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Shane Fitzgerald
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Student
    (circa 1987- )
    Student at University College Dublin in Ireland
    After the death of film composer Maurice Jarre, planted a fake quote ('One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear.') on Jarre's Wikipedia page
    Even though no source was given for the quote, dozens of newspaper websites picked it up for their obituaries.
    He went public after a month when none of the papers discovered the bogus nature of the quote.
    A week after he went public, only the Guardian had made a mea culpa, while most other papers merely quietly removed the material.
    He noted that a malicious hoaxer might have gotten the fake quote to stick on Wikipedia by citing the newspapers as a source for the statement.
    Thanks to those obituaries, the dumb bastard writing the AmIAnnoying profile of Jarre included the faux quote.
    He planted the quote on Wikipedia three times and it was removed each time.
    Its duration on Wikipedia before deletion ranged from a low of six minutes to a high of 25 hours.
    The Guardian wrote, 'The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn't use the information they find there if it can't be traced back to a reliable primary source.'
    He came up with the idea in a class about globalization and the media, noting, 'My aim was to show that an undergraduate university student in Ireland can influence what newspapers are doing around the world, and also that the reliance of newspapers on the internet can lead to some faults.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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