14 August 2007

Track down anonymous Wikipedia edits!

Today wired.com has a great article about Wikipedia Scanner, a piece of software created by a Cal Tech student that allows users to see what organizations have been anonymously editing their own Wikipedia entries.

What he found is amazing. Corporations, members of Congress, even the CIA editing their own pages. Score one for accountability!

Read the article.

Use Wikipedia Scanner.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in your take on a famous Wikipedia episode from last winter. Mary Spicuzza, a print journalist, upset because she thought an article about her sister Jeanne Marie Spicuzza was unfairly dropped from Wikipedia, conducted a campaign to "out" the Wikipedia editor whom she thought wronged her sister. She wrote an article explaining how she tried to out him. You can read it here:

http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-02-13/news/wikipedia-idiots-the-edit-wars-of-san-francisco/

However, she was forced to resign from her newspaper, the SF Weekly, for using newspaper resources for "personal reasons." She also violated several journalistic rules, including using sources in her family without revealing as such to readers.

You can read an interesting take on the matter by the editor she tried to "out" here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive372#Attempted_Outing_of_Wikipedia_Editor_User:Griot_by_Tawdry_Tabloid_Journalist

Wikipedia just keeps getting more interesting....

From the SF Weekly web site said...

I edited this story and I can assure you that Mary did not get fired for this story or any other. Mary decided to leave the paper to take a job with a local documentary filmmaker. She gave her notice before the Wikipedia story was published. She disclosed to me early in the reporting process her sister's fights with Griot and her sister's role is mentioned high up in our story. Bottom line: We stand by the story.

Comment by Will Harper, Managing Editor, SF Weekly on Feb 26th, 2008, 13:55 pm