Transient truths

Kyra van Ineveld's The Wiki Truth project reveals that the truth can be a fickle thing, especially in the age of crowd sourcing.

If you were born before 1990 the chances are good that you remember looking for information in an encyclopaedia. Remember that large old book on the family bookshelf?

For years, the encyclopaedia was the ultimate source of information. “Each entry held an unquestionable truth,” Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Kyra van Ineveld reminds us.

Van Ineveld’s graduation project “The Wiki Truth” looks at how the online encyclopaedia Wikidepia has completely transformed the way we engage with information.

In the Wikipedia age, she explains, the truth is something composed by thousands of contributors and the information changes every minute. “This online ‘wisdom of the crowd’ is turning the truth into something transient, and makes information forever up to date, and unending,” Van Ineveld explains.

For her “The Wiki Truth” project Van Ineveld asked Wikipedians for the pages that had been edited the most often. She took the top five and printed these entries on her black-and-white printer and bound them to resemble an encylcopaedia of old.

Interestingly, the top five most edited entries on Wikipedia are:

1. Barack Obama

2. Catholic Church

3. Gaza War

4. Global Warming

5. Race and Intelligence

With “The Wiki Truth” you can follow the shifts and changes in the explanations. “It seems that nothing is as fickle as the truth,” Van Ineveld concludes.