terça-feira, 12 de maio de 2009

Estudante cria mentira na Wikipedia e engana grandes jornais

Estudante cria mentira na Wikipedia e engana grandes jornais

Estudante cria mentira na Wikipedia e engana grandes jornaisJovem criou citação logo após a morte do compositor Maurice Jarre.Diversas publicações reproduziram a frase, sem checar veracidade.

Estudante irlandês Shane Fitzgerald criou citação falsa; ele escreveu artigoem jornal sobre a experiência. “Quando eu morrer, haverá uma valsa de despedida tocando em minha cabeça,que só eu poderei ouvir”, teria dito o compositor Maurice Jarre, segundodiversos jornais que divulgaram sua morte, no final de março. A frase, noentanto, foi inventada por um estudante irlandês que a postou na Wikipediaem inglês, com o objetivo de mostrar o perigo de não checar as informaçõesdivulgadas na internet.

Shane Fitzgerald, 22, postou a frase na enciclopédia colaborativaimediatamente depois do anúncio da morte. O estudante de sociologia daUniversidade de Dublin disse que, com isso, esperava que blogs e talvezalguns jornais utilizassem a frase. No entanto, não pensou que grandes publicações confiariam na Wikipedia, sem checar a informação nela divulgada.

“Eu estava errado. Bons jornais da Inglaterra, Índia, Estados Unidos e atéAustrália usaram minhas palavras quando noticiaram a morte de Jarre”,escreveu Fitzgerald em um artigo divulgado nesta quinta-feira (7), no jornal“Irish Times”. Segundo a agência de notícias Reuters, o “Guardian” caiu na história e fez uma correção em seu obituário, dizendo que a frase tinha sidocriada na Wikipedia e se espalhou por outros sites.

A citação inteira dizia: “pode-se dizer que minha vida foi uma grande trilhasonora. A música foi minha vida, me trouxe à vida e com música é como queroser lembrado depois de deixar essa vida. Quando eu morrer, haverá uma valsade despedida tocando em minha cabeça, que só eu poderei ouvir”. A frase jánão aparece mais no verbete on-line.

“Era algo totalmente inventado, que não foi dito por Maurice Jarre, nem porninguém. Os experimentos de ciência social sempre têm questões éticas, pelofato de as pessoas serem usadas como cobaias. Não queria manchar oudistorcer a reputação de ninguém e, por isso, decidi divulgar uma frase que não afetaria a grandiosidade de Jarre”, escreveu o estudante.

Fonte: G! em 07 de maio de 2009

Leiam o texto que o jovem publicou no jornal irlandês Irishtimes e no qual justifica o seu ato e deixa um conjunto de inteessantes questionamentos sobre o papel dos meios de comunicação na sociedade de nossos dias.

Lazy journalism exposed by online hoax

Leia aqui o texto em portugues

HOW EASY is it for a 22-year-old, overly curious sociology student from UCD to influence the national press around the world? Quite easy is the short answer.

Faced with the arduous task of writing yet another essay on social science’s current fad – globalisation – I was easily distracted from my task by the sight of the infamous Sky News breaking news box that was flashing at the bottom on the TV screen beside my desk.

The speed with which the story was reported got me thinking about the potential pitfalls relating to the media rush for up-to-the-minute news bulletins. In the era of 24-hour news coverage, the internet is no doubt the lifeline for reporters in their never-ending scramble to report a breaking news story in time for the on-the-hour news slots, or for journalists racing to get a story written before the paper is sent to the printers.

Just how reliant reporters are on the world wide web was the question that suddenly gave me the idea of carrying out an internet hoax. The global world is connected through the internet, and news reporters are relying on this resource more than ever. I wanted to prove that this was indeed the case, and show the potential dangers that arise.

Winston Churchill once said that all great things are simple and a great Guinness ad once said that good things come to those who wait. Armed with these two nuggets, I waited patiently for a few days until a golden opportunity arose and I knew it was my time to act.

My plan was without doubt simple, and maybe it was great as well. The death of the French composer Maurice Jarre was reported in true Sky News fashion in the very early hours of March 30th.

I immediately grabbed my laptop, went to Maurice Jarre’s Wikipedia page, clicked the edit button on screen and proceeded to lay the trap for my unsuspecting prey, the journalists.

“One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack,” I wrote into the Wikipedia entry. “Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head and that only I can hear.”

This was a totally fake quote and neither Maurice Jarre, nor anyone else, has ever been on record as uttering these words. Social science experiments always have ethical issues, because you are in effect using people as guinea pigs. I did not wish to taint or distort anyone’s reputation, so I purposely made the decision to put in a general, random quote that would not affect Jarre’s stature.

Wikipedia, for the less computer-savvy people reading this, is a free online encyclopedia and, as the website states, “anyone with internet access can make changes to Wikipedia articles”. I knew that as soon as newspaper reporters around the world heard about Jarre’s death, the first thing they would do was go on to his Wikipedia page and gather information to quickly throw together a fitting obituary for the following day’s paper.

While I expected online blogs and maybe some smaller papers to use the quote, I did not think it would have a major impact. I was wrong. Quality newspapers in England, India, America and as far away as Australia had my words in their reports of Jarre’s death. I was shocked that highly respected newspapers would use material from Wikipedia without first sourcing and referencing it properly.

The issues about the media and quality reporting that this experiment raises requires a whole new article by itself – because the implications are far-reaching. If I could so easily falsify the news across the globe, even to this small extent, then it is unnerving to think about what other false information may be reported in the press.

I was somewhat nervous about using the Winston Churchill quote near the beginning of this piece for fear that karma might add a final ironic twist to this story. However, I, along with many red-faced journalists, have learnt to take certain precautions before believing everything we read. I guess we truly are living in a globalised age.

Shane Fitzgerald is in his final year at UCD studying sociology and economics

Podem ler agora o posicionamento oficial do jornal The Guardian, citado nos textos anteriores.

Open door

Leia aqui o texto em portugues

The readers' editor on ... web hoaxes and the pitfalls of quick journalism

Siobhain Butterworth
The Guardian, Monday 4 May 2009

An obituary of French composer Maurice Jarre, which appeared in the Guardian on 31 March, began and ended with quotes. It opened with: "My life has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life" - and closed with: "Music is how I will be remembered. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head, that only I can hear." The words, however, were not Jarre's, they were Shane Fitzgerald's - the 22-year-old student at University College Dublin had put them on Jarre's Wikipedia page a day earlier.

Fitzgerald's timing could not have been better. He added the fake quote shortly after the composer died and just as writers were working on his obituaries. The Guardian commissioned an obituary writer on the morning of 30 March, giving him only a few hours to produce a substantial piece on Jarre's life for the following day's paper. He was not the only one taken in by the hoax - the quote was recycled in several other obituaries published in print and on the web. Fitzgerald told me that he'd looked for something (or someone) journalists would be under pressure to write about quickly. Jarre's death was "the right example, at the right time", he said.
What others might see as an act of vandalism, Fitzgerald calls research. In an email last week he apologised for deliberately misleading people and for altering Jarre's Wikipedia page. He said his purpose was to show that journalists use Wikipedia as a primary source and to demonstrate the power the internet has over newspaper reporting.

Fitzgerald's fakery was not particularly sophisticated. All he did was add a quote to Jarre's Wikipedia page and he provided nothing to back it up. The absence of a footnote containing a reference for the quote ought to have made obituary writers suspicious.

Wikipedia editors were more sceptical about the unsourced quote. They deleted it twice on 30 March and when Fitzgerald added it the second time it lasted only six minutes on the page. His third attempt was more successful - the quote stayed on the site for around 25 hours before it was spotted and removed again.

The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn't use information they find there if it can't be traced back to a reliable primary source.
The desirability of telling readers where information comes from shouldn't be overlooked either.
The Guardian's editorial code advises that when quotes are taken from another publication, journalists should acknowledge the source. The guidance is less strictly adhered to in obituaries, features and blogs than it is in news stories, and it wasn't followed here. If it had been, editors would soon have discovered a problem with the quote.

Readers of the obituaries are not the only victims of this deception - those close to Jarre may be distressed to discover that his obituaries have been tainted in this way. Fitzgerald said he thought carefully about the nature of the remarks he falsely attributed to the composer: "I tried to think of a quote that was very general," he said. "I didn't want to falsify someone's obituary."

It's worrying that the misinformation only came to light because the perpetrator of the deception emailed publishers to let them know what he'd done and it's regrettable that he took nearly a month to do so. Why did he wait so long? "I apologise for that," he said. "I was originally going to do a report for my class and then it didn't work out. I know I should have told you sooner."

Fitzgerald says he is shocked by the results of his "experiment" with Jarre's Wikipedia page. "I expected the quote to get into the blogs, but I didn't expect it to get into mainstream newspapers," he said. He came up with the idea while writing an essay on globalisation and the media: "My aim was to show that an undergraduate university student in Ireland can influence what newspapers are doing around the world and also that the reliance of newspapers on the internet can lead to some faults," he told me. Consider the job done Shane.

Leia o que já publicamos neste blog sobre a wikipedia

Educação e Cidadania: Construção colaborativa do conhecimento ...
27 Jul 2008 ... O Google lançaa concorrente da Wikipedia. O diferencial desta enciclopédia é que os artigos serão assinados e o autor poderá ganhar dinheiro

Postado em 12 de maio de 2009 por João José Saraiva da Fonseca

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