Lies, damn lies and Wikipedia

Jason Cochran

Dublin sociology student Shane Fitzgerald had the same theory about Wikipedia that many of us have: You can't trust it. So he set out to prove just how untrustworthy it is.

Immediately after hearing the breaking news of the death of film composer Maurice Jarre on March 28, Fitzgerald flew to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia in which facts are tended by whomever uses the site. Fitzgerald wasn't interested in vandalizing the Jarre biography page with outrageous information and lies. That would be too obvious. Instead, he invented a quote that sounded like Jarre might have said it:

"One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack," read Fitzgerald's bogus Jarre quote. "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 that only I can hear."