Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wicked Wikipedia editing

We have all heard of persons being caught editing their own Wikipedia (an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit) articles or the articles of organisations they are closely associated with, but Wikipedia Scanner has picked up on some interesting finds. The Wikipedia Scanner is a program that scans entries for errors, but also can match up IP addresses with the organisations that edits derive from.

Some of the finds they have made are CIA workers editing articles on former US and Iranian Presidents; the Vatican editing entries on Catholic saints and the Irish Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams; and the company Diebold, who supplies voting machines, deleting 15 paragaphs of allegations about their machines causing election errors in the controversial 2000 US election. The Diebold paragraphs have since been re-instated.

A Wikipedia spokesperson states: "We really value transparancy and the scanner really takes this to another level... Wikipedia Scanner may prevent an organisation or individuals from editing articles that they're really not supposed to."


1 comment:

tom sheepandgoats said...

I haven't really figured out how Wikipedia works. The articles about us are pretty accurate.

If it is open-source, how come all the soreheads and malcontents don't come in droves and write it their way? Who does write it, by the way?

I'll bet you know these things. You seem more tech savvy than I.