Mormon newspaper examines struggles about Mormon topics on Wikipedia
The Deseret News, a Utah newspaper owned by the Mormon (LDS) Church, published an article titled "Wiki Wars: In battle to define beliefs, Mormons and foes wage battle on Wikipedia". It stated that "for people looking into the doctrines, history and practices of the LDS Church and other religions, Wikipedia is seen as the most accurate, reliable and unbiased definition", and cited a 2007 comment by M. Russell Ballard, a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve: "[Internet] conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches."
Much of the rest of the article illustrates the "battle" by focusing on two editors: User:Bochica (later User:Roger Penumbra), a mormon who got involved in Wikipedia in 2006 after experiencing "the power of Wikipedia.org to define the world – and his faith" through an exchange with an LDS missionary who had grown doubts about the church's tenets after reading Wikipedia, and User:John Foxe, an account which according to Deseret News belongs to "a professor at Bob Jones University, a Christian college and seminary located in Greenville, South Carolina that has historically been hostile to the LDS Church".
Finally, the newspaper quoted Richard L. Bushman, a professor of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and author of the reference cited most often in the article on Joseph Smith, Jr. (founder of the LDS movement). Bushman called the article "a picky piece that isn't inaccurate, but it sort of lacks depth. It ends up being shallow, I think."
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