Talk:Amelia Bedelia

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Accidental hoax[edit]

The article I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax describes how a college prank (yes, alcohol was involved), wherein two students added bogus text to the Amelia Bedelia article back in 2009, and which was taken as gospel truth (having never been removed by any other WP editors), to the point of being quoted as fact in several serious publications. WP user Milowent appears in the article as an "expert on Internet hoaxes". I don't know if this article should be mentioned in this page, but it might be useful to mention it somewhere (perhaps in Internet hoax?). — Loadmaster (talk) 17:44, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

That article does not mention alcohol, only that "we were stoned out of our minds". Seems like a mild BLP issue to make that claim when discussing a non-anonymous editor on a talk page. 9kat (talk) 20:09, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I have redacted the offending comment per WP:BLPTALK, as we have no evidence that Ms. Dickson was more than just "stoned". 9kat (talk) 01:20, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I concur. It is a candidate for Internet Hoaxes. However, we should really confirm what the hoax is. Is the material itself the hoax, or the article about the material being a hoax? fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 20:53, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It seems pretty clear that the WP content they added is the hoax, since you can click on the links provided in the article that shows several publications containing paraphrasing or directly quotes of the bogus Cameroon text. You can also search the net for yourself, as the author suggests, with a Google search for "Amelia Bedelia Cameroon", which turns up multiple uses of the text as well as other sources supporting the hoax history (e.g., this one at KnowYourMeme). While the added text could be true, the fact that it is uncited leads me to believe the author that it is indeed a hoax (albeit accidental). — Loadmaster (talk) 16:16, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears that this edit and this edit (2009-01-31) are the ones discussed in the hoax article. — Loadmaster (talk) 16:52, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I added a paragraph to debunk. Internet hoax is no place for an exhaustive list of hoaxes. --Chealer (talk) 05:39, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
  • As for "stoned", perhaps we should call in the expert. Milowent, got anything to add? Drmies (talk) 00:42, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, she clearly admitted in the article, and also when we discussed it, that she was stoned/high. The Daily Dot's tweets highlighted that fact.--Milowenthasspoken 04:34, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

So who, if anyone, is Mr Rogers? Herman Parish "heard stories of the real-life Rogers asking the maid to sweep around the room, only to find the areas closest to the walls swept." So was there really a real-life maid? StAnselm (talk) 06:56, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why we should believe Dickson. After all, the Cameroonian maid connection could be cited to a statement by the author appearing in a reputable publication - that is precisely what we mean by a reliable source. Anyone can claim to have started a hoax - there is no proof that the original statement was false. I'm not saying we should add it back in - but we should not have its negation either. In any case, it doesn't really seem relevant to the character of Amelia Bedelia - I think the "Inspiration" section should be removed. StAnselm (talk) 08:05, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
This 2013 interview with Parish [1] reveals he has now learned the likely true source of inspiration (a real life maid of Peggy's grandparents -- the Rogers -- plus her elementary school class). It is very clear that Dickson's origin story inserted in January 2009 was false. First, she admits it was false, and she was the source. The IP edit traces to Oberlin College, where she was a student at the time. The article was updated when that IP was briefly blocked last week, confirming that is the IP she edited from. Also, her edit predates the the 2009 interview where Herman Parish appears to have been duped by a few months. This article should ideally explain the origin story per the 2013 interview with Herman Parish first, with a mention of the incorrect story afterwards to prevent further spread of that incorrect information. The origin of series' like this is often fascinating and should be included in articles when it can be sourced. I read Leslie McFarlane's biography a few years ago, it is quite amusing how the Hardy Boys series was an amalgam of sketches by the Stratemeyer Syndicate superimposed with McFarlane's Canadian upbringing and characters he made up to keep from being bored to death.--Milowenthasspoken 14:03, 7 August 2014 (UTC)