Sunday, May 18, 2008
Wiki Wacky re-Writers
I am more the Funk & Wagnell type but if you are a regular swampstyle reader then you know i link to wikipedia- often out of convenience but more so because kids get it. Wiki-watchers will tell you it is not the most reliable source for truths but in most cases its good enough, except when we read this:
CIA and FBI Edit Wikipedia Researched by Pat Stengle and Elizabeth Allen
People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program. The changes violate Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guidelines. The tracing program, WikiScanner, was developed by Cal Tech graduate, Virgil Griffith, who traced numerous violations to FBI and CIA computers. According to spokesperson Sandy Ordonez of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia’s neutrality guidelines prohibit persons with close ties to an issue from contributing to or editing that entry.
In fairness, these career bureaucrats may know more than us about certain historical facts but to use our tax dollars to revise Wiki entries on war is weird at best and at worst a memory hole for the truth. The open-source model is the dynamic that makes Wiki a success. The dilemma is how can one write anything useful about something one knows nothing about?