Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wiki-vandals hit small town posts

Wiki-vandals hit small town posts

Chinchilla sighting a hoax, Paisley mayor says

May 22, 2007 04:30 AM
Tamara Cherry
toronto star

The mayor of Paisley, Ont., says despite what was posted on Wikipedia, the men in that town are clever and the local girls are pretty.

And Ron Oswald adds there's not a chinchilla in sight.

Oswald's clarification came after the recent version of the Paisley page on Wikipedia was brought to his attention.

Earlier this month, Wiki-vandals posted a rather unflattering review of the folks who live in the southwestern Ontario village of 1,100.

"The men are not exactly smart and the women are not exactly good looking but that does not stop them from procreating at an alarming rate. In recent years, the only population decline was when they were handing out free cheques in Walkerton," the article read.

That same day a second Wiki-vandal added, "A large chinchilla infestation has lead to diminishing returns on many local crops. Experts are at a loss as to how this happened, but suspect a `rogue chinchilla terrorist' may be the root cause."

The women in Paisley "certainly are" good looking, Oswald countered. And not only are Paisley men smart, but "there are a lot of good-looking farm boys," he added.

The picked-on Paisley residents aren't the only victims of Wiki-vandals, who roam free on the online encyclopedia, where most articles can be edited by anyone with Internet access.

Port Colborne has two of the "lamest high schools around," one Wiki-vandal said.

On the Acton page, "Actonite or Actonian?" was changed to "Actonite, Actonian or Crackhead?"

The Georgetown page read "Jesus Christ was born in this town," where "Illegal Mexican Wrestling" was also said to take place. That entry went on to say that, "Usually every match ends up with one of the opponents dieing. 2004 was the bloodiest year in the events [sic] history, 546 were killed due to grandstands collapsing."

And it's not just small towns getting Wiki-vandalized. "tHE [sic] SENATORS KICK LEAF ASS," one of many declarations Wiki-vandals posted on the city of Toronto's page.

Oswald, who is officiallly mayor of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie, which includes Paisley, takes the vandalism with a grain of salt – "A bag full of salt," actually.

"I sometimes think things are pretty serious nowadays and we really don't laugh enough. But there's nothing wrong with good fun."

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