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John Seigenthaler: “Wikipedia, WikiLeaks and Wiccans: Historical Accuracy Online”

by | Oct. 25, 2011, 10:08 AM

Watch video of John Seigenthaler, a nationally recognized advocate for the First Amendment also known for his criticism of Internet vandals who post false information on user-created sites like Wikipedia, speaking Oct. 21 at Vanderbilt’s Central Library.

Seigenthaler is the founder of the First Amendment Center, former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and chairman emeritus of The Tennessean. The eminent journalist and author is the longtime host of “A Word on Words,” a weekly program on WNPT, Nashville Public Television, during which he interviews authors, journalists, historians and others about their books.

In 2005 Seigenthaler was a victim of misinformation on Wikipedia, the popular and free online encyclopedia. An anonymous posting of an inflammatory and fake “biography” included several false statements, including that Seigenthaler was once thought to be involved in the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. The “biography” contained only one accurate statement – Seigenthaler had worked for Robert Kennedy during the early 1960s.

The hoax was not corrected for more than four months. After Seigenthaler spoke out and wrote about his experience in publications such as USA Today, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said that the encyclopedia had banned unregistered users from writing new articles.

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Media Inquiries:
Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS

  • Anonymous

    Wikileaks has let out some important and secret information over the last few years. If you don’t know what wikileaks is, this article gives an explanation on it.nn

  • What a great man.u00a0 It’s hard to imagine Jimmy Wales even standing a ghost of a chance against someone of Seigenthaler’s intellect and ethical compass.

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