Scanner Busts Dutchies Passing On The Wiki Side

    August 31, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

I’m not up on Dutch royalty. I’m not up on any royalty cuz I’m an Uh-mer-kin and we don’t dig on that jazz, right? Well, some still do, or else the Today Show wouldn’t have anything to talk about on slow news days. Anyway, this about Wikipedia more than Dutch royalty, so let’s roll with it.

This Wiki Scanner tool has proven to be one powerful whistleblower, a nice KEEP OUT sign to the powers-that-be. It’s called citizen media for a reason.

After tracing edits back to the CIA, the FBI, and even a rather bizarre one about the IRA made from inside the Vatican (conspiracy theorists unite!), the latest to get busted are Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands and his wife, Princess Mabel.

Mabel? Really? Not something hipper like Gertrude or Bessie?


According to Reuters Mabel had a thing for "drug barons" before she hooked up with the prince, who renounced the throne to marry her. Now, it is Amsterdam, so for all I know, "drug baron," could be the owner of a chain of "coffee shops" or the CEO of a pharmaceutical company.

Whatever he was, he was shot outside of an Amsterdam hotel.

It was a small edit, changing the claim that Mabel provided "incomplete and false information" about her relationship with the drug baron to "incomplete information."

After all, nobody likes being called a liar.

It also highlights an inherent problem with open, collaborative editing: where there is personal incentive to edit, there will be editing, just as sure as eating follows hunger.

Tools like Wiki Scanner are good, then, for keeping the larger establishment accountable, but do little for the smaller varmints – and we wouldn’t want it to operate on a smaller scale, would we? It wouldn’t be protecting the voice of the people anymore then, but a flagrant violation of privacy.

Um. Is it time to slow down yet?