Gregory Kohs wanted to show that the encyclopedia's self-correcting mechanisms can be beat, so he added phony facts to some articles. After six weeks, most were uncorrected: "Even though Wikipedia’s parent company, the Wikimedia Foundation, collected $5.7 million in surplus cash beyond expenses last fiscal year, the organization … has never spent a dime to evaluate vandalism on Wikipedia." Also, what Wikipedia said about Thoreau's neckbeard.
The wall between editorial content and advertising just lost a few more bricks with a rewriting of industry guidelines from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Michael Sebastian writes: "The new principles simply say, 'Editors should avoid working with and reporting on the same marketer.' They previously said, 'Don't Ask Editors to Write Ads.'" More from ASME. And Mark Duffy on why native advertising doesn't work.
They've been renamed "traumatic brain injuries," but there are still a lot of unknowns about concussions, their diagnosis, and the outlook for someone who suffers from one, Tabitha M. Powledge writes, And now, we have a presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) who's had one. "I’m expecting rumors of permanent brain damage," Powledge writes. Also, HealthNewsReview.org and its new focus on press releases, plus another view from Kirk Englehardt.
Josh Jones wonders who wrote the famous filler type and discovers the answer starts with Cicero, with help from a long-forgotten typesetter. Quoting Richard McClintock of Hampden-Sydney College: "It has been used as filler text since the sixteenth century when — as McClintock theorized — 'some typesetter had to make a type specimen book, to demo different fonts' and decided that 'the text should be insensible, so as not to distract from the page’s graphical features.'"
Trial-court cases do not make new law, but they can act in much the same way as canaries in mines — as sentinels of problems. That’s why every one who writes for a living should know what libel is, and how to avoid it if possible.
The Food Babe phenomenon is a challenge for journalists like Julia Belluz, who second-guesses her own coverage: "Perhaps I should have dedicated many more reporting hours to debunking her ideas. Or perhaps I should have continued to ignore her altogether. Maybe drawing any attention to Hari would help popularize her message — making me complicit in spreading misinformation." More from Keith Kloor and Michael Hiltzik.