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FErret

Wiki tweaks

The battle over the IfL's fees has raged on Facebook and Twitter. What news from the Wikipedia front?

The IfL's entry has, needless to say, grown dramatically over recent weeks, only for updates to be deleted by someone going by the name John D'Purbrook. Who is the masked man?

Conspiracy theorists note that the name involves elements of the address of Hampshire resident and IfL deputy chief executive Lee Davies. The Wikipedia user also created the IfL page, and claimed to control the copyright to images of the institute's logo.

Sadly, the mystery man was gone as swiftly as he arrived. But not without a parting shot for Wikipedia editors, who pedantically insisted that criticism had to be allowed as long as it was backed up by reputable sources (well, much of it was from FE Focus). "That certainly helps to explain why Wiki is considered by most researchers and academics to be a farce," he wrote.

Shoot the messenger

It was not a good week for FE and modern communications. Godalming College in Surrey suffered a particularly awful version of the "reply all" email error when it accidentally sent medical details of more than 300 students to an entire year group.

Intended for college lecturers, who use the information for student support, the email exposed details ranging from a brain tumour to one case of "possible child protection issues".

Staff tried and failed to recall the message - sadly, as FErret's law of emailing dictates, misdirected messages are always read straight away, while urgent ones languish for months in spam folders.

The college has apologised and the Information Commissioner is investigating the incident.

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