Fox, NYT Play With Wikipedia

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IP addresses associated with news organizations have been connected to edits made in Wikipedia that either smear rivals or remove negative information from their entries.

Fox, NYT Play With Wikipedia
Fox, NYT Play With Wikipedia

No one can claim innocence on either side of the political spectrum when it comes to playing with Wikipedia entries. The online encyclopedia that anyone can edit sometimes suffers from that openness.

The debut of an automated Wikipedia edit tracker – Wikipedia Scanner – from CalTech grad student Virgil Griffith made it easier for people to see the connections between anonymous edits and the netblocks of IP addresses from which they originate.

Big organizations tend to own blocks of IP addresses to suit their Internet communication needs. It’s unlikely a random person would be using an address that is part of a netblock. That makes it easier to find out who has been playing fast and loose with Wikipedia entries.

Both Fox News and the New York Times have been caught being naughty with certain entries. The Geeks Are Sexy blog has a long list of Fox News edits. Here’s an example:


Fox, NYT Play With Wikipedia
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    Wikipedia reminds me of that old joke about the encyclopedias in the Soviet Union with the loose leaf pages.

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