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Top 10 infamous Wikipedia Hoaxes

There is a reason why journalists generally do not accept Wikipedia as a reliable source – because the site can be edited by anyone, misinformation and jokes lurk around every corner. While most of them are quickly intercepted by the Wikipedia moderator team, many have gone unnoticed for years. Here are some of the most disturbing cases: Feel free to mention others that you may know in the comments.

SEE ALSO: 10 Viral Photos That Have Turned Dizziness

10 Sindbad's Death

  Dizziness Sindbad Dead

9 Wrightbus

  Wrightbus Bus Company

Here is a case where a "prank" addition to a Wikipedia article caused panic due to a tense environment. In November 2015, a vandalism added a misstatement to the Wikipedia article for Wrightbus (a bus manufacturer based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland) stating that the Scottish carrier FirstGroup had bought Wrightbus. The false information was quickly spread through word of mouth and sent the more than 1,500 employees of the company in a panic. It gets worse, however, because two major companies (a tire manufacturer and a tobacco company) had recently announced plans to leave Ballymena, costing more than 1700 jobs between them. The joke was a powder keg match for local workers already worried about job losses. While the joke was quickly discredited by a local newspaper, it only stopped the bleeding – it could not heal the wound. Jar & # 39; Edo Wens

  False God Jar & # 39; Edo Wens

This case demonstrates how easy it is to write an artifact through the cracks slips and stays with Wikipedia for years. This happened with an article written in May 2005 for a fake deity named Jar'Edo Wens (most likely a skilful revision of Jared Owen's name). The author of the article made only three Wikipedia changes: In addition to creating the page, he added Jar'Edo and another fictitious deity, Yohrmum (an obvious pun) to a list of Native Australian deities. The whole process lasted only eleven minutes, but the Jar'Edo Wens site stayed on the site for almost ten years, even though it was marked for lack of resources in 2009. During this time, Jar & # 39; Edo even found his way into a book that criticized theism and was mentioned as God who "fell into disfavor." When the hoax finally came out in March 2015, it was officially recognized as the longest running joke on Wikipedia. Although surpassed in this regard, the debacle "Jar & # 39; Edo Wens" was definitely a key moment in the history of Wikipedia Hoaxes. [3]

7 Maurice Jarre

  Maurice Jarre Composer

Our next entry proves that Wikipedia is not always the problem. Already in March 2009, Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jarre died. Quotes that appeared in several obituaries (including one published by "The Guardian", a leading British newspaper), included "Life itself was a long soundtrack" and "When I die, one last waltz becomes play my head "only I can hear. "The problem? Jarre never said that. When Dublin student Shane Fitzgerald heard of Jarres death, he considered it a great opportunity to test how the media used Wikipedia in times of instant news. It took him less than fifteen minutes to make a quote and add it to Jarres's Wikipedia page. He expected that newspapers would not use the citation because it was not linked to any source other than Wikipedia. However, after the fictitious quote spread, he admitted his "crime" for fear that the quote would forever be attributed to Jarre. Instead of blaming Wikipedia for disseminating the quote, he blamed journalists, who, he said, wrote articles too quickly to review the sources, adding that Wikipedia moderators postponed the wrong quote within hours several times removed from the site. [4]

6 Bicholim Conflict

  Fake War Bicholim Conflict

This post shows what is probably the greatest effort ever put into a Wikipedia hoax. A group of editors on the site wrote a 4,500-word article about a 17th-century war between Portugal and India that never happened. The story was so convincing that Wikipedia gave it the status of "good article", an award that was less than 1% of the articles on the site. The creator of the hoax even nominated the page for the Featured Item status, a privilege reserved for the best articles on the site, even though the committee responsible for selecting the highlighting articles noted that some of the article's main sources were "weak" and in the end were not select. What they did not realize was that almost every source used in the article was a non-existent book and the only mentions of a "Bicholim conflict" on the Internet that led back to the Wikipedia article. The fake story might never have come to light if amateur wiki detective "ShelfSkewed" had not decided to check the source of the article, which would have led to the decoding of the elaborate joke. [5]

5 Orange Julius

  Julius Freed Hoax

Some Wikipedia hoaxes just are not believable. For example, in June 2005 an article was published in Wikipedia about the creator of Orange Julius (a popular fruit drink that resembles an orange creamsicle). At first glance, the article seemed to be in order: just a short biography of Julius Freed with sections on his early life and his genesis of the orange Julius. He also mentioned his other "ingenious" inventions, such as the inflatable shrimp trap and the portable pigeon bathing station. Wait what? Surprisingly, this obviously fake part of the article was not checked until Ken Jenning's "Jeopardy" legend discovered him. He set to work to refute the hoax and published the results in his personal blog. Nobody was hurt by the small white lie, though strangely, Orange Julius briefly ran an ad for faux services before Wikipedia removed the hoax. [6]

4 coati

  coati mammal

3 Edward Owens

  Hoax Pirate Edward Owens

Do not confuse him with Jar & # 39; Edo Wens! Edward Owens was a fictional pirate invented by students of George Mason University as part of a course on "Lying About the Past" by Professor T. Miles Kelly in 2008. The students created a website, videos and of course a fake wikipedia article to promote the hoax. Owens was an oystercatcher who turned to piracy as a survival method during the "long depression" – an economic slump – in the late 1800s. After several blogs (especially one related to "USA Today") had reported the hoax as a factual report, the perpetrators admitted their deception – but that did not prevent Kelly from teaching the class again in 2012. This time around, the students disguised themselves as "Lisa Quinn," a woman who thought her uncle was a serial killer, based on some weird objects found in a suitcase that had belonged to him. The students found four fairly similar cases of women murdered in New York City between 1895 and 1897, and created (factual) Wikipedia articles for them. The plan was that Lisa would then discover her names in her uncle's documents, and the Internet believed it exposed a serial killer. Everything went well – until the students sent the joke to Reddit. At this point, it took only 26 minutes for someone to call a foul. The post was probably "viral marketing". This led to the story being quickly disassembled by a crowd of eager redditors, who pointed out, among other things, that the Wikipedia articles were redone and the documents artificially aged. [8]

2 John Seigenthaler

  John Seigenthaler

A publisher – like many other jesters who were identified only through an IP address – created a Wikipedia article in which, among other things It was alleged that journalist John Seigenthaler was a suspect in the killings of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. In fact, Seigenthaler was one of Robert's closest friends and a pallbearer at his funeral. The article was not discredited until November 2005, when a friend of Seigenthaler discovered it and referred it to him. Seigenthaler described the incident in "USA Today" as an "Internet assassination" and described the culprit of the fraud as "sick, twisted". The controversy made nationwide news and was one of the first times that the media asked serious questions about how reliable websites with user-generated content really were. Finally, in December, a 38-year-old delivery man named Brian Chase identified himself as author of the hoax and said he had published it because he had considered Wikipedia a kind of "gag encyclopedia". [9]

1 Chris Benoit

  Chris Benoit

Already in June 2007, Canadian WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife, son and himself in a gruesome double murder and suicide. About fourteen hours before the police discovered the crime had taken place, a Wikipedia editor based in Stamford, Connecticut (about five kilometers from the WWE headquarters) had edited the Wikipedia page for "Chris Benoit" to speculate that Chris had not shown a WWE event because of "the death of his wife Nancy". The mysterious editor (a 19-year-old wrestling fan who had vandalized Wikipedia articles in the past) later apologized in a Wikinews forum dedicated to the controversy "Incredible coincidence," based on "rumors and speculation" he had found on the internet, and "the comment was no prank". The police interviewed him and forced him to cooperate in checking his computer equipment. The lesson here? No matter why you want to do it, do not destroy Wikipedia. Only not. [10]

About the Author: About the Author: Izak Bulten is an animator and amateur film critic who loves to write articles on conspiracy theories, pop culture and "crazy but true" stories. He has created logic puzzles for the blog of World Sudoku champion Thomas Synder, "The Art of Puzzles," and the e-book "The Puzzlemaster's Workshop." More recently he wrote animation news for his blog "The Magic Lantern Show".

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