Black Dahlia: Wikipedia Fail

Jan. 17, 2015

Here is what’s wrong with Wikipedia:

“The Black Dahlia” was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short … Short acquired the moniker posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly lurid.

FAIL.

Elizabeth Short was nicknamed the Black Dahlia at a corner drugstore in Long Beach as a play on the then-current film “The Blue Dahlia.” After she was killed, the Los Angeles Herald Express, which often nicknamed murders, called her case “the Werewolf Murder” or “Werewolf Killing,” but the nickname was ignored in favor of the Black Dahlia.

Of course, this entry might be changed tomorrow, next week or even later today and then restored in a “revert war.”  I have given up any hope of fixing errors in Wikipedia because I don’t have the proper incantation to repel all the trolls who live there. But trust me, it’s wrong.

Previously:

Me vs. Wikipedia
Wikipedia: Murder and Myth, Part 19

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD, Wikipedia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Black Dahlia: Wikipedia Fail

  1. Dan Dassow says:

    Mr. Harnisch,

    I first discovered the Los Angeles Times Daily Mirror when I was researching the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. I found your daily series of articles on that you and Keith Thursby ran on the case from October 31, 2008 to March 2009 informative and extremely helpful.

    I have also become somewhat disenchanted with contributing to Wikipedia for many of the reasons you listed in your article, “Me vs. Wikipedia”. However, it can still be a useful resource so long as the reader understands its inherent limitations. Since it is crowd sourced, the information provided should be verified with a primary source. Other web sites that make use of crowd source data, such as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), also contain errors as a result of crowd sourcing. As a copy editor for the Los Angeles Times since 1988, you understand what it takes to verify and validate information. Unfortunately, many of the contributors to Wikipedia do not.

    A trend that I am finding particularly disturbing is what I call Wiki-journalism. This is “journalism” more concerned with entertaining the masses rather than providing factual information. Instead these reporters base their stories on limited or no research, and rely on Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, gossip, hearsay, conjecture and opinion.

    I wish you the best of luck during your sabbatical and await your return. I will miss your daily blog, but at least have your archive until your return.

    Sincerely,
    Dan Dassow

    Like

  2. JR says:

    I agree. You have no idea how many times I have attempted to “fix” a Wikepedia post for their erroneous information on a person or place, only to have a troll return to copy and paste the same regurgitated nonsense that was there before…it’s definitely a war.

    Like

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