Wikipedia: Murder and Myth, Coming Next week


A world without Wikipedia – not such a bad idea.

Regular readers of the L.A. Daily Mirror know that I consider Wikipedia a sinkhole of mistakes and folklore that is created and maintained by “citizen scholars,” coding tweakers, crackpots and folks in tinfoil hats.

Beginning on Tuesday, in a multi-part series, I’m going to use one alleged incident as a way to explore Wikipedia’s fundamental problems and delve into the dubious source material on the alleged incident that was taken from a dreadful book about Hollywood.

We will find eight different Wikipedia entries on the same alleged “incident” – none of them are identical and some of them contradict one another – and  we will discover that the book used as “source material” is not only filled with errors but contains malicious lies about people who are conveniently dead and unable to defend themselves. It’s the kind of source material that would be banned from any respectable encyclopedia but fits nicely with Wikipedia’s “citizen scholar” ethos.

Tune in Tuesday morning.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Books and Authors, History, Libraries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wikipedia: Murder and Myth, Coming Next week

  1. Looking forward to reading it.


  2. Eve says:

    Yay! I have found errors on Wikipedia on every person I have written a biography of.

    Friends: “Why don’t you go in and correct them?”
    Me: because it’s not my job to correct everything on the internet. And if it were, I would start with IMDB.”


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