By Judi Curry
Several months ago I wrote an article about the possibility of changing the name of the “La Jolla Christmas Parade” to something that did not connote a religious theme. I pointed out that almost every parade during the month of December had changed their title from a “Christmas theme” to a more generic one, thus entailing more enjoyment and enthusiasm for the total population rather than a select few.
One of the references I used was a three paragraph summary of the antisemitism that had existed in La Jolla for many years. I found that reference in the “La Jolla” section of Wikipedia .
I was very surprised when one of the readers of my original article called to inform me that those references no longer existed; and, in fact, there was only a small paragraph where the three used to be and it practically negated the original paragraphs.
As I talked to him a little longer, he said that he was going to copy my original references and put them back on the Wikipedia site. Which he did. And it was up for one half hour or so when it was removed and the one paragraph reference was back. It was time to do a little more research.
When I talked to my daughter about this, she was fully aware of something I was not aware of. Let me quote to you from the site itself:
“Wikipedia is an online free-content encyclopedia that you can edit and contribute to. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has described Wikipedia as “an effort to create and distribute a multilingual free encyclopedia of the highest quality to every single person on the planet in his or her own language.” Wikipedia exists to bring knowledge to everyone who seeks it.”
Isn’t that strange? Apparently ANYONE can write anything on this site, and it can be true – or not true – depending on the author’s creativity. One can take off anything that someone else has written with no explanation; and it can be fraught full of lies and misinformation.
In a Paragraph on the Wikipedia site that asks how one knows if the information is correct, this answer appears:
“Given that anyone can edit any article, it is, of course, possible for biased, out-of-date, or incorrect information to be posted. However, because there are so many other people reading the articles and monitoring contributions using the Recent Changes page, incorrect information is usually corrected quickly. Thus, the overall accuracy of the encyclopedia is improving all the time. You are encouraged to help by correcting articles, validating content, and providing useful references.”
And when asked how people are prevented from “ruining articles” the answer was “Software robots automatically reverse obvious defacement immediately. Moreover, there are hundreds of people who spend a little time each day watching the list of recent changes on Wikipedia”. Software robots? Correcting the information?
I know that I was discriminated against in 1965 when I tried to book a room at a hotel in La Jolla wearing a Jewish Star but how do I know if the original Wikipedia article was correct – or false. More research. And I found, through a variety of sources, that the original article is correct: (http://www.
These are only three of many different articles talking about the anti-antisemitism in La Jolla, stemming back to the 1920’s.
The question that I now am asking is what good is “Wikipedia”? I will never quote them again; in fact, I probably will never use their site again. I can make up “facts” as well as the next guy – maybe even better. I suspect I touched on a nerve when we published my original article. One can change the paragraphs anyway they want on Wikipedia, but the facts remain. If there was not the thrust to have UCSD established in La Jolla, the town would probably still reject people of the Jewish faith, as well as those of other minorities.
Personally, I don’t give a damn about what the parade is called, but I will now look at it differently than I did originally. I can’t help but feel that the “anti-semites” are still residing in La Jolla, and until they are willing to encompass the entire community in their parade, I will not be attending. You will, however, find me at any and all of the other parades in San Diego.