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Did Colbert hack Wikipedia? - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 1st 2006 10:38AM
Stephen Colbert talks about Last night, Stephen Colbert devoted his popular Colbert Report segment "The Wørd" to everyone's favorite site for questionable research, Wikipedia. The word for the day was "Wikiality", citing that, due to the site's format, any assertion can become fact if enough of the site's users agreed with it.

To prove his point, he encouraged viewers to edit entries about elephants with the absurd statement that the population of elephants in the world has tripled in the last six months. Indeed, such an edit -- as well as one Stephen said he'd make about him saying Oregon was "Idaho's Portugal" -- were found under an account named "Stephencolbert" around the time the show was taped. As a result, the Wikipedia admins have protected a bunch of elephant-related pages and blocked the "Stephencolbert" account until they can verify that it was actually Stephen (or his producers) making those edits (I guess if it's him, it's funny. If it's not, it's vandalism).

For those who are curious about the segment, the funny video is on YouTube. You can see it after the jump.

[via Bloglines]

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1. I found this factoid in Wikpedia:Massachusetts:
"The state is also considered a haven for progressive, liberal thought and often sends political candidates to the national scene. Massachusetts was the home state of US Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush."

Fact or fiction? Cultural myth?

...in Wikipedia for "consider", a tense of which is used in the sentences above, one of the definitions is:
"1. (transitive) To think about seriously."

So are they "serious"?

2. We need to be careful about miseducation because of the well-funded "No Child Left Behind" legislation and the "fair and balanced" opinions expressed as fact in the liberal media on FOX.

Wikipedia is clearly an attempt to use mass delusion to counter FOX's liberal media bias.

"Fair and balanced"? That might mean balancing a *blend* of fact and fiction...

Perhaps "Fair and objective" is a better standard?

3. Per the Wall Street Journal: "Wise men rule and the mob must accede to their selfless judgment." -- Philip Delves Broughton. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Dec 21, 2005. pg. A.18

Now who are you going to trust, The Wall Street Journal, or Wikipedia?

Now don't go swallowing any watermelon seeds, since we all *know* what that causes...

4. I might be wise to remember "there is no area of Earth that can be considered "asteroid proof."
[from: Assessing The Creation Of A Duty Under International Customary Law Whereby The United States of America Would Be Obligated To Defend A Foreign State Against The Catastrophic But Localized Damage Of An Asteroid Impact"; Justin L Koplow. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. Washington: Winter 2005.Vol.17, Iss. 2; pg. 273, 34 pgs]

From their own website, Georgetown Law School has produced such prestigious graduates as Ramona L. Ortiz Brown, F'89, L'94, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, Houston, TX.
ExxonMobil just reported record profits...

...and that's a fact on http://edgar.sec.gov/
If you can't trust the SEC, who can you trust?


August 02 2006 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So its probably not true that there is a bear working in manhattan and driving a hybrid i heard he was a cozy bear. wada doodle

August 02 2006 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jerry L

This isn't about Wikipedia...a Fine resource for bright people...Not particularly Republicans....It's about this country's G.O.P. "Leaders".......The so-called leaders in Washington obviously do NOT HAVE A CLUE...about how to Govern.....Katrina, for one thing... proved this!!!!

August 02 2006 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hysterial. Colbert is a comedic genius.

August 02 2006 at 7:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is well known that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for accurate information. A coworker of mine inserted his own name in an article about the NFL saying he was next in line to be commissioner. If he could do that, imagine what anyone else could do.

August 02 2006 at 7:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

our facts are what people say often enough... that's why most sheep... sorry, "americans"... believe george bush....

August 02 2006 at 6:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Sal

I honestly Thought it was funny. Plus if he did it, it wasn't wrong of him to do it, it was merely an opinion.At least by the logic's of the Wikipedia web site. Remeber most of our belief systems are based on a lot of opinion and look at how many people belive in them to be truth or fact.

August 01 2006 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Man, what a classic moment in both television and internet history.

Just a quick accuracy note, though: Stephencolbert did not make an edit to elephant-related pages, but he did add the following sentence to the George Washington article after a paragraph about Washington owning slaves:

"In conclusion, George Washington did not own slaves."


Also, if the edits were made around taping time, then I have no doubt they were indeed made by Colbert. Now I just wish he would come add his comedic genius to Uncyclopedia...

August 01 2006 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why wouldn't it be vandalism if Colbert did it himself?

August 01 2006 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

I doubt it was him. The video doesn't even show him on Wikipedia (all that typing he was doing was just for show, the laptop probably wasn't even hooked up), and he only mentioned that viewers change the elephants page rather quickly.

When I first heard about this, I thought that Colbert actually went to the Wiki page while live on the air and changed it. That would have been funny.

August 01 2006 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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