Jar’Edo Wens and the Accuracy of Wikipedia

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

While Wikipedia has some worthwhile information, it is considered less than reliable by many people. Creation science and the Intelligent Design movement are the recipients of substantial bias from there. One of its numerous problems is illustrated by hoaxes.

Almost anyone can contribute and edit articles, but only in theory. I have heard from creationists who tried to correct some of Wickedpedia's false information, only to have the edits snap back as if they had never been made. Outright hoaxes are more likely to fly under the radar.

People cite Wikipedia as an unbiased, accurate authority on important subjects. Fake Jar'Edo Wens, other hoaxes help show how it is open to problems.
Image of nonexistent Jar'Edo Wens generated with AI at NightCafe
A tiny entry was made about Jar'Edo Wens, a deity of Australian aborigines. It existed on Wikipedia for several years and was cited by users. But he never existed. (By the way, does anyone know if the AI program I used for the graphic got anything right according to aboriginal culture regarding this character? AI has substantial difficulties as well, you know.) After the hoax was caught, it still took a while to fix things.

Since Wikipedia is so large and has a large number of contributors, editors have trouble keeping up with what is real, incorrect, or fake. It's the nature of that beast. (To their credit, the Jar'Edo Wens hoax received an entry.) The article linked below implies that it is all human effort, but I reckon some of it is automated, such as when edits on certain pieces "snap back" right away.

Even so, Wikipedia is useful for some information and entertainment, but people should consider using other or additional sources for items of any importance. It is not the authority that many folks think. Feel a mite cheated yet?

Kindly consider reading the material at the very first link at the top. You may want to see the article that inspired this one as well. The source is from 2015, but they want you to pay. However, the Wayback Machine has archived "The story behind Jar’Edo Wens, the longest-running hoax in Wikipedia history" for free.