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"Collateral Misinformation":

From the Urban Dictionary, via GeekPress:

When someone alters a Wikipedia article to win a specific argument, anyone who reads the false article before the "error" is corrected suffers from collateral misinformation.

[Example:] "I changed the scientific classification of red foxes last night in order to win an argument with Judy. I hope some stupid High School student didn't suffer from collateral misinformation."

And, no, this isn't a "real" phrase, in the sense of a phrase that is actually commonly used, even by some subculture (see this search).

PLW (mail):
Which, of course, begets "meta-collateral misinformation".
3.11.2008 3:11pm
Milhouse (www):
I hope Judy knows how to check the article history. That's the first thing to check when you come across something surprising on WP. If it was just changed recently, be very suspicious. Then check the contribution history of the editor who made the change; see whether that enhances or allays your suspicions.
3.11.2008 3:12pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I think this is another in your series of "dangerous and irresponsible" posts. :)
3.11.2008 3:35pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
I've always understood "collateral misinformation" to be when someone other than your intended audience overhears a portion of your conversation, and comes away with an incorrect assumption.

I believe a 14 year old is every bit as qualified to make decisions as an 18 year old. Whenever I discuss this with anyone, they immediately jump to the question of a 14 year old girl having sex with - well, let's say a man my age.

And since my underlying argument is, in fact, that a fourteen year old - regardless of gender - may be trusted with each and every decision or responsibility we permit to an adult, I have to express my support for this relationship.

From that point onward the only thing anyone sees is an old pervert who wants to have sex with 14 year old girls, and nothing I say can change that.

It seems to me that the Wikipedia variety of this is rather different, and probably inaccurate. I would probably call it something like, oh, I don't know... "dishonesty"?
3.11.2008 3:55pm
ChrisO (mail):
I would have thought this was like when Bush doesn't actually lie about Saddam-Osama connexions, but just kind of talks about them together in a way that if you aren't paying attention you woudl infer Saddam was behind WTC5 attacks.
3.11.2008 4:01pm
alias:
1. Old perverts who don't express themselves clearly to be understood shouldn't blame others for how they're perceived.

2. The fun thing about Urban Dictionary is that you can make things up and they can't be deleted or revised the way they can on wikipedia.
3.11.2008 4:11pm
alias:
clearly *enough* to be understood...
3.11.2008 4:12pm
Smokey:
Always keep in mind that Wikipedia is a blog, pretending to be an unbiased reference.
3.11.2008 5:05pm
CEB:
Since today seems to be language day for EV, I'll suggest that "collateral disinformation" is the proper term, as the false statements are deliberate.
3.11.2008 5:24pm
JK:
Where does Wikipedia claim to be an unbiased reference? There seems to be a lot of people out there who think that there are other people who don't know how to use Wikipedia properly. Interestingly I've never actually met anyone who thinks that Wikipedia is some end all be all reference.
3.11.2008 6:39pm
wooga:
Caliban Darklock,
You should generally avoid specifics when talking about children. Compare:
"I love children"
"I love 14 year old girls."
:)
3.11.2008 6:59pm
Crane (mail):
Wikipedians themselves, specifically the founder and the inner circle, want Wikipedia to be respected as a "real encyclopedia". Among other things, this means demanding that Wikipedia articles include citations to printed references, like newspaper articles, effectively banning all but the most famous web-only phenomena from having their own Wikipedia articles. They also have an official rule that all articles must be written in an evenhanded and unbiased way, which creates problems when, say, corporations try to have their own personnel create or edit Wikipedia articles about them.

There was a whole scandal in the webcomics world a year or two back, over Wikipedia articles about webcomics being deleted, and it was all due to a bunch of over-zealous Wikipedia editors deleting articles on everything they felt to be insufficiently "notable" and thus unworthy of inclusion. So, you see, some people take Wikipedia very seriously indeed.
3.11.2008 10:49pm
James Gibson (mail):
Regardless of the efforts they make for accuracy, there is plenty in Wiki that is not true. The problem many times is getting the facts into the document and getting the bull out. Yes I know they want citations, but many times they don't get them so what do they do. And there are more then a few citations that Wiki uses that actually cite Wiki as their original source.
3.12.2008 10:13pm