Wikipedia Spin Jobs.

150_wikipediaWired Blogs is looking at who is editing Wikipedia entries in order to protect or shape their own image.
Caltech graduate student Virgil Griffith just launched an unofficial Wikipedia search tool that threatens to lay bare the ego-editing and anonymous flacking on the site. Enter the name of a corporation, organization or government entity and you get a list of IP addresses assigned to it. Then with one or two clicks, you can see all the anonymous edits made from those addresses anywhere in Wikipedia's pages.

Wired is collecting cases of Wikipedia edits coming from those who stand to lose or gain depending on the accesible information. Several are already listed. They invite anyone to contribute cases you know of, or that you can find via Griffith’s search tool. Link -via Metafilter

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I'm not at all happy about this. I made many edits to wikipedia from my old company about 3 years ago. The idea that my company should be smeared by my actions or my interests and corrections automatically mean that my old company believed in that is not just preposterous, it's exactly the kind of anti-communist work that Joe McCarthy did- guilt by association. My free speech has been hurt by this software.
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One would be naive to believe there is no influence in Wikipedia. Just look at the wars on controversial subjects like Communism. I myself had made corrected a couple of entries that were not fair and partial.
So why a company, for example, would not try to "enhance the truth"? Let's say Mattel enhancing the truth on the toy safety fight, instead of speaking of Chinese labor and environmental concerns... Even if it's not corporately organized, it would be every employee interest that his company is best presented to the world.

As long as you'll have counter-powers like the Griffith tool, you'll keep Wikipedia a *balanced* work, which makes it partial in the end.

Let's keep an eye open.
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