Monday, May 5, 2008

How the Wikipedia scanner works

We have to teach kids how to properly use Wikipedia. Some teachers do not mind it's use while other's describe it as "the devil." I am slowly moving on the side where it is ok to use as a reference point but not as a source to cite. As one of our history teachers said, "You would not cite World Book, so why would you cite Wikipedia." Exactly! But I do think it is a pretty good resource.
There have been tales of how people and companies are creating their own entries and this Wikipedia Scanner helps to assure that those individuals do not create their own biased entries. It's good to see that something is in place so hopefully Wikipedia does not turn into another marketing tool like MySpace and Facebook and Google.

How the Wikipedia Scanner Works
Virgil Griffith
Image courtesy Jake Appelbaum/Virgil Griffith
Virgil Griffith created the Wikipedia Scanner to catch companies and organizations who were editing Wikipedia articles to their own benefit.

In this article, we'll take a close look at how the WikiScanner works, look at some particularly controversial or simply bizarre examples of anonymous editing and consider some of the reactions to the WikiScanner. We'll also show you how you can use the WikiScanner to see what some organizations and companies may be up to on Wikipedia.

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