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Anything goes So, you can't figure out where to put it? Put it here.

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Old 08-19-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
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Exclamation See Who's Editing Wikipedia

Who would have thought, people and companies editing out unfavorable articles about themselves on Wikipedia? Is anyone surprised?

Over and over again you see evidence of companies and famous people having deleted unfavorable information from pages describing them. Lately there were more than 50 anonymous deletions from Halliburton, which are easily traced back to Halliburton.

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See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign
by John Borland, August 19, 2007

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 Cal Tech 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.

"Everything's better if you do it on a huge scale, and automate it," he says with a grin.

This database is possible thanks to a combination of Wikipedia policies and (mostly) publicly available information.

The online encyclopedia allows anyone to make edits, but keeps detailed logs of all these changes. Users who are logged in are tracked only by their user name, but anonymous changes leave a public record of their IP address...
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Last edited by Ned; 08-19-2007 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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Great to know! Do you think it will make some think twice before making changes?
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:41 PM   #3
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In a word, no! I think they think they can get away with it. Things are going to have to change a lot for this to stop. Plus some of the changes may even be legitimate corrections, by edits or deletes.

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Originally Posted by tdew View Post
Great to know! Do you think it will make some think twice before making changes?
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:42 PM   #4
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Maybe if a change needs to be made because the info about you or your company is wrong - you should alert someone to that - and have it changed rather than doing it yourself - or submit additional info to show your point of view?

There was a story a number of years ago about a family that was upset by what had been written about the father of the family. It came out at that time that there was much info that was not correct. It seemed to have improved over time...
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