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The Internet Accuracy Project
July 19, 2010 1:22 PM   Subscribe

The Internet Accuracy Project. You may have stumbled on it in a casual search about postal holidays, been drawn in by the charming prose and vintage web design, and stayed to browse the eclectic contents, from plant hardiness zones (USA) to unusual town names. There are also extensive and ostensibly fact-checked celebrity biographies, which are beloved by some astrologists. While the lack of specific references in individual entries may raise eyebrows, there's an extensive defense of the Project's sources and methods. [Yes, I read the Internet Accuracy Project Linking Terms & Conditions.]
posted by Mngo (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Duty calls.
posted by lukemeister at 1:36 PM on July 19, 2010


The population of African Elephants has tripled in the past six months.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


How do you keep a copyeditor busy? Give them this link. Thanks, I'll be cramming my brain full of facts all afternoon now!
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2010


"You may not use any link, nor link to us from any Web site or Web page containing material, that... "

You know, for web-based pedants, they sure don't understand the web.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Despite the frequent use of the first person plural pronoun, this smells of one crackpot's personal project.
posted by languagehat at 2:18 PM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


...disparages, or reflects negatively upon Internet Accuracy Project.

You know, for web-based pedants, they sure don't understand the web.

ruh roh
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 2:19 PM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


It does seem rather odd not to cite any sources (a great big bibliography for the entire site doesn't count). When you go out of your way to list errors in Britannica, The World Almanac, and similar sources, it seems the least you can do is to cite your own sources and tell us why you think you're right. It may not be encyclopedic convention, but when you're some guy with a website claiming to be accurate about everything, citing reliable sources for your data is the only way people are going to take you seriously.
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Do not taunt Happy Accuracy Project.
posted by Babblesort at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


this smells of one crackpot's personal project.

"Accuracy", "Numerology", and "Astrology"
...
♩One-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-o-thers. ♪
All together now!!!
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:40 PM on July 19, 2010


Metafilter: The Internet's Accuracie's Project's.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Languagehat, that was more or less my take, but despite the sense of cranky pedantry I also sort of had one of those "isn't the internet cool for being so inclusive?" moments.
sebastianbailard, to be fair I don't think the IAP is into numerology and astrology itself, just that they recognize an audience in those who really care about accurate birth date info, etc.
Finally, my favorite line from the mission statement, which I didn't include because I thought it was a little too editorial to call it out: "Understand that our organization does not "police" the Internet."
posted by Mngo at 3:01 PM on July 19, 2010


free ad by addesigner.com (for more vintage web design)
posted by cjorgensen at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2010


Expanding on zachlipton's point, where sources are cited they are woefully inadequate. For the article on Leonard Nimoy:

More than three dozen sources were consulted in preparing this profile.
The most in-depth of these include his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975), and I Am Spock (1995).


A dozen of those three dozen sources could have been 'some bloke I met down the pub' for all we know.
posted by Coobeastie at 3:07 PM on July 19, 2010


r_nebblesworthII: "...disparages, or reflects negatively upon Internet Accuracy Project.

You know, for web-based pedants, they sure don't understand the web.

ruh roh
"

So is this post going to have to be deleted now?
posted by MrLint at 3:17 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Despite the frequent use of the first person plural pronoun, this smells of one crackpot's personal project.

I consider it excellent use of the Royal We by a pretender to the title of the King of Web-Based Crackpots. (He's probably working on his Royal Wave now) Considering even Scopes ain't what it used to be (maybe it never was 100% reliable, and we recently got around to noticing), but if I wanted to troll the entire web, I couldn't think of a better title than "Internet Accuracy Project".
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:41 PM on July 19, 2010


Is this something I would have to be reality-based to understand?
posted by DU at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know they at IAP check all this info at Wikipedia, right?
posted by Xoebe at 4:01 PM on July 19, 2010


It does seem rather odd not to cite any sources (a great big bibliography for the entire site doesn't count). When you go out of your way to list errors in Britannica, The World Almanac, and similar sources, it seems the least you can do is to cite your own sources and tell us why you think you're right.

Perhaps it's all a project to introduce subtly incorrect information, to highlight the risks of believing information you find online without following up the citations?
posted by Mike1024 at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2010


At last, an accurate source for multiplication.
posted by mhum at 5:36 PM on July 19, 2010


Phew! They have yet to find any inaccuracies in Wikipedia.

I'm reminded of that old empty list "Errors in Wikipedia that have been corrected in the Encyclopædia Britannica" (the opposite list is far from empty)
posted by finite at 7:16 PM on July 19, 2010


The thing about errors in Wikipedia is: if you spot one and try to tell everyone about it, by the time you get back, SOMEBODY HAS CORRECTED IT (or deleted it or replaced it with something else that's also wrong, but less obviously so).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:12 PM on July 19, 2010


It must be particularly difficult to keep up with the truthiness about all these facts and figures while simultaneously maintaining a perfect imitation of 1995 web design standards across their site. I'm impressed.
posted by aught at 6:19 AM on July 20, 2010


Do not taunt Happy Accuracy Project.

Thanks, I needed that laugh.
posted by twidget at 2:32 PM on July 20, 2010


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