Monday, 6 April 2009

The example of a "Dickhead" on Wikipedia

**DISCLAIMERI know a lot of people don't share my passionate for football, I'm told that some even loathe the game (?!), but I'm going to use an example from my beloved sport for a non-sporting reference...bear with me!

A young, virtually unknown footballer by the name Federico Macheda (photo below) made a name for himself by scoring a vitally important goal for Manchester United which will keep them in the race to win (and retain) the English Premier League.

Macheda: Suffering abuse online...not that he'll care

As a self-confession football nerd, I was a little taken aback when he was brought on as a second half substitute as I have never heard of the 17 year old Italian who is more commonly found turning out for Man Utd's reserve team.

After the game I decided to find a little more information about him. A Google search then led me to this page below on Wikipedia - one of the web's most useful resources.

enlarged version

On the page I found his date of birth, information on his background, how he came to be at Manchester United and little detail on his progress at the club to date - all new to me.

The page had recently been updated with his heroics from barely 10 minutes previous...

"With United 2–1 down and needing a goal to keep their title campaign alive, manager Alex Ferguson threw Macheda on in place of Nani just after the hour mark. After Ronaldo equalised for United in the 80th minute, Macheda won the match with a curling effort from just inside the area in the third minute of injury time."

The entry was even referenced by BBC Sport Online's match report.

It is this dedication to ensuring information is current which Wikipedia an established internet institution that is. 

But here's the negative side, someone (perhaps an Aston Villa fan or supporter of title-rival Liverpool) decided to change Macheda's nickname from "Kiko" to "DICKHEAD" as the eagle eyed will spot in the screenshot above.

I'm having problems accessing the site today (ISP or Thailand's blocking policy) but presume the page has been corrected. 

The example highlights the potential abuse of Wikipedia's open editing policy. There is keen talk of editing rights being withdrawn from the public to only allow access to allow to Wikipedia moderators, and checking updates before they are published. 

This move would mess with the recipe which has made it Encyclopedia 2.0 - that is the sheer speed it updates and publishes facts. This puts it streets ahead of rivals, any change would take the competitive edge away from Wikipedia, not to mention the charm of the funny stuff which surface once in a while.

Wikipedia, please don't change.


Mike said...

Hi Jon I was watching the match. The name would be perhaps more appropriate for Ronaldo?

Great goal the lad scored though.

Charles Frith said...

I don't like football but my passions include Russian Literature, American Post War Political Establishment, Sustainable Marketing, Korean and Japanese Movies and quite a few more.

However it's impossible to get a conversation going about these, and I'd be an object of derision if I talked about them on my blog.

Im just saying OK? ;) You football guys get off easy.

Martyn said...

Jon I have just checked out Federico Macheda on Wikipedia and "Kiko" is planted firmly between the goalposts. Wiki is a great source of information and has photos that at times are a life saver. The only thing I don't understand about Wiki is the license procedure, are we meant to put some Wiki logo on our sites. Can anyone help me on this one.

Jon said...

Hey Mike, cracking goal to end a great match I thought. You just knew it couldn't remain 2-1 to Villa.

Charles, cheers for stopping buy. There is more to me that football...perhaps I need to make an effort to up the intellectual content on my blog, or start another to prove it?!

Martyn, not surprised to see the nickname corrected - although I'm sure a few scousers have been using the one I found. Good question re an open public site I presume photos can be used and credited as usual - not sure if that is 100% correct. Maybe someone out there knows?