Sunday, 19 August 2007

Through A WikiScanner Darkly
Scientology Front Group edits Wikipedia entry on Kurt Cobain: Medication Killed Kurt

W is for WikiScanner
From the BBC report on the detection of
CIA workers editing Wikipedia entries on the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Oprah Winfrey to Wired’s delicious inclusion of its potential for exposing the Most Shameful Wikipedia Spin Jobs as part of the archiving of Wikipedia's existence as an open source reference tool, the unleashing of Wikiscanner by Virgil Griffith (pictured), a CalTech graduate, is the top contender for IT story of 2007.

In the same week that saw eBay stock drop $1 billion in market cap on the NASDAQ as well as the outage of eBay owned VOIP provider Skype, an Internet-based telephony service network used by 220 million users, we learnt that an IP address registered in the name of the US Democratic National Headquarters was used to post information to the site of right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh, adding a reference to his audience as being "legally retarded".

There was also the discovery of links being added to the entry on Kurt Cobain by a Scientology front group suggesting that pharmaceuticals such as Ritalin were responsible for his suicide. The IP address was linked to a Scientology owned IP that also added links to the biographies of Michael Hutchence and Elliot Smith. The "revisions" to the entry on Cobain can be seen here and you can follow other Scientology Wikipedia edits of entries on the Cult Awareness Network and Clearwater, Florida, the world worldwide "spiritual headquarters" of the Church of Scientology.

Be sure to follow the evolving stories on Wikiscanner in the Blogosphere at Tailrank

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