May 20, 2022

Video: Lecture: "Wikipedia, WikiLeaks and Wiccans: Historical Accuracy Online"

From Vanderbilt University News:

Watch video of John Seigenthaler, a nationally recognized advocate for the First Amendment also known for his criticism of Internet vandals who post false information on user-created sites like Wikipedia, speaking Oct. 21 at Vanderbilt’s Central Library.

Seigenthaler is the founder of the First Amendment Center, former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and chairman emeritus of The Tennessean. The eminent journalist and author is the longtime host of “A Word on Words,” a weekly program on WNPT, Nashville Public Television, during which he interviews authors, journalists, historians and others about their books.

In 2005 Seigenthaler was a victim of misinformation on Wikipedia, the popular and free online encyclopedia. An anonymous posting of an inflammatory and fake “biography” included several false statements, including that Seigenthaler was once thought to be involved in the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. The “biography” contained only one accurate statement – Seigenthaler had worked for Robert Kennedy during the early 1960s.

The hoax was not corrected for more than four months. After Seigenthaler spoke out and wrote about his experience in publications such as USA Today, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said that the encyclopedia had banned unregistered users from writing new articles.

Direct to Video (Runs 42 Minutes)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.