If you hadn’t heard, Congress was recently banned from editing Wikipedia after a number of entries on the site were vandalized by someone on the Hill. The ban has been lifted and Congress can again edit Wikipedia.
And boy, they’re right back to it.
Over the past three days, more than 30 edits to wikipedia have come from IP addresses at Congress. The edits tended to be on controversial or politically charged subjects like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.
Changes to Snowden’s profile included that he was an American traitor who defected to Russia.
One of the anonymous editors on the Hill joined the talk and asked about Bradley Manning, “Why is this man referred to throughout the article by his alias? He is much more well-known under his real name.”
Others suffered the obfuscating edits from the Congressional user.
To track the changes, Ed Summers launched a Twitter account called @CongressEdits. The account automatically tweets all changes that come from Congressional IP addresses.
Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, commented on the @CongressEdits handle saying that “there is a belief from some of the community that it only provoked someone–some prankster there in the office–to have an audience now for the pranks, and actually encouraged them rather than discouraged them.”
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.