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alberchico
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Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:43 am

short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
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moo
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:50 am

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
 
srbmod
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:07 am

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
 
fr8mech
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:25 am

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.
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AirTranTUS
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 am

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.
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allstarflyer
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:47 am

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 
Living the American Dream
 
srbmod
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:30 am

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.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:19 am

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]
 
airwave
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:39 am

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.
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:16 pm

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
I lift things up and put them down.
 
planespotting
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:27 pm

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.
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Mir
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:01 pm

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
 
rfields5421
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:25 pm

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.
 
Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:40 pm

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.
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777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:56 pm

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
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Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:01 pm

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.
 
777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:30 pm

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.
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Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:52 pm

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.
 
777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:16 am

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.
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Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:00 am

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.
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ltbewr
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:20 am

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.
 
777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:05 am

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?
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Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:38 am

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?
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deltadc9
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:39 am

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.
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nosedive
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:47 am

NYTimes weighs in

Wikiscanner
Now you folks at home can play along, too!
 
fraspotter
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:36 am

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 Air Force or NASA might edit it to not include certain pieces of classified material.
"Taking off is optional. It’s landing that’s mandatory."
 
777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:55 pm

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?

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 the site dubious? You've suggested one article that's dodgy, wikipedia gives you the opportunity to edit it. There are hundreds if not thousands of dodgy articles in Encyclopaedia Britannica, which not only is very expensive it would take letters to the editor to change anything and would require spending more money every time a change was made.

Wikipedia is one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century, and wikis one of the greatest of the 1990s.
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Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:59 pm

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 26):
Wikipedia is one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century, and wikis one of the greatest of the 1990s.

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, because it's something i happen to know about. If you think that's the only one, carry on dreaming. But Wikipedia remains the internet equivalent of "my mate down the pub told me..." irrespective of what you might think, because that's how it's put together. Some of us prefer to get our information from those who might actually research things properly.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
777236ER
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:15 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 27):
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, because it's something i happen to know about. If you think that's the only one, carry on dreaming. But Wikipedia remains the internet equivalent of "my mate down the pub told me..." irrespective of what you might think, because that's how it's put together. Some of us prefer to get our information from those who might actually research things properly.

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 internet connection wants to learn about something they don't have a clue about, Wikipedia will give them good, detailed and usually reliable information (as reliable as Encyclopaedia Britannica) in a few seconds. If there's controversy then it's detailed on the page, or look at the discussion page.

The alternative is to trawl through hundreds of Google pages, most of which aren't relevant and most of which are more biased than anything on Wikipedia. Books are expensive, biased and only provide a limited scope. The same with any academic paper.

Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, it's not meant to be some sort of significant academic research tool. You want to learn about the use of k-epsilon turbulence modelling and the Boussinesq equation and its application on porous media fluid modelling? Read the relevent papers in the journal. You want to know what turbulence is and why you'd want to model it? Read Wikipedia.
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moo
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:29 pm

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 28):
Of course Wikipedia isn't a primary reference, but it's certainly an important part of knowledge transfer in the 21st century.

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 thats going to be used as a quoted reference elsewhere, I invariably start at Wikipedia, but never end there - everything I use is checked and cross referenced with other sources.
 
Banco
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RE: Does The CIA Edit Wikipedia?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:26 am

Quoting Moo (Reply 29):
but it can be used as a starting point on your research travels.

Quite. And for something you know absolutely nothing about, it can be a very useful first point of reference.
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