Wikipedia manipulationAugust 15, 2007 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Internet, Online services | Leave a comment
An interesting article in the BBC News.
Basically, US researchers have developed a way to track the origination of edits made to Wikipedia. For those who don’t know, Wikipedia is an online Wiki style encyclopedia. It allows anyone to create and update pages on just about any subject you can think of. As a result, it creates a valuable free resource that is continually updated. But it also allows bias and manipulation. So any “facts” you find there should be cross-checked elsewhere. Same with anything else on the web, including this blog. Sites like Snopes.com document how nonsense proliferates and becomes “common knowledge”
The researchers used the originating IP address of suspect edits to point to thier origin. While it does not prove its the organization itself doing the deed, someone within the organization has performed the suspect actions. As the article suggests, it may improve transparency if contributors are aware they can be traced.
I see the same thing in some comments to this blog. The social distancing of technology makes people think they can say anything and be anonymous and get away with it, not realizing their IP address is being recorded. Many web sites do the same thing for obvious reasons.
This doesn’t mean its hazardous to post stuff on the net. It just means the standard social rules still apply. Be nice. Treat others the way you expect to be treated. Take responsibility for yourself. And so on.