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Amelia Bedelia is a Maid in Cameroon refers to a Wikipedia hoax started in 2009 by then college student EJ Dickson. Dickson edited the Wikipedia entry for the children’s book character Amelia Bedelia, writing she had been inspired by a maid in Cameroon the author had known.
In 2009, EJ Dickson, now a web journalist, altered the Wikipedia page for Amelia Bedelia, a children’s book character created by Peggy Parish in 1963 with the release of Amelia Bedelia. Dickson added a paragraph of fictional details about the source of inspiration for the character which read:
“Amelia Bedelia’s character is based on a maid in Cameroon, where the author spent some time during her formative years. Her vast collection of hats, notorious for their extensive plumage, inspired Parish to write an assortment of tales based on her experience in North.”
On July 27th, 2014, Twitter user JayCaspianKang tweeted a picture of the entry with Dickson’s incorrect edit in response to a Amelia Bedelia joke made by Twitter user mollylambert. This alerted Dickson that the edit was still a part of the Wikipedia page. On July 29th, she published a post titled “I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax” on The Daily Dot, which noted the Wikipedia edit had been cited in a number of other publications, including a blog post on HannyHernandez published on August 24th, 2012 and a post on Popcultureaddictlifeguide published on October 3rd, 2012.
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