or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Accountability 2.0

   August 16th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Wikipedia logoGreat news (as I see it) this week for Wikipedia users: Virgil Griffith of CalTech created a search tool that can identify what computers were used to make changes to Wikipedia articles.

Others review some of the findings, but the importance of this is that Wikipedia has suddenly become much more trustworthy. Now that people who make changes can be more readily identified by the IP address of their computer, glaring falsifications and biased edits are easier to track and correct.

If fact, and ideally, it'll prevent this vandalism from taking place to begin with. Hopefully, if people in news organizations, political aides or anyone else know that they're no longer completely anonymous, the amount of this abuse will subside.

That, or the number of these changes coming from the IP ranges of public libraries will increase dramatically. Then, perhaps we'll have to sic the USA PATRIOT Act on them.

libraries, library, public libraries, public library, virgil griffith, wikipedia

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