Media Literacy At Its Most Basic, Fremont, Nebraska’s Community Newspaper
Seigenthaler said it took months to get statements about him removed from a Wikipedia page.

This quote is from an article about the most recent Wikipedia flap…a Catholic high school is concerned that someone wrote something bad about them and they are suing Wikipedia.   Tim at Assorted Stuff asks the pertinent question:  “Why didn’t they correct the entry themselves?”  Just fix it, monitor the page, and move on.  Recognize that this a new media…your PR agent is no longer in control.  It’s ironic that one of Seigenthaler’s friends replaced the incorrect comments by copying and pasting a biography from another website, a copyright violation.

According to the Wikipedia article about the incident, Siegenthaler is concerned that such vandalism will lead to government regulation of the Internet.  He is arguing that we should go back to the “old” Internet: passive, a vehicle for communication by government and businesses, without all that free speech floating around.  I did a workshop at a high school and when we checked the county’s Wikipedia entry, we discovered it had been created largely by a student at the high school.  I noticed a few somewhat negative comments about the high school related to bullying.  And, when I revisited the site a week later, I noticed those comments were gone.  I hope one of the principal’s in my workshop fixed it.  That’s how Wikipedia works.  You get to offer your version of the truth until someone else decided their version is better.  You might be rich and powerful but you’re not going to be able to control everyone on the Internet so your time is better spent getting out your own message instead of trying to control the message that others are sending.


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