CAMERA Letter in Harper’s Magazine About Wikipedia Issues

The following letter was published in the September 2008 issue of Harper’s Magazine:

After the pro-Palestinian advocacy group Electronic Intifada selectively released posts from the CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) online discussion forum about Wikipedia, disingenuously spinning it as a nefarious plot, the editors at Harper’s Magazine further whittled the collection of posts to a few of the most overzealous by a single participant in the conversation, “Isra guy,” who is neither an employee nor a member of the group. Harper’s published these unrepresentative posts [“Candid CAMERA,” Readings, July] under the rubric “Plot,” but the idea that Isra guy’s opinionated comments indicate that our Wikipedia effort, which was geared toward encouraging people to learn about and edit the online encyclopedia for accuracy, was a “plot” could not be further from the truth.

CAMERA repeatedly urged all who read the forum to follow Wikipedia’s guidelines, and continues to urge all who visit our website to work toward improving the flawed Wikipedia experiment. Others who feel that Wikipedia has serious shortcomings include the encyclopedia’s cofounder Larry Sanger, who described the encyclopedia as “part anarchy, part mob rule,” and former Encyclopedia Britannica editor in chief Robert McHenry, who has said that Wikipedia is the source of “some very, very bad stuff.”

Gilead Ini
Senior Research Analyst
CAMERA
Boston

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