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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006. No paid or guest posts, no link sales.

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Wikipedia corrects serious error after 12 years

Well done, Wikipedia, you got something right. It only took you 12 years.
   Nick, who appears to be a senior editor at the site, fixed up the complete fabrication that a user called ApolloBoy entered about the ‘Ford CE14 platform’ in 2005, after I wrote a pretty scathing piece on Drivetribe about Wikipedia’s inadequacies, in part based on an earlier blog post I wrote here.
   I am grateful to Nick who I expect saw my story.
   However, errors still abound, and as I pointed out in Drivetribe, another user called Pmeisel, who appears to have been an automotive industry professional, said back in February 2005 there was a real confusion between development codes and platforms on Wikipedia.
   While Nick has largely fixed the problem—he has noted that it was the European Ford Escort of 1990 and its derivatives that CE14 should refer to, and not much earlier American cars—there remains the lesser one that there is still no such thing as a ‘Ford CE14 platform’, just as there is no such thing as a ‘Ford C170 platform’, and so on.
   Ford did not use these codes to refer to platforms, they used them to refer to specific models.
   Let’s see if the Wikiality of this page will at least begin to disappear from the ’net, 12 years after ApolloBoy made up some crap and allowed it to propagate to the extent that some people regard it as fact.
   I have enquired into Wikipedia from time to time, enough to know it is full of mistakes. But the errors do seem to happen far more often in the Anglophone one. Perhaps those of us who speak English are more willing to commit fictions to publication. Goodness knows we have seen an example in print, too. Does this culture lend us to being far less precise with a poorer concern for the truth—and does that in turn lead to the ease with which “fake news” winds up in our media?

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Filed under: cars, culture, internet, publishing—Jack Yan @ 09.30

8 Responses to ‘Wikipedia corrects serious error after 12 years’

  1. Ben. says:

    Hi, I’m the (former) Wikipedia editor who went by ApolloBoy and I just so happened to find this while looking up some automotive history stuff. I was kind of amused to see my old Wiki screenname here, and I guess I should clarify why I originally made the article the way it was years ago. It wasn’t at all my intention to make stuff up, there wasn’t much information on old Ford platforms at the time (this would be c. 2005/2006 when I was an active editor) and I was simply going with what I knew based on some now defunct websites. Didn’t really help that I was a teenager at the time, haha.

    I am glad that the article is correct now and that you chewed my ass out for it after the fact. ;)
    Hopefully now everyone else can play catchup, if they ever do that is.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    I appreciate your popping by, Ben, and clearing up how that page came to be. You’re not solely responsible: Wikipedia has a lot to answer for. Had I gone in to delete that page, for example, I would have been branded a vandal. The site is inherently anti-expert, and there are signs that some senior editors gamed the system to get where they did (as noted in my earlier post). The CE14 page was a major bugbear, but looking back, if Wikipedia were more appreciative of experts, I might never have created Autocade, which turns 10 in a matter of days. So some good has come of it.

  3. […] because we have a command of the lingua franca of business and science. It gives us the impunity to write fictions in Wikipedia or make an argument sound appealing through sound bites, hoping to have made a quick getaway before […]

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  7. […] one who knows very little, though they have more editing privileges than me.    Like the 12-year-old ‘Ford CE14 platform’ piece that only got corrected after I posted on Drivetr…, I have to ask: what possesses someone to invent fiction and to be so sure of themselves that they […]

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