A Cork blogger identified through an online tool that an RTÉ employee recently vandalised a number of it’s cometitors’ entries in Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia. There are a few interesting observations about this story.
Firstly RTÉ have suffered as a result of the actions of one of their employees on the Internet. While the broadcaster probably won’t over-react and stop its employees accessing these types of websites, they should be able to identify the individual employee and ensure a suitable reprimand is applied for his or her stupidity and laziness.
The act of vadawikism (vandalising a wiki) is not in itself a stupid and lazy thing to do. There may in some circumstances be very noble reasons for doing this. The stupidity was in doing this from within RTÉ and dragging your employer into an embarassment. The laziness was not checking in advance that you and your employer could be easily identified.
Perhaps the most interesting thing here is the irony of an online blogger uncovering and revealing the subversive acts of the state broadcaster against other traditional media broadcasters. And what’s more the story is subsequently carried in other third-party media. Has blogging come of age?
The final interesting thing is that truth will out in the long run. The collaborate model of content creation has it’s weaknesses, but the web is big enough to keep itself in check, and if all else fails we will shame and embarass others into being honest.