Griffith created Wikiscanner for a frankly political reason. As he told the Times of London, he did it "to create minor public relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike." In the process, however, he's revealed something far more fundamental than the fact that acolytes of Pepsi and the CIA will stop at nothing to propagandize on behalf of their employers: he's undermined the myth of the anonymous blogger in the basement.
It turns out that the people who are hiding behind anonymity online for nefarious or selfish reasons are not little guys in pajamas but the very bastions of accountability that haters of the Web have deified. It's not a mean dude with a grudge who is spreading lies on Wikipedia but rather a member of the federal government or a journalist at The New York Times.
Geez... Who knew I was supposed to be wearing pajamas? I guess I'll have to give up Blogging naked.
I have never hidden the fact that this Blog is about 75% snark. I have said that often, in posts and in comments. But contained within every post is roughly about 50% fact, and 49% fact based opinion. The other 1% of the opinion is conspiracy theory stuff that is fun to look at and consider, but clearly marked as such. I can't afford to lie on my Blog because I am not an anonymous Blogger, and I am neither in my basement nor my pajamas... But that is besides the point.
Even if I should chose to start wearing pajamas and hang out with the spiders downstairs while I Blog, I promise that they will be reality based pajamas and that they will continue to reveal nothing more than the naked truth. Though, I can't promise the spiders will still be around because they will disappear faster than the information in a Wiki post on bush family scandals...
Here is the original post from last Friday, just in case you missed it because you were too busy staring at me in shock while I was Blogging:
Sue, at MLN, recently reported on propaganda spammers filling the CFL Wiki pages with garbage:
Well, someone who is doing the nasty work for one SKorchin was easily traced to Fema.gov.
This might help explain why the Katrina victims are still waiting for competent assistance.
Fema.gov vandalizes Lieberman opponent's biography page
Fema.gov vandalized the John Orman, chairman of the CFL party's Wiki page.
188.8.131.52 came back as- Multi-RBL check 184.108.40.206 (poker-2.fema.gov) using Robtex. FEMA, of course, is under Homeland Security, which the senator runs.
I also traced another vandalizing IP address to Courtyard Hartford in Cromwell (Mr. Korchin's home town), but that's another story.
Crooks and Liars has the goods on Diebold and FOX "news" playing the propaganda game for their own benefit:Via Salon:
“Diebold Election Systems” are three words synonymous with the aggressive pursuit of failure. Not only did the company badly implement a dubious concept — unverifiable electronic touch-screen voting machines — but it did so with determined flourish, letting its code and internal communication leak out onto the Web; employing as a chief executive a man who declared he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year”; abusing copyright law in an attempt to quell its critics; and, among many other caught-red-handed indiscretions, deleting criticism of itself from Wikipedia.
No wonder, then, that Diebold Election Systems has decided to steal a page from the playbook of that paragon of corporate responsibility Philip Morris (aka the Altria Group): Diebold will erase its sorry history with a simple name change!
Henceforth, when reaching for an example of mind-boggling incompetence, please say “Premier” rather than “Diebold,” because Diebold Election Systems is now Premier Election Systems.
The name change, the company says in a press release, “signals a new beginning” and a “fresh identity” — though in the same release the firm concedes that it will still be making and pushing the same sorry voting machines (machines that, as Princeton computer scientist Edward Felten and his colleagues showed last year, are actually vulnerable to a virus-based attack). Read more…
It seems Diebold has teamed up with FOXNews in an attempt to re-write history. We have to stay on top of this sort of trickery, especially with the crucial 2008 presidential election on the horizon. Let’s review - Diebold Election Systems is now PREMIER Election Systems.
But, now, even the CIA and the FBI are getting into Wiki propaganda game, adding a governmental censorship twist to the game:People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.
WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.
Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.
Aerial and satellite images of the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were removed using a computer traced to the FBI, WikiScanner showed.
There is nothing like a Grand Old Propaganda war being carried out by GOP wingnut arm chair warriors, corporations, and the government here in the US of A.
Face the facts wingnuts...
There are too many of us in the reality based world, and too few of you in the slimmest of minority GOP propaganda spinners, for you to get away with your kind of propaganda, censorship and yellow jopurnalism anymore.
Just another war you right-wingnuts will lose.
All Spin Zone has a list of the most active government agencies that are messing with Wikpedia, and a useful reader beware warning:
Want to know what agencies in the U.S. government are making changes to Wikipedia? Try this “top 25″ list on for size (from Government Executive Tech Insider):
1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (nasa.gov) 6,846
2. Department Of Veterans Affairs (va.gov) 4,210
3. Forestry And Fire Protection (ca.gov) 4,148
4. Dept Homeland Security (dhs.gov) 4,081
5. Information Systems U.S. House Of Representatives (house.gov) 3,736
6. National Institutes Of Health (nih.gov) 3,019
7. U.S. Courts (uscourts.gov) 2,869
8. U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture (usda.gov) 2,435
9. City Of New York (nyc.gov) 2,404
10. Salem Public Schools (ct.gov) 2,398
11. U.S. Dept Of Justice (usdoj.gov) 2,189
12. Information Services Division (nd.gov) 2,140
13. U.S. Senate Sergeant At Arms (senate.gov) 1,809
14. Federal Aviation Administration (faa.gov) 1,706
15. NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (noaa.gov) 1,590
16. Dotrspavolpe Center (dot.gov) 1,566
17. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (llnl.gov) 1,456
18. U.S. Department Of Labor/Employment Standards Admin (dol-esa.gov) 1,449
19. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) 1,449
20. Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) 1,290
21. National Park Service (nps.gov) 1,214
22. Library Of Congress Information Technology Services (loc.gov) 1,142
23. Social Security Administration (ssa.gov) 1,134
24. U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (uspto.gov) 1,097
25. Virginia Information Technologies Agency (Vita) (virginia.gov) 1,047
Obviously, some of the changes being made were probably benign, in order to correct some factual error - but it’s easy to imagine that the vast majority of changes from government internet domains are being made to change perception. In other words, massaging the propaganda to fit a particular agency’s agenda.
I’ve always maintained that there’s a lot of good info on Wikipedia, but due to the open source nature of the site, it’s important to take what you find, and corroborate it through second and third sources. However, it’s interesting that government agencies have been sooooooooo active in altering entrys into on of the web’s most accessed information sites.
As with all things online, caveat emptor. Multiple sources are your friend.
In other words:"Trust, but verify!"
The same kind of due diligence and protection that the FISA courts used to provide in the case of spying on Americans until Reid and Pelosi handed the criminal bush administrations the keys to our liberty, but that is a whole other Blog post.
Via the Government Executive Tech Blog:WikiScanner provides "Wired's list of salacious edits" on a stand alone page. The list provides some of the more troublesome edits and from where they originated, including some from government agencies