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Veracity…

August 21, 2007

VirgilIf you read David Warlick‘s blog, or hear him talk, you soon learn about the importance of checking the veracity of any sources you encounter online. There can hardly be a blogger anywhere in the education world who doesn’t know about the neo-nazi Stormfront Group’s site dedicated to discrediting Martin Luther King. As teachers we need to know that we can trust the source material we consult and use, and this becomes all the more important as it becomes easier and easier to use sources like Wikipedia to aid us in the classroom and in our preparation… with this in mind, you might want to check out Wikiscanner.

 

This clever bit of code by Virgil Griffith (Mad Scientist. Disruptive Technologist. – And pictured above!) checks the IP address of those who edit Wikipedia, and then tells you who they really are!

Since being launched, the site has made several headlines as companies and public bodies as diverse as Apple and the CIA are discovered to have made advantageous edits to Wikipedia…

In fact, there has been a rather nifty growth in sites such as reddit.com’s wikidgame that use Wikiscanner to find all sorts of strange coincidences… but my own favourite discovery, and the one I think would make a superb Media/English/Geography/Modern Studies/etc lesson, has got to be Exxon’s attempt to ‘cover up’ the environmental impact of the Exxon Valdez sinking in 1989. If you want to see what I’m talking about, have a look at THIS PAGE… the original text is on the left, the ‘sanitized’ version is on the right (can you see the difference?

 

Wikiscanner is a great resource, and I can’t help but think that similar comparative searches are going to become of greater importance as we become more involved in our online lives.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 22, 2007 7:31 am

    Oopsie! I forgot to add the link to the Exxon Wiki edit… Here It Is!

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