Companies and Party Aides Censor Wikipedia

Editing your own entry on Wikipedia is usually the province of vain celebrities keen for some good PR. But a new website has uncovered dozens of companies that have been editing the site in order to improve their public image. The Wikipedia Scanner, which trawls the backwaters of the popular online encyclopedia, has unearthed a catalog of organizations massaging entries, including the CIA and the Labour party. Workers operating on CIA computers have been spotted editing entries including the biography of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, while unnamed individuals inside the Vatican have worked on entries about Catholic saints - and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

But the biggest culprit that the Scanner claims to have discovered is Diebold, a supplier of voting machines, which it says has made huge alterations to entries about its involvement in the controversial "hanging chad" election in the US in 2000. The company was criticized in the wake of the disputed results, but edits made by its employees on Wikipedia have included the removal of 15 paragraphs detailing the allegations.

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News source: Guardian Unlimited

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a surfer using a CIA address also took the time to add extensive sections on lightsabre combat in the Star Wars movies
This made the entire article worth while.

This just in: As well as editing Wikipedia, CIA computers are also used to check personal email, update Facebook profiles, and play Flash games online.

Lt-DavidW said,
This just in: As well as editing Wikipedia, CIA computers are also used to check personal email, update Facebook profiles, and play Flash games online.

Not to mention all of the porn traffic coming out of the Vatican !

I think before we actually place judgment on these actions we have to first establish that: 1. the changes made from these ip addresses were in fact bias or incorrect information. 2. changes from these ip addresses were sponsored by the organizations and not individual contributers.

I am a computer programmer working at a internet company and I work primarily in Microsoft technologies. If i were to go to wikipedia and edit an entry in a field I was an expert in, it wouldn't necessarily mean that the entry was biased towards my company or towards Microsoft technologies. Each entry has to be looked at on a case by case basis regardless of the contributer, which wikipedia does and do a very good job at it. Who better then a member of the cia to make an edit to a presidents biography and who better than a vatican employee to make an edit to information about a saint. These seem like experts in these fields!

This article (this neowin article) is much more slanderous and irresponsible than anything I have ever seen on wikipedia. Not that i don't think we should always be on guard and always question things, but our government does not presume us guilty we should extend that favor.

You have to really ask though... are the people doing it from the CIA editing the real truths in... or editing them out.

Do you trust a CIA person writing the truth about the president / covering up the truth / or some dodgy guy on the street etc.

In all honesty its probably just as likely to be true if it comes from inside the company - and could even be argued to be more likely acurrate.

What darwin wrote about animals and plants cant be trusted, he was working on them so might want to cover something up!?... see what im getting at?

So basically, you're stating that the most biased entity that could be editing the article, (E.g. A company editing out a criticisms section on one of its products for example.) is the most accurate?

Riiight.

You're either trolling or the most naive person I've met. If companies were allowed to edit their own entries, then Wikipedia would turn into nothing more than the world's largest billboard.

And what was there for Darwin to cover up? On the contrary, he was brave enough to expose the truth using a logical methodical approach in a world full of creationists, and is considered perhaps one of the greatest scientists of all time.

Well, that's the nature of Wikipedia, I don't see how this could be a big shocking news. Who wouldn't edit his own information if he was given the possibility?

lbmouse said,
It appears that an employee over at Faux News Nutwork is doing the same thing.

I'm not convinced on this site, I looked at the IP given to the Fox News entry and I can't see how they linked it to Fox News?

I wouldn't put it past them or any company/government, but I don't see how the site does this ... these IPs, atleast for the Fox entry, look like regular IPs - I see no way to link them to Fox?

SimpleRules said,
I see no way to link them to Fox? :huh:

Look at the changes made here:
http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/f.php?ip1=12....2.30.108.96-127

Then pull up these:
http://samspade.org/whois/12.167.224.228
http://samspade.org/whois/12.30.108.120
http://samspade.org/whois/12.30.108.122

Many of the changes show the (very low) maturity level of Fox News employees. Guess when you have an assclown like Rupert Murdoch at the helm, what can you expect from the people under him?

Actually, it is precisely this reason why Wiki is trustworthy. These "edits" are typically found out very quickly and dealt with accordingly. Those doing the "editing" to attempt a cover up of something actually make their peccadillo more noticeable, a delicious irony.

Highly agree. There are several large groups of contributors/editors who look out for exactly this kind of thing.

The hiding and manipulation of information is often highly publicized and quickly corrected.

The great Wiki Edit Wars often turn into incredible debates and the information is better off for it.

It's silly to trust just one source, but I find Wikipedia to be highly reliable along side hard, confirming research.

You and me both. You might as well ask a bloke off the street to give you his opinion on a subject -- it will be about as reliable, as accurate, and as valid.