Sunday, August 19, 2007


Wikipedia Scanner

Virgil Griffith a graduate student from Caltech wrote a program that reveals who edits Wikipedia articles, via a system where it scans the I.P address and cross-references it with the I.P. directory. Here is how the reported it.

As soon as the software was launched on the internet, chaos erupted. Among many revelations, Wikipedia Scanner reported that:

- Microsoft tried to cover up the XBOX 360 failure rate

- Apple edit Microsoft entries, adding more negative comments about its rival

- Bill Gates revenge? Microsoft edits Apple entries, adding more negative comments about its rival

- The Vatican edits Irish Catholic politician Gerry Adams page

- In the 9/11 Wikipedia article, the NRA added that “Iraq was involved in 9/11”

- Exxon Mobil edits spillages and eco-system destruction from oil spillages article

- FBI edits Guantanamo Bay, removing numerous pictures

- Oil company ChevronTexaco removes informative biodiesel article and deletes a paragraph regarding fines against the company

- Scientology removes criticism and negatives article from Scientology page.

In the Wikipedia entry on the scanner Jimmy Wales commented:

"It's awesome -- I love it...It brings an additional level of transparency to what's going on at Wikipedia...[Wikipedia Scanner] uses information we've been making publicly available forever, hoping someone would do something like this."


Fine more about the Wikipedia scanner

Virgil Griffith's homepage

Wired article

wikipedia entry