In the history of Wikipedia, the Seigenthaler incident refers to a series of events that began in May 2005 when Brian Chase anonymously posted a hoax article in Wikipedia about John Seigenthaler, Sr., a well-known writer and journalist. ***************************************************************************************** * * John Lawrence Seigenthaler (ˈsiːgɛnˌθɔːlɚ born July 27 1927 is an American journalist, writer and political figure. The post was not discovered and corrected until more than four months later. Daniel Brandt of Wikipedia Watch played a leading role in identifying Chase. Wikipedia Watch is a website created by a book-indexer named Daniel Brandt on 13 October 2005.  The incident raised questions about the reliability of Wikipedia and other online sites that lack the accountability of traditional news sites.  After the incident, Wikipedia took steps to prevent a recurrence, including barring unregistered users from creating new pages. 
Brian Chase was an operations manager of Rush Delivery, a delivery service company in Nashville, Tennessee. As a prank on a colleague, Chase created a Wikipedia biography on Seigenthaler which suggested that Seigenthaler may have had a role in the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29 1917&ndashNovember 22 1963 often referred to by his initials JFK, was the thirty-fifth President of Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20 1925 – June 6 1968 also called RFK, was the United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a On May 26, 2005, Chase added the following false text:
John Seigenthaler Sr. Events 451 - The Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire takes place Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s. For a short time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven.
John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1972, and returned to the United States in 1984.
He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter.
In September, Victor S. Johnson, Jr., a friend of Seigenthaler's, discovered the entry. Victor Samuel Johnson Jr ( June 12, 1916 &ndash January 19, 2008) was an American Lawyer who was president of Aladdin After Johnson alerted him to the article, Seigenthaler e-mailed friends and colleagues about it. On September 23, 2005, colleague Eric Newton copied and pasted Seigenthaler's official biography into Wikipedia from the Freedom Forum web site. Events 1122 - Concordat of Worms. 1459 - Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the English Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Eric Newton is an American journalist and Vice President/Journalism Program at the John S The Freedom Forum, based in Arlington Virginia, USA is a Nonpartisan foundation dedicated to Free press, Free speech and The following day, this bio was recognized by a Wikipedian editor as a copyright policy violation, and it was replaced with a short original biography. Copyright is a legal concept enacted by Governments, giving the creator of an original work of authorship Exclusive rights to control its distribution usually for  Newton informed Seigenthaler of his action when he ran into Seigenthaler in November in New York at the Committee to Protect Journalists dinner. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ is an independent nonprofit organization based in New York New York, United States
In October 2005, Seigenthaler contacted the then-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, Jimmy Wales, who took the then-unusual step of having the affected versions of the article history hidden from public view in the Wikipedia version logs, in effect removing them from all but Wikipedia administrators' view. Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born August 7 1966 is an American Internet entrepreneur known A system administrator, systems administrator, or sysadmin, is a person employed to maintain and operate a Computer system and/or network.  Some "mirror" websites not controlled by Wikipedia continued to display the older and inaccurate article for several more weeks until this new version of the article was propagated to these other websites. In Computing, a mirror is an exact copy of a Data set On the Internet, a mirror site is an exact copy of another Internet site
Seigenthaler wrote an op-ed article describing the particulars of the incident, which appeared in USA Today, of which he had been the founding editorial director. An editorial, leader (UK or leading article (UK is an article in a Newspaper or Magazine that expresses the opinion of the Editor USA TODAY is a national American daily Newspaper published by the Gannett Company. The article was published on November 29, 2005. Events 1777 - San Jose California, is founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In the article, he included a verbatim reposting of the false statements and called Wikipedia a "flawed and irresponsible research tool. " An expanded version was published several days later in The Tennessean where Seigenthaler was editor-in-chief in the 1970s. The Tennessean is the principal daily Newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, with a circulation area covering 39 counties in A publication's editor in chief is its Primary editor, having final responsibility for the operations and policies In the article, Seigenthaler detailed his own failed attempts to identify the anonymous person who posted the inaccurate biography. He reported that he had asked the poster's Internet service provider, BellSouth, to identify its user from the user's IP address. An Internet service provider ( ISP, also called Internet access provider or IAP) is a company which primarily offers their customers access to the Internet BellSouth Corporation is an American Telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta Georgia. An Internet Protocol ( IP) address is a numerical identification ( Logical address) that is assigned to devices participating in a Computer network BellSouth refused to identify the user without a court order, suggesting that Seigenthaler file a John Doe lawsuit against the user, which Seigenthaler declined to do. The Name " John Doe " is used as a Placeholder name for a male party in a legal action case or discussion whose true identity is either unknown or
Daniel Brandt, a San Antonio activist who had started the anti-Wikipedia site "Wikipedia Watch" in response to problems he had with his eponymous article, looked up the IP address in Seigenthaler's article, and found that it related to "Rush Delivery", a company in Nashville. Wikipedia Watch is a website created by a book-indexer named Daniel Brandt on 13 October 2005. He contacted Seigenthaler and the media, and posted this information on his website. 
On December 9, Chase admitted he had placed the false information in Seigenthaler's Wikipedia biography. Events 536 - Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city  After confessing, Chase resigned from his job at Rush Delivery. Seigenthaler received a hand-written apology and spoke with Chase on the phone. Seigenthaler confirmed —as he had previously stated— that he would not file a lawsuit in relation to the incident, and urged Rush Delivery to rehire Chase, which they did. Seigenthaler commented: "I'm glad this aspect of it is over. " He stated that he was concerned that "every biography on Wikipedia is going to be hit by this stuff—think what they'd do to Tom DeLay and Hillary Clinton, to mention two. Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8 1947 is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Sugar Land, Texas. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26 1947 is the junior United States Senator from My fear is that we're going to get government regulation of the Internet as a result. "
On December 5, 2005, Seigenthaler and Wales appeared jointly on CNN to discuss the matter. Events 63 BC - Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Cable News Network, usually referred to by its Initialism CNN, is a major English language Television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner On December 6, 2005, the two were interviewed on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation radio program. Events 1060 - Béla I of Hungary is crowned king of Hungary 1240 - Mongol invasion of Rus: Kiev Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Talk of the Nation is a Talk radio program based in the United States, produced by National Public Radio, and is broadcast nationally from 2 Wales described a new policy that he implemented in order to prevent unregistered users from creating new articles on the English-language Wikipedia, though their ability to edit existing articles was retained.
In the CNN interview, Seigenthaler also raised the spectre of increased government regulation of the Web:
. . . Can I just say where I'm worried about this leading. Next year we go into an election year. Every politician is going to find himself or herself subjected to the same sort of outrageous commentary that hit me, and hits others. I'm afraid we're going to get regulated media as a result of that. And I, I tell you, I think if you can't fix it, both fix the history as well as the biography pages, I think it's going to be in real trouble, and we're going to have to be fighting to keep the government from regulating you.
Seigenthaler criticized Congress for passing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects ISPs and web sites from being held legally responsible for disseminating content provided by their customers and users, "unlike print and broadcast companies. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 ( CDA) was arguably the first attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the "
In the December 6 joint NPR interview, Seigenthaler said that he did not want to have anything to do with Wikipedia because he disapproved of its basic assumptions. He also pointed out that the false information had been online for several months before he was aware of it, and that he had not been able to edit the article to correct it, when he did not even know of the article's existence. Editing Wikipedia, he suggested, would lend it his sanction or approval, and stated his belief that editing the article was not enough and instead he wanted to expose "incurable flaws" in the Wikipedia process and ethos.
On December 9, Seigenthaler appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal with Brian Lamb hosting. Events 536 - Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city C-SPAN (officially the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) is an American Cable television network dedicated to airing non-stop coverage Washington Journal is a political Call-in and Interview Television program running daily on C-SPAN. Brian Patrick Lamb (born October 9, 1941 in Indiana helped found the C-SPAN television channels in the United States in 1979 and has been Chief He said he was concerned that other pranksters would try to spoof members of Congress or other powerful figures in government, which may then prompt a backlash and turn back First Amendment rights on the Web. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress
In the June 2007 issue of Reason magazine, Seigenthaler also expressed concern about the lack of transparency underlined by Wales' removal of the hoax pages from the article's history page. Reason is a libertarian monthly magazine from the Reason Foundation. He has also stated that many of the comments left by users in the edit summaries are things he would not want his nine-year-old grandson to see. 
In reaction to the controversy, The New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia sent out a memo to his entire staff commenting on the reliability of Wikipedia and writing, "We shouldn't be using it to check any information that goes into the newspaper. " Several other publications commented on the incident, often criticizing Wikipedia and its open editing model as unreliable, citing the Seigenthaler incident as evidence. Wikipedia is the largest Free content Encyclopedia project written by volunteers, as a result of which it has attracted criticism
The scientific journal Nature published a (not peer-reviewed) study comparing the accuracy of Wikipedia and the Encyclopædia Britannica in 42 hard sciences related articles in December 2005. Nature is a prominent Scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869 The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Hard science is a term used to describe Natural sciences and Physical sciences as distinct from Social science. The Wikipedia articles studied were found to contain four serious errors and 162 factual errors, while the Encyclopædia Britannica also contained four serious errors and 123 factual errors.  From this, the journal drew the conclusion "that such high-profile examples (like the Seigenthaler and Curry situations) are the exception rather than the rule. Adam Clark Curry (born September 3 1964 in Washington DC) is a broadcasting and Internet personality well known for his stint from 1987 to 1994 as a "
In an interview with BusinessWeek on 13 December 2005, Wales discussed the reasons the hoax had gone undetected and steps being taken to address them. BusinessWeek is a business Magazine published by McGraw-Hill. Events 1294 - Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months Celestine hoped to return to his previous life Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  He stated that one problem was that Wikipedia's use had grown faster than its self-monitoring system could comfortably handle, and that therefore new page creation would be deliberately restricted to account-holders only, addressing one of Seigenthaler's main criticisms.
He also gave his opinion that encyclopedias as a whole (whether print or online) were not usually appropriate for primary sources and should not be relied upon as authoritative (as some were doing), but that nonetheless Wikipedia was more reliable as "background reading" on subjects than most online sources. He stated that Wikipedia was a "work in progress. "
A variety of changes were also made to Wikipedia's software and working practices, to address some of the issues arising. A new guideline, 'Biographies of living persons,' was created on 17 December 2005; editorial restrictions were introduced on the creation of new Wikipedia articles; and new tracking categories for the biographies of living people were implemented. Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 
The Foundation added a new level of "oversight" features to the MediaWiki software, accessible as of 2006 to around 20 experienced editors nominated by Wales. MediaWiki is a web-based Wiki software application used by all projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, all wikis hosted by Wikia, and Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. This originally allowed for specific historical versions to be hidden from everyone (including Oversight editors), which then become unable to be viewed by anyone except developers via manual intervention, though the feature was later changed so that other Oversights could view these revisions to monitor the tool's use. Currently such procedures are standarized by the 'Office actions' policy which states: “Sometimes the Wikimedia Foundation may have to delete, protect or blank a page without going through the normal site/community process(es) to do so. These edits are temporary measures to prevent legal trouble or personal harm and should not be undone by any user“.
Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.