Wikipedia editors exposed by online device

17 Aug 2007

A tool called Wiki Scanner that claims to unveil the identities of organisations who have changed Wikipedia entries lists the Vatican, the CIA and the BBC among those whose computers allegedly were used to access and change details on various topics including Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

The Wikipedia site itself already stores information such as the name and IP address of an editor but because of the nature of the site, it allows anonymity, a sore point for its many critics.

The Wiki Scanner tool was not developed by Wikipedia, and claims to trace back all edits to the exact computer leading to a allegation that a BBC employee changed the Wikipedia entry on George W. Bush to include a swear word where his middle initial was.

Further claims were made that a computer from inside the Vatican deleted links on a Gerry Adams entry in which it was written that his fingerprints linked him to a car connected with a double murder that occurred in 1971.

An entry on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was changed when someone preceded his name with “Wahhhhhh!”, with an IP address allegedly originating from the CIA.

Although most edits seem to be for the purposes of changing spellings, grammar and factual inaccuracies, some may have been be added for the purpose of defaming an identity or supplying deliberately misleading information.

By Marie Boran