After Justin Bieber failed to win a Grammy for Best New Artist, with the award instead going to Esperanza Spaldking, fans suffering from Bieber Fever took their virtual torches and pitchforks to Spalding's Wikipedia page and let their feelings be known, MSNBC reports. Hours later, it was filled with insults and death threats, including one entry which read, "Justin Bieber deserved it go die in a hole. Who the heck are you anyway?" We couldn't care less about Justin Bieber or his perceived snub at the Grammys, but perhaps this latest tirade should have Wikipedia rethinking how it does things.
Wikipedia's greatest strength is at the same time it's greatest weakness. It's a social encyclopedia that relies on volunteers, and nearly all of its articles can be edited by anyone with an Internet connection and a keyboard. As a result, incidents like this one are inevitable. Or are they?
It would be incredibly challenging to police this sort of thing before it has a chance to happen, but one thing Wikipedia could do is lock certain pages during high profile events. In this case, Wikipedia could have padlocked the artists' pages who were up for a Grammy, or had a staffer monitor the pages in real time. On the flip side, doing so might just end up delaying the mob of angry fans.
Do you think Wikipedia should take more steps to curtail vandalism, or is it too difficult to police?