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Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?  
User currently offlineAlberchico From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 2921 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2448 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6947532.stm


very disturbing article.......


short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2433 times:

The CIA employs tens of thousands of personel (the exact number is classified) - I would be extremely surprised if there *wasn't* any Wikipedia edits attributable to a CIA IP address!

Slow news day for the BBC I think (especially as this was on Slashdot a few days ago)  Smile


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

Funny, I thought it was Ceiling Cat that was doing it.....  duck 


I wondered who was making those edits on the A.net Wikipedia page.  Wink

Quoting Moo (Reply 1):

Slow news day for the BBC I think (especially as this was on Slashdot a few days ago)

And posted on Wired's website yesterday:
http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/08/wiki_tracker


User currently offlineFr8Mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5452 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2379 times:

And I ask: So what?

"Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia that can be created and edited by anyone."

Anyone who puts stock in Wikipedia and uses it for more than a quick reference is a fool, simply because ANY fool with an agenda can edit a page. Let the CIA, The Vatican, The DCCC or any other organization or person edit it as they see fit. That's WIkipedia.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2370 times:

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 2):
Funny, I thought it was Ceiling Cat that was doing it.....

I thought that cat watched people masturbate?

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 3):
And I ask: So what?

"Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia that can be created and edited by anyone."

Exactly. Plus the article says CIA computers are used for the editing. Who says CIA employees can't edit stuff? You only need to get worried when the CIA is telling people to edit stuff, but even then you don't have to worry, because anyone can fix it again.


User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 3):
Let the CIA, The Vatican, The DCCC or any other organization or person edit it as they see fit. That's WIkipedia.

That's it in a nutshell. I'm waiting for a candidate during a debate to reference sources for claims he/she makes, and then refers to wikipedia. It would be as bad as Mike Vick's lawyer saying Vick wishes he could be with his teammates in spring training.  crazy 


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 4):
I thought that cat watched people masturbate?

He multi-tasks....  duck 

Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 3):

Anyone who puts stock in Wikipedia and uses it for more than a quick reference is a fool, simply because ANY fool with an agenda can edit a page.

Case in point, the recent vandalism of the Airliners.net entry on Wikipedia. Got so bad that the article got semi-protected for a few days.


User currently offlineRfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

I would say that the CIA is a lot more credible and has better factual information than most of the people who normally edit Wikipedia articles.

However, the CIA is a huge organization. It is so large that not everyone in the organization support or follows the policies and directives of their leaders or their country.

Saying "the CIA" edits articles is about the same as saying "Air France" edits articles or "MacDonalds" edits articles.

It's pretty much expected that the BBC has a policy to have employees check and edit articles on Wikipedia about the BBC or which incorrectly quote BBC articles.

Every organization in the world with a decent sized staff is going to keep check on the accuracy of Wikipedia articles.

Personally I think Wikipedia is one of the greatest sources of fiction in the world.

[Edited 2007-08-16 02:23:07]

User currently offlineAirwave From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2243 times:

Quoting the article (off of Wired.com):

Quote:
The vast majority of changes are fairly innocuous, however. Employees at the CIA's net address, for example, have been busy -- but with little that would indicate their place of apparent employment, or a particular bias.

One entry on "Black September in Jordan" contains wholesale additions, with specific details that read like a popular history book or an eyewitness' memoir.

Many more are simple copy edits, or additions to local town entries or school histories. One CIA entry deals with the details of lyrics sung in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.

Seems to me that the CIA employs human worker bees, too. You know, the ones who go into work and by 10:30 am, with two coffee breaks and a restroom visit behind them, have pretty much wrapped up what they need to do that day. So like anyone else with loads of free time and internet access, they load up Wikipedia, YouTube, or some site called "Airliners.net", disregarding the IP they're attached to.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 6):
Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 4):
I thought that cat watched people masturbate?

He multi-tasks....

Just like chronic masterbators, right?  duck 



When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2178 times:

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 2):
Ceiling Cat

Yay, I made that pic!




Wikipedia is a product of the CIA. I mean really, what better way to spread misinformation and lies to the public.

Signed,
Blackbird


User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

I'm sure there are many CIA employees who are bored and know about many entires on wikipedia ... it's very likely some of them are just correcting things they say on their own...

I do it at work occasionally...I use wiki all the time, and I keep tabs on the wiki page for the company I work for to make sure there aren't any ridiculous inaccuracies on there. Heck, I work in the Corporate Communications department, I might as well be the one to keep tabs on what people are saying about our company on wikipedia.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21634 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2131 times:

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 4):
I thought that cat watched people masturbate?

Same thing.

signed,

Pat Robertson

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 5 days ago) and read 2016 times:

If you think the CIA is a powerful, competent organization able to get away with many secret, illegal, unsavory operations - just answer one question - Why is Fidel Castro still alive?

Their inability to get rid of him sums up their competence over the past 50 years.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 5 days ago) and read 2009 times:

Quoting Rfields5421 (Reply 7):
Personally I think Wikipedia is one of the greatest sources of fiction in the world.

Exactly. It's pub folklore, not real knowledge. Why anyone would think it's more authoritative than something your mate tells you, I can't understand. Its basically the same principle. You only have to look at an entry for just about any historical event to know this, it just repeat received wisdom and nothing more.

And because anyone can edit, anyone DOES edit it.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1999 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 13):
Exactly. It's pub folklore, not real knowledge. Why anyone would think it's more authoritative than something your mate tells you, I can't understand. Its basically the same principle. You only have to look at an entry for just about any historical event to know this, it just repeat received wisdom and nothing more.

Alas:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4530930.stm


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1997 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 14):
Alas:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technolog...0.stm

Science is easier to give accurate entries because they tend to be either accurate or not. It is humanities that something like Wikipedia struggles with. So I'm not remotely surprised by that.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1977 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 15):

Science is easier to give accurate entries because they tend to be either accurate or not. It is humanities that something like Wikipedia struggles with. So I'm not remotely surprised by that.

Actually, I think Wikipedia will have a better chance with humanities than traditional encyclopaedia. Humanities are subjective, and traditional encyclopaedia only have a limited, very small pool of resources and points of view to use in their articles. Wikipedia potentially has billions of people editing articles, meaning a wider range and more representative views can be held.

Wikipedia shouldn't be used as a primary source, but it's still very useful. I have little time for academics who bemoan it is academic junk food and that 'real' textbooks and papers are the only solution for proper research. This is simply wrong, textbooks often have significant bias and flaws that go unchecked and create significant errors in understanding. An example being the equal-transit-time theory of airfoil lift: this still exists in many textbooks, is simply wrong, and has given a dramatically wrong impression to students for years. Wikipedia allows the true answers to be debated and if there's controversy, for that to be published.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1969 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 16):
Actually, I think Wikipedia will have a better chance with humanities than traditional encyclopaedia. Humanities are subjective, and traditional encyclopaedia only have a limited, very small pool of resources and points of view to use in their articles. Wikipedia potentially has billions of people editing articles, meaning a wider range and more representative views can be held.

Doesn't work like that. What happens is that you have national or cultural prejudices re-inforced by the volume of participants. You will naturally get an American-centric view of history because that's where most of the participants are from. I've given the example before of the War of 1812 which is categorised on Wikipedia as inconclusive - a position no serious historian holds, but which fits perfectly into the national myth that Americans are brought up with. And that's not a dig at America either, every nation has these.

But that's why it's folklore, not reality. Wikipedia inevitably re-inforces commonly held views, whether they are accurate or not.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 17):
Doesn't work like that. What happens is that you have national or cultural prejudices re-inforced by the volume of participants. You will naturally get an American-centric view of history because that's where most of the participants are from. I've given the example before of the War of 1812 which is categorised on Wikipedia as inconclusive - a position no serious historian holds, but which fits perfectly into the national myth that Americans are brought up with. And that's not a dig at America either, every nation has these.

That problem is removed as more and more people use wikipedia, which they are doing. You can edit the War of 1812 if you want, although I don't see the bias in the article you think exists.

Quoting Banco (Reply 17):
Wikipedia inevitably re-inforces commonly held views, whether they are accurate or not.

Based on what? Whilst a large volume of users might have an incorrect piece of information, if their view is incorrect then the odds are they won't have the motivation to edit and debate the point (see equal-transit-time). Wikipedia allows debates and controversies to exist, other encyclopaedia don't.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 18):
You can edit the War of 1812 if you want, although I don't see the bias in the article you think exists.

That would be because you don't know much about it. Check out the historians - pretty much all of them - and compare to the received wisdom. Anyway, I'm not going over that again on here.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13115 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1898 times:

The Wired.com study noted how Wikipedia entries can be easily changed and are by those with an interest in making them including corporations, government agencies, interest groups, lobbyists and even by the subject persons themselves. I have also noticed that some entries in Wikipedia have been frozen at times (like with Abortion) or with headings that the subject is controversial and/or the entry may be inaccurate. I don't consider Wikipedia an only source, but one useful if one wants a quick look up of persons, subjects and so on like classic book encyclopedias and much more up to date.
Corporations like Dow Chemical have deleted and replaced entries, like for them on their production of the dangerous and highly controversial defoliant used in the Vietnam War known as 'Agent Orange'. One USA government agency (the NSA?) deleted entries on their international and extremely controversial and intrusive terrorists watch programs. Fox News has been accused of altering the profile of another newscaster, Keith Obermann of MSNBC, which has been corrected, for his criticism of Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):
That would be because you don't know much about it. Check out the historians - pretty much all of them - and compare to the received wisdom.

So what is it about historians that prevent them editing Wikipedia? A failure to embrace new technology?


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 21):
So what is it about historians that prevent them editing Wikipedia? A failure to embrace new technology?

 Yeah sure

No, it is the weight of people replacing what they might say, for one thing, and for another, why on earth would a historian waste his time with such a dubious website?



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineDeltaDC9 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 2844 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 22):
No, it is the weight of people replacing what they might say, for one thing, and for another, why on earth would a historian waste his time with such a dubious website?

The founder of Wikipedia in an interview said there is a community of about 3-4000 users that constantly add content, and all the other "authors" are subject to review so if they make huge changes, they know about it and may do something if it is malicious or blatantly incorrect. Obviously the turnaround time is long. there are many historians, professors, doctors etc adding content, a lot of timesfrom their published works.

Ever go to a page that is nothing but a thread arguing what the content should be? That is usually one of the "community" trying to mediate the thread and get them to agree on content. Its not perfect, but it is a little more than random content too.



Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1724 times:

NYTimes weighs in

Wikiscanner
Now you folks at home can play along, too!


25 FRAspotter : I don't see anything wrong with it. I can understand that they might try and prevent certain pieces of information from leaking out. Much like the US
26 777236ER : No, wikipedia pages tend not to be edited based on volumes, and given solid evidence a given point is nearly always represented on the page. Why is t
27 Banco : If you want to rely on Wikipedia that's up to you. But there's a reason why students cannot cite it unsupported as a reference. I gave one example, b
28 777236ER : Of course Wikipedia isn't a primary reference, but it's certainly an important part of knowledge transfer in the 21st century. If anyone with an inte
29 Moo : Wikipedia should never *ever* be a quoted reference - but it can be used as a starting point on your research travels. If Im researching something th
30 Banco : Quite. And for something you know absolutely nothing about, it can be a very useful first point of reference.
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