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Friday, December 19, 2008
WND vs. Wikipedia, the Sequel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's current attacks on Wikipedia are only the latest in WND's anti-Wikipedia war. As we've documented, WND went after Wikipedia earler this year, calling it "Wikipornia" for purportedly peddling "sexually explicit images and content" (specifically, the notorious alternate cover of the Scoprions' "Virgin Killer" album) but failing to explain that they appear in the context of an encyclopedia.

A Dec. 17 WND article by Chelsea Schilling (author of the misleadingly alarmist "Wikipornia" articles) continues the trend by reporting on "the disparaging claims citizen-editors have made about U.S. senators in their Wikipedia profiles." Shockingly, Schilling even reports on the disparaging remarks made by Democrats, citing as evidence "a study conducted late last year by Gregory Kohs and several Wikipedia Review members." But Schilling fails to explain who Kohs is.

Kohs used to run a company called MyWikiBiz, a service that offered to write Wikipedia entries for businesses for a fee, and he has repeatedly clashed with Wikipedia and was ultimately banned from making edits there. Kohs is now somewhat in competition with Wikipedia, running his own Wikipedia-like (but paid and non-neutral) website.

At no point does Schilling disclose Kohs' business interests in competition with, and arguably at cross purposes to, Wikipedia (indeed, he has disparaged Wikipedia in other forums), and that Kohs has an interest in publicizing stories of "vandalized biographies" on Wikipedia in order to drive business to his own website.

The hilarious, hypocritical undercurrent of all this is that WND has it own ignominious history of publishing false claims that it makes little effort to correct. Just ask Barack Obama.

Schilling expresses shock that "many Internet users continue to use Wikipedia for research," but really, is WND a better solution, as is implied by this little war? Will WND issue a correction as easily as one can be made at Wikipedia? Just ask Clark Jones.

(Hat tip to reader T.F.)

UPDATE: Minor edits for grammar and clarification.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 22, 2008 12:00 PM EST

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