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Apple, Microsoft, Dell Caught Revising Wikipedia

Apple, Microsoft, Dell Caught Revising Wikipedia

by , 4:10 PM EDT, August 21st, 2007

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

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, 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. It's aim is credibility and quality, not just quantity, according to Mr. Sanger.

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