Street of Shame lined with glass houses…

Late last year the Independent on Sunday gave Aunty a dab on the snout.


Using WikiScanner, a service which allows you to see the changes made to Wikipedia articles by people posting from within companies and organisations (which I discovered courtesy of this article), they found that BBC people were responsible for putting a positive spin on BBC Wiki entries.


A pretty shabby business, all told.  But surely employees of The Independent wouldn’t do anything that might bring their reputation into question…


While there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to influence public opinion on The Independent, there have nonetheless been some rather dubious contributions made on Wikipedia via their ivory towers. 


There are sexist, racist and homophobic entries, some unreconstructed opinions on Affirmative Action, not to mention unflattering references to Hazel Blears, Steven Gerrard, and Holland and Barrett.  There’s even a weird anti-Semitic diatribe against a Cambridge don I’m not going to link to here.


But it’s not just the The Independent group whose computers have been used to grind axe via Wiki amendments.


Simon Hoggart, for example, will no doubt be pleased to learn that details of his extra-marital affair were updated by someone at the FT.


Guardianistas are often at the forefront of all things 2.0, so it’s no surprise someone there has outlined their moderation process in no uncertain terms.  Not to mention indulging in a bit of one-upmanship on The Times’ Wiki page (here, and here).


Up north, someone at the Manchester Evening News is keeping the Lancastrian rivalry good and healthy with this entry on Liverpool fans. Gary Neville would be proud.


North of the border, someone at the Scotsman indulged in a bit (or two) of skulduggery on their rivals, The Herald’s wiki page.   And while most people in Scotland would argue sectarianism is a problem exclusive to the west-coast, this entry on the Orange Order proves otherwise.


The Daily Record has also been indulging in a bit of ‘I’m the biggest goldfish in the bowl’ in its own entry.


Of course Wiki Scanner won’t pick up on changes made by employees of companies from home computers, and the latest data in Wiki Scanner only goes up to 2007 – so its not yet possible to track changes made in the past year and a half.


You can keep on top of other interesting findings via this Wired clearing house, which is just hoaching with Wikery-pokery.


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2 Responses to “Street of Shame lined with glass houses…”

  1. News, Web 2.0, Journalism, Education: Wikipedia, WikiScanner and WikiLeaks « EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC Says:

    […] to journalist Slewfootsnoop, who wrote about WikiScanner recently on his […]

  2. Design by Structure’s Blog - Structure is a design agency based in London » Blog Archive » Dumber or smarter - what is the Internet doing to us? Says:

    […] On a similar note, an interesting post by slewfootsnoop about dubious posts to Wikipedia illustrates the importance of questioning what you read online […]

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