Tuesday, March 6, 2012

7 Greatest Myths for Wikipedia Lies - Society - Social Issues

7 Greatest Myths for Wikipedia Lies

Seeing how far a fib can travel is a game as old as time, and now theres Wikipedia to up the ante. In the 80s Stuart Maconie spread it around that Blockbusters host Bob Holness played sax on Gerry Raffertys Baker Street. It was taken as plain fact in many circles, and the man himself saw the funny side and said it was true in interviews, albeit with a cheeky smile.

Wikipedia has provided a service by which fibbers of the highest order can perpetuate the most convincing, or far fetched untruths they can think of. That is, until a Wikipedia editor spots it or a newspaper mistakenly prints it. In honour of those who spend their time making stuff up for other people to find at an unspecified time in the future, weve gathered together the best lies perpetuated by Wikipedia, from reports that the Queen is dead, to sublimely ridiculous stories about hats made of shoes. Read on for fibs and giggles.

1. Football fans with hats made of shoesSome members from the group B3ta were responsible for a remarkably wonky view of Cypriot footie fans. The source? This quote, about fans of the team AC Omonia: A small but loyal group of fans are lovingly called The Zany Ones they like to wear hats made from discarded shoes and have a song about a little potato.Somehow this fact made it into the football pages of the Mirror, where reporter David Anderson noted the headgear and nicknames given to AC Omonias fans. How Anderson managed to slip this one in without a) questioning just how one might fashion a hat from discarded shoe, b) without the subs noticing, and c) missing out the funniest bit about the potato song we just dont know.

2. The composer of the Last of the Summer Wine theme tune also wrote hits for S Club 7Ronnie Hazlehurst was a famous BBC TV Theme composer, and wrote the themes for Last of the Summer Wine, Yes Minister and Are You Being Served? When he died in 2008, a fib secreted into his Wikipedia page, which falsely stated that at the age of 72 he teamed up with Cathy Dennis to compose Reach for the Stars for S Club 7. Unsurprisingly, he wasnt actually hanging out with Cathy, writing songs for teenagers in crop tops at the age of 72, but it managed to make it into a worrying number of obituaries for Hazlehurst.

3. Approved employees of the Blood Authority may perform weddingsThis one has managed to stick around, despite being entered by a member of the Blood Authority shoving it into the page whilst at the bar in order to win an argument in a pub, although how an argument like that started we can only begin to imagine. Nevertheless, its survived. Take note: if youre looking for a shotgun wedding of an evening, its probably wise to steer clear of bars near the blood bank.

4. Wanky Balls festivalThe Independent newspaper got caught out by Wikipedia when it said that The Big Chill festival was previously known as the Wanky Balls festival. The paper stated casually that The Big Chill was founded in 1994 as the Wanky Balls festival in North London. Unsurprisingly, it was never called the Wanky Balls festival, and this lie in fact originated with the Wikipedia page.

5. Vernon Kay and the Queen are deadWhat do Vernon Kay and The Queen have in common? Theyve both been pronounced dead by Wikipedia. Vernon Kay was reported to have slipped off a yacht on the ocean off Greece, in some poor fool trying to bring his fantasies to life.The Queen was reported dead on Wikipedia on 30 March 2005, completely erroneously. Needless to say the edit didnt last long.

6. Sepp Blatter has a funny middle nameFIFA president Sepp Blatter was presented with the Order of the Companions of Oliver Reginald Tambo, an award which honours people from outside of South Africa whove worked towards improving perceptions of South Africa and promoted its interests and aspirations. Blatter was awarded the Order after the 2010 World Cup, although the Wikipedia citation read that it was awarded to one Joseph Sepp Bellend Blatter.

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