Putting the ‘Force’ in IDF

By Guest Author

Published July 28, 2006, issue of July 28, 2006.

Wikipedia, the interactive online encyclopedia, continues to astound. Not only did the site recently log its one millionth entry — the Encyclopedia Brittanica, by contrast, has about an eighth that number — but it has also proved remarkably responsive to current events. According to an article in this week’s New Yorker magazine, the Wikipedia entry on the “2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict” went up just six hours after the conflict came into existence. The entry today is more than 9,000 words long and carries more than 200 footnotes. But as the New Yorker points out, the site, however lofty its goals, is not immune to human nature. Case in point: The entry on the Israel-Lebanon conflict last week was graced with a picture of the Death Star from “Star Wars.” The caption below it: “An IDF K-5 laser cannon fires into Southern Lebanon.” Whether due to “the Force” or the force of the online community’s sense of scholarly rigor is unclear, but no sooner had the image gone up than it had disappeared.

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