Wiki Watch

From Wired: Online Rights

John Borland writes:

On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.

In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself. And it is far from an isolated case. A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations.

Wikipedia Scanner -- the brainchild of CalTech computation and neural-systems graduate student Virgil Griffith -- offers users a searchable database that ties millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to organizations where those edits apparently originated, by cross-referencing the edits with data on who owns the associated block of internet IP addresses.

Inspired by news last year that Congress members' offices had been editing their own entries, Griffith says he got curious, and wanted to know whether big companies and other organizations were doing things in a similarly self-interested vein.

See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

  • Wikipedia's entry on President Bush "IS TAINTED BY POLITICAL BIAS THAT HAS NO PLACE IN WIKIPEDIA," shouts an unbiased critic. . . from the Justice Department in Washington D.C.

  • The first of four rapid-fire edits to e-voting machine maker Diebold's Wikipedia entry made from a Diebold IP address. The first one cuts the entire CRITICISM section. The next one nixes CURRENT CONTROVERSY.

  • "Removed ECHELON link, irrelevant to article," reads the comment explaining this cut. The contributor's IP address belongs to the National Security Agency.

  • Vote On the Most Shameful Wikipedia Spin Jobs

    No comments:

    Post a Comment