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Student's Wikipedia hoax quote used worldwide in newspaper obituaries

Mr Fitzgerald said he placed the quote on the website as an experiment when doing research on globalisation.

He wanted to show how journalists use the internet as a primary source and how people are connected especially through the internet, he said.

He picked Wikipedia because it was something a lot of journalists look at and it can be edited by anyone, he told The Irish Times.

Fitzgerald posted the quote on Wikipedia late at night after news of Jarre's death broke. "I saw it on breaking news and thought if I was going to do something I should do it quickly. I knew journalists wouldn't be looking at it until the morning," he said

The quote had no referenced sources and was therefore taken down by moderators of Wikipedia within minutes. However, Fitzgerald put it back a few more times until it was finally left up on the site for more than 24 hours.

Doing something repeatedly until you finally achieve the desired result is not much of an experiment.

by det on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 03:12:20 AM EST
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