Wikipedia Falsely Reports Sinbad's Death
Friday, March 16, 2007; 2:09 AM
MIAMI -- Actor-comedian Sinbad had the last laugh after his Wikipedia entry announced he was dead, the performer said Thursday. Rumors began circulating Saturday regarding the posting, said Sinbad, who first got a telephone call from his daughter. The gossip quieted, but a few days later the 50-year-old entertainer said the phone calls, text messages and e-mails started pouring in by the hundreds.
"Saturday I rose from the dead and then died again," the Los Angeles-based entertainer told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
The St. Petersburg-based company, which describes itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," leaves it to a vast user community to catch factual errors and other problems. Apparently, someone edited it to say Sinbad died of a heart attack. By the time the error was caught, e-mail links of the erroneous page had been forwarded to hundreds of people.
A note on Sinbad's Wikipedia page Thursday night said the site has been temporarily protected from editing to deal with vandalism.
Wikipedia was created in 2001 as a Web research tool. It has more than 1.6 million articles, contributed by members of the public.
A telephone call and an e-mail left for Wikipedia were not immediately returned Thursday night.
When asked if he was upset about the mix-up, Sinbad, whose real name is David Adkins, just laughed.
"It's gonna be more commonplace as the Internet opens up more and more. It's not that strange," the Los Angeles-based entertainer told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
Sinbad, who is currently on the road doing stand up, said he hasn't received an apology from the Internet site. He has appeared in the films, "Houseguest," and "Jingle All the Way."