Corporations and political parties try to censor their Wikipedia entries


This video is called How George W Bush Stole his Election- BBC (Part 1 of 2).

This video is the sequel.

From British daily The Guardian:

Companies and party aides cast censorious eye over Wikipedia

* Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent

* Wednesday August 15 2007

Editing your own entry on Wikipedia is usually the province of vain celebrities keen for some good PR. But a new website has uncovered dozens of companies that have been editing the site in order to improve their public image.

The Wikipedia Scanner, which trawls the backwaters of the popular online encyclopaedia, has unearthed a catalogue of organisations massaging entries, including the CIA and the Labour party [of ex British Prime Minister Tony Blair and present Prime Minister Gordon Brown].

Workers operating on CIA computers have been spotted editing entries including the biography of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon

Meanwhile, an anonymous surfer from Labour’s Millbank headquarters excised a section about Labour Students which referred to “careerist MPs” and criticisms that the party’s student movement was no longer seen as radical. …

But the biggest culprit that the Scanner claims to have discovered is Diebold, a supplier of voting machines, which it says has made huge alterations to entries about its involvement in the controversial “hanging chad” election in the US in 2000. The company was criticised in the wake of the disputed results, but edits made by its employees on Wikipedia have included the removal of 15 paragraphs detailing the allegations.

“In August 2003 Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold, announced that he had been a top fundraiser for George W Bush …” the deleted text read. “When assailed by critics for the conflict of interest … he vowed to lower his political profile.”

The change, made two years ago, was quickly reversed and the culprit warned off for “vandalism”. A Diebold official was not available for comment.

It is not the first time people have been found editing their own Wikipedia entries, which is considered a breach of etiquette on the site. Last year some US Congressional staff were found to be removing information they deemed unsavoury from the profiles of the politicians they worked for, and this year computer group Microsoft back-pedalled after it was revealed to have offered money to experts to “correct” entries about it on the site.

The Scanner, built by Virgil Griffith, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, works by comparing 5.3m edits made on the encyclopaedia against the internet addresses of more than 2m companies or individuals.

The CIA and Wikipedia: here.

Scientology and Wikipedia: here.

Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control: here.

2 thoughts on “Corporations and political parties try to censor their Wikipedia entries

  1. Pingback: How corporations, governments, etc. censor Wikipedia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Betsy DeVos, Amway and Blackwater | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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