by: Yann Gourvennec

It’s not because you are a collaborative work enthusiast that you have to agree with everything that is going on in the name of so-called WEB 2.0.

A USA today editorial published on Nov 29th entitled “A false Wikipedia biography” is making our hair stand on end. How come anybody can log in to a system as visible as Wikipedia and fabricate a biography for a living person. Besides, other online encyclopedias have copied this information too. One may imagine what it would be if someone started to rewrite history in that manner. Historical characters would not be able to rise from the dead in order to correct such mistakes. In retrospect, this is more than just outrageous. What we are seeing here is the end of a myth around collaboration, it is Web 2.0 gone mad (see previous entry about Nicholas Carr’s latest article against the Web 2.0 craze). And Web 2.0 gone mad is just like 1984(*) with people rewriting history as they like. There has to be - eventually - limits to our freedom of speech, and these limits are set by the general interest. Failing to understand this would definitely kill Web 2.0 and the wonderful tools brought by the Internet. (*) George Orwell, 1984, Penguin Books Ltd ISBN: 0140126716.

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