Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Invisible editors of Wikipedia outed

The CIA, the Democratic Party, the Vatican, SeaWorld and voting machine supplier Diebold.
All have anonymously edited articles, according to the British Broadcasting Corp. and various technical publications.
The invisible editors were outed by Wikipedia Scanner,
an application recently invented by graduate student Virgil Griffiths, which has compared 5.3 million edits in the past five years against more than 2 million Internet addresses whose owners are public knowledge.
Last year, someone edited the Wikipedia entry for the SeaWorld 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 SeaWorld’s “lack of respect toward its orcas” disappeared.
Both changes, it turns out, originated at a computer at Anheuser-Busch, SeaWorld’s owner.

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