Have you got an assignment due the next day? What do you do? Look up Wikipedia, cut and paste and type furiously through the night to present your completed assignment to the lecturer the next day. Welcome to college in the twenty-first century. But, wait! Not all the information is accurate. If you just swallow hook, line and sinker without question, you could make a fool of yourself. The latest challenge to face students doing assignments last minute is not problems with the computer or printer, but the mushrooming of parody Wikipedia websites in the Internet.
Anything serious is prime target for lampoon and satire. Wikipedia, with its serious reputation and claim as authority on any subject under the sun is such a candidate. The website makers openly admit that they parody Wikipedia in their content, and sometimes even the appearance. Stupidedia.org, Falsipedia.com, Uncyclopedia.org, and Illogicopedia.org are examples of such websites which turn information on its head and create nonsensical facts to have some fun with users. At the same time, they challenge users to think instead of accepting blindly whatever that is published.
It is amazing what people actually believe to be true for some of this satiric information is so absurd. Young people are the likeliest victims in their absolute faith and reliance on Wikipedia.com, their online Bible. People rarely ask where the information comes from (it must come from somewhere) as long as it is convenient to get the information. Furthermore, Wikipedia has built up its reputation as a reliable online source for information.
Much as these parody websites can be a nuisance, they provide some fun and reassert the Net’s principles of free market practice as well as the need for wisdom and knowledge. You either know the facts to be able to laugh and enjoy these parody websites, or you have been duped and taken in by them.
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