Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Wiki Witch of the West

The name "Virgil" is climbing up the rankings for reasons unrelated to the work of the Latin poet, since Virgil Griffith created WikiScanner, a program that identifies the source of otherwise anonymous Wikipedia edits by using information about computer IP addresses. Wired points out in the title of a recent article that those monkeying with their public reputations on the giant online encyclopedia include Diebold and the CIA. And the New York Times piece about revealing "corporate fingerprints" adds beverage giants Anheuser-Bush and Pepsi to the list.

As Ian Bogost observes in "Tactical Iraqi's Wikipedia Spin," I've personally been involved in a weird case of self-interested Wikipedia revisionism that seemed to involve boosters of a military-funded videogame. Once the WikiScanner page search is back up and running again from its current overloaded condition, I look forward to finding out who deleted the paragraph that I wrote that described why the game was controversial among developers of so-called "serious games" for education, training, and rehabilitation. I suppose I can feel vindicated now that my paragraph has been recently restored by another anonymous editor who noted "the original was sourced, the replacement unsourced and POV."

(I don't know how many more Wikipedia stories I can run here, since I'm running out of puns.)

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Blogger Lupton said...

Mirabile dictu, as the Roman poet would say.

8:31 AM  

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