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Booker Longlister Fights Wikipedia Critics

9781844881857L.jpgA member of the 13-author Booker Prize longlist is combating critics both in public and online, giving a glimpse into the tangled world of Wikipedia criticism.

Debut novelist Ed O’Loughlin served as Middle East correspondent for a number of Australian newspapers, drawing public controversy when critics accused him of anti-Israel bias. As the The Millions reports, the author published a long letter defending himself on Wikipedia, pondering how criticism is handled on the site. The author earned his spot on the longlist for his novel, “Not Untrue and Not Unkind.”

Here’s an excerpt from his letter: “If [these criticisms] were published in the ‘old media’ — which is to say, by people who have to publicly stand over and justify what they say and suffer the potentially severe personal consequences, such as loss of livelihood — it would clearly be actionable … I am, overall, an admirer of the Wikipedia project but I am disturbed to see how easily it can be manipulated by those hell-bent on imposing their personal beliefs, without regard to balance or empirical truth.”

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