Death by Wikipedia: The Kenneth Lay Chronicles July 10, 2006Posted by rajAT in citizen journalism, media2.0, peer production, web2.0.
News organizations began reporting Lay’s death around 10 A.M.
At 10:06 A.M. Lay’s wikipedia entry said he had died “of an apparent suicide”.
At 10:08 A.M. the entry reads Lay had died “of an apparent heart attack or suicide”.
At 10:09 A.M. another author backtracked the article and said that the cause of death was “yet to be determinded”.
At 10:11 A.M. article concluded, “The guilt of ruining so many lives led him to his suicide”.
At 10:12 A.M. the article was corrected and it says the cause was a massive coronoary heart attack.
The incorrect informatin was there on the website for total 6 mins. Durinig these 6 minutes the information got updated 5 times. And finally the correct information was posted. Now whether those six minutes were crucial that depends on the information and decisions that will be taken based on information. So lets not get into a subjective debate/discussion.
The question that needs to be asked here is, “Should wikipedia be used to check breaking news”. Wikipedia never claimed that they gonna throw Reuters out of business or BBC. Britannica sure :)!!
So IMHO Frank Ahrens is trying to match apple with oranges and that is insanity.