Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wikipedians: Wild AND Whacky!

Check this out: The Lowell Sun On Line reports how congerssional staffers changed Wikipedia entries: The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the "world's largest encyclopedia," The Sun has learned.

They were, however, delightfully bipartisan: "One edit listed White House press secretary Scott McClellan under the entry for "douche." Another said of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma) that: "Coburn was voted the most annoying Senator by his peers in Congress. This was due to Senator Coburn being a huge douche-bag."

All this kinda blows apart the idea that Wikipedia's just as good as Brittanica--and also reminds me a heck of a lot of Mao's China--where, if y'all don't remember, we used to criticize for altering photographs when people were excommunicated from Mao's presence (I kid you not--go look it up.) We really don't have to go that far back though--it's been reported recently that China forbids access to information about the Tiananmen Square massacre probably because it's easier to manipulate Google to do its bidding than to hack all the sites that have info on the massacre.

Wikipedia blocks the IP addys of the offenders. That's nice, but I'm not sure it's really going to change some views on Wikipedia's credibility--esp. when it comes to the U.S. Congress.

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