Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Congressional staff alter Wikipedia entries

Not that this should surprise anyone but congressional staff have been found to be altering entries relating to members of Congress in Wikipedia.

"This RFC is being opened in order to further a centralized discussion concerning actions to be taken against US Congressional staffers and possibly other federal employees who have engaged in unethical and possibly libelous behavior in violation of Wikipedia policies (WP:NPOV, WP:CIV). The editors from these IP ranges have been rude, abrasive, immature, and show disregard for Wikipedia policy. The editors have frequently tried to censor the history of elected officials, often replacing community articles with censored biographies despite other users' attempts to dispute these violations. They also violate Wikipedia:Verifiability, by deleting verified reports, while adding flattering things about members of Congress that are unverified.

The offending editors have been blocked. This RFC is needed to gather community comments. It is proposed that a one week block is not enough."

A system which promotes image over all other values will inevitably lead to incentives to engage in this kind of dishonesty. This is entirely rational, predictable behaviour on the part of the staffers and the people who employ them even though it really stinks.

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