Lazy hacks and the case of the Wanky Balls festival

10 August 2010

TOPICS:   Not The Onion   Cool Stuff


  • Kat
    I love the fact it's so utterly childish, yet completely brilliant.
  • Nobby
    The more mundane the fact the better, and usually the longer it survives.
  • Ben
    I once added to the Beastie Boys page that they created the "Hip Hop Flip Flop". It stayed there for a year.
  • Morocco
    I once changed Roy Keane's middle name from Maurice to Sarah, and it remained thus for a fortnight. I also changed the bit about him "often seen walking his dog, Triggs" subtly to "wanking". KEANO! HE WANKS HIS DOGS Y'KNOW!
  • Morocco
    I am a fool with nothing to do other than fiddle with a wiki.
  • Other P.
    For ages Emily Bronte's Wikipedia page kept reverting to a version which claimed she was buried with her pet monkey, Dave.
  • Mike M.
    As funny as this is, encouraging people to vandalise Wikipedia isn't particularly cool. Yes, everyone can edit it, this was funny a few years ago. Now it just strikes me as a bit rude to seek to cause more work for others. How would you feel if people were spamming your blog because it was funny and you had to manually undo every entry?
  • Mike M.
    @Mike I think you missed the bit where you're not angry, just disappointed.
  • harryp
    I rather doubt the Beastie Boys claim. It's quite a frequently edited page. A year? I'd guess less than a day, or probably didn't happen at all. Still, if you have the link to the relevant revision history I'll be happy to withdraw and apologise... You could search Wikiblame to verify similar claims:
  • Lúcia V.
  • Independent S.
    [...] Although the Wikipedia article has now been corrected, revision histories clearly show a mischievous contributor changing the name of of a Herefordshire music festival to, erm, “Wanky Balls”. As Bitter Wallet puts it: [...]
  • Tweets T.
    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sam Hailstone, tnhh. tnhh said: Blogger asks readers to vandalise wikipedia, but is annoyed when they start with his page. #wankyballs [...]
  • Pigsaw 2.
    [...] Lazy hacks and the case of the Wanky Balls festival | BitterWalletWith photographic evidence… "It won’t surprise you that Big Chill was never called Wanky Balls, Sweaty Nads, Greasy Schlong or anything else for that matter because you see, the bone idle newsrag decided to believe something that was written on a Wikipedia page about the event (screengrab here)." (humour newspapers wikipedia photograph ) [...]
  • Wikieditor
    How annoying you are. The hours I have spent removing nonsense from Wikipedia. All very funny except when YOU go to Wikipedia to check something and some joker has added rubbish. Instead of acting like a twat why not go and do some positive editing instead.
  • Jason
    Wikipedia should be vandalised for the sole reason of outing lazy researchers / academics / students. The amount of papers (usually college papers, or substandard uni students) that reference it as a legitimate source of information is truly worrying.
  • Gari
    Whilst I hate to speak in defence of journalists - I suspect the journalist wasn't being lazy but just trying to meet his/her quota of articles for the day and didn't have time to check facts. The majority of artilces that appear in newspapers today are re-written from Press Assoc relesases or PR press releases neither of which are particularly accurate and journalists aren't given the time to check. If you are interested in the accuracy of todays news media try reading Flat Earth News.....
  • PokeHerPete
    I hate journalists, so HAH!
  • Samantha
    WSC's weekly "News Howl" runs a feature on footballer's vandalised Wiki pages, which is always deeply funny in it's innate randomness.
  • Noghar
    Diddums to poor journalist just trying to fill his quota... by cutting and pasting tripe. Try cross-checking your sources, or better yet, engaging your brain. The London A-Z had deliberate misakes inserted into it to catch out plagiarisers and copyright thieves, and this is carrying on that great tradition. The only people who might fall into the trap of repeating that Emily Bronte was buried with her pet monkey are thicko students ripping off Wiki for their essays - and serve 'em right.
  • Andy
    Very funny. But the value of free knowledge kinda disappears if people are encouraged to vandalize wikipedia. Yes, it can't be entirely trusted, but please don't encourage people to make it worse.
  • Brian's U.
    it's more likely that journalist have always been lazy, it's just that it's easier for the public to spot
  • Euan s.
    Hating all journalists is stupid, where else would you get all your news from? This is ridiculous though. Fact checking shouldn't stop at Wikipedia! Maybe the deadline was due or something.
  • Robert G.
    The Photographer is credited as Leon Neal. But who actually was the lazy hack? Wait till Private eye get a hold of this one! Millions of kids and students would kill to write in the Independent or even one of the agenda papers. Just plain lazy. No wonder the British press is so highly regarded around the world.
  • A j.
    Why are the hatred for journalists? As someone who writes for a well-respected news website, I can't understand it. The public DEMANDS news - and we supply it. So much so, we can barely keep up with the demand on mobiles etc. Accurate reporting - especially of governments - is a basic part of keeping those in power in check. Many journalists and camera operators risk their lives to make sure people around the world can see the truth about what is happening. What if no-one was reporting the floods in Pakistan for example? So, as someone who writes accurately, even with very little time to do so sometimes (maybe an hour to two hours per story), quick online resources are a must. If people didn't vandalise Wikipedia, then we might one day get to the point where a journalist could trust it. Isn't that the WHOLE point of it? Do you really think journalists have the time to go sit in a library to check out a tiny fact? Anyway, I await the "self-righteous piffle" comments coming my way with pleasurable anticipation.
  • Jacob D.
    my name is jacob dyer and i live in bristol. it is fantastic. i sound like barnaby bear. i like barnaby bear. one time he went to france. i went to france. but some kid burnt my neck. i didnt like it.
  • Morocco
    "# Posted by Morocco | August 10th, 2010 at 1:33 pm I am a fool with nothing to do other than fiddle with a wiki." Gimp? How old are you, seven?
  • Mr G.
    "The public DEMANDS news". Is that what they told you? We like to hear the truth about interesting stuff when it happens but mostly we just want something for the cat to piss on. Even the Independent is just the thinking man's bin liner. As for the puerile fucks who vandalise Wikipedia, just go back to watching your Katie Price TV. If you need to vandalise something vandalise your own brake pipes - what a laugh that would be. Oh, and Euan: hating all journalists is not stupid - at least not 99.9% of the time. Now, someone hand me the antidepressants.
  • Spevin C.
    "check out every tiny fact" - A Journalist? YES! We expect facts - not speculation. The whole industry's built on lies and bias. Obviously you can live with yourself. The rest of us are not sure how.
  • Hecklerspray H.
    [...] a clipping of the offending article and Bitterwallet (who have some really stupid writers with even dafter names) have a link to the screengrab of the [...]
  • Drew
    How telling that "A journalist" instinctively understands that his bleating will sound like “self-righteous piffle”. "The public demands news" indeed. Who is "the public"? And where are they demanding news? We could reduce the torrent of low quality journalism by 95% and I can assure you, there would be no one taking to the streets in protest or airing any disappointment whatever. Wanky Balls. Ha ha!!
  • Somethingson
    That's nothing. This one time, I stuck a piece of paper on my Dad's back and it said 'kick me'. And then someone kicked him, which was really funny, except they dislodged a vertebra from his spine and his back fell off. That was a sad day in my Mother's life, and she hasn't been able to wear her own spine since.
  • godspants
    Myself and a friend managed to get this in the Mirror a couple of years ago. The journalist's error was reported worldwide, and - our proudest moment - in Private Eye!
  • Ben
    well, HarryP, your site doesn't show any revisions, but I did, and it did stay there many months. So, what I think I'm trying to summarise here, is go blow it out of your arse. xx
  • Stu
    It wouldn't be a huge surprise either if the story was a para short and the Wikipedia c'n'p happened at the subbing stage... Good subs don't crib from Wikipedia without checks, bad ones do, so...
  • A e.
    [...] they’d not done any verification before putting together a package; the Independent’s trusting of Wikipedia a little too much; and the Metro’s ‘clarification’ that it lifted a story from another publication [...]
  • Leon N.
    @Robert Gray Yup, I shot the picture but am pleased to say that my caption was correct as was the version that AFP put out. Someone needs more coffee at the Indy..
  • Is M.
    [...] a reasonably well respected newspaper think they have a legitimate reason to print the words “Wanky Balls” with a little bit of wikipedia [...]
  • FionaC
    I take issue (tissue?) with your Wanky Balls assumptions: 10 sub-editor's excuses for Wanky Balls
  • Look m.
    [...] to Bitter Wallet, Tabloid Watch and the Register for taking up the baton, and to Sub’s Standards for the [...]
  • Daniel
    Putting crap in Wikipedia is not big or clever. Exposing poor journalism is not a valid excuse. Everybody knows what journalists are like anyway. It doesn't need any more exposing. All that people are doing by putting crap in Wikipedia is wasting the resources of a charitable foundation that seeks to provide a useful, free, educational resource to people around the world, many of whom could never afford a traditional encyclopaedia. That and wasting the time of lots of ordinary people who donate their time to cleaning up and improving Wikipedia. Really, it is about as hilarious as putting a washer in the charity collection tin when the collector is blind. So, by all means take the piss when a lazy jouno gets caught out, but don't spoil Wikipedia in the hope of catching out another one.
  • -]
    As the saying goes: First the Bosses, Then the cops, Then the Journos, The the Trots! Can we not put the journos to the front of the queue?
  • Nobby
    > Really, it is about as hilarious as putting a washer in the charity collection tin when the collector is blind. That is even funnier than giving them an out-of-date 1F coin. Or folding up a chewing gum wrapper and saying here's a fiver. > That and wasting the time of lots of ordinary people who donate their time to cleaning up and improving Wikipedia. Some might say that by "vandalising" pages, it improves wikipedia. Without this piece of vandalism, the world would have been minus a funny story about a broadsheet printing Wanky Balls due to poor fact checking.
  • Van E.
    [...] of festival-goers were enjoying themselves at the Big Chill in Herefordshire last weekend, a small piece accompanying a picture in Saturday’s Independent alleged that the festival had started life as [...]
  • lexplex_
    Wikipedia really is a big pile of rubbish. I get especially annoyed that it presents history as hilariously inaccurate, with strong propaganda in favour of the USA with regards to World War II, Hiroshima, Vietnam and American Independence. Also hilarious to note that the Statue of Liberty page has been locked due to too many people trying to amend the historical information to something more accurate rather than the vomit-inducing patriotic nonsense which is usually on there.
  • Misti N.
    "Don't SEND it to them. Go to the agencies, show it and take it with you."
  • Russ j.
    [...] blog. The story was picked up in multiple places, including the Register, Subs’ Standard, and Bitter Wallet. Each of these revelled in the story, much as I’m doing, and each added their own take on the [...]
  • chillax
    they've got it wrong, it used to be the big chill, but having been this year, i can confirm that it is now the wanky balls festival.
  • Not j.
    'Why are the hatred for journalists?' Why are the bad grammar, 'someone who writes accurately'?
  • Russell H.
    WaW!! Watch The Best Movie For Free ... Free Online Strims Kick-Ass 2010 ... Watch The Movie ONLINE
  • Wanky K.
    [...] Lazy hacks and the case of the Wanky Balls festival | BitterWalletAug 10, 2010 … You know the festival called The Big Chill? Did you know it used to be called The Wanky Balls Festival? No? Well, if you read the Independent … [...]
  • Is B.
    [...] many are now wary at the thought of using Wikipedia as a credible source of information, with many journalists having been caught out by its inaccuracy in the past, today more writers are beginning to turn to entertainment site [...]
  • Uni D.
    [...] [...]
  • Dirty 2.
    [...] the quality Independent newspaper is guilty of lazy cut-and-paste professionalism – to find a paste in of her paste in on….whilst being chronically chauvanistic and sexist towards women [...]

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