Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ken Burger Falls Victim to Wikipedia

The Post and Courier's Ken Burger was forced to post a correction when he referenced G-Man Melvin Purvis as a graduate of the Citadel. "The movie tells the story of how Melvin Purvis, a Citadel graduate who earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina ..."

Ken Burger was no doubt caught by Wiki logic while penning his story "Purvis Name Lives on in S.C." If you google Melvin Purvis and Citadel sure enough it is stated as fact that Melvin Purvis graduated from the Citadel. But according to the Citadel this is a myth.

Since the Post and Courier issued the correction, the Wikipedia entry for Melvin Purvis has also been corrected.

The perception is that since its on Wikipedia then it must be true or so the world seems to think.

But keep in mind that Wikipedia will allow anyone even Cedar Posts to write an authoritative article on any subject.

Since Wikipedia dominates the search engines, and many other "fact" sites and pages have taken as truth information from Wiki you need to be just a little skeptical. You would think that most people and smart columnists like Ken Burger would know better than to trust Wiki.

The trouble is even smart people have become lazy about fact checking.

On the other hand maybe the Citadel has the facts wrong? After all if its on Wiki it must be fact.

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