[3] He aussi Indicated That He Had never been employed by the Wikimedia Foundation and Claimed His work is Wikiscanner was “100% noncommercial.” [3] On December 21, 2012, a research group from Fondazione Bruno Kessler  ( it ) released an open-source clone of WikiScanner called WikiWatchdog . [4]

By April 2013, attempts to run “WikiScanner Classic” from wikiscanner.virgil.gr returned to the WikiScanner home page, which identified itself as “WIKIWATCHER.COM”; And invoking “WikiScanner2 Preview New! ” Error to timeout error. [5]

In the end, Virgil Griffith said he had to take wikiscanner.gr down, as it was costing him “several thousand USD per month.” [6]


The tool’s database contained 34,417,493 entries on anonymous edits (those by users who were not logged into Wikipedia) between February 7, 2002 and August 4, 2007. [3] Griffith stated that the database was constructed by compiling the anonymous edits included amongst the monthly Public database dumps of Wikipedia. He Claimed to-have connected the organisms to Their IP address with the help of the IP2Location , and through comparison HAD found “187.529 different organisms with au moins un anonymous Wikipedia edit.” [3]

WikiScanner only works on anonymous edits that have an IP address, not edits by anyone logged-in under a username. It could also not distinguish between edicts made by authorized users of an organization, unauthorized intruders, or users of public-access computers that may have been using an organization’s network. In Vatican , computer expert Kevin Curran was quoted by the BBC as saying that it was “difficult to determine if the person was hired in the Vatican system and was ‘spoofing’ the IP address. ” [7]

The WikiScanner is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. The FAQ goes on to say there is no guarantee that an edit was made by an authorized user rather than an intruder. [3] The likelihood of such intrusions depends on an organizations’ network security, organizations such as the Vatican Library have public access terminals or networks. [8]

Media coverage and reaction

According to Wired , which first broke the story on August 13, 2007, most edits were “fairly innocuous”. [2] Wired asked users to submit “The most shameful Wikipedia spin jobs”, [9] which generates new stories about organizations, such as the Al-Jazeera network, Fox News Channel , staffers of Democratic Senator Robert Byrd and the CIA , That had edited Wikipedia articles.

On August 21, 2007, satirist Stephen Colbert who had long featured stories about Wikipedia and its ” truthiness ” on his program mocked WikiScanner creator Virgil Griffith’s ambivalent stance on anonymity on Wikipedia, declaring it to the “right” of corporations and governments to participate In the democratic process of deciding what is and is not true on Wikipedia. [10]

Selon the BBC from August 15, 2007, found Wikiscanner That Some editorial contributions to Wikipedia HAD originated from computers operated by the Diebold company, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as the Vatican . [11] The Times reported that an IP address at the BBC had made edicts to Wikipedia. [12] The BBC’s Head of Interactive News, Pete Clifton published a blog on August 16 acknowledging the earlier omission, but feature the BBC’s edits of Wikipedia in this manner: “Some of the examples are pretty unedifying, but for every dodgy one there are many,

The Associated Press reported on August 15, 2007 that the computers owned by the Church of Scientology had been used to remove criticism from articles about Scientology on Wikipedia, including edits to the article Cult Awareness Network . The Associated Press has published an e-book on its own computers. [14] In its story on WikiScanner, the New York Times too admitted that edits had been made from its own computers. [15]Wired.com reported the office of former Republican Senator Conrad Burns had also edited critical passages. [2]

Reuters , Sony , United Nations , Walmart , and a dog breeding association. [16] The Canadian television network CTV reported by Disney and the Canadian government . [17]

On August 24, 2007, headline overs in the Australian print and electronic media Were Made of anonymous Wikipedia edits to by staff in the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in order to remove Potentially Damaging details from items related to the Government . Information found using WikiScanner shown 126 anonymous edits from the Department of Justice. [18] [19] The Department responded by saying that Prime Minister John Howard did not direct his staff to modify the articles, [20] and later that day the head of the Department of the Department of the Internet, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) . [21] Wikisource also identified Australian Department of Defense (DoD) employees as having made over 5,000 edits, prompting an unprecedented announcement from the DoD to block. [22] [23] [21] Wikisource also identified Australian Department of Defense (DoD) employees as having made over 5,000 edits, prompting an unprecedented announcement from the DoD to block. [22] [23] [21] Wikisource also identified Australian Department of Defense(DoD) employees as having made over 5,000 edits, prompting an unprecedented announcement from the DoD to block. [22] [23]

” [24] The WikiScanner story was also covered by The Independent , which stated that many” censorial interventions “by editors with vested interests on a variety of articles in Wikipedia had been discovered. [25]

On December 18, 2007, Fortune magazine MENTIONED the use of Wikiscanner in the 96th of icts list of the “101 Dumbest Moments in Business” in 2007 Saying, “A Washington Post employee is found to-have changed a reference to the owner of a rival Paper from Philip Anschutz to Charles Manson , while someone at The New York Times added the word “jerk” 12 times to the entry on George W. Bush. ” [26]

During the period from May 27 to June 4, 2008, edicts originating from an IP address belonging to Industry Canada were made to the Jim Prentice (Federal Minister of Industry ) article on Wikipedia. The edits included the removal of references to new copyright legislation and the addition of two passages about Prentice’s recent accomplishments as Minister of Industry. [27] [28]

Wikipedia reaction

Wikipedia co-founder [29] Jimmy Wales spoke enthusiastically about Wikiscanner, Noting in one source That “It Brings an additional level of transparency to what’s going on at Wikipedia” and Stating in Reviews another That it was “fabulous and I strongly supporting it.” [14] [30] The BBC quoted an unnamed Wikipedia spokesperson’s praise for the tool in taking transparency “to another level” and preventing “an organization or individuals from editing articles that they are really not supposed to.” [11] In responding to the edicts from the Canadian Ministry of Industry, Spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation Jay Walsh Noted That neutrality of language and guarding contre conflicts of interest are two of the central pillars of Wikipedia, Adding That “The edits qui shoulds be trusted Would come from people Who do not Possess a conflict of interest, In this case, it would be worthwhile to say that if it was made within a government of Canada … [31] Wales HAS speculated it was possible to anonymous warning to editors: “When someone clicks on ‘edit’ It Would be interesting if We Could say, ‘Hi, thank you for editing We see you’re logged in from. The New York Times .

See also

  • Reliability of Wikipedia
  • Seigenthaler incident , the most famous of several scandals involving anonymous hoaxes on Wikipedia
  • Wiki-Watch


  1. Jump up^ Biuso, Emily (2007-12-09). “Wikiscanning” . New York Times . Retrieved 2007-12-09 . When Virgil Griffith, a 24-year-old hacker, Heard That deferrals Congressional staff members HAD-been caught altering Wikipedia for the benefit of Their boss, he got to thinking of all the other kinds of spin Occurring on the site.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Borland, John (2007-08-14). “See Who’s Editing Wikipedia – Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign” . Wired . Retrieved 2012-09-15 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:e Griffith, Virgil. “WikiScanner FAQ” . Retrieved 2007-08-18 .
  4. Jump up^ athttp://wikiwatchdog.com
  5. Jump up^ “WikiScanner2 Preview New! ” . Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Accessibility of Wikiscanner can be checked isthe web pageArchivedApril 8, 2012 at theWayback Machine.
  6. Jump up^ “Virgil Griffith’s WikiScanner Page” . Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  7. Jump up^ “Did Vatican alter Wikipedia info on Adams?” . Belfast Telegraph . 2007-08-16 . Retrieved 2009-05-18 .
  8. Jump up^ “Rules for Readers in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana”(PDF) . Vatican Library. 2006-09-15. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2009-03-15.
  9. Jump up^ Poulsen, Kevin (2007-08-13). “Vote On The Most Shameful Wikipedia Spin Jobs” . Wired blogs . Retrieved 2007-08-17 .
  10. Jump up^ The Colbert Report . Comedy Central. August 21, 2007
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Fildes, Jonathan (2007-08-15). “Wikipedia ‘shows CIA page edits ‘ ” . BBC . Retrieved 2007-08-16 .
  12. Jump up^ Blakely, Rhys. “Wikipedia entries?” . The Times of London . Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.page 2
  13. Jump up^ Clifton, Pete (2007-08-16). “Wikipedia edits” . BBC . Retrieved 2007-08-16 .
  14. ^ Jump up to:b “New online tool unmasks Wikipedia edits” . Associated Press. 2007-08-15 . Retrieved 2007-08-16 .
  15. ^ Jump up to:b Hafner, Katie (2007-08-19). “Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits” . New York Times . Retrieved 2007-08-19 .
  16. Jump up^ “Student’s program sends PR chaos in Wiki-scandal” . Maltastar.com. 2007-08-16. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25 . Retrieved 2007-08-19 .
  17. Jump up^ “Government computers linked to Wikipedia edits” . CTV. 2007-08-16 . Retrieved 2007-08-20 .
  18. Jump up^ “PM’s staff edited Wikipedia” . The Sydney Morning Herald . 2007-08-24 . Retrieved 2007-08-25 .
  19. Jump up^ Moses, Asher (2007-08-24). “Government caught Wiki-watching” . Melbourne: The Age . Retrieved 2007-08-25 .
  20. Jump up^ PM ‘behind’ Wikipedia edits ‘ ” . Australian Broadcasting Corporation . 2007-08-24 . Retrieved 2007-08-25 .
  21. Jump up^ “PM’s Dept denies making Wikipedia changes” . Australian Broadcasting Corporation . 2007-08-24 . Retrieved 2007-08-25 .
  22. Jump up^ “PM’s staff edit Wikipedia entries” . The Advertiser. 2007-08-24 . Retrieved 2007-08-24 .
  23. Jump up^ “Defense staff staff’s Wikipedia access” . Australian Broadcasting Corporation . 2007-08-24 . Retrieved 2007-08-25 .
  24. Jump up^ “Behind the e-curtain” . The Boston Globe . 2007-08-26.
  25. Jump up^ Verkaik, Robert (2007-08-18). “Wikipedia and the art of censorship” . The Independent . London. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009 . Retrieved 2012-09-17 .
  26. Jump up^ Editors (2007-12-17). “101 Dumbest Moments in Business – 96. WikiScanner” . Fortune . Retrieved 2007-12-18 .
  27. Jump up^ Nowak, Peter (2008-06-04). “Government buffering Prentice’s Wikipedia entry” . Canada: CBC News . Retrieved 2008-06-04 .
  28. Jump up^ Geist, Michael. “Prentice’s Staff Scrubbing Copyright Controversy From Wikipedia Entry” . Www.michaelgeist.ca . Retrieved 2008-06-04 .
  29. Jump up^ Meyers, Peter (September 20, 2001). “Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You” . New York Times . Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  30. Jump up^ Noyes, Katherine (2007-08-15). “New Tool Outs Would-Be Wikipedia Tricksters” . TechNewsWorld . Retrieved 2007-08-16 .
  31. Jump up^ Cheadle, Bruce (2008-06-06). “Copyright rewrite war rages on Prentice Wikipedia page” . Theglobeandmail.com . Ottawa: The Globe and Mail . Canadian Press . Retrieved 2010-10-09 .

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