Talk:Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members
You can view research used in writing this artice at Wikinews:Story preparation/ Research-United States Department of Justice workers among government Wikipedia vandals.
U.S. Senate staff whitwash Wikipedia?
We need to rewrite the lede paragraph. I'm working on it here.
Senator staffers, using IP addresses assigned to their Sentors, have been editing the online free encyclopedia Wikipedia. In some cases, they have removed negative facts about their Senator from the articles.
can we ban them?
guys, i say we ban them. if a regular person was doing this vandalism they would be banned so why not these frauds?
syndicated "John Boy and Billy" radio show
The morning radio broadcast has twice done segments in the last month about Wikipedia. The first was a derisive account of the John Seigenthaler Sr. controversy. The second, coming about three weeks later, examined the encylopedia's entry of its own show, John Boy and Billy. After all their giggling and joking about themselves, the final upshot of the broadcasted segment was that they found the Wikipedia entry largely true with regards to their own show, dispite the entry of a rumored allegation of a lawsuit against one of their cast (I think that the happenstance that Wikipedia recorded it impressed them). -Edbrown05 01:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- How does that relate to this story? Growing recognition and awareness. -Edbrown05 01:16, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- I would just like to say, excellent work by wikireporters. Congrats 126.96.36.199 04:46, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- Let's keep case studies of popularity out for now, and keep the article on course. -- user:zanimum
It looks fine now, can we publish before it's really old news? -- user:zanimum
Ideally, it will be published before 2:00 P.M. CST today, or 20:00 UTC, but Amgine, who voice mailed several senate offices involved, has only received a reply from the office of John McCain so far, and from Carl Levin's office. The press officer had wanted to talk to Amgine today. Daniel Bush 14:51, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Bawolff ☺☻ 23:21, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
- Indeed, very nice article, and kudos to all those who did the research. I want to point out to editors, though, that we need to watch out for POV remarks here! I already found several POV statements in the article. Keep in mind that we really cannot comment on whether or not this editing is negative; we can only report what has been found. Cllewr 00:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- Wow! I'm posting that next time someone complains about the smily in your signature. :) Nyarlathotep 22:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- Ditto; good job. Neutralizer 02:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- I should have said this earlier... Great catch! Cowicide 07:38, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Whatever happened to the Republicans?
- Thanks for writing this up. BUT, the source data included edits by Santorum, Ensign, and quite a few other Republicans. This report includes not a single reference to a Republican edit or Vandalism. It sure appears to be political bias from here.
- VERY POV. What's up with that?!!! Cowicide 04:44, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- OK, NO RESPONSE?!!! Shouldn't this article FAIRLY reflect the involvement of BOTH political parties or get taken down for a POV violation???? I don't think much more time should be given without a valid response before this article is tagged with POV in dispute. Cowicide 05:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Senators Conrad Burns and Norm Coleman are both Republicans. Only edits from senate offices that were to articles related to those senators were included, except for what was probably an edit from Santorum's office's which removed a reference to a neologism for a mixture of fecal matter and sexual lubricant that was named after him in a contest by a Seattle newspaper. John Ensign's office's alleged edit, as explained, was to an edit on Harry Reid, inserting "rightfully" into a quote with him criticizing George W. Bush, and because Ensign is from the same state as Reid, I had doubts as to which senator's office made the edit.
As for an edit that may have come from Senator Snowe's office, that could have come from Collins's office as well. I at first thought seniority was a factor in IP addresses being assigned, but this thought was eliminated as it seemed not to correlate much of the time, and it seemed more random. Two out of five is pretty even. We, by which I mean the user Amgine and I, thought Tom Coburn's edit may have come from McCain's office because he was senior, but his office denied it, meaning we'd still have to question John Kyl's office.
I have "Edits seemingly coming from Rick Santorum's staff members that removed a reference to an effort to redefine Santorum's last name as a neologism meaning "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex" were removed." into the miscellaneous section.
If more senators reply to Wikinews voicemails sent out by Amgine, then another article would probably be written. Thank you for your concern. Daniel Bush 05:20, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- "...because Ensign is from the same state as Reid, I had doubts as to which senator's office made the edit..." Thanks for your response Daniel. Why not mention that in the article and the continuing investigation with McCain and others? Can't this story develop over time? Just seems like a lot of Republicans are getting a pass here. Not to mention, why are the democrats listed first? Why not try alphabetical order? Just curious. Cowicide 05:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- I should note that I didn't write the first comment about there being no republicans. I just find the article unfairly slanted against Democrats in style and substance. Cowicide 05:42, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
When I listed senators involved, in an introductory sentence now taken out, "Several edits from Senate staffers were made to articles related to the Senators that supposedly owned those addresses, including those from the staffers of Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, and Conrad Burns," I listed from memory before double checking research notes. The order listed was also the order I wrote senatorial articles on. Biden and Harkin stuck out in my mind because I saw Biden appear on the Daily Show, and I had known Harkin's name before when he appeared on C-SPAN speaking about child obesity, while Senator Feinstein was speaking on C-SPAN today in a debate on an asbestos-related bill. At the time, Burns came last. I did Coleman's edits last in the investigation because the Associated Press had already covered it, and then when other editors said I should definitely include it, I put it below all the others when I wrote. I am rearranging subsections in the order described, but this article, according to Amgine in the #wikinews channel, the article, now "published," has already been under the gaze of many reporters, and major changes may be cumbersome.
Also, it would be useless to mention names being checked if those names turned out not to be involved. Along with the Republicans that aren't being mentioned from uncertainty, there is Carl Levin and Harry Reid. Did you find this to be a suitable reply? Daniel Bush 06:02, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- As one of the co-investigators, it seems to me this article could clearly be improved. I strongly encourage Cowicide and others to examine the contributions from each of the IPs in the Senate block (the IPs from 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206), assess and evaluate their edits, and then add the more balanced and neutral facts here. - Amgine | talk en.WN 06:03, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- Yes, thank you Daniel. Sorry for flying off the handle. Amgine, thanks for your response as well. The proxy IP edits are very interesting. Also, that range 220.127.116.11-18.104.22.168... I wonder how well the FOIA and the Senate's network operations center will mesh together for logs? Ok, I'll start digging, but if any of us mysteriously disappear I hope there is a good wikinews article about it. Cowicide 08:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I took a quick look at the ever noble U.S. House of Representatives (why just stick with the Senate?) I see that they are also apparently up to some squirrely behavior. As you'll see there, IP address 22.214.171.124 (U.S. House of Representatives netrange is: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52) decided that the article would be "better" if they removed valid ties to (cough) Tom Delay. Now why on earth would Congressman Thad McCotter (R-MI) want to distance himself from good old Tom Delay? Beyond me.
While we are at it... It would seem IP 184.108.40.206 made some "enhancments" to remove this info "Musgrave received $30,000 in campaign contributions from former majority leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.". Now thats a naughty, naughty Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO). I'm beginning to think Congress and the Senate is (cough) unethical or maybe even corrupt. My world view has been shattered. Cowicide 08:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Dagnabbit... Speaking of unethical edits... Jeez, you'll see there that IP 220.127.116.11 (from once again, the House of bad Rep IP range) decided facts are pesky and so unnecessary in this day and age. Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA) just doesn't think anyone should focus on the fact that he only "received 38% of the vote." Why focus on the negative? Hopefully Lungren can go back into that article some more and shiny it up till it makes us all feel more positive and happy. What a humanitarian! God bless Lungren. God bless them all. Or... should they all just go to hell? Oh, I can't decide Cowicide 08:43, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
You know, I just thought of something crazy... with all this "nice and ethical" behavior going around. could it be that the Bush admin's secret wiretaps on Americans were used to spy on Bush administration political rivals? NO WAY! That could NIXON.. (cough).. I mean, NEVER happen here in the good ole' U S of A! That's crazy talk! I must be on good drugs or at least some choice bad ones. Nevermind. Sorry... crazy talk... crazy cow... Anyway, Amgine... is there a way we could automate the search for these Senate & Congress IP ranges or is that something that's already been set up? I'll be glad to write a cgi script or whatever if it'll help speed this process up. Goodnight. Cowicide 08:56, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- To relieve your concerns, all US House edits are proxied through 18.104.22.168. I have personally contacted a couple of House Reps, and at least one of these has admitted to having staffers edit the article inappropriately due to a lack of familiarity with Wikipedia: they have since corrected their errors and are working with the community to improve the article neutrally. At the same time, the house is known to house a few people-staffers as well as elected officials, with strong senses of partisanship. Since we do not know *who* is making these edits, it is difficult to assign blame to the politicians when it might be the janitors instead. - Amgine | talk en.WN 09:02, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- PS: I would encourage you to discuss this on http://pov.wikicities.com - a site which was set up specifically to have this kind of discussion. Amgine | talk en.WN
- They edited the articles "inappropriately" due to a "lack of familiarity" with Wikipedia? Seems like a "lack of familiarity" with ethics to me.. but I'm a crazy cow. I really doubt it was a self-loathing Democrat janitor going online at the house of reps computer system and making these changes to make the Republicans look better. I think we can deduce otherwise. Why not just put the facts in place and let the public decide if it smells fishy or not? We can make it very clear that it "could have been a rogue janitor" in the article if you'd like. As far as POV goes, I'll be glad to take your advice and discuss POV there. But, don't you think this article could benefit from at least a smattering of the info about the republican article changes I mentioned above? Like I said, add the janitor clause and let the public decide for themselves what to think about all of this maybe. Cowicide 09:28, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- No, I'm afraid I don't. This article is about the Senate, not the House. - Amgine | talk en.WN 09:39, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- Would it be too much trouble to change the title to "Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate & House staffers" ... or would that add too many Republicans into the mix? Just kidding... er, mostly. : \ Cowicide 09:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Because all the House edits were already covered, twice, but unfortunately because they come through proxy servers, so members will have to be identified by the articles they wrote rather than their addresses. Edits to Marylin Musgrave's article were already mentioned in the article before this.
I agree that "Dozens of small corrections to grammar, spelling, or small facts—many of them related to the Senate—show Senate Wikipedia users have sharp eyes for details and help improve Wikipedia's accuracy." has a very positive slant and should be changed. Here was the article in its first draft form. Should positive edits have been kept at the bottom? Also, I'll be sure to include "janitor" edits in the next article on this that we'll be writing next week or so. Daniel Bush 16:12, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
looks to me like POV is in favor of Senate, if anything.
What happened to this article? Why remove Wales' quotes among other things? This article was chopped up.
Senators' staff members have sometimes had to fight to correct inaccuracies. An edit to Jay Rockefeller's article by his staff removed information which may have been biased or untrue. The staff member who edited said, "Apologies, I was new to using Wikipedia, and I didn't fully realize the workings of the website," after other users continuously reinserted the information. The staffer removed the suspect paragraphs twelve times until another Wikipedia user finally removed the information. This was followed by the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, getting involved four days later after the page had continually shifted between versions.
This has a completely different intent, meaning, and message than what was originally written.
- You're right. We did further research into each edit we focused on, and for this one we found that the Rockefeller staff were correcting misinformation in the article. Sometimes, you know, the people whose job is politics (or a specific politician) are right, and aren't trying to spread misinformation. This was one of those times, and we caught ourselves before saying something which would have been untrue. - Amgine | talk en.WN 09:06, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, was still editing, I'm new at this... one sec
Dozens of small corrections to grammar, spelling, or small facts—many of them related to the Senate—show Senate Wikipedia users have sharp eyes for details and help improve Wikipedia's accuracy.
Why try to hide the Wales' quote in Coleman between a different edit in question. The edits in concern are ones that change the public record, or change to an arbitrary POV. If the Senate were simply correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, no one would care, and this article wouldn't exist. Yes, try to stay 'neutral,' but that doesn't mean hide the truth.
Even if that previous edit in question was legitimate, it doesn't make sense to take a positive viewpoint of the Senate if you're supposed to remain neutral.
Pretty much everything seems to have been euphemized in favor of the Senate... last example:
The same addresses from Biden's office edited the article on the Hamas, which has recently won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and is listed as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, and the United States, to give its first two paragraphs a slightly biased stance by removing information about its social welfare programs.
wtf is a 'slightly biased stance'? come on now folks.
- In reviewing literally thousands of edits, the majority of edits found were improvements or neutral edits to en.Wikipedia. The majority of edits were to non-Senate topics; sports- and college-related topics would probably top the list. (That research was not done for this article)
- I'm not addressing the specific question of Mr. Wales's quote in the Coleman section. The primary reason it is in this section is Mr. Wales was commenting to the AP about the Coleman edits; we did not have the chance to interview Mr. Wales for this article.
- The "reason" the senate edits are newsworthy is because there are a few highly questionable edits which are probably unethical, and they were committed on behalf of (and even possibly at the behest of) individuals who legislate ethics in the USA. At least, that is my opinion.
- The focus of this article was on Senate-related edits. There were other edits which were clearly vandalous (including an amusing one to Carrot cake, of all subjects) but which were not followed-up on because there was simply too much material to make a reasonable news article. Even edits to Senate articles were passed over in favour of a very tiny sample of edits. Keep in mind we also did not present the dozens of new articles created on historical political figures, or the vandalism-fighting, done by Senate IPs. Believe it or not, some of the IPs appear to occasionally do RC patrol. - Amgine | talk en.WN 09:37, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, majority of edits good or neutral, that's fine. I'm not saying you should have included every 'negative' edit, I'm saying you should not have made a conclusion that Senate edits are good, like you did (Clear POV conclusion)... you should have included info that said most edits were 'improvements or neutral', but there were some 'negative' edits...negative being changing the public record, vandalism, or POV...
I'm saying that's not what came across or was done. Re-read the article and tell me with a straight face it's not heavily biased towards the Senate.
It's almost like a praise article, thanking the Senate for contributing to wikipedia.
- Yeah, the article should actually just have a part where it comes out and thanks the Senate. LOL, Ninja... and "...wtf is a 'slightly biased stance'? come on now folks. ..." ROTFL, Ninja! Hahaha! I don't know Amgine... but the RC patrol, carrot cake and historical figure changes could make a hell of an interesting story. Seriously mostly. Amgine, I know you are trying to keep your contacts alive by tip-toeing through the tulips here, but remember.... be bold. Burn some bridges if you have to. I swear, if you mysteriously disappear we'll write a kick ass article about you (that might be changed later by a rogue janitor, alas). I'm going to get some people to contact the Congresspeople and Senators. BTW, did you contact any of the Republicans I mentioned above with the proxy action? Cowicide 09:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
- niNja: That's a reasonable characterization. I happen to disagree with it, but clearly cannot convince you otherwise. As for the other edits, they may yet be written as articles. They just didn't fit the focus of this article. - Amgine | talk en.WN 10:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Where can I get access to the relevant information? (edits, IP address owners, etc.)?
- Ninja, using history & whois lookups - or just look for IP's within those ranges for now - If you need some help email me privately. Me and some buds have begun to find some pretty interesting leads and a script is in development to help sort through all this madness and find more scum... (cough) I mean, unwitting, innocent mistakes... right... - unless Amgine wants to step up and let us know if there's already a script of some kind available? Cowicide 10:27, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't really have time to go tracert'ing or digging through garbage cans... I would think if an investigation had already been done, a report or analysis of some kind should be available? (you know, the evidence)
- In the spirit of wiki, they seem to be bogarting on the analysis and notes for the investigation? I dunno... Check their talk pages maybe they have some info there. Crap, you think we have time for this? Quit whining and hit those trash cans. ; ) Seriously though, this really is a serious article and important for our country. Trying to control Americans through 1984-style propaganda tactics is something we need to STOP. The American public's proverbial boot needs to kick some ass here or we'll further degrade towards despotism. Cowicide 10:45, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Some of these are pretty serious claims... what happens when wn gets a subpoena? You can't just say "go look through the garbage cans."
- Hey, if the Bush admin can dig through our garbage cans without a warrant... just kidding. Keep in mind, these "garbage cans" are logged IP addresses, edits, etc.... These are the same bits of evidence used by the FBI and the NSA for their investigations. Keep that in mind while digging. Cowicide 11:05, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm saying to publish this information, and claim an investigation was done, I would hope that digging should already have happened... and be in presentable form, because regardless of wn's intent, other parties may wish to take legal action based on such claims, if verifiable. If wn is subpoena'd I'd guess they would be required to provide evidence for the article they published, assuming the court order was in the U.S.
- Actually the digging is in progress. I agree that a background report needs to come out... it will. So will other articles. Stay tuned. Cowicide 11:35, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
This link, mentioned at the top, shows all my research. Also, Chris Shays's article's staff member editors have already been contacted by Amgine, and they apologized, which will be included in the next story. Before and after Amgine reorganized the first draft, and our copyediting, I asked #wikinews and sometimes #wikipedia if it was all right, and no one had any problem, and it's a shame that these things were only noticed after the "developing" stage ended, where it was listed on the sidebar. I replied to a comment in the "What ever happened to the Republicans?" section, too. Daniel Bush 16:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Looks like most blatantly pro-Senate comments were modified... that's good. I'll look into the evidence link this evening. No personal opinions of mine have been expressed on this site to date, besides opinions on the development of the article. The reason the (mine at least) comments couldn't be made before it was published as the special report, was because the slants in question didn't exist.
Note: It's also the reason I posted on the discussion page, rather than neutralize the article myself.
First off, kudos to all investigating this. It's a great example of what the knowledgeable Wikinews community can do. However, I do have a problem with this line early on in the piece:
- "The investigation showed the vast majority of edits to Wikipedia from Senate IPs were beneficial and helpful."
The first time I read it, I couldn't figure out if it was "beneficial and helpful" to the Senators (ie. spin), or to the community goal of NPOV. So perhaps some precise wording would help? It might also be useful to contrast the findings in this article compared to the mainstream media attention Wikipedia got for "banning" Congressional staffers and IPs from editing it. Examples of what was written in the MSM:
- "Congressional staffers appear to have been engaged in doctoring their own bosses' entries, the Washington Post reported. For example, a campaign promise by Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., that he would serve only four terms is gone." Sci-Tech, Washington Post 
- "Contributors to Wikipedia, the online user-written encyclopedia, have exposed extensive efforts by political staff in Washington to change the biographies of senators and congressmen in order to show them in a more favourable light." MSNBC 
For better or worse, the majority of the reporting has been about the "problem cases."
It seems this Wikinews piece is a contrarian piece given the MSM exposure (ie. the majority of edits were not "spin" per se, but edits that the Wikipedia community would find to be useful additions to the body of knowledge and compliant with NPOV). If this is true, this article/investigation should make this clear. It wasn't to me until I read more and more of the article. -- Fuzheado 04:47, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- Good call, Fuzheado. I'll claim poor language choice when rushing to press; that isn't an excuse but an explanation. A clear case of my bias as a wikimedian showing. "What? not everyone equates beneficial and helpful as referring to Wikipedia?" <grin>
- Daniel_Bush (the major force in this article) added "to Wikipedia" to that sentence. I'm wondering if that makes clear enough that the measure of "good" versus "bad" is based on Wikipedia's standards of verifiability, neutrality, and improvement to the article in question? - Amgine | talk en.WN 06:17, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
This might challenge some of the Senate IP address information in this article...
- <grin> Yes, it might! the data records on Wikipedia strongly suggest physical IPs, rather than DHCP. However, DHCP is logged, and the Senate Segeant At Arms could clear all of this up by either making the logs publically available, or making available the Senate's IP mapping with the physical locations. We have contacted the Senate SAA on at least two occasions, and have received no responses other than an out-of-office auto response to the second inquiry. - Amgine | talk en.WN 19:42, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- Yeah, I've talked with compatriots who've been trying to get in contact with Senate SAA on this log matter. Strangely silent. "We hear you knocking, but you can't come in" type thing? I hope not. I'm thinking it will require the FOIA and even then they might try to pull some BS "national security to hide corruption" blockade to try to hide from the American public. But we should all at least try. Good luck on your end Amgine. Cowicide 20:07, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- Ah, the Senate isn't subject to the FOIA. There's absolutely nothing to compel them to give you the logs. Lawandorder
- I wonder if those logs are shared by anyone? i.e., the United States Secret Service (which is, believe it or not, subject to the FOIA to some extent) may have access to those logs and/or store them/mirror them. I know it's even more of a long shot but the FBI is subject to FOIA as well. Also, I just got a communication about "Operation Daylight" within the U.S. Senate. Apparently it publicizes the Senate's activities extensively with IT but I don't know much more. Maybe it will open some doors (logs), but that's doubtful. Has anyone contacted the EFF about this? We need those logs. Otherwise, behind the scenes things need to happen to get a judicial committee going that can compel the SAA to bring the data forward. [What's that? I hear the sound of log files being deleted with DoD 5220, NSA and Gutmann electronic shredding standards as we speak...] Cowicide 03:28, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
- I think it's a long shot that any executive agency would have reason to hold the IP logs of the U.S. Senate ... separation of powers really precludes that, and the way the branches of the government work I really, really doubt the Senate would be excited to share computer logs with anyone, even another government agency. The Senate Rules committee governs internet usage guidelines, they'd be the ones to talk to about if this is a violation of their guidelines. If they say yes, then there may be reason for them to open up who's doing what. But their defense is going to be: Isn't Wikipedia meant to be edited? In the end, does it matter who's doing it, really? They're just going to be smart enough to do it from their home computers next time, anyway. Lawandorder 04:13, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Another problem with this state x 2 IP blocking theory -- what about the standing committees? They all have offices with their own staffs that could very well be making the changes, too... Lawandorder 04:18, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I was guessing that some IPs ranges above 100 would be assigned to standing committees and miscellaneous positions, such as Pages, as explained on my research page, but I never really looked into it. I had that feeling looking at the contributions of one IP address, since the edits were all on world government. I never really even thought there might be a pattern like with the Senate blocks 1 to 100, but the world government article editing IP correlated with the Subcommittee on Defense in an alphabetically arranged list of committees and subcomittees, an IP editing w:Operation Just Cause and w:Pentagon City, Virginia correlated with the Subcomittee on (military) Personnel, and an IP correlated with the U.S. Senate Committee on Budget edited the article on ranking Democrat member Kent Conrad. Daniel Bush 05:57, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
- Lawandorder asks, "... In the end, does it matter who's doing it, really? ...". Uh, yes, it does in a democracy. Cowicide 00:20, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
In the news
Article on Conrad Burns that references wikinews (Without a link!) http://dailychronicle.com/articles/2006/02/09/news/wikipedia.txt -Ravedave 23:39, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- There's several other articles mentioning wikinews listed over on the Water Cooler. Some of those have links to us. Whilst the source you cite mentions potential flaws in the openness of the wiki process it trusts our research enough to consider our conclusions newsworthy. That is what really pleases me, and besides anyone who reads that can google for wikinews and come straight here. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
- I agree with yuo 110% Brian. I think that the direct mention of Wikinews as "wikipedias fact checker" is enough to say that we are very credible. I am happy to see the nationals piking this up. I am so proud of everyone. :) Jason Safoutin 23:50, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Great story - well done, it deserves to be picked up, a lot of reporters wouldn't have the understanding of how Wikipedia works - or the time - to do this sort of investigation ClareWhite 09:51, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Much ado about NOTHING!!!!
Despite all the backslapping that I've read here, an important, fundamental concept underpinning Wikipedia has been trampled: People from all viewpoints are invited to make edits. Even with the Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy, every contribution in its essence contains a Point of View (POV). This idea that American politicians should not contribute to their own biographies or limit how they edit is rank hypocrisy. Elected politicians have always trumpeted their accomplishments and downplayed their mistakes. They should contribute to Wikipedia. Nevertheless, those contributions are then subject to editing by subsequent editors with perhaps different POV. The result (in theory) is an objective article of general worth. To think that Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, Norm Coleman, or others are not interested in their own biographies on Wikipedia is absurd. They should be very interested. They should add and edit as much as they see fit. Of course, other editors will do the same. The net result produces a democratized article.
Also, I believe that the promoters of this "scandal" miss another important fundamental concept of Wikipedia: Important articles will undergo a much higher volume of editing than other articles. This fundamental theorem ensures that the only worthy information ultimately remains within such articles. I invite all the elected officials to edit as zealously as possible. I invite all other editors to do the same! 22.214.171.124 16:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
- If they contribute, they MUST do it as autographers, not as anonymusers .