The BBC reported it and I was curious.
Wikipedia administrators have imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following "persistent disruptive editing".Wikipedia is not perfect but it is one of the most useful sites on the web.
The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.
What makes it work is the process they go through to validate what is posted. It is described here. It is a way of capturing the wisdom of the crowd and it works quite well.
So what did the US Congress do to get banned for 10 days?
The biography of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard".Although I agree with this input, I can see why it was erased.
But that is not the only thing that came from Congress.
One of the acts highlighted was an alteration to the page on the assassination of John F Kennedy, which was changed to say that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting "on behalf of the regime of Fidel Castro".Why would anyone in Congress want to input such things?
An entry on the moon landing conspiracy theories was changed to say they were "promoted by the Cuban government".
Another entry, on the Ukrainian politician Nataliya Vitrenko, was edited to claim that she was a "Russian puppet".
But even that was not the straw that broke the camel's back.
However the edit that finally brought administrators to ban anonymous edits from the House IP address was made on the entry for media news site Mediaite, describing the blog as "sexist transphobic" and saying that it "automatically assumes that someone is male without any evidence".So I went to Mediaite *which I didn't know existed, oops) and found this;
Mediaite had previously run a story on the rogue edits from congressional computers.
The Twitter account @congressedits has become wildly popular for pulling the curtain back and showing what Wikipedia edits are being made from IP addresses connected to Congress. Today Wikipedia actually banned an IP address connected to the U.S. House for engaging in “disruptive” edits.
The US MSM does not seem to have caught this news item. It is mostly covered elsewhere , specially in the UK where Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales lives.
This from The Guardian;
Trolls in Congress?
For instance, one such edit changed the Wikipedia page for Reptilians, the lizard people who are the subject of numerous conspiracy theories which say that they control everything from the British monarchy to the American government.Nahh! Just staffers having fun.
But as The Guardian points out, Wikipedia is in the front lines of "social media";
There have been at least 5,900 edits from parliamentary IPs in the past decade.I link to Wikipedia every day so I'm happy they banned these DC trolls for 10 days. That should teach them a lesson.
Scott also released the code to the Parliament Edits bot, allowing similar accounts to be set up for other nation's legislatures.
Those led to their own stories: In mid-July, the Russian clone, RuGovEdits, discovered that someone inside the Russian government was editing the Wikipedia pages referring to the attack on MH17, changing the text to accuse Ukrainian soldiers of downing the Malaysian Airlines plane.