Department of Justice banned from Wikipedia
By Matthew Sparkes
Posted on 29 Apr 2008 at 12:34
The US Department of Justice has been banned from editing Wikipedia, after two alterations made from an IP address within the organisation were considered "vandalism".
The entry for the DOJ's Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America was changed earlier this month to remove a controversial section.
The edit was later traced back to an IP address hosted on wdcsun30.usdoj.gov, which belongs to the DOJ.
The same IP address was also found to have made edits to several articles which were labelled as vandalism by other Wikipedia editors. Following several unheeded warnings the address was temporarily banned.
"These sort of things do happen from time to time," explains David Gerard, a Wikipedia spokesperson. "Basically, we try really hard not to block people, but if you get a lot of edits from an organisation that are problematic then people tend to block the address."
"We try not to make a big fuss about this sort of thing because it's always sorted out better quietly," says Gerard, who goes on to explain that similar edits are "almost certainly" going on within the US presidential election race.
Earlier this month it emerged that both the Department for Health and the Secretary of State for Defence had edited Wikipedia articles to make changes on certain key points.
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