Apple, Microsoft, and Dell amongst many others have been identified by a new program, Wikipedia Scanner, as having edited or revised sections of Wikipedia to their own advantage, according to Wired Magazine.
Wikipedia Scanner was devised by a California Institute of Technology graduate student, Virgil Griffith, to track Wikipedia changes back to the originating IP address. He used public lookup services like ARIN and private domain-name data from IP2Location.com.
Mr. Griffith created the tool to "create minor public relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike," he said on his Web site. However, the results have been much more far ranging than that.
As a result, he was able to compile a list of of 34.4 million edits performed by 2.6 million organizations or individuals which included Apple, Dell, Microsoft, the CIA, Congressional Offices, and Diebold.
Some examples, compiled by Maltastar.com, include:
- Apple edit[s] Microsoft entries, adding more negative comments about its rival.
- Microsoft edits Apple entries, adding more negative comments about its rival.
- Dell Computers deletes negative comments on customer services and removes a passage how the company outsources work to third world countries.
- Sony removes harmful paragraphs against Blu-ray systems.
- EA Games deletes whole paragraphs of criticism about employment practices and business methods.
The Wikipedia experiment, co-founded by Larry Sanger, has had its share of credibility issues lately. To that end, Mr. Sanger has formed a new venture, Citizendium, which is much more rigorously managed. Itis aim is credibility and quality, not just quantity, according to Mr. Sanger.