Is Wikipedia Correct?




          One place one might not expect to see an anthropologist research is Wikipedia. Heather Ford, an anthropologist working in Kenya, was doing research on how Wikipedia editors managed pages during rapidly occurring and changing events. While there, news that “the Kenyan army had invaded Southern Somalia to try and root out the militant Al Shabaab terrorist group” came out. Ford noticed that the Wikipedia page made on the event had been nominated for deletion on the basis of notability because the event was no different than “routine” occurrences of troops to crossing boarders for military operations. Being that Ford was in Kenya, she was closer to the primary source of information and noted that this event had many more implications for the county’s politics than what meets the eye. To the Kenyan people this invasion was the national army’s first attempt at proving itself after independence and notably during an election year.

            To the person who nominated the Wikipedia page for deletion the event had no other significance other than the usual mobilization of militants. In interviewing people who are active participants in nominating pages for deletion she found that the rational of the nomination was not ignorance but lack of availability to primary news sources. Traditional media has since decreased its coverage of international events leaving people outside of a specific area unable to attain reliable and all full information. Since, Ford has been working on “filtering tools for use during rapidly evolving news events” in hopes that more information can be spread and documented on international events. This finding could change the way that information is provided to the world giving a more accurate history of events.