The Isuzu Experiment

Update (9/5): Please don’t do this: vandalizing the site is not a good way to test it. If you want to test Wikipedia, please do it non-destructively.

Joi Ito points to an ongoing discussion regarding the authority of wikipedia as a source of information and knowledge. The discussion was prompted by an article in the Syracuse Post-Standard that suggests, in part, that wikipedia “take[s] the idea of open source one step too far” by allowing the user to make corrections.

The article has been correctly ridiculed by many, including Mike at Techdirt. In a later posting, he suggests an experiment: why not go to a certain page, insert something provably incorrect, and see how long it lasts.

No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, this sounds like an interesting experiment. So, I have made not one, but 13 changes to the wikipedia site. I will leave them there for a bit (probably two weeks) to see how quickly they get cleaned up. I’ll report the results here, and repair any damage I’ve done after the period is complete. My hypothesis is that most of the errors will remain intact.

Does that invalidate Wikipedia? Certainly not! If anything, the general correctness and extent of Wikipedia is a tribute to humankind. It suggests the Kropotkin may be right: that the “survival of the fittest” requires that the fittest cooperate. It means that there are very few Vandals like me who are interfering with its mission.

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  1. Posted 8/29/2004 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Interesting experiment indeed. What about experimenting with things that are obviously wrong, some that are factually wrong but are popularly believed and things that are debateable (but not hotly debated because those topics do get a lot of attention).

    P.S. your first link on this post is a little messed up

  2. Posted 8/29/2004 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, David, I relinked.

    All the changes were “factual” in nature, though some fairly obscure. And *all* were identified and removed within a couple of hours. I could have been a bit trickier in how I made changes; nonetheless, I am impressed.

  3. Posted 8/29/2004 at 8:30 pm | Permalink


    Great! I’m really happy that someone took me up on the experiment — and the results (which surprise me a bit as well). That’s great news. I’ll be sure to let Al know next time he emails me (there have been many more this weekend…) to tell me how awful Wikipedia is.

    To be honest, I thought about doing the experiment myself, but couldn’t bring myself to make a change. It just felt… wrong.

    I would be interested, also, in other suggestions on ways to make the experiment even better — it would be nice to have this to show to others who trash Wikipedia as well.

    Finally, I did notice that *someone* (don’t know if it was you) put up Al’s name as a “famous Syracusian” and the page was reverted in 45 minutes (with a note saying “very funny”).

  4. Posted 8/29/2004 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I know what you mean about feeling bad about it. It was actually painful for me to do this in some cases, which may be the reason it doesn’t happen too often. I tried to be a bit more subtle on my change to the Syracuse page (saying that Frederick Douglass had lived there for some time–relatively plausible given his time in Rochester).

    If I were to do it again (I won’t), I would have spread my changes out over a few days, and posted from different username/ip addresses. I know that some of the more obscure changes were caught in a chain from some of the less obscure ones. I guess I don’t make a particularly good wiki troll; which isn’t a terrible thing to be bad at.

  5. Posted 8/29/2004 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Alex, you may have forgotten that there’s a (fairly large) number of people who read religiously (usually as an RSS feed).

    So when you made your change, it popped up on a lot of screens — and one or another glanced at it, said “that’s wrong,” and fixed it. Indeed, check out the RC Patrol for some idea of how this happens.

    One of the results of Wattenberg & Viegas’ “Historyflow” work ( ) is that because of the recent-changes watchers, changes to Wikipedia tend to be catacylsmic and sudden: a great deal of interest gathers around a single page, many changes are made, and a new steady state is negotiated. (Look for pictures in the their gallery labelled as “indexed by time” to see how this works.)

    The short version is: with “The Magic of RSS”, stuff that gets changed needn’t be unearthed–it’s right there to see.

    I look forward to your writeup.

  6. Posted 8/29/2004 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Not much to write up, beyond what you see here :). I went, I changed, they conquered.

    I did figure the changes would largely fly under the radar with the several hundred changes made today. Guess I misunderestimated ‘em.

  7. Posted 8/30/2004 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how you made your changes, but if you just went about and changed a number of articles, it will be likely that seeing one of your changes being wrong, someone would do a check on your other changes. So unless you took the precaution of making your edits from different IP numbers/user names, the various chances basically improved each other’s chance of being reverted.

  8. Dan Smith
    Posted 8/30/2004 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Alex, would you go out and spray-paint graffitti on a school building as a way of testing to see whether the school has janitors?

    Don’t your actions feel a little bit irresponsible to you?

  9. Posted 8/30/2004 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Andre: Yes, you are right, I think that several of these were discovered because people looked to see what other changes were taking place. Nonetheless, three different editor/readers independently found errors within a couple hours, so I suspect the others would have been found fairly quickly.

    Dan: I did consider this before I made the changes. I think your analogy is flawed. A better question would be whether I would chalk the walls or drop dirt on a floor to see whether a school’s janitors were doing their job. This is exactly what Michelin and others do to evaluate hotels.

    As always, you have to weigh the costs of something like this against the benefits. The costs included time spent by editors to review the changes, and the possibility that someone might be misled by the changes until they were fixed. The outcome was to provide a demonstration that the system works. Because I did this, and made it public, it means others do not have to: there is a public demonstration of how well the system works.

    Often, the only way to detect the weaknesses in a system is to attempt to behave like someone willing to exploit those weaknesses. If the changes had not been detected, I (obviously) would have removed them myself. The net impact would have been minimal, but it would have highlighted a flaw in the system that could be exploited, and would have called into question the veracity of the content currently hosted.

    So, I made the determination that the social costs involved in testing the system were worth the social rewards of a demonstration of its strength. I wish I had designed my attack a bit better (see above), but I think that the public knowledge that false statements are quickly dealt with helps to bolster Wikipedia as a more reliable source.

  10. Posted 8/30/2004 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Your penance is to fix errors in ten articles, or start three new ones.

  11. Posted 8/30/2004 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    David G.: Will do.

  12. Posted 8/30/2004 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    that’s an interesting experiment, but it’s not really comparable to how actual errors would be introduced into wikipedia articles. first, as others have noted, the errors would come from different sources (different IP addresses). also, they wouldn’t be announced on the authors’ websites. i’d like to see how well this would work with these aspects changed. of course, given the criticism you’ve recieved already, i wouldn’t expect you to do it again.

  13. JohnDoe
    Posted 8/31/2004 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    for recent change, there is also #enrc.wikipedia on freenode irc server, but it’s not working as well as it used to work.

  14. Chan Lee Meng
    Posted 8/31/2004 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Err… how will this prove anything? It’s like announcing you’re going to hijack a plane while you’re at the boarding gate. Do you think anyone will notice?

    For this to be a valid experiment, no announcement should be made until two weeks after.

    “The any fool can go in and insert rubbish” concern is valid. That it took hours to correct the damage is not really cause for celebration. Someone could still have accessed the errorneous data during that time.

  15. Posted 8/31/2004 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    brilliant! I’m still confused by the people who complain about Wikipedia, but don’t go nuts over the factual errors in printed works. Wikipedia can at least be fixed. For my money, the W’pedia is the best reference on the net.

    Even cited it in my master’s paper…

  16. Anonymous
    Posted 8/31/2004 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Like any good scientist, you must reveal your method. What changes did you make?

  17. Posted 8/31/2004 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    First, I think your method is flawed, as 13 changes by one user to multiple entries would certainly be detected, and would come under serious scrutiny as soon as one of them turns out to be incorrect.

    Second, your experiment proves that the concept of building a wiki-based encyclopedia is flawed, because any unsuspecting user who read the article(s) that you changed before they were reverted received wrong or misleading information. That’s because encyclopedias are supposed to give information seekers correct information at any given time, not prove that they are self-repairing knowledge-building processes.

    Third, I have been monitoring five articles on the German wikipedia with multiple errors in them for about a month now. In that time, two typos, but none of the factual errors were corrected, and one article was bloated up to twice its original size without adding any additional relevant information.

  18. Posted 8/31/2004 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Some people are missing the point, which is that “errors” are weeded out by consensus, not by editorial fiat. This isn’t a weakness, but rather an aspect of the same strength that makes Wikipedia possible in the first place. Namely, the people who use Wikipedia have a vested interest in high-quality content, so it makes more sense to provide them with the means to do so than to impede that process.

    Saying that Alex’s test was “too obvious” is another misunderstanding of the challenge. If Alex’s casual changes were spotted and corrected much more quickly than even he imagined, what does that say about “real” casual vandals and their chances?

  19. Posted 8/31/2004 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Alex, if all your changes got reverted, then I think the experiment may in fact have failed. The strength of Wikipedia should be to correct errors, not to remove them. (Of course, this depends on the nature of the errors you introduced.)

    @Horst: according to your own argument, any encyclopaedia that contains at least one error is flawed. Since I find it hard to imagine that there exists one perfect (printed) encyclopaedia, that would mean the whole concept of encyclopaedias is flawed. I think you might want to take a second look at your reasoning.

  20. Posted 8/31/2004 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Can you share the changes (or your username/IP address so we can look them up)?

  21. Posted 9/1/2004 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    @Branko: No, that was not my point at all. My point is about knowledge building vs. knowledge retrieval, and how a constant building process (as in a wiki) is not helpful for a user who is looking for information.

    Wikipedia is a great experiment in knowledge sharing and knowledge building, but it’s useless for anyone who is not interested in sharing or building, but instead wants quick, correct answers.

  22. Posted 9/1/2004 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    To Horst and all others who believe there is something like “one absolute correct answer” for topic descriptions which one would find in a ***pedia: Think again. Truth is a fragile tissue people gather around them. The fragility of it enables you to develop. But if you wrap yourself in it too tightly you will loose the broader view on temporal reality or worse get smothered.

  23. Carol Dgill
    Posted 9/1/2004 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    The right way to validate Wikipedia and the strength of this open-editing model is to find some factually incorrect material and use the change log history to determine how long it has been there.

    Intentionally falsifying information as an experiment is no different then pentration testing (old school hacking) but it does disrupt other people’s legitimiate use of the resource.

    If you really want to test: don’t make small one-sentence errors that anyone can verify with google. Make a substituantal contributation with an error in it. Most people go for the easy fixes – they are less likely to question three long paragraphs of well-written text.

    Anyone can identify grafitti done by a vandal, which is what your experiment simulated. It is much harder to identify a well-done Van gough fakery.

  24. Drew
    Posted 9/1/2004 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Interesting experiment. I’m not sure what it shows, exactly, apart from the active response of the correctors (and whether they found out through their own searches on their particular speciality topics or through recent changes updates remains to be seen.) The other issue here is that announcing that there have been changes made before the experiment is finished immediately sends loads of people running to wikipedia to see if they can find the false errors. If I hadn’t read the comments, I’d have done it myself. So perhaps it doesn’t really say much about the equilibrium of the system if a percentage of the error-seekers aren’t normally users of the wikipedia.

  25. Posted 9/1/2004 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen lots of incorrect entries on Wikipedia but an even more common issue is very politcal statements in many articles. Particular any articles about computers and software.

  26. Stephen Gilbert
    Posted 9/6/2004 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Yes, the windows *are* made of glass. Now Wikipedia has to deal with random people throwing rocks from random directions. Purposely vandalizing a resource like Wikipedia as a “test” has inspired a slew of copycats with good intentions but poor judgement.

  27. scott preece
    Posted 9/7/2004 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s worth noting that real (print) encyclopedias often have false entries, as do most commercial maps, phone books, etc. These are inserted by the publishers as IP-protection (if you see them repeated in somebody else’s book, you know they copied yours illegally).

    I would tend to agree with previous comments that the right metric here is the average age of removed errors – that is, scan the change log for changes that fix factual errors, then average the time between introduction of the error and removal of the error.

  28. James Ogilvie
    Posted 8/16/2005 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Alex: I applaud you for having the spherical obloids to conduct this experiment off your own back. The results do seem to show that the organic nature of Wikipedia does work. To the people who criticize Wikipedia based on the fact that it may have on occasion some slightly erroneous information: may I remind you that most countries (yours included) have for years been teaching scandalously erroneous accounts of history to their children, from state-sanctioned history books! Wikipedia will, over time, help to address this in a very positive manner.

  29. Posted 11/1/2005 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Je trouve la discussion vraiment trsè intéressante et je suis moi-même une contributrice occasionnelle de Wikipédia. J’ai donc un peu développé (en français, pour une fois) l’idée sur mon blog, à cette adresse :
    Pour dire que rien ne fera descendre Wikipédia dans mon estime. A mon avis…

  30. Posted 4/15/2006 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Intresting experiement. I wonder however if you really need to do the experiement to pove your point? There is enough mis-information on wikipedia to correct without having to deliberatelypost something up. I am not bashing wikipedia, I appluade the project. What an under taking. I am just saying some people who contribute to this project, do so with a malice to decieve, and some just continue to prepetrate wrong information, because they really do not know the right information. So why deliberately post up wrong information? Some information I might not know is even wrong and take it as fact. And if I did know the facts on certain postings/pages, I could post them up or make corrections and yet be thought of as being a liar. Illustartion, and not to brag but to show a point. I have a page I found on a friend, Martin Lee Gore of Depeche Mode. I have been friends with him since 1977. Note I am not making any other claim other than I have been friends with him since 1977. I found his profile page or biography on here, and have noticed some thing that are factually incorrect. I know they are wrong because I personally know the man. I have correct some, others I have not corrected, or I have corrected but they have been changed again. What is intresting is that people who are doing this are fans, and they promote the inccorect information, most liely innocently. They have the wrong information that they think is correct information, so they see something they believe is incorrect and they correct it with wrong information… So I have to ask once again, knowing what I just told you, what point is your experiment? Does it prove anything? Does it invailidate Wikipedia? In the end it only proves a known fact or an accepted known fact, Wikipedia is an open source of good information, but not the only source. Most of what wikipedia states is reliable and it’s delieberately not decieving. Thats already known and accepted to be true and reliable information. So for the last time, did you hve to do this experiement?

  31. id_ologist
    Posted 9/1/2006 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Some people have complained that the experiment was announced before it began. Perhaps someone else is running a similar experiment without telling anyone anything?

  32. Posted 1/11/2007 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    My concern is also that some information is deleted or left out.

    My suggestion about many listing currently in the encylopedia, especially political ones, is that a wide spectrum of ‘opinions’ be provided in appropriate settings.

    That is there is good, bad and evil in most all things, and we must be careful not to stereotype most things as ‘black or white’, things change over time, and observations are relative to time and space.

    There is a resistance to change, even thought the change is truthful, and we should also judge this vehicle on the basis of its ability to overcome ‘paradigm paralysis, and communicate to the world, important truths that may be in conflict with the ‘power forces’ at play.

    Caesar J. B. Squitti

  33. johnp
    Posted 1/16/2007 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Even if you “prove” that Wikipedia’s not perfect, that’s fine. All I need to go is use it to see for myself that it’s pretty darn good. Good is good enougn for me:)

  34. Dimitar Panayotov
    Posted 1/24/2007 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I will make some try to summarize what I have read by far on this topic.

    First, I don’t think that announcing the experiment was influential to Wikipedia in any way; the people there are committed (and they proved it when they defeated Alex’s small-scale experiment) to providing accurate information and they obviously take seriously their commitment. Therego, it is very unlikely that they go to Google in hunt for information about vandals which plot to defeat Wikipedia and is very likely that they take their time for their mission/commitment. Will somebody argue this? I think it’s obvious.

    Second, I agree with many people here: why spit at Wikipedia for inaccuracies when the most paper sources of information are (in _times_) more inaccurate. Also: why requiring 100% accurate information for anything? Virtually everything beyond the traditional and well-known sciences as physics and chemistry (not just these, of course) is a temporary information in a sense, and is subject to change over time in a variety of ways: ambiguous statements will be clarified, insufficient details will be filled, more opinions on the topic will be listed, new discoveries will be made, and so on. Also, if you want 100% accuracy, you should pay a team of scientists and analyzers for it; there is no free lunch and most of the information on the whole Web is published _voluntarily_ with the free will and the blessing of the author. Anyone who thinks that he/she will ever stumble upon perfect information (beyond the simplest things like what is “electrical impedance”) was perhaps never been an author of information which were of use to other humans. In short, at this point I say that yes, Wikipedia surely has errors in it, but it has been developed in such a way that it could evolve (fixing the errors, growing the information, clarifying). The paper encyclopedias and other sources cannot do this, at least not as fast and not as cheap in the terms of money.

    Third: about what is “accurate”. I agree with other humans here that some information is not really an information, but just an information, if you follow me. Example: politics, tries for analysis of commercial products (like processors and video cards), religious articles. They (and many others) are all subjective, mainly because the authors have relied on what other humans said (which could always be a lie due to political goals or commercial interests) or because the topic is not exactly scientific. My experience with Wikipedia was that the authors have _tried_ to give some information in a scientific way, for example to say that the Christians are worshipping Jesus because of his sacrifice on the cross and also they could point that other Christians are worshipping other humans and actions more, like those who worship Holy Maria in greater extent (no criticisms here, please, I never actually read the Christian article on Wikipedia). But these are just scientific methods when one tries to classify the information he/she gots. Anyone felt offended? Well, there are a number of forums where you can argue forever on these topics. Again, Wikipedians _tried_ to give some information. How far they succeeded, they and they alone can judge themselves only. No other humans. If there is fault here, it is the subjectivity of the topic itself. Will somebody support me at this point?

    Fourth: it’s almost all about the money and about the resistance to change, or even both at a time. Somebody used Alex’s experiment to try to spit at Wikipedia. Big deal! Smart humans always analyze the performer’s reasons _first_ and before analyzing the deed itself. My personal thought is that if commercial encyclopedian (or paid news site) owners are trying to ruin Wikipedia’s reputation, this is because if their users know better Wikipedia, their money flow will eventually go dry. Their users are accustomed that Mr. Actual News or Mrs. Expert In Everything will inform them for money and so they question the reliability of a free source like Wikipedia — and yes, when you give money, you expect perfect servicing. But apart from these bad words I said, I do not think that commercial informers and free sources of information can be compared at all. They exist in different universes. And finally (on this point) let us not forget that if humankind stops to rely on The Big Brother to supply it with everything (including information) and if the humankind becomes careful in thinking and responsible of what it produces and how this can help others, then the humankind will not be so easily manipulated so that not to stop some world leaders to destroy foreign countries with reasons which nobody actually believes in (and many other horrible acts throughout the history, too). So, such humans will try to compromise and ruin Wikipedia and the like as long as they can breathe and speak at all, be sure of that! Since I have read here that some countries (unfortunately, mine too; it’s Bulgaria) are teaching kids with false history, I assume there are humans who support me on this point. :)

    Fifth: how Wikipedians did the job. Does it really matter that they used RC Patrol? Everybody with a normal level of IQ could say that they anticipated such abuse and they have taken care that their machines will help them coping with this problem in the best possible regard. So, isn’t it stupid somebody to say that if it weren’t RSS, they could never do it. Well, if it weren’t some guys which never cared for Earth’s atmosphere, perhaps today you would still go to your job with a horse, right? :) It’s the result which is important. How do they do it — it is their business. Are you one of them? No. So, what do you care? The system obviously works. How it works, you don’t care. It would be more useful if the critics proposed to Wikipedians something which will make their life even more easier and help them more to fulfill their noble mission, not to speak like a child — “if I did not injured myself on the leg yesterday, today I would outrun you”. Pfew, how could such humans ever write such stupidities on a public anyway? Don’t they feel little stupid about it? Please, somebody tell me.

    Sixth: the useful things that could be done. While so many humans took the time to write about the topic, I did not seen not a one of them to have been gone through changelogs of even a single Wikipedia article and write about it. That would be far more useful than criticizing the scientificness of the Alex’s approach. Yes, I am in this number also, I know. I agree with few others here which pointed that analyzing changelogs will be far more painless and harmless for Wikipedians. I personally know four people which regularly take their lunch time for correcting slight errors (or, more often, making clarifications and eliminating ambiguities) in Wikipedian articles they read, since they are almost experts on the topic and sometimes they need the whole picture. It’s nothing hard, really: get your lunch in a box from the near restaurant, return to office while nobody is there, eat slowly and easy and do the edit job (also easy, else errors will occur and you will become vandal without actually knowing it).

    If anybody could point me to Wikipedian article with a good chance for finding old errors and their fixtures, I will handle a single article changelog analysis myself. I even intend to find article in my area (programming) and do a job I feel it’s worth doing. I will post it when I am done.


    It’s all about wanting to contribute and to help. Everybody can criticize. It’s not always necessary to do it — the people which post information to such big source like Wikipedia are expected to be (and proved to be) responsible enough to criticize themselves alone in order to achieve development of the good information.

    I am looking forward to see comments from everybody which felt affected by my post, including Alex.

    Best wishes.

    [Dimitar Panayotov, Bulgaria]

  35. alex
    Posted 1/24/2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Dimitar: Very thoughtful (and extensive!) comment. I agree with much of what you have to say here. I am particularly emphaticly in agreement with your sixth point. A detailed analysis of how particular changes are made, and wherever possible, the context and motivation of those changes, would be a really strong contribution to better understanding the “magic” of how Wikipedia works.

    I suspect that the minimal effort to make a change (e.g., during a lunch break) is what allows it to grow at the periphery. If so, it seems to me that having a clear model of this would allow for its applicatoin in other contexts. Think of it as a kind of antidote to the broken window hypothesis. Seeing that things are getting cleaned up encourages others to take just a moment to do the same. But understanding those micro-motivations would get us a lot closer to understanding Wikipedia.

  36. John Horrigan
    Posted 2/12/2007 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I love wikipedia so much, my name is John and I am a athletic director at Cadillac High School. Just wanted to say, Alex is my hero!!!!!!!!

  37. alex
    Posted 2/19/2007 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Caroline writes:

    Here’s the new (correct as of date of email, Feb 18, 2007) for the History Flow graphics gallery:

  38. Posted 2/28/2007 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The Zero Void Show Says:
    “Most of what wikipedia states is reliable and it’s delieberately not decieving. Thats already known and accepted to be true and reliable information [on Wikipedia]. So for the last time, did you hve to do this experiement?”

    Is easy to say that after TWO years of the original post… =)

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  17. By nBLOG on 9/1/2004 at 5:43 am

    Web News
    And another round of web news! Woman Chows 38 Lobsters in Eating Contest Jibjab “This Land Is Your Land” parody wins legal battle sIFR – dynamic browser text replacement MovableType 3.1 released The Giants of Anime are coming Tarantino̵…

  18. By Made out of people on 9/2/2004 at 9:09 pm

    Life on the Virtual Commons and the Wikipedia
    Alex Halavais tried an experiment in which he slightly defaced 13 Wikipedia pages. To his surprise, all were fixed within hours. On Alex’s blog, I noted that Wikipedia makes a point of looking for damage, and tries hard to fix…

  19. By Preoccupations on 9/3/2004 at 8:58 pm

    Online communities, tags, authority and reputation
    For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things … and at the same time steady enough

  20. By Irregular Verbiage on 9/5/2004 at 10:00 am

    Half-way there
    So I’m busy writing my thesis at the moment which is why this blog is semi-dead, I guess you could say that it’s in a coma as it should recover when I finish (my thesis is due to be finished on the last day of this month!) I think at the moment, I’m…

  21. By Many-to-Many on 9/5/2004 at 1:05 pm

    Stress Testing Wiki Authority
    Slashdot has picked up on the Wikipedia accuracy/authority/reputation meme as Frozen North did the same Techdirt experiment as Alex Halavais. Not so needless to say, testing the rigor of Wikipedia by vandalizing a community resource isn’t the bes…

  22. By Mario tout de go... on 9/5/2004 at 1:23 pm

    Toutes les expriences ne sont pas bonnes tenter…
    Alex Halavais est une personne exprimente en matire d’utilisation des nouvelles technologies au service des apprentissages. Dans le contexte o nous venons de dbuter l’utilisation d’un wiki, j’ai lu avec beaucoup d’intrt ce billet du type “…

  23. By Synesthesia on 9/7/2004 at 2:19 pm

    Reed’s law in several places
    It is the nature of mind to filter experience through the most recent or most strongly held concepts.

    No wonder then that after (finally) coming across Reed’s Law thanks to this thought-provoking article by Robert Paterson I shortly spotted these…

  24. By Denken ber on 9/8/2004 at 1:57 pm

    Wikipedia, edicin colaborativa y autoridad
    Para los que no lo conocen Wikipedia es una enciclopedia online, abierta y colaborativa, cuyo esfuerzo ya suma ediciones en varios idiomas. Empez en Ingls en Marzo del 2001 (ya tienen ms de 300.000 articulos)y en Mayo ya estaba online…

  25. By The Now Economy on 9/8/2004 at 8:51 pm

    Decentralized Authoring Can Be Self-Healing
    BoingBoing in Wikipedia proves its amazing self-healing powers pointed us to The Isuzu Experiment, which goes like this: Joi Ito points to an ongoing discussion regarding the authority of wikipedia as a source of information and knowledge. The discussi…

  26. By on 10/30/2004 at 11:31 am

    Wikipedia roundup
    Wikipedia and its critics, plus mention of H2G2 and various versions of the Encyclopaedia Brittannica.

  27. By Denken Über on 11/22/2004 at 11:00 am

    Wikipedia, edición colaborativa y autoridad
    Para los que no lo conocen Wikipedia es una enciclopedia online, abierta y colaborativa, cuyo esfuerzo ya suma ediciones en varios idiomas. Empez� en Ingl�s en Marzo del 2001 (ya tienen m�s de 300.000 articulos)y en Mayo ya estaba online…

  28. By I Speak of Dreams on 11/27/2004 at 12:34 am

    Reliability and Veracity of Blogs and Wikipedia
    Why is it important what an uninformed, small-town librarian thinks of blogs and Wikipedia?

  29. [...] From BoingBoing, an experiment to introduce false information into Wikipedia. Results: all 13 introduced errors were corrected within a matter of hours. The very idea of Wikipedia rocks; the fact that it actually exists is just off the scale of coolness. [...]

  30. [...] Explicar las bondades de las comunidades online y la “reputación” a un periodista a veces es complicado; explicarselo a uno que no acepta siguiera mirar ejemplos sobre el tiempo que un error anónimo y sin aviso, tarda en ser corregido en Wikipedia es peor. Alex Havalis introdujo 13 errores en diferentes artículos de Wikipedia. [...]

  31. [...] Det r ett frfarande som nog brjar bli lite vl vanligt nu. Frst var frmodligen Alex Halavais med sitt Isuzu-experiment, men mnga har fljt i hans spr – ngot som Halavais sjlv tog avstnd frn redan 2004. Vinterns Seigenthaler-kontrovers (som jag uppmrksammade i december) kan p stt och vis ocks fras till kategorin “experiment med faktafel”. [...]

  32. [...] Felaktiga uppgifter kan inte kvarstå länge i ett verk som läses av så många människor, läsare som dessutom själva kan ändra uppgifter. BBC-artikeln anför bland annat som exempel hur professorn och bloggaren Alex Halavais medvetet matade in ett antal felaktiga uppgifter. Enligt Halavais’ egen bloggpost om The Isuzu Experiment tog det inte lång tid innan felen hade rättats (och den klentrogne professorns hypoteser kommit på skam): All the changes were “factual” in nature, though some fairly obscure. And *all* were identified and removed within a couple of hours. [...]

  33. [...] This was behind a pay-wall before now, but the Chronicle of Higher Ed has an article on the relationship between Wikipedia and academia. I was quoted in there, and it focusses a little on the Isuzu Experiment but I guess that’s not all bad. As always, I think that there is space there for missed nuance (the nature of a short article), and I feel like I should hedge some of the things there. For example, although I do mostly make changes anonymously, in part because I am a known wikispammer and I don’t want the name to influence people’s perception of the edit. However, in the case of the Com Theory article, I did do it as myself. It doesn’t show up in the history because the article was moved (from “Theories of Communication”). And I know that traditional institutional scholars do contribute to Wikipedia, and that contribution is often valued. [...]

  34. [...] clear—I am not among those “some people,” and I would never use my caprice (the “Isuzu Experiment”) as anything approaching substantial evidence. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where [...]

  35. [...] Alexander (2004). The Isuzu Experiment. [Elektronisk]. Tillgnglig <; samt <; [...]

  36. [...] Halavais blogginlgg om experimentet Halavais svarar p frgor kring experimentet Halavais ndringar p Wikipedia nnu en underskning Etiketter Wiki, wikis [...]

  37. [...] can easily be subjected to vandalism. Whats interesting though is in 2004, a man by the name of Alex Halavais who was quite a sceptic of Wikipedias conducted an experiment to test the reliability. He would [...]

  38. By Web 2.0 – Week 2 (part 1) on 12/3/2011 at 10:13 am

    [...] involved that “goodness and truth” will prevail; and studies have shown this to be true (Halavais, 2004). Caution should nevertheless be exercised. In the classroom the obvious application is in creating [...]

  39. [...] A. 2004. “The Isuzu Experiment,” blog entry at A Thaumaturgical Compendium (29 August), at, accessed 8 December [...]

  40. By Wiki del 2 « isakglans on 5/29/2012 at 5:32 am

    [...] Alex. (2004-08-29). The Isuzu experiment [elektronisk]. Tillgänglig: < [...]

  41. By Lärkontrakt « isakglans on 5/29/2012 at 9:51 am

    [...] Alex. (2004-08-29). The Isuzu experiment [elektronisk]. Tillgänglig: < [...]

  42. By Web Indexing » In Praise of Wikipedia on 6/8/2012 at 2:11 am

    [...] Many receive an RSS feed of recent changes so are able to spot errors and vandalism immediately: .  Editors who do not have the time or knowledge to update pages that obviously need work can add [...]

  43. [...] Wikipedia gir alle den samme muligheten til å bidra, noe som gir mulighet for interessant kunnskapsutveksling, men også for “spamming” og sabotasje. Med sine over 23 millioner artikler, er Wikipedia et dugnadsleksikon som har vist seg å fungere, mot alle odds. Magasinet Nature viste i 2005 at artiklene ofte er av overraskende høy kvalitet, og oppslagsverket har vist seg motstandsdyktig mot sabotasje, blant annet i forbindelse med “The Isuzu Experiment”. [...]

  44. [...] accuracy gathered a lot of public and early research interest. Take for example the (in)famous ISUZU experiment from 2004 which was basically an ethno-methodological experiment looking at how the community [...]

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