A recent hoaxer vandalized the page of a famous musician hours after his death with a random quote. Then news outlets picked up on the quote, printing it inside the dead musician’s obituary.
However, what the vandal didn’t realize is that he could be sued for defamation. The quote mentioned, “When I die there will be a waltz playing in my head,” is a bit poetic. But at the same time it is defamatory to hear that a hoaxer wrote it and wrongly inserted it so that it would be miscopied by others in memory of the man.
Therefore, I believe his estate could sue that guy. And I think they should. Editing Wikipedia is a right that does not come without responsibility. Knowingly publishing false information is libel, and if Wikipedia grants us the opportunity to publish material, we must refrain from committing crimes, like that vandal.
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