Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wikipedia Law Society article gets hit ! because of this blog

I have heard over the past few days that this blog has become daily reading at the Law Society of Scotland and some law firms in Scotland ... I have even had a couple of postings from people, who at least, claim to be lawyers, but I have also had a couple of emails from people I KNOW to be lawyers (supporting me, it seems) ...
In any case, as you know, my last article on the 8th February was on the Law Society of Scotland's Wikipedia page, where a lawyer had edited some information relating to critisism of the Law Society of Scotland - although at least, he had left the fact in the page that there actually HAD been critisism (while omitting a slew of other details).
Someone obviously noticed this, a someone from Edinburgh, with the IP number of ..... who will, I can assure, you, be traced.

As you can see from the attached pages, all the information relating to the critisism of the Law Society of Scotland was removed .... probably, I would say, by someone who was intent on portraying the Law Society of Scotland in a favourable light ...

Now, "small beer" .. I hear you say ?? well, not quite ... because many people use the Wikipedia .. and if details are going to be posted, then they may as well be correct details, don't you think ? and as I said in my earlier article on this subject, it had been found that members of the US Congress had edited pages on their members, to portray themselves in a more favourable light to the readership (and electorate) ... and you can see this news item reported from BBC News at ; (copied at the end of this article for your convenience) ....

So, we have established, that 'stuffing the Wiki' seems to be a regular occurrence these days, where those organisations who feel that they are portrayed anything less than how they view themselves ... need to edit out any damaging information to keep their image intact .....

I'd say .. what has happened here, is just the same as the example of what members of Congress did .....

The article, however, was changed back to it's more original state ... but of course, I will be keeping an eye on this matter, and will be contacting the Wikipedia lot to see what is going on over there ... because even though half of them seem to be lawyers of one form or another - they do indeed, have a duty to the TRUTH - whether it portrays their profession in a good light, or bad ....

Here's the BBC article on the Congress editing matter - and decide for yourselves, what you think .... legal profession caught stuffing the Wiki ??? maybe ....
Congress 'made Wikipedia changes'
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington

Wikipedia has more than 1.8m articles in 200 languages
Online reference site Wikipedia blames US Congress staff for partisan changes to a number of political biographies.

Computers traced to Capitol Hill removed unpalatable facts from articles on senators, while other entries were "vandalised", the site said.

An inquiry was launched after staff for Democratic representative Marty Meehan admitted polishing his biography.

Wikipedia is produced by readers who add entries and edit any page, and has become a widely-used reference tool.

'Liberal' to 'activist'
Using the public history of edits on Wikipedia, researchers collected the internet protocol numbers of computers linked to the US Senate and tracked the changes made to online pages.

The site lists half a dozen prominent biographies that had been changed by Senate computers, including those of Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.

Senator Coleman's office has confirmed that staff there had made a number of changes to his online record.

Where he was described as a "liberal" back in college, this was changed to "activist".
Among other changes, staff also deleted a reference to Mr Coleman voting with President Bush 98% of the time in 2003, despite running as a moderate the year before.

Wikipedia said staffers of Senator Tom Harkin had removed a paragraph relating to Mr Harkin's having falsely claimed to have flown combat missions over North Vietnam, and his subsequent recantation.

A handful of miscellaneous vandalism edits had been made to some senators' articles, it said.

One example was the entry for Republican Senator Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma, who it was falsely alleged had been voted "most annoying senator".
Bush editing block

Senator Coleman's chief of staff, Erich Mische, said editing was done to correct inaccuracies and delete information that was not reflective of the politician.

The article on President Bush has been altered so many times - not just from within Congress - that Wikipedia's volunteer monitors have had to block further "editing"

"They've got an edit provision on there for the sake of editing when things are not accurate," Mr Mische told the Associated Press.

"I presume that if they did not want people to edit, they wouldn't allow you to edit."
Wikipedia says the controversy raises questions about whether it is ethical for those with a vested interest in the subject to edit entries about it.

It said the Congressional computer network has been blocked from editing for brief periods on a number of occasions in the last six months due to the inappropriate contributions.

The article on President Bush has been altered so many times - not just from within Congress - that Wikipedia's volunteer monitors have had to block further "editing".

But it also says its investigation showed the vast majority of edits from Senate IPs were "beneficial and helpful".

Massachusetts newspapers disclosed last month that staffers for Representative Marty Meehan had polished the boss's Wikipedia biography.

Deleted were references to a long-abandoned promise to serve only four terms, and to his campaign war chest.

Accuracy study
Wikipedia was founded in 2001 and has since grown to more than 1.8 million articles in 200 languages. Some 800,000 entries are in English.

It is based on wikis, open-source software which lets anyone fiddle with a webpage.

Anyone reading a subject entry can disagree, edit, add, delete, or replace the entry.
A December 2005 study by the British journal Nature found it was about as accurate on science as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

But it has been criticised for the correctness of entries, most recently over the biography of prominent US journalist John Seigenthaler - which incorrectly linked him to the Kennedy assassinations.

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