In the news
Wikipedia influences drug terminology, brief headlines
Wikipedia said to rename street narcotic (and influence UK press)
The UK's Private Eye (issue 1259) reported that a November 2009 edit to the Wikipedia entry for mephedrone, an increasingly popular drug, had resulted in UK newspapers erroneously using "meow" (or "miaow", also "meow meow" or "miaow miaow") as a street name for the drug. The name had been proposed at one time by a now-defunct online seller, owing to the abbreviation MM-CAT for the drug's chemical name 4-methylmethcathinone, but according to a drug expert had never caught on. The Eye also noted that on 17 November the Wikipedia entry had claimed "Mugabe" as a street name (it was among several accumulated unsourced terms removed on 17 November), and on 31 October as "the Chinese" (which remained for an hour).
However, research by Wikipedians found that the crucial unsourced street names passage which included "meow" was removed on 17 November, some days before the UK press ran a number of mephedrone stories using the doubled term "meow meow". On 26 November the doubled term "meow meow" was added, the day after the term was published in the Daily Express, which was the source given. The doubled term "meow meow" rapidly took off, appearing for example in The Sun on 26 November. An earlier story in the Irish edition of the Daily Mirror, on 15 September, had already given "meow" as the street name, some time before it was added to the Wikipedia entry on 2 November. It appears the Eye was jumping to conclusions.
- ^ For example,
- Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2010, p. 16, "Britain behind miaow miaow menace in Europe, says expert"
- Daily Telegraph, 24 March 2010, p. 13, "Woman, 24, is sixth person to die taking 'miaow miaow'"
- Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2010, p. 1, "Miaow-miaow: 26 may have died"
- The Independent, 18 March 2010, p. 4, "Ministers set to support mephedrone ban"
- The Independent, 24 March 2010, p. 19, "Mephedrone 'spreading as fast as ecstasy in 1980s'"
- The Independent, 30 March 2010, p. 13, "'Drug of the moment' mephedrone to be banned, says Johnson"
- ^ Private Eye, "Street of Shame", No. 1259, 2 April – 15 April 2010, p6
- ^ Daily Express, 25 November 2010, Party Drug 'Meow Meow' May Have Killed Teenager, 14
- ^ Daily Mirror. 15 September 2009, "Killer Drug Meow Hits Irish Streets; Warning over Cheap and Legal Web Supplies", p16
- ^ Kightly, James. "Boeing B-29 Superfortress Gunner". Aeroplane (May 2010): p38–39.