Pot. Kettle. Black?

21 August 2007

The second thing I found revealing about WikiScanner is how much coverage it is getting from the same media who are being exposed by it.

To highlight just one organisation amongst many, the BBC News website picks on Diebold in their article about WikiScanner:

Wikipedia Scanner also points the finger at commercial organisations that have modified entries about the pages. One in particular is Diebold, a company which supplies electronic voting machines in the US. In October 2005, a person using a Diebold computer removed paragraphs about Walden O’Dell, chief executive of the company, which revealed that he had been “a top fund-raiser” for George Bush. A month later, other paragraphs and links to stories about the alleged rigging of the 2000 election were also removed. The paragraphs and links have since been reinstated. Diebold officials have not responded to requests by the BBC for information about the changes.

Only right at the end of the article is it revealed that “BBC News website users contacted the corporation to point out that the tool also revealed that people inside the BBC had made edits to Wikipedia pages”. At least 7,500 of them in fact, including this ironic example where someone at the Beeb removed a quote stating that they were “guilty of self-censoring subjects that the corporation finds unpalatable”.

To give them fair due, however, the BBC’s head of interactive news, Pete Clifton, posted this admission on his blog which given the number of comments (currently 128) appears to have stoked every possible anti-Beeb ember on the net.

PS. So you can’t accuse me of being the pot calling the kettle black, yes we are aware that some edits have been made by H&K-owned IP addresses. This does not include our own entry, in part I hope to the Social Media Principles that all our consultants worldwide must abide by.

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