On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM, Thomas Morton <morton.tho...@googlemail.com
> wrote:

> > > That process takes* much much longer* than 2-5 days.
> > >
> >
> >
> > Yes, but it takes place *before* publication. :P
> >
> >
> Not at all.
> My specific experience was while consulting on another matter for a firm;
> they were surprised to find their name had been noted in connection with
> some years-before legal action (quite a disturbing one) in a prominent
> printed encyclopaedia.
> I helped them get in touch and resolve the issue.
> It took about a week for initial contact to prove successful - the material
> was reviewed, taking another two weeks, and "amended internally". The next
> years print run was currently happening, and they were unable to modify the
> problem.
> So all in all it took about 18 months for a correction to be published.
> I happen to know of several other examples where incorrect material is
> still being published years after the point has been brought up.
> Whilst you will get some material sent out for review I don't believe it
> accounts for much of the content. And, as such, is something of
> misdirection on the issue.
> I'm not arguing Wikipedia is the solution. But the argument that
> printed encyclopaedias are better at this I know to be false.
> Tom

Well, it is still true that in a conventional encyclopedia, everything goes
through vigorous professional fact checking *before* publication. We have
nothing to compare to that. Not even Pending Changes. Surely that is a
very, very significant difference indeed?

As a result, the kinds of inaccuracies we have in Wikipedia can be in a
whole different league than the sort of error you might find in Britannica;
there is often active malice at work, as opposed to the occasional cock-up,
and you are talking about the no. 1 Google link for a person or company,
rather than something appearing on page 582 of a dusty tome that few people
own, let alone read.

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