Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wikipedia Whitewashing Writers

Wired (and a number of other sources) are talking about the brilliant work by Virgil Griffith to map the editors of Wikipedia articles to the IP address of the editor, in order to find out which people, organisations and companies are white-washing wikipedia entries about themselves.

For example:

Disney User Deletes Reference to DRM Critic Doctorow

On Christmas Eve 2004, a Disney user deleted a citation on the "digital rights management" page to DRM critic Cory Doctorow along with a link to a speech he gave to Microsoft's Research Group on the subject. Later, a Disney user altered the "opponents" discussion of the entry, arguing that consumers embrace DRM: "In general, consumers knowingly enter into the arrangement where they are granted limited use of the content." 2nd diff:


BBC: George "Wanker" Bush

The BBC labels President Bush a "wanker"

Amazing! As if these naive editors thought we'd never find out.

UPDATE: Now the BBC has an article on this, but conveniently fails to mention the above case, and similar edits emerging from their own network. Hypocrites!

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