimed that he was suspected of involvement in the assassinations of JFK and RFK.
Just last night I was surfing around and wound up on the Wikipedia home page where I noticed the photo of the day of the Taj Mahal. On clicking through to the article, I was greeted with a photo that was definitley not an image of a gorgeous architectural monument in India, but rather a stark black and white photograph of the male anatomy. Thanks.
And lately in general, I’ve been somewhat put off by the fact that there seems to be too many articles on contemporary internet pop items, while real historical issues can occasionally fall by the wayside.
I suppose though that this all is partr of the territory. The reality is that Wikipedia could not be as complete or as successful as it is today without the ability to have anyone to be able to contribute. But at the same time, we must remember that problems like this will exist from time to time, and the resource needs to be recognized as such. Don’t have blind faith that there is absolute truth in everything you read.