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"covertly rewriting -- or defacing -- candidates' biographical entries to make the boss look good or the opponent look ridiculous." The story reports some interesting incidents, though it's always hard to tell how widespread such asserted trends are.

JohnAnnArbor:
I've noted the opposite, Wikipedia entries for candidates that look like press releases from the candidate.
5.1.2006 3:54pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
I'm more a fan of the recent spate of non-neutral point of view complaints against states like North Carolina and Tennessee for being described as "Southern."
5.1.2006 4:13pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I think it a big mistake to trust Wikipedia for anything remotely political. It seems as if the group with the most zeleous partisans usually wins the revision contest. And, often, what ends up being frozen is somewhat partisan.
5.1.2006 4:57pm
Bruce:
There were at least 2 incidents, right? That's a trend.
5.1.2006 5:10pm
Some Guy (mail):
Oh. My. God!
5.1.2006 5:37pm
Pius XXX:
I would agree with Bruce Hayden. Though WP is remarkably useful for in many areas, politically sensitive articles will always be a problem. I suggest we all go vandalize http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Brilliant now that Mort here reached the notability threshold... hehe...
5.1.2006 5:54pm
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
Disagree with John: Wikipedia being (mis)used to spread positive propaganda for candidates is not the opposite. It is also the misuse of wikipedia to influence political contests.

It is also unexceptional.

Furthermore, it is both trivially easy to accomplish and totally silly to attempt. Wikipedia logs your IP. In contrast to, for example, Karl Rove's whoever's tactics alleging that Bush's gubernatorial opponent was a lesbian and John McCain had a drug-addicted wife and a child of mixed race he had fathered, Wikipedia dirty tricks cannot be anonymous, cannot fail to point directly back at the individual computers that caused them, and will blow up in the dirty rat's face.

I, like Some Guy, am amazed that interns with internet access and too much free time are messing around on the internet.
5.1.2006 5:57pm
Federal Dog:
"I think it a big mistake to trust Wikipedia for anything remotely political."


I think it a big mistake to trust Wikipedia for anything.
5.1.2006 6:02pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
I did it to Theresa Kerry's Heinzs' wiki web page, but it always got removed quickly, culminating in a warning from them that I was vandalizing.
5.1.2006 6:06pm
Syd (mail):
I've corrected a couple of factual errors. (An error on Barbra Streisand's Oscar non-nominations and a book wrongly attributed on the Nebula Awards page.) It's pretty good on the subjects I have personal expertise in, such as mathematics and chemistry.
5.1.2006 6:30pm
Syd (mail):
Besides, it's always fun to read biographies on Porky Pig and Spider-Man.
5.1.2006 6:33pm
BobH (mail):
"[I]t is both trivially easy to accomplish and totally silly to attempt. Wikipedia logs your IP."

So, uh, do it from someone else's computer.
5.1.2006 6:42pm
David Matthews (mail):
"It's pretty good on the subjects I have personal expertise in, such as mathematics and chemistry."

I have to agree. I've yet to find any errors in its math articles, and I've used it as a quick reference on some rather technical topics where I needed a refresher but would likely have noticed if it were wrong. I'm thinking that there'd be little motive to goof with Wikipedia in those areas, and also, very few things in those areas are open to opinion. Although I remember a rather long discussion here recently about 0.9999...., and heaven help us if the "is zero even or odd" types ever invade Wikipedia's math content. (Please don't make my mistake and think that anyone here thinks this is a legitimate dilemma, check the link to see EV's archive post.)
5.1.2006 6:52pm
Splunge (mail):
Wikipedia logs your IP.

Gosh, wow.

Good thing the bad guys don't know about this sort of thing, isn't it?
5.1.2006 8:34pm
Doctor Doom (mail) (www):

Besides, it's always fun to read biographies on Porky Pig and Spider-Man.


Bah, even those accounts are biased. Why, they make it sound like I'm some sort of horrible dictator!
5.1.2006 8:59pm
karrde (mail) (www):
I find it curious that all the examples in the article are dirty tricks against Democrats.

Last Presidential election cycle, blogs friendly to the President claimed that malicious people were regularly defacing Wikipedia pages related to the President and Vice President.

This is not to exonerate either party, but to question why it is so shocking when happens to one party, and hardly noticed when it happens to the other.

Of course, the newsies might be a bit slow in catching on to the influence of websites like Wikipedia--but it still makes me wonder.
5.1.2006 10:01pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):

I find it curious that all the examples in the article are dirty tricks against Democrats.

This is not to exonerate either party, but to question why it is so shocking when happens to one party, and hardly noticed when it happens to the other.


karrde, we're talking the MSM here...
5.1.2006 11:34pm
Ted Frank (www):
Good thing the bad guys don't know about [http://anonymouse.org/]

You know, I had an ex-girlfriend who thought she was being clever because she was using anonymouse to read my blog, but my referrer data faithfully reported her IP address and the fact that she was using anonymouse--if anything the anonymouse provoked my curiosity, because that referrer link stood out from the other ones.
5.2.2006 10:26am
Some Guy (mail):
Don't lie. No one read your blog.
5.2.2006 11:25am
NickM (mail) (www):
There have been stories for months about political Wiki-hacks, a significant number of which were so juvenile as to immediately reflect badly on the candidate's opponent (calling Senator Tom Coburn a douchebag, for example).

I have found it to be a poor resource generally, even in non-political topics. In popular culture areas, many of the posts appear to be written by people with an 8th grade vocabulary and even less of a command of grammar or spelling.

Nick
5.2.2006 6:01pm