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Anonymous Wikipedia editors caught red handed

Step forward Diebold, Sony, Fox News...
Wed Aug 15 2007, 18:20
INTERNET COMIC WIKIPEDIA has always taken a dim view of people editing their own entries, but it's always been possible to remain anonymous while rewriting history. At least until now.

CalTech student Virgil Griffith has come up with Wikipedia Scanner, which offers the chance to link millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to the organisations from whose IP addresses the edits originated. Entering a company name produces a list of IP address ranges which can then be checked against anonymous Wikipedia edits.

Unfortunately, the site is currently inundated with traffic, making checks on our favourite organisations such as the BBC, Intel and Microsoft unavailable, but a few examples picked up by Wired readers make interesting reading.

Someone at US voting-machine outfit Diebold obviously took exception to its entry, and a deleted large chunks of text detailing the security industry's concerns over the integrity of their voting machines, together with details of its CEO's fund-raising activities for President George Bush, all from a company IP address.

Other sneaky edits have been carried out by the cult - sorry, church - of Scientology, Fox News, the Republican and Democratic parties. Sony 'accidentally' removed criticisms of its DRM infections and churches expunged details of child abuse.

Our personal favourites at the moment are someone at the BBC changing the 'L' to an 'N' in President George W. Bush's middle name and a Washington Post staffer editing the entry for the rival Washington Examiner to claim that it was edited by Charles Manson. µ

Wikipedia Scanner
Loads more here


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