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17 Jul, 2014 16:15

Help from the Hill: Wikipedia-lovers from US House of Reps edited Russia articles

Help from the Hill: Wikipedia-lovers from US House of Reps edited Russia articles

Several Wikipedia entries on Russia were edited by someone using the IP address of the US House of Representatives. Crimea was called “'de jure' part of Ukraine, illegally annexed by Russia” and RT host Abby Martin became “a Russian propagandist.”

The new ‘propagandist changes’ have been recorded by a Twitter bot that watches for anonymous Wikipedia edits from various IP addresses from the US Congress, reported Mashable, a British-American news website, technology and social media blog.

According to this Twitter bot, someone used the IP of the US House of Representatives and re-edited at least 13 articles on Monday July 14.

A few moments after the changes were made; another user re-edited all the articles back. The versions could be seen in Wikipedia section “Difference between revisions.”

User talk: Wikipedia article edited anonymously by US House of Representatives http://t.co/pix4jtEyPT

— congress-edits (@congressedits) July 16, 2014

One of the targets of Congressional editor was the article about Crimea. Earlier the article looked like this:

“Sovereignty and control of the peninsula became the subject of the ongoing 2014 Crimean crisis, a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine.”

However, on Monday the region which became the object of Russian Federation March 20 2014 after the referendum, suddenly turned out to be a part of Ukraine:

“Although the region is a ''de jure'' part of Ukraine, control of the peninsula became the subject of the ongoing [[2014 Crimean crisis]], when the peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia.”

Screenshot from wikipedia.org

Another example of new editors’ remarks is the article about RT host Abby Martin.

On Monday Martin suddenly changed her occupation – she became“a Russian propagandist.” A minute later she again became “an [[News media in the United States American journalist]].”

RT host Abby Martin (Image grab taken from RT video)

Abby Martin commented on congressional Wikipedia rewrites in her RT show Breaking the Set on Wednesday.

“The editing process of writing an online encyclopedia is very selective. A lead group of super-admins rule the narrative by majority consensus and mob opinion was accepted as fact,” she said. “Clearly this poses a big problem.”

“By shutting down the freedom of information and by giving a zero room for discussion or disagreement with the content posted,” Martin added.

Screenshot from wikipedia.org

American radio host Alex Jones, after interviews to RT, didn’t escape a caustic remark from someone with the IP address of the House of Representatives.

Alex Jones (Photo by Sean P. Anderson / flickr.com)

This time the comments were just added to the article:

“Following his appearances on Russia Today, there were allegations that he was a disinformation agent with ties to the Kremlin.”

Screenshot from wikipedia.org

Another victim of a tricky IP address was Lyndon LaRouche, American political activist and founder of the LaRouche movement. On Monday, the 91-year-old author of economic, scientific, and political articles became “a disinformation agent funded by the Kremlin.”

The ideas of his movement “are heavily influenced by [[Trotskyism]],” added the Congressional editor.

David Icke, an English writer, public speaker, is “also a disinformation agent funded by the Pleiadians.”

Meanwhile, the editor – or editors - didn’t forget about the taste preferences of some of the US officials. Former House Speaker Sam Rayburn became an unconfirmed fan of Deserts Choco Tacos.

"In addition, Choco Tacos have been a staple of vending machines in the Rayburn House Office Building of the US House of Representatives honoring former Speaker Samuel Rayburn's devotion to his favorite snack," read the Wikipedia entry on Monday.

It is not the first time a static IP address of the US House of Representatives has been involved in editing Wikipedia articles. In 2009 US Devin Nunes the representative for California's 21st congressional district, as being a member of the Nazi Party, said Wikipedia’s article from 2009.

The address was also responsible for changing the articles dealing with abortion. On March 16, 2009 it altered the Wikipedia article on Crisis Pregnancy Center, saying that the centers, "abortion mills, which exist only to kill people, also present themselves as medical facilities."