Reporters use student's Wikipedia hoax quote

When French Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jarre died at the end of March, Shane Fitzgerald, a sociology and economics student at University College Dublin, conducted a social experiment, according to a May 6 article on irishtimes.com

The student fabricated a poignant quote, attributed it to Jarre and posted it on Wikipedia. Administrators removed the quote, but Fitzgerald "put it back a few more times until it was finally left up on the site for more than 24 hours," the article reads.

The Guardian, the London Independent, the BBC Music Magazine Web site and Indian and Australian newspapers published the quote, according to the Irish Times.

Here is the Guardian article. The correction is at the bottom.

This ties into what we learned in the beginning of the semester. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, and it's simply a bad idea to pull a quote directly from that site without tracking down the original source.

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