Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Web Tool Shows Wikipedia Edits by CIA, Dems, and Vatican

A new Web tool traces the IP address of Wikipedia editors back to their organizations of origin. Some of the perpetrators of edits in this BBC story: the CIA, the Democrative Party, and the Vatican. Now, before everyone gets their anti-CIA shorts in a bunch, note the edits made:

By the CIA:

On the profile of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tool indicates that a worker on the CIA network reportedly added the exclamation "Wahhhhhh!" before a section on the leader's plans for his presidency.

So, some CIA employee got bored. Big deal.

So, what about the Democratic Party?

The site also indicates that a computer owned by the US Democratic Party was used to make changes to the site of right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
The changes brand Mr Limbaugh as "idiotic," a "racist", and a "bigot". An entry about his audience now reads: "Most of them are legally retarded."

A little more serious, but again, probably a rogue employee acting on its own. I doubt the Democratic Party itself would stoop this low.

Now, here's the Vatican's:

The site also indicates that Vatican computers were used to remove content from a page about the leader of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams.

The edit removed links to newspaper stories written in 2006 that alleged that Mr Adams' fingerprints and handprints were found on a car used during a double murder in 1971.

The section, titled "Fresh murder question raised" is no longer available through the online encyclopaedia.

Of all three, I'd say the Vatican's the worst, by far. They materially changed Wikipedia by removing information, rather than adding obviously false information.

There are some others listed. It's worth a read.

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