In an exciting showdown, the guy most associated with Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has his contribution edited by a Wikipedian named Cookiehead. Including “Jimbo,” himself, the rogue editor, the New York Times and the Connecticut legislature, 2012 documents the source of inaccurate information and how it is disseminated by a powerful, byzantine organization with a website.
On the eve of Groundhog Day, here is Vigil #1, a thread to follow the latest atrocity on Wikipedia. One instance of goofy, wild, preposterous, ridiculously inaccurate and unsupported information has now lasted over 30 days.
The consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.
Despite that–and a growing list of Nonbelievers–one of the most influential sources of information has it wrong (again). Wikipedia states, “In 2009, [consumer reporting agency] TransUnion representatives testified before the Connecticut legislature about their practice of marketing credit score reports to employers for use in the hiring process.”
Footnote #23, indeed, links to a real New York Times piece alright, but that story actually states that a TransUnion representative “testified to Connecticut legislators in February 2009, explaining why TransUnion markets its credit reports [not scores] to employers.”
But the Times’ reporting doesn’t help in clarifying things, either, stating, “Employers can generally use credit checks — but not credit scores — during the employment process as long as they obtain written permission from the potential employee.”
Such is the inconclusive and confounding power of milqtoast words like “generally,” and use of the mdash.
So, if you are a Wikipedian (rhymes with comedian) looking for another notch on your belt, or you want to start editing with a bang, here is your chance for a slam-dunk. You’ll even have Jimmy Wales on your side as a Nonbeliever. But don’t think you’re going to have the last word: even Jimbo himself didn’t.
But, what do you expect for free– and from somebody who calls himself Cookiehead?
When the person most associated with Wikipedia edits a Wikipedia article, it’s news. But, today, his side–the truth–is losing. Here is what has happened, so far.
December 8. Wikipedian user 220.127.116.11 adds “Employers look at a[SIC] applicants[SIC] credit score prior to offering a position for employment and has[SIC] stirred controversy in many states,” a bogus (if not, ungrammatical) claim. It is the first and last entry by that user.
The link connects to a quote of a TransUnion official who (in 2009 and before the Connecticut legislature, no less) testified, “Now, credit scores aren’t used in employment decisions so let’s get that straight.”