WikiScanner – the Wikipedia Whodunnit
It had to happen eventually. Virgil Griffith, a computer science student in the US, has created a scanner that allows you to check for wikipedia edits by public institution or IP range. I think there’s a reason Jimmy Wales loves the idea (“It is fabulous and I strongly support it”) – there is now a very easy, very public, very free way to track who’s been snipping out unflattering criticism, editing rival entries and generally spitting in the face of the wikipedia ethos. This is probably the best weapon ever developed in the arsenal against POV edits – public shame.
The scanner is already being used to compile lists of suspicious, embarrassing and silly edits. Microsoft have been caught editing failure rates from the Xbox 360, their PR firm have edited their MSN Search article to refer to it as a major competitor to Google, someone from MySpace censored the entry on censorship, Discovery Communications deleted the reference to their reputation for guerrilla marketing, FOX News are caught spinning so much they have to be dizzy by now, and Scientology spreads enough whitewash to paint a small town. And much, much more.
You can submit your finds to Wired here. Happy hunting!