Wiki Pranks


As I’m sure you already know, anyone can edit a Wikipedia page.  This is the beauty and the beast of the matter.  You have a fully-democritized information source, but you cannot 100% trust that source, because the people editing might be a bunch of jags.

A bunch of jags like my co-workers and I.  Going into the long story would only confuse the matter, so I’ll just cut to the chase and explain how we were joking that George Lucas loved submarine sandwiches so much that he had two conveyor belts pumping subs to his mouth at all times.

Then one of us jumped on line and gave the internet the following taste:

I added the last bit. The only thing missing to make this an absolutely perfect prank was for someone to not just remove it, but to ask for a citation (the citation on the first “sandwiches” line was added by us to, with a link to attached).

I can’t explain why this still amuses me, but it does.  I think it’s has something to do with the fact that it’s such a strange rumor and therefore a harmless prank, yet by putting in the clothes of an internet page, it gains some semblance of legitimacy, making the enterprise that much funnier. There wasn’t going to be some kid putting together a term paper on Lucas who will mistakenly take our editorializing as fact, but there could have been. It’s written right there.

And what if someone had randomly read our false information and — even though their mind knows those things to be untrue — they still carry it with them, so that somewhere down the line, like at a party, people are talking about how bad the Prequels are and about how Lucas lost his edge, and this random person could chime in, “This is gonna sound strange, but I saw somewhere something about how George Lucas is, like, obsessed with sub sandwiches.”

Not to worry.  It’s been taken down. The Wiki-police were all over it, quickly removing our information and dolling out severe warnings all around.

So, yes, it was worth it.


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