From the International Herald Tribune: Corporate editing of Wikipedia revealed.
Last year, someone edited the Wikipedia entry for the Sea World theme parks to change all mentions of "orcas" to "killer whales," insisting that this was a more accurate name for the species.
There was another, unexplained edit: A paragraph about criticism of Sea World’s "lack of respect toward its orcas" disappeared.
Both changes, it turns out, originated at a computer at Anheuser-Busch, Sea World’s owner.
Dozens of similar examples of insider editing came to light last week through WikiScanner, a new Web site that traces the source of millions of changes to Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
The site, wikiscanner.virgil.gr, created by a computer science graduate student, Virgil Griffith, cross-references an edited entry on Wikipedia with the owner of the computer network where the change originated, using the Internet protocol address of the editor’s network.
The address information was already available on Wikipedia, but the new site makes it much easier to connect those numbers with the names of network owners.
Since Wired News first wrote about WikiScanner last week, Internet users have spotted plenty of interesting changes to Wikipedia by people at nonprofit groups and government entities like the CIA. Many of the most obviously self-interested edits have come from company networks.
Last year, someone at PepsiCo deleted several paragraphs of the Pepsi entry that focused on its detrimental health effects. In 2005, someone using a computer at Diebold deleted paragraphs that criticized the company’s electronic voting machines.
And that same year, someone from inside Wal-Mart Stores changed an entry about employee compensation. [continue]
WikiScanner results are fascinating.
- WikiScanner "List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations" – wikiscanner.virgil.gr
- EA Staffer Attempts to Alter Wiki History – shacknews.com
- Wikipedia ‘shows CIA page edits’ – BBC
- Online tool identifies who edits Wikipedia – Seattle PI
- Government computers linked to Wikipedia edits – CTV.ca
- More Wikipedia Fun (Waaaaah!) – Mother Jones
Isn’t this great? Busted!