An unidentified individual who “may be Wikipedically naïve” was making extensive revisions to Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia biography just 24 hours before John McCain announced her as his running mate, according to a New York Times story today.
Although the bio-gate details first came to light Friday, yours truly didn’t pick up on it until a few hours ago, when I came across Noam Cohen’s report in the NYT. I never cease to be amazed by the Internet, its use, its abuse, and the incomprehensible amount of creativity that gets poured into it every day, whether for good or ill.
Wikipedia is one of the Internet’s crown jewels, an encyclopedic compilation of knowledge from all over the world. Anyone can enter any information about anything, and anyone else can add to, edit, or challenge that information — to put it in my own simplistic, Wikipedically naïve terms. Chances are if you search for a topic on the Internet, Wikipedia’s will be the first entry you find.
A person calling himself (herself?) YoungTrigg began editing Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia biography Thursday morning, the day before John McCain announced she was his choice for vice president. (One of Palin’s sons is named Trig.) YoungTrigg made a number of changes in the bio, with the apparent intent of bolstering Palin’s image and with knowledge only someone close to Palin would have.
Coincidentally, at the same time, another editor named Ferrylodge was working on the same article. Ferrylodge, an attorney and longtime Wikipedia editor/contributor, was researching the accusation that Palin used her influence to get a state trooper fired for personal reasons. He, Ferrylodge, ended up changing some of YoungTrigg’s changes.
Internet intrigue for editors. I love this stuff, to the extent I understand it. You can read the details of the changes for yourself, over at the NYT.
That all this came to light is a story in itself. Wikipedia keeps records of its entries and all the editing (and who does it and when). Some techie somewhere set up a website where people can search those records and turn up all sorts of interesting stuff, like this story.
Note: Forget the techie website. My techie son has pointed out to me that every Wikipedia article has a “History” tab at the top (doh! I’d never noticed), and that all that not-quite-behind-the scenes editing is, to him, just WikiWars.
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