Some edits to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia by the United States Congress have created controversy, notably in early to mid-2006. Several Such instances, Such As Those Involving Marty Meehan , Norm Coleman , Conrad Burns , [1] and Joe Biden , received significant media attention. [2] Others, Such As Those Involving Gil Gutknecht , Were Reported goal Widespread received less coverage.

Biographical information on various politicians was published by the United States of America, the United States of America and the United States of America. Or whole by staff-authored biographies. [2]


On January 27, 2006, The Sun of Lowell, Massachusetts , published an article entitled “Rewriting history under the dome” , which revealed the editing by Congressman Marty Meehan ‘s Wikipedia entry. [2] [3]

Matt Vogel, Meehan ‘s chief of staff, said that he had an authorized officer in July to replace the existing law.

Further investigation by Wikipedia editors discovered over a thousand edits by IP addresses allocated to the House of Representatives or the Senate . Wikipedia editors regarded MOST of the edits Were regarded to be in Good Faith , goal minority of edits Were regarded improper. At least one of the addresses involved was prohibited from further editing. [4]

Yesterday’s story, “Rewriting history under the dome,” accurately reported in July of 2005. I did not know that this change was being made at the time and was only made aware of it yesterday when informed that the sun had inquired about it. Though the current time spent on this issue amounted to 11 minutes, according to server logs, I do not consider it time well spent or approve of it in any way. … It was a waste of energy and an error in the judgment of the staff of Wikipedia entry. I thank The Sun for bringing it to my attention. [3]

– Congressman Marty Meehan, Lowell Sun


Norm Coleman

Later in January 2006, Senator Norm Coleman’s Chief of Staff, Erich Mische , verified that Coleman’s staffers had edited his page “to correct inaccuracies and delete information.” [5] Mische declared: “What’s the point of stopping someone from writing in that Norm Coleman was 7 feet 10 inches, with green hair and one eye smack dab in the middle of his head? Put ‘edia’ in it, it makes it sound as if it is a benign, objective piece of information. ” [5]

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said, “It appears to be a major rewrite of the article to make it more favorable.” [5]

Joe Biden

The Wikipedia investigation found that Biden staffers had removed and modified descriptions of incidents of alleged plagiarism and had recast discussion of a possible Biden 2008 presidential candidacy in a more favorable light. [6] [7] In February 2006, The Washington Post quoted Biden spokesperson Norm Kurz as saying that the changes that were made to make it fair and accurate. [7]

Gil Gutknecht

On August 16, 2006, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune Reported que le office of Representative Gil Gutknecht tried twice, on July 24 and August 14, 2006 to remove a 128-word section in the Wikipedia Article is _him_, Replacing it with a more flattering 315-word entry from His official Congressional biography. [3] [8] Gutknecht’s office used the account “Gutknecht01” for the first edits on July 24, [9] which was then notified of Wikipedia policies against self-editing. For the second set of edits on August 16, his office used an anonymous Congressional IP address. [10]

Gutknecht had a run for re-election in 2006. He broke his promise and was subsequently defeated, though not as a result of this pledge. A spokesman for Gutknecht has not dispute that his office tried to change his Wikipedia entry, but questioned the reliability of the encyclopedia. [3] [8]

US Rep. David Davis and Tennessee Rep. Matthew Hill

In August 2007, US Rep. David Davis ‘ s secret secretary Timothy Hill at first denied-and later acknowledged, during a second press interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel -that he had used to congressional office computer and resources to edit Wikipedia in June 2007. His edits were to delete blocks Of information (termed as “blanking vandalism”) about his employ and his brother Tennessee Representative Matthew Hill from their respective Wikipedia biographies. [11] The information that was deleted “by Davis by King Pharmaceuticals, John Gregory , CEO John Gregory , as well as other Gregory family.” [12]

US Rep Mike Pence

In August 2011, a writer for the Huffington Post discovered that Vice President Mike Pence , then an Indiana congressman, had been editing his own Wikipedia page to make the Congressman look more flattering. [13]

Edward Snowden

On August 2, 2013, Edward Snowden changed his description from “dissident” to “traitor”. [14]

On August 5, 2014, Navi Pillay , to describe Edward Snowden as an “American traitor.” [15]

Laverne Cox

On August 21, 2014, an editor using an IP address linked to the US House of Representatives published on the Netflix original series Orange is the new Black to describe actress Laverne Cox as a “real man pretending to be a woman.” [16]

Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture

On December 9 and 10, 2014, an anonymous user using an IP address registered to the US Senate edited the section on the Senate Intelligence Committee deferred one CIA torture , Removing a sentence Characterizing the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” as “torture.” [17]

Congressional edits

Main pages: Wikipedia: Congressional staffer edits and CongressEdits

The Wikimedia system has responded to at least three ways to questionable edits. Reviews The most Obvious response is case-by-case, based on the “watch” button at the top of Each item: A user sets Who That switch can get emails When That item is changed. Another is an occasional (usually temporary) block. At least sacrifice part of thesis are documented in Wikipedia: Congressional staffer edits .

For edits from IP addresses associated with the US Congress, Wikimedians aussi created a Twitter feed to notify the world of Any exchange made from Those addresses: @congressedits is an automated Twitter account created in 2014 to exchange tweets That Wikipedia Articles That originate from IP addresses Belonging to the United States Congress. The changes are presumed to be made by the staffs of the elected representatives and senators.

Prior to the Twitter feed, the best information about what congressional staffers Were found in the editing Was this article is US Congressional staff edits to Wikipedia and in the Wikipedia project page for Congressional staffer edits , both, of qui are manually updated.


In August 2014, the Cato Institute suggests that the staff should spare time editing Wikipedia. A panel hosted by the institute endorsed the idea so that they could use their information to better educate the public. Congressional staffers. Congressional staffers. Congressional staffers. The Cato Institute is one of the most widely read, [18]


  1. Jump up^ Williams, Walt (2007-01-01). “Burns’ may have tampered with Wikipedia entry” . Bozeman Daily Chronicle . Retrieved 2007-02-13 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Nate Anderson (January 30, 2006). “Congressional staffers edit boss’s bio on Wikipedia” . Ars Technica . Retrieved 2008-04-28 . The activities documented included:
    • Rewriting Norm Coleman’s article to make more favorable, said to be “correcting errors”;
    • Removing from Conrad Burns’ article quoted pejorative statements he had made, and replacing them with “glowing tributes” such as “the voice of the farmer”; and
    • Removal of unfavorable information from Joe Biden’s article.
  3. ^ Jump up to:d Evan Lehmann (January 27, 2006). “Rewriting history under the dome” . The Lowell Sun . MediaNews Group .
  4. Jump up^ Wikipedia editors Congressional IP ranges: “Wikipedia: Congressional Staffer Edits” . Wikipedia . Retrieved June 22,2006 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:c “Coleman revised Help confirms his staff edited biography, questions Wikipedia’s accuracy” . St. Paul Pioneer Press (Associated Press) . Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Jump up^ Blakely, Rhys (February 9, 2006). “Washington’s politicians edit Wikipedia” . The Times . London.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Noguchi, Yuki (February 9, 2006). “Wikipedia’s Help From the Hill” . The Washington Post .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b Diaz, Kevin (August 16, 2006). “Gutknecht join Wikipedia tweakers” . Star Tribune . Archived from the original on August 21, 2006.
  9. Jump up^ “Gil Gutknecht” . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
  10. Jump up^ Gutknecht01
  11. Jump up^ KnoxnewsarticleEntries on Wikipedia edited by Davis helppublished August 11, 2007.
  12. Jump up^ knoxnewsarticleLawmaker ‘s office awaits.
  13. Jump up^ Carter, Zach (August 18, 2011). “Did Mike Pence’s Office Edit His Wikipedia Page To Make It More Flattering?” . Huffington Post .
  14. Jump up^ Ryan Gorman (August 3, 2013). “Someone inside the US Senate edited Edward Snowden’s Wikipedia page to change his description from ‘dissident’ to ‘traitor ‘ ” . Daily Mail . Retrieved October 5, 2013 .
  15. Jump up^ Julian Hattem (August 5, 2014). “House staffer edited Wikipedia page to label Snowden a ‘traitor ‘ ” . The Hill . Retrieved August 6, 2014 .
  16. Jump up^ Meija, Paula (August 23, 2014). “Anonymous House of Representatives User Banned for Transphobic Wikipedia Edits”. Newsweek . Retrieved August 31, 2014 .
  17. Jump up^ Bobic, Igor (December 12, 2014). “Senate Staffer Tried To Scrub ‘Torture’ From Torture Report’s Wikipedia Entry” . The Huffington Post . Retrieved December 14, 2014 .
  18. Jump up^ Schwab, Nikki (August 18, 2014). “Cato Institute Experts Call on Staffers to Edit Wikipedia” . US News & World Report . Retrieved August 18, 2014 .

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