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Old 26-07-14, 10:39 AM
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Wikipedia blocks US Congress from editing

Wikipedia blocks US Congress from editing

Thursday, July 24th, Wikipedia administrators have decided to block all IP addresses coming from the US Congress from making changes to Wikipedia articles after one or multiple anonymous user(s) persistently kept posting 'disrupting edits'.

The edits were made to articles about politicians and businesses, but also the page about the assassination on former US president John F. Kennedy. A biography article about former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to state that he was an "alien lizard who eats Mexican babies".

One staffer stated that they were all being banned for the "actions of two or three". This is not the first time that this happened. IP addresses from the House of Representatives have been banned before, when similar edits were being made. It also happened in the UK; When the BBC discovered that the phrase "all Muslims are terrorists" was added to an article about veils, by users of UK government computers.

The recent edits were discovered when an automated twitter account, @congressedits, which automatically tweets whenever a member of the US government edits a Wikipedia article, brought to light that changes were being made.

A few of the edits:

1- The page about the assassination of John F. Kennedy was alltered to say that Lee Harvey Oswald was "acting on behalf of the regime of Fidel Castro".

2- The article about the moon landing conspiracy theories was edited to say that "they were promoted by the Cuban government".

3- Nataliya Vitrenko's, a Ukrainian politician, page was changed to claim that she was "a Russian puppet".

The edit that brought Wikipedia administrators to finally ban anonymous edits from Congress was made on the entry of media news site Mediaite, stating that the blog was "sexist transphobic" and "they automatically assume that someone is male without any evidence". Mediaite had published an article about rogue edits from congressional computers in the past.

The ban will be lifted after 10 days.

Source: BBC News

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