Wikipedia users

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Dirt McGirt, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Dirt McGirt
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    Dirt McGirt Bad Mother****er

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    CIA, FBI computers used for Wikipedia edits
    Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:43PM EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.

    The changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict-of-interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said on Thursday.

    The program, WikiScanner, was developed by Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and posted this month on a Web site that was quickly overwhelmed with searches.

    The program allows users to track the source of computers used to make changes to the popular Internet encyclopedia where anyone can submit and edit entries.

    WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class....

    It was not known whether changes were made by an official representative of an agency or company, Griffith said, but it was certain the change was made by someone with access to the organization's network.

    It violates Wikipedia's neutrality guidelines for a person with close ties to an issue to contribute to an entry about it, said spokeswoman Sandy Ordonez of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's parent organization.

    Full story here:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/tech...pe=RSS&feedName=technologyNews&rpc=22&sp=true
     
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  2. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    Interesting. But the story leaves out who else edits such entries. What if people associated with the NYT, National Review, or Al Qaeda edited entries. Would we know about them? The CIA could be said to have "close ties" to thousands of issues. So that's a specious objection by definition. Is the CIA therefore forbidden to make any entries? The bottom line is that one can reasonably use Wikipedia for material that can be readily cross-referenced and fact checked. Buy if you use Wikipedia for difficult to check information, you are asking for mistakes, unreliability, even propaganda.
     
  3. hjmick
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    hjmick Gold Member

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    Actually, a BBC IP address has been tracked down to a recent Wikipedia edit that changed the name of George Walker Bush to George Wanker Bush.

    The Vatican changed the entry for Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, removing links to articles written in 2006 that claimed Adams's finger prints and hand prints were found on a car used during a double murder in the early '70s.

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee computers changed Rush Limbaughs profile, describing him as an idiot, racist, and bigot. They also said of his listeners, "Most of them are legally retarded."

    Diebold employees removed references to Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell being a loyal stooge of the Bush Administration.

    Someone at Fox News messed with Al Franken's profile. They also de-loofahed O'Reilly's profile, accuse Keith Olbermann of making light of Peter Jennings death, posted false information about the ratings of Fox News shows and deleted rating info for MSNBC shows.

    Somebody at the New York times added the genius insult "jerk" to Bush's profile. An NYT computer was also used to altered Tom Delay's profile calling him a "grand dragon." Others at the NYT, for whatever reason, are editing thw WSJ entry at Wiki.

    Amazing what a little Google search will reveal.

    So, the next time someone wants to use Wikioedia as a reliable source for the purpose of debate around here, you should probably think twice.
     
  4. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    For some reason, it seems more troubling when the government itself makes changes (which may not have happened - could have been just some government employees freelancing during their lunch hour). I think that skepticism of the government is a good thing overall, and it is important to have outside sources of information about it. Granted, Wikipedia is inherently untrustworthy (to some extent), but I wouldn't want the government involved with editing it nonetheless. It seems a little bit too close to have a government representative on newspaper editorial boards. Let the government publish its information as it sees fit, and let others conduct the interpretation of and commentary on that information. Keep the distinctions as clear as possible. Seems the safest approach.
     
  5. eots
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    eots no fly list

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    Welcome To The New World Order
     
  6. Mr.Conley
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    Mr.Conley Senior Member

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    Today Wikipedia, tomorrow the world!!!
     
  7. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    George to Dick " What are we going to do tonight Dick?" Dick to George " The same thing e do everynight George, plot to take over the WORLD"
     
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  8. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Well, yes, and no.... since the inaccuracies were found, it seems that it's reliable to the extent that we just have to be aware of disparaging comments about political figures and political issues. Things that are fairly non-controversial seem to be pretty strightforward.
     
  9. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    ya......nobody has an agenda....
     

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