As news breaks, whle journalists rush to cover stories for a newspaper, Wikipedians rush to write stories for an encyclopedia. Both involve fact checking.
Here’s what happened when Cyrus Mistry was appointed
Till Wednesday evening, there was no Wikipedia entry on Cyrus Pallonji Mistry. But as soon as the first report declared that the 43-year-old MD of Shapoorji Pallonji Group would succeed Ratan Tata as the chairman of Tata Sons, Wikipedians quickly scrambled to create a page on him. The first entry at 6.27 pm by user Alok Prasad simply read: Cyrus Pallonji Mistry has been selected to succeed Rata Tata as chairman of Tata Sons.
Subsequently, the page underwent over 35 edits in just two hours with users adding bits and pieces of information. The only reference cited on the page as of Wednesday evening was a Reuters story that announced the development.
Today, as news of Sharad Pawar being slapped is told and debated on TV, contributors to Wikipedia silently update the politician’s page on the website. Fascinating.