Scanner tracks Wikipedia edits
By Simon Aughton
Posted on 16 Aug 2007 at 12:47
Individuals and organisations that try to edit their own Wikipedia entries will now found themselves "outed".
Wikipedia Scanner is a new website that matches changes made on the collaborative encyclopaedia to the Internet address of the editor.
Developed by a student at a California university, the website provides a searchable database that can quickly reveal incriminating evidence of Wikipedia tampering.
Take Diebold, for instance, a company that makes e-voting machines. An apparently anonymous edit removed a section of the company's Wikipedia entry criticising the performance of the machines. But Wikipedia Scanner matched the IP address of the editor to one of a block allocated to Diebold.
And Diebold is far from alone. Others linked to edits of their own entries include the CIA, Microsoft and US congressmen.
Wikipedia's founder James Wales reserved judgement on the new website until he has had more time to evaluate it. Diebold said that it was investigating the matter.
Wikipedia Scanner is online at wikiscanner.virgil.gr.
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